The first part of this list gives you add-ons for Smartphones (iPhone or Android). It includes excellent lighting equipment and background options. These is specifically designed for the budget conscious video maker. Further down the page is the more advanced gear like cameras and sound recording devices. We have done all the testing and research so you don’t have to waste time and money looking for everything. Enjoy!

TIP: If the product you want is out of stock or doesn’t ship to your location then use the name on this page to search for a local supplier.

MICROPHONES

The best way to improve the quality of your videos is to improve the quality of your sound.

RODE SmartLav+ Lapel Microphone

This mic is specifically designed to work on smartphones (iPhone or Android) and should be your first piece of equipment, as well as a tripod. It has a short 1 metre cable, but the SC1 extension gives you an extra 6 meters (see Adapters section). The RODE brand produces a louder signal than others we’ve tested and doesn’t need a battery. They cost around $70.

NOTE: Most phones require you to use an adapter with these mics. See below.

RODE Wireless GO II Microphone (single mic)

This is a super compact wireless microphone set that works really well with your smartphone (with a special plug) or a proper camera (DSRL, Mirrorless etc). It is made up of a Transmitter (the Mic) and a Receiver that attaches to your camera or phone.

Take note that you use the correct cable on the Receiver for the device you’re using – see note below. The Transmitter has a built-in microphone, making it super easy and quick to use. You can also plug in a TRS lapel mic if you want, (including your SmartLav+ if you use the RODE SC3 adapter shown in the Adapters section). This mic is very well priced at around $270.

NOTE: The mic set comes with a cable to use it in a normal camera (red cable with two black ends). To use this same mic on your Smartphone you will need the RODE SC7 cable (red cable, with one black and one grey end) – see below in the Microphone Adapters section.

RODE Wireless GO II Microphone (Dual Mic set for interviews)

This is the same as Mic set above, only it comes with two (2) Transmitters, which means you can use two Mics at the same time. This is perfect for Interviews where the interviewer is on camera too. This mic set is also very well priced at around $350.

NOTE: As above, this mic comes with the plug for a normal camera (red cable with two black ends). It will work fine in your smartphone so long as you buy the RODE SC7 cable below (red cable, with a black cable on one end and grey on the other) – see below in the Microphone Adapters section.

Microphone Adapters – Very Important

To use these various microphones in your phones, you will need the right kind of Adapter. Click the button below to navigate to our Microphone Adapters & Phone Accessories page.

Go to the Adapters page here

TRIPODS

We find the Manfrotto brand of tripods and accessories to be great quality at great value. Below are three options we think you’ll like, depending on your budget and the weight.

For Smartphones: Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod

This is a nice, small, and very light weight option. It’s great for taking anywhere and locking off a shot. The disadvantages are that it is only 5’1” (155cm) tall, so not ideal if you are really tall and want be standing in front of the camera – fine if you’re sitting. It’s too wobbly to use with a proper camera, but it’s ideal for phones at ~$60-$130.

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For Smartphones: Manfrotto Compact Advanced Tripod with 3-Way Head

This is the same as the one above, except that it has a bit taller and more manoeuvrable ‘head’, making it about four inches (10cm) taller (good for taller people who don’t want to spend the extra for the tripod below). The head gives you a bit more control for doing pans (sweeping shots from one side to the other), but really, if you want to do panning shots then you should get the tripod below. Especially if you are using a DSLR camera that is heavier than a smartphone. Costs around $130.

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For Big Cameras: Manfrotto 190 Aluminum 3 Section Tripod Kit with Fluid Head

This is a taller but heavier tripod. It is also very solid and holds a DSLR with more stability. It has great height for taller people and most importantly, a ‘fluid head’, which means you can do really smooth panning shots. You can also get down really low if needed. We use this most of the time when we don’t need to lug it miles and miles… Costs around $350.

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Phone Mounts for Tripods – Very Important

Whether you have a tripod already, or you’re buying a new one, you will need a mount to attach your phone to the tripod. Click the button below to navigate to our Microphone Adapters & Phone Accessories page.

Go to our Adapters page here

LIGHTING

There are many different ways to light your videos. From the simplest office setup, to lighting a full set, to shooting on green screen kit, we have many different options of affordable equipment that we use all the time.

Neewer 18-inch Dimmable Ring Light (AKA Diva or Halo Light)

This is the perfect light for your office or inside your house. We have this permanently setup behind our desks for filming with the phone, with our DSLR camera or Zoom sessions on the computer. It can also be moved around the house for shooting in other spaces you like – anywhere that you can access a powerpoint.

It lights the face really well but can make the background look dark, so keep an eye out for that. It is not a substitute for the other LED lights we show below when it comes to lighting a set or larger space.

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Yong Nuo Portable LED Lights

The LED lights we recommend are very flexible, powerful and portable for a good price. These are ideal if you are not setting up a permanent filming space because you can fold them up and take them anywhere, whether shooting inside or out.

There are two sizes available. The smaller YN-300 (with 300 LED bulbs) are all you need for filming in smaller spaces, and the double sized YN-600 (with 600 LED bulbs) are good for larger spaces.

Yong Nuo YN360 RGB Strip Light

This is really handy for lighting backgrounds with colour and highlighting different areas in a set. It screws onto a light stand or can be handheld. It has red, green and blue combinations (as shown) that you can mix to find the colour you want. It uses the same battery as the other Yong Nuo LED lights above.

Light Stands, Batteries and other Accessories – Very Important

The YongNuo lights above DO NOT come with batteries, light stands, nor other accessories. Go to this page to order what you need, so you aren’t disappointed!

Go to our Lighting Accessories page here

Green Screen Lighting Kit

There are lots of soft boxes on the market, and the main difference is the luminescence – number of light bulbs in each. This is a great combo because it gives you 225 watts (5 independently switching bulbs) on the two main lights and 135 watts on the overhead. Keep in mind that this setup does take up a lot of space, so it will be great for a garage or large room with high ceiling.

If you’re using a small spare bedroom in your apartment then check out the other green screen options below. This kit includes 1 x cotton (muslin) Green Screen backdrop, which is better than the cheaper felt backgrounds. If you want other colours such as white or black then you can buy them separately – do some searches. Green Screen is the main thing we use this kit for these days. The kit includes everything you need for around $200. Otherwise you can buy each component separately below.

NOTE: Sometimes these items are out of stock and it can be hard to find the same full kit. To get around this, you can buy the components separately.