It’s now been a month since I started vlogging. Therefore, it’s a good time to quickly take stock of my costs to-date and evaluate the budget creep. Let’s take a look at my total expenses to date.
Basic vlogging items (excl. sewing)
|Camera||$0 (existing)||Pentax K-50 (purchased approx. 5 yrs ago)|
|Lenses||$0 (existing)||18-55 mm kit lens and 55-200mm zoom lens. Only the kit lens is suitable for vlogging.|
|Camera batteries||$0 (existing)||3 batteries (1 existing and 2 generic)|
|Tripod||$25.99||Amazon Basics tripod|
|Lavalier microphone||$8.99||Rovtop lavalier microphone|
|USB microphone||$27.99||TONOR TC-777 USB microphone with pop filter|
|Lighting||$58.64||Ubeesize ring light|
|Computer||$0 (existing)||ASUS TUF Gaming i5, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX1650 GPU|
|Video editing software||$19.99||1-year subscription to VSDC Pro|
Kdenlive (free and open source)
|Image editing software||$0||GIMP (free and open source)|
|Screen recording software||$0||OBS Studio (free and open source)|
Actually, that was not too bad – it was less than $150 incremental expense overall. Furthermore, if I could do it again, I’d have several opportunities to bring the cost down more. Firstly, I need not have bought the lavalier microphone, if I had the USB mic from the beginning. Secondly, I could stick with VSDC Free instead of Pro if I’m willing to edit all projects in both Kdenlive and VSDC (using VSDC for overlays, noise removal and colour grading, and Kdenlive for cutting and combining clips). That would reduce the startup cost to less than $120 overall.
Costs involved with sewing vlog
The additional purchases for creating sewing videos more than doubled my total cost outlay. That’s because filming a sewing project involves long hours of shooting and a lot of footage. As a result, a considerable amount of additional cost went into getting additional storage.
|SD card storage||$17.98||2x YYAZZ 64 GB SD cards|
|External hard drive||$39.99||Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive HDD Armour A60|
|Camera AC adapter||$109.00||Pentax K-AC128|
So far, the total costs have landed at $308.57 including the sewing vlog equipment. At least, that’s far below the $500 mark at this point, and barely above the raw cost of just buying Final Cut Pro.
Making the most of free video editing software
In the spirit of keeping costs low, I made a video detailing the basic to intermediate functions of VSDC and Kdenlive. This shows how much customization you can accomplish (an insane amount) with free tools! Therefore, I believe that I can go the distance without having to upgrade my laptop to get DaVinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro.
Future priorities to make the most of what I have
I believe the USB microphone should be my final vlogging-related purchase for a while. Originally, I hadn’t planned to buy any more audio equipment, but after creating the above video, I realised that a good microphone is essential to avoid background noise. Even though VSDC’s audio gate worked well on my camera audio, the noise with my headset microphone had too close a profile to my main audio to filter out.
The next areas of priority will be as follows:
- Learn colour grading in order to make use of Kdenlive’s and VSDC’s tools intelligently. Combined, they have as wide a range of tools as high-end software. Kdenlive has a vectorscope, RGB parade and waveform, and both have options for colour wheels, RGB curves, and LUTs.
- Be more mindful about lighting conditions (don’t be lazy) and camera angles, especially for filming sewing action. Get creative about tripod positions to make the most of my existing tripod setup.
- Work very hard on getting audio to be noise-free. Try to maximise the use of the new cardioid microphone.
- Learn how to use GIMP to create better thumbnails.
That’s a long learning curve before I can justify spending on anything more!