camcorder-w-adapter[1]Many people believe that good YouTube video production cost an arm and a leg, but it actually can be quite affordable. In some cases it is difficult to know where to start if you’re unfamiliar with the general video production process and the equipment involved.

Cheap Camera Solutions

You don’t need to have an expensive camera to get started on YouTube, yes the more you invest in the right camera the more likely it is to produce better results for you. That being said you can just as easily start with the web camera on your laptop or even with your smartphone. Today many big YouTubers actually do their vlog videos on the go using their smartphones.

If you want to get some better quality YouTube videos you can get a DSLR Camera for under $500 with a kit lens that will do the job very well. You could alternatively get a digital camcorder or advanced point and shoot camera for $200-$350 that will be able to shoot in Full HD Quality. Shooting in Full HD Quality is a must for YouTube videos today.

Good Lighting Dramatically Improves Your Video

The easiest way to improve the visual quality of your videos is to have good lighting. You can get extra lighting by using lamps or you can get a small continuous lighting kit for about $100. It’s usually best to get a 3 light kit, but you can get by just fine with 2 lights. Lighting helps reduce noise and grain in your videos, this is why flash is used in studio photography. If you need a more portable solution you can find on camera lighting kits from companies like Cowboy Studios and Neewer for under $50.

Audio Makes or Breaks a Video

In the end video quality being less than perfect is forgivable, but nothing annoys viewers more than terrible audio. You should consider investing in your audio production as well as video production. If you have a camera with an audio input jack you can utilize a lapel mic or even a shotgun microphone. You also should consider audio post production. In terms of freeware Audacity is a programs than can help you mix and layer audio tracks as well as clean up background noise. A more advanced program that can help your audio production work flow is Adobe Audition. Consider getting background music from royalty free websites or purchasing them as bundle to add something extra to your videos. Background music can help with pauses or other moments where there is dead sound and can also help you cover minor background noise you were not able to eliminate with processing.

Software Solutions

Post production is just as important as anything else in the process and where you really get to polish your video work. There are many free software solutions out there such as windows movie maker and imovie. If you need something a bit more powerful you can get Adobe Premiere Elements for only $75 which has majority of the features for more professional software. You can rent the more recent version of Adobe Premiere Pro CC for $20/mo or the Creative Cloud Suite for $50/mo which would give you Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Photoshop. This would allow you to not only edit video but produce effects, motion graphics and the thumbnail artwork for your YouTube videos.

Video Production Computers on a Budget

Most people assume this will be the biggest expense but they would be wrong. You can produce quality YouTube videos utilizing a $500 laptop provided it has Dual Core Processors better than 2GHz and 6-8GB of ram. Brands like Asus and Acer tend to be more affordable and are trusted by gamers. A dedicated video card can help offset playback and rendering from time to time, but it is not essential in terms for you hardware specs. Ram and Processing power will be the most important thing in editing and rendering your video.