Starting a YouTube channel is a fun process, but the amount of gear needed to compete with the pros can add up quickly. While some enjoy spending weeks deliberating over every single purchase, we know many of you want to make a quick purchase that gives you all the tools you need. That’s why we made this list to find the best YouTube starter kit that suits your budget and personal preferences.
At the end of the guide we’ve put together a very helpful glossary that should help you understand what every tiny little gizmo included does, and whether or not you need it!
- 1 Why Should You Buy A YouTube Starter Kit?
- 2 Top 5 Best YouTube Starter Kit Packs – Our Picks
- 2.1 1. Canon 80D Creator Kit (Our Pick For Best YouTube Starter Pack)
- 2.2 2. Canon Rebel T6i YouTube Kit (Best YouTube Channel Kit Under $1000)
- 2.3 Canon Vixia HF R800 YouTube Starter Pack (Best Cheap YouTube Starter Pack)
- 2.4 4. Ulanzi Pocket Rig For Smartphones Best YouTube Starter Kit For Smartphones
- 2.5 5. Sony A7sii Bundle (Best YouTube Starter Kit For Professionals / Filmmakers)
- 2.6 Honorable Mention: Best Lighting YouTube Starter Kit
- 3 What Are All These Accessories And Why Do I Need Them?
Why Should You Buy A YouTube Starter Kit?
We know it’s not for everyone, but for the total novice who just wants to jump headfirst into the YouTube game, there’s plenty of reasons to go with a YouTube starter bundle.
- It’s cheap – With many of the kits we’ve found, the bundle barely costs any more than the camera itself! You’ll get a functional set of accessories, typically for only $0-50 extra.
- Easy to upgrade later – While some accessories might be far from top-quality, you can always upgrade them down the road as you learn the ins and outs of your kit!
- It saves you time – Purchasing each individual part separately may be optimal, but not everybody wants to spend dozens of hours tracking down the best accessories. (Although we already did for you.)
- Everything is compatible – Because these starter kits are built around the camera, you don’t have to worry about buying accessories that end up being incompatible with your rig!
Top 5 Best YouTube Starter Kit Packs – Our Picks
Note: You’ll notice a lot of Canon on this list. We aren’t sponsored by them. We did a lot of research and they are by far the most popular brand among top YouTubers. They are very user friendly cameras and have an excellent cost-to-performance ratio.
1. Canon 80D Creator Kit (Our Pick For Best YouTube Starter Pack)
The Canon 70D is a staple among HUGE YouTubers like Casey Neistat and Nigahiga. It is one of the most commonly used cameras across top-tier YouTubers, and its quality is unrivaled at this price range. The next iteration, the 80D, takes many steps to improve on that camera.
With double the Auto Focus points, 4 more megapixels, better low light performance, and many other additions, this is easily the best consumer-grade YouTuber camera on the market. This bundle gives you all the accessories you need to have a a complete, versatile kit and get you on the road to YouTube stardom.
Here’s the list of included equipment
- Canon EOS 80D Body + 18-135mm Lens + 67mm Filter + Canon Power Zoom Adapter + 1 Year Warranty
- Camera Cover / Lens Wrap + Wide Strap + Camera Bag
- 2 Extra Battery Packs + Charger
- Rode Videomic Go & Tripod
- Cleaning Kit + Screen Protector + Suction Cup
- 32 & 64 GB SD Cards + Card Reader + Card Wallet
- Video LED Light + Flip Flash Bracket + Remote Trigger
A quality microphone is one of the most important elements of a good YouTube video, so we didn’t want to recommend any bundles with shoddy microphones. The Rode Videomic Go provides excellent audio quality and is a staple among vloggers – you’ll see it included with several of the other bundles we’ve recommended.
Our Verdict: If you have a reasonable amount of money to drop, this is an excellent bundle that has everything you need to launch a channel with footage worthy of millions of subscribers.
2. Canon Rebel T6i YouTube Kit (Best YouTube Channel Kit Under $1000)
A close second to the 80D, the Canon Rebel series of cameras has also attracted plenty of high-status users including Laurdiy, ConnorFranta, and Jenn Im. While not top-tier, the quality is more than good enough to compete with some of the biggest creators, and the camera is very beginner friendly.
Here’s all the included accessories.
- Canon EOS Rebel T6i DSLR Camera W/ 18-55mm Lens + Lens Filters + Macro Filters + Grip Strap
- Wide angle and Telephoto Lenses
- SanDisk 32GB Card + USB SD/MicroSD Card Reader
- Extra Battery Pack W/ Chargers
- Complete Lens Cleaning Kit
- Wireless shutter release remote + Flash
- Rode VideoMic GO On-Camera Shotgun Microphone
- 50 Inch Tripod
- Camera Backpack
So, if you haven’t noticed, it’s very similar to the previous bundle apart from the camera body. The great Rode mic is included, and this bundle even includes a nifty little grip to improve your ability to shoot with one hand.
Our Verdict: If you want a great camera, but don’t have over a thousand dollars, this kit has all the same essentials as the last one. The T6i is used by tons of professionals around the world and will serve you well.
If you have a small budget, looking at our previous two options has probably got you feeling a little discouraged. Fear not! This next bundle is an excellent package that will give you excellent content creation capabilities for less than $300. You’ll be able to record 1080p at 60fps, and the camera even has some built in optical-image stabilization!
For the price, the HF R800 is a really awesome camera that gets the job done. It’s no T6i or 80D, but it’s leagues better than webcams and most smartphones. The footage is very crisp and clear, colors are nice, and the 57x zoom works like a charm. Your footage won’t stand out for how great it is, but it definitely won’t stand out for how bad it is either.
Here’s some very impressive test footage we found.
Here’s what you’re getting.
- Canon Vixia HF R800 + 2.5x Telephoto & .45x Wide Lenses + UV Glass Filter
- LCD Screen Protector And Camera Cleaning Kit
- 64 GB Capture Card
- Tripod + Handheld Camera Grip
- Vidpro Condenser Mic
- Camera Bag
- LED Light
The shotgun mic is a step down from the Rode available with the other bundles, but it is still leagues better than most camera’s built in microphones.
Our Verdict: The price of this kit makes it the best YouTube starter kit for beginners, and a great gift for the aspiring YouTubers in your life.
4. Ulanzi Pocket Rig For Smartphones Best YouTube Starter Kit For Smartphones
It’s common knowledge that nowadays, if you have a newer smartphone like the Google Pixel or iPhone 10, you already have a better Vogging rig than you’d have with a cheaper camera.
This awesome little package includes everything you need to transform your smartphone into a rig that can compete with even the biggest YouTubers.
We are very impressed with the quality of the grip. It is made of solid metal and feels extremely sturdy while holding your phone. Cheap selfie sticks and grips are notorious for allowing your phone to fly out if you’re too rough with them, and that’s not the case here. Once it’s screwed in place, your phone is definitely not going anywhere.
The grip also has a plate that even gives your phone a cold shoe mount for the included microphone. We really love this because it also means you now have the ability to attach anything to your phone that you would want to attach to a camera.
Even better, the vice is detachable, allowing you to mount the phone clamp onto any tripod, giving you all of the versatility you’d have with a full-fledged camera.
The microphone included is actually even more impressive than some of the ones in the bundles for DSLRs! The Boya BY-MM1 microphone is an awesome little mini-shotgun that is even able to give the Rode mics a run for their money.
While the light might appear small, it does a great job at lighting your subject. The size is warranted, as a giant light would throw off the balance of the rig anyways.
All in all, this is one of our favorite YouTube starter packs because it gives literally anyone all the tools they need to produce high quality content.
Note: This bundle is VERY expensive.
Alright, for 99% of fledgling YouTubers, this is totally overkill. However, we know that for some of you, money is never a factor. If that’s how you feel, this is definitely the package for you.
The Sony A7sii is not only popular among huge YouTubers, it’s capable of producing festival quality films. It received very high marks from us in our recent guide to the best mirrorless cameras for beginners.
- Includes – Sony Alpha a7SII Mirrorless Camera W/ Rokinon DS 24mm, 35m, & 85mm Cine Lenses
- Rode Videomic Go
- VidPro Cage
- 128MB SD Card
- Battery 2-Pack and Charger
- Backpack And Hard Case
You’re probably noticing it doesn’t include key components like tripods and lights. However, we don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. If you’re purchasing a camera kit for several thousand dollars, you probably don’t need to be messing around with $20 quality tripods.
Our Verdict: For those looking to drop a bunch of money on a really good camera with all the fixings, the A7sii is a great choice.
Honorable Mention: Best Lighting YouTube Starter Kit
Everything we’ve recommended so far is awesome, but they offer very little in terms of one of the most important tools for quality videos – lighting.
We’ve found that this studio lighting kit from LimoStudio is a high quality, low cost option that’s great for any YouTube beginners.
This kit provides everything you need for professional-quality lighting setups, as well as a few other key accessories that are very useful for YouTubers. Here’s a full list of what you get.
- Backdrop Stand With Green, White, and Black Muslins. 5 Backdrop Holding Clamps
- 4 x Light Stands and 4 x CFL Light Bulbs
- 2 Softbox Lighting Diffusers, 2 Umbrellas
- Heavy Duty Carrying Bag
These lights are great for any kind of video production, and the backdrop is very helpful as well if you conduct interviews, do photoshoots, or just want to make some whacky green screen footage. We highly recommend you purchase this kit in addition to whichever starter pack you decided to go with.
What Are All These Accessories And Why Do I Need Them?
With the amount of products included in some of these YouTube starter kits, some of you may be feeling quite overwhelmed.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help define each element of the kits so that you can understand why they’re important, and whether or not you personally need them!
They might not seem totally necessary to you, but extra batteries are absolutely critical for anyone looking to shoot video with a DSLR.
Recording footage eats through your batteries very fast, and you’re not going to be able to shoot for too long without swapping them.
Lights aren’t just for shooting at night time. Properly lighting your videos is the number one best way to increase image quality
If you’re interested in investing more in proper lighting equipment, we’ve written several guides here:
- The Best Lighting For Streaming And YouTube – A Complete Guide
- Best Softbox Lighting Kit – Buyer’s Guide
- Best Ring Light – Buyer’s Guide (Best For Beauty YouTubers)
- Ring Light Vs Softbox Light – Which Is Better For Your Videos?
Tired of the background being a complete blinding light every time you shoot outside? These handy filters snap onto the end of your lens, and work like sunglasses for your camera.
They’ll make it a lot harder to overexpose your footage, and will allow you to shoot with a slower shutter speed, even when it’s bright out.
Extra Lenses / Macro Filters
If you like to express yourself through the cinematic arts, you’ll want to consider getting multiple lenses.
One wide-angled lens will be more than good enough for vlogs or tutorials, but if you’re looking to create short films, skits, or creative pieces, having the ability to shoot with multiple lenses is key. You’ll be able to adjust your framing and change focal lengths, increasing your ability to tell a story with the camera.
Camera Cleaning Kits
If you haven’t already noticed, cameras and lenses are very expensive, and you can’t just start swabbing your lens with a paper towel if it gets water spots.
Microfiber towels, air blowers and cleaning solution are all very necessary for proper camera maintenance.
Out of everything, we think that a solid shotgun microphone is second only to your camera in determining the overall quality of your videos. While some other accessories in these bundles leave something to be desired, we only recommended starter kits that had high quality mics like the Rode Videomic GO.
If you’re okay with spending a couple hundred and getting a really awesome shotgun mic, check out our buyer’s guide. We’ve even written one on boom poles if you’re fortunate enough to have a sound guy helping you out.
SD Cards / Card readers.
You can’t record and store footage on any camera without an SD card. Even if you already have some, you can never have too many.
Do keep in mind that more expensive cameras like the Sony A7s2 will fill their SD cards much faster than lower quality cameras like the Vixia HF R800.
Most of the bundles we recommended include a card reader, which will allow you to read the cards on any PC, even if you don’t have one already built in.
Behind lights and mics, a good tripod is probably the next best investment you can make in your videos. They’ll allow you to stabilize
If you’re picking up a bundle that doesn’t have a tripod, or are looking to upgrade, check out our other awesome in-depth buyer’s guides
When doing handheld shots, you’re going to need some sort of tool to eliminate camera shake. The hand grip in some of these packages is pretty simple, but will improve the steadiness of your footage by a lot.
If you want a more stable and reliable tool to help your handheld shots, check out the guides below.
While typically a photography tool, monopods can be a great addition to many YouTubers, especially vloggers. While you cant stand them up on their own, they allow you to get much more stable footage while on the go.
Because monopods don’t need to support the full weight of a camera on their own, the cheaper quality of those included in camera bundles is less consequential, and they will serve you just fine!