Best Vlogging Camera (I’ve Had)

Best Vlogging Camera Featured Image

The best vlogging camera I have ever had was Canon G7X. I don’t have it anymore and I miss because it was the best vlogging camera I’ve had. It had an impressive flip screen in which you could see yourself while recording. It was about 400 dollars via eBay and I miss it a lot, because bulkiness of the 5D Mark II is a lot. It was a compact camera with flexible DSLR quality controls inside. It did 1080p at 60 frames per second which made for accessible slo-mo shots. You also could control the color, so if you wanted to shoot neutral for movies and color grading it was possible. My priorities with vlogging are what are the most DSLR like features I can get in a small form factor with a flip screen. It’s necessary to record on the go and make sure to get the story or document what’s going on and the G7X was amazing for that.

I don’t have the camera anymore (I dropped it in the club), but I now use the Canon 5D Mark II, which is good too, but I would prefer the G7X for vlogging. Audio is very important for vlogs, not being able to hear what someone is saying can be a problem. The Canon 5D Mk. II has external sound, but I don’t have a Rode mic, so I might as well have the G7X in that regard. They both have color control, or the ability change the processing of color that the camera does while recording. The control of both are roughly the same, with the 5D Mk. II only slightly edging out the G7X with Magic Lantern which allows you to capture RAW footage. However, RAW footage is not typically needed with vlogging footage and when you record a lot, you burn through your storage. The G7X’s flip screen allows you to check the placement of yourself, while recording and I can’t do that with the 5D Mk. II, and if I wanted to check where I’m at with the 5D Mk. II in realtime I need a mirror or another monitor which is not that portable.

When you look for a camera it’s important to find what works for you in terms of priority. Unfortunately, the G7X doesn’t have everything I could want, but for the price and priority it’s a pretty good deal. It’s important to assess what you want out of you vlogging camera and when you vlog. For example: if you only vlog at home on a tripod, a good investment is a DSLR or potentially even a RED camera kit depending on frequency. If you are on the go a lot the G7X and the Sony RX series are small form camera’s with flip out screens that get the job done. Of course, there are many more camera that someone could have, but the best camera prioritizes your situation. I hope that my post can help you navigate getting the best camera yourself or getting you started on a G7X.

How to Start a Podcast

How To Start A Podcast

Starting a podcast is a fun and accessible way of starting conversation about things that are important to you. Platforms, like iTunes and Soundcloud allow the sharing of your podcast and even Spotify has moved into the podcast space allowing more popular podcasts to be shared on the platform along with your favorite music. Starting a podcast for free is rewarding process that can build community outside of your local community and help find people to talk to you about your special idea.

Continue reading “How to Start a Podcast”

Dreams of Less Burnout

Dreams of Less Burnout

This originally appeared on my Medium as Envisioning a content creation model that doesn’t make me exhausted.

I want to make a lot. And I don’t want to work a regular 9 to 5. Now thanks to the internet that is a possibility, which is the dream that many have been sold (including me). If you don’t have visibility when you decide to seriously pursue your passion, you need to work on that as well. As it’s called, marketing is basically another craft. So, if you don’t have a platform already, you almost end up performing just like you would for an interview. Finding ways to capture people’s attention and then continuously creating content that doesn’t make you bored AND doesn’t make your audience bored. Marketing and content creation are one. At the beginning of the journey, it’s just as important to be visible as it is to be creating content. Doing both, frankly, is exhausting.

SEO, engagement, collaboration, hashtags, and everything else. Knowledge of these are decidedly vital to the visibility of you and your content, especially when you don’t have money to buy ads on the platform you exist on. I do have an issue with social media platforms and discovery (walled garden), but that’s another issue for another time. The issue is burnout due to these platform’s values. How do we create content, potentially a lot of (different) content and promote that allows us to have time to ourselves and be consistent for an audience.

I mostly make content (except my vlog) that is not time sensitive as in it isn’t news or created in real-time. Something like a podcast, poetry, web series, or music could be created in batches. Front-loading the bulk of the work in a short period of time (over the course of a month) and then could be released slowly in a cycle. Spend a couple of days, only making things and the every other day and reserved for other life things or reading. So, creating in batches carefully over the course of the couple of days could help with visual content, but can get tricky with software (unless open-source with an engaged community). But, then how do you market.

I am still trying to figure out because following trends and engaging outside of your community (while trying to avoid the social media trap) is vital and tiring. Content for the most part can be shy of timeless if it isn’t important when it comes out but marketing, but more importantly attention shifts everyday. Keeping up with your potential audience (and the world) adds another layer of fatigue. I believe maybe open-source software can alleviate some of that trouble. I think software that could check trends and get relevant tags would be great and also software that automatically submit work to places with influence would be great as well. Ideally, the marketing process would be completely hands off except for tweaking code or messing with the software.

I think that bulk creation and automation will help in allowing me to explore ideas and also not burnout daily and still be consistent. However, I still have concerns like making content that is marketing, like a podcast of a new movie released day of. I know that great content rises to the top, but when you start you have to go through a lot of content to be great and you need to be seen. Also, you typically aren’t getting paid for a while when doing that. I’m tired, y’all.

Let me know what you think about this piece (format, content, etc.)!

Because Because the Internet

Because Because The Internet

This originally appeared on my Medium as Because the Internet.

Senior year of high school was a crazy confusing time for me. I wanted to appeal to different people and branch out. I wanted to share my time and interests with other people. The ‘friends’ I had been associating with were not doing it for me and I was feeling pretty lonely. However, music was my escape from most things, especially music that only I listened to. Instead of driving to school, because I was lazy and did not want to pay for gas, I took the bus. The trip to school from home was about 20 minutes. The ride was a great opportunity to get lost in music. I didn’t talk to people on the bus, too too much.

I had been really into ‘CAMP’ from Childish Gambino, once I learned Troy from Community could rap. There was something really cool about this dude that I was instantly attracted to. He could rap, write, sing, act, whatever. A multidiscipline BLACK artist, fact I did not appreciate until later. Admittedly, I don’t remember the timeline of me listening experiencing the album project. I remember no one else who I was trying to be around did not care for Childish Gambino, like I did, and I think Old by Danny Brown was coming out around the same time. I remember listening to the album on Spotify on repeat and literally taking time out to read the script and following the subreddit and Gambino’s tweets. Not only was this thing mine, it was big.

‘Learn to code,’ one the thing the Gambino said over and over during the tour of the album. One stop was over by WordPress headquarters, I believe. He wanted kids to code because coding was and is the future. He had an app that complimented the tour where in realtime you could affect what was happening on a screen behind his performances. Something I had never seen. I was previously pretty bummed I did not go to any of the shows. The project had a 72 page script on a website becausetheinter.net (the actual domain is down after the social media blackout). It had visuals plus instructions to play music with the story. Also, he was in character the whole time as ‘The Kid.’ When he released an music video he had a costume that, when he was doing an interview he would be wearing the same thing. Needless to say, Childish was doing the most. I didn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I do now when it comes to approaching music projects.

Because The Internet was an escape for all the lost kids and the future of music. Childish Gambino created a world with his project and it went underappreciated and underrated (see: Pitchfork’s 5.8 score, Outkast’s initial reaction, his niche following). Proof of the foreshadowing is the creepy resemblance to more popular current artists releases (Kanye West), however Gambino has probably done more with that project then any artist I has seen in recent history. It was a whole world: website, script, videos, tour, tour photos, interviews. You could temporarily live in it following everything. I also grew up a little with this album about two or three years it has been available for me to listen and after the first binge I couldn’t listen to it too much because exhaustion, but on and off I would listen. I never was a lyrics person, until more recently and, combined with his interviews, he is expressing everything I want and need out of an artist, or more so a person; traits I want to identify with and feelings I identify with. I don’t think adults would fuck with this project as closely as the kids would.

This was an existential project: this dude has no idea what to do in life, what the answers are, and knows other people feel the same way but aren’t saying anything. I feel like honesty and openness are the only way we are going to grow as people now more than ever so about three years later this project is more relevant than ever. We got to be for each other and ourselves. The future is for the kids, and this project was like a time capsule ready to be opened when ready. It’s up to us to determine what we want from the future, up to us to share our feeling and inspire other’s to do the same.

Introducing Life*

Introducing Life*

Welcome to my blog network-thingy: Life*. This is a space for my personal expression and teaching what I know. I started this WordPress blog because I didn’t have centralized location for my content (since I make a lot of different content) and I really didn’t update my main site. I’m hoping for other content creators to find this site and build community. Life* includes this site and my Youtube channel. I plan on making weekly posts with video and text about teaching something or an essay about a subject. An addition to the blog posts, I also plan on doing daily vlogs. Life* is about empowering and expression of self, or self-determination.

I have my values: intersectionality, collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, community, disruption, transparency, fluidity, self-determination, and experimentation. Those are subject to change at anytime, but they will probably be like that for a while.

My mission for the site is to become a living resource to empower people and as well as an inclusive space to nurture expression. I like other blogs as well, but I’ve noticed a sort of staticness to them. Shoot in front of camera and listen to them talk. I hope to change that a little bit. I’m hoping people come for the tutorials and stay for the community. I have a Discord, which contains links to everything and is direct real time access to me and what I do.

I’m a content creator who gives their stuff away. I believe in accessibility, so all of my digital content 100% created by me content is free and open-source (FLOSS). All of my software that I publicly maintain is on Github and if you ever want stems from any music or anything, email me at: hello@chrstnsmth.ng. I’m also not putting ads on the site, so support in whatever way you feel comfortable.