Tag Archives: equipment

The Best Cheap Vlogging Camera With Flip Up Screen

This post may contain affiliate links

One day I was scrolling through YouTube and discovered a creative YouTuber named Casey Neistat. After watching about 10 of his videos, I was hooked on the idea of vlogging. I researched the best cheap vlogging camera for the next few months and bought one that I’ve since used all around the world.

In this post I will review my favorite cheap vlogging camera with flip up screen and other vlogging tips, resources, and ideas.

Best Cheap Vlogging Camera With Flip Up Screen

The Sony A5100 Mirrorless 

If you look at camera shootouts on YouTube, the sony line of mirrorless cameras stands apart from the rest in terms of image quality, heft, dimensions, lens options, and price.

I started out thinking I was going to buy the Sony A6000 but at the last minute, I changed my mind to get the 5100 because of the flip screen. This is absolutely crucial if you want to vlog.

The image quality of the 5100 vs the 6000 is exactly the same, the only differences are in functionality. Here are the key differences of the 5100 vs the 6000 that I found.

  • 5100 Has flip up screen for selfie style video and photo
  • 5100 does not have viewfinder
  • 5100 does not have shoe mount
  • Neither cameras have external audio input jack

Besides those few things, the cameras are extremely similar. I have since purchased a 6000 for my wife and she loves having the viewfinder. Between these two cameras, we’ve vlogged and photographed all of our travels around the world.

We also earn a large portion of our income through photography and video with these two cameras.

The only real downfall that I miss on these cameras is the external audio jack. But, if you watch our videos below, you’ll hear the audio quality and how for basic vlogging, it doesn’t matter that much.

Not having a cumbersome microphone attached to your flexible tripod also keeps your setup discrete and allows you to look a little “less professional” when videoing and photoing in certain situations. (sometimes people ask you not to film if they think you’re a super pro).

Some of  our sample vlogs:



Sony E Mount Lenses

For discreteness and ease of use, the Sony 16-55 kit lens, that comes with these cameras, is actually quite good for vlogging. You don’t have to worry about breaking an expensive lens, it has a quick zoom, decent autofocus, and is super thin.

We used the kit lens for every vlog as we traveled, and only later increased our lens collection.

After getting back from our year around the world, we wanted to do photography and better video for money, so we purchased the 2 following lenses:

Sony 50mm Prime

Sony 35mm Prime


Both of these lenses are incredible and give a very high depth of field (blurry background that looks all pro). If you can only purchase one, I would choose the 35mm unless you are doing mainly food photography, product photography etc.

Vlogging Tripod

We researched this quite a bit as well, and this is what we purchased and used the entire trip:

Joby GorillaPod

This unit has a ball head which I found to be super helpful and crucial for getting balanced and level shots. Highly recommend. It’s also the brand that Neistat uses.

If you have any questions about our setup please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading this and please sign up for the newsletter on my homepage!



The Complete Guide To Buying A Violin Pickup And PreAmp

My first professional fiddle job was in Cody, Wyoming and we played an hour a night for 120 nights in a row for the tourists headed to Yellowstone National Park.

When I started back then I used a Fishman violin pickup that slid into the space in the bridge of the violin (I do not recommend this). It sounded harsh and wasn’t the best option.

My Favorite Piezo Violin Bridge Pickup And Pre-Amp Combo

After a few months of research and asking every fiddle player I knew, this is the best violin or fiddle pickup I could find. People are constantly asking me what I use, because it truly sounds amazing, so here I’ve written a guide on fiddle and violin pickups, and how I chose mine.

What I, and most of my fiddle playing friends in the alternative country music scene use for on-stage, is an L.R. Baggs bridge pickup.

I also run my signal through an L.R. Baggs pre-amp to get the smoothest and most natural tone.

With those two elements,  I’ve been able to successfully make my violin sound like a natural, clean, acoustic instrument when it used to sound harsh, thin, and fake.

However, you do need to take into account the violin you’re using. This makes a huge difference in your amplified sound. I am using a fairly new violin built in 2005 and has a deep, rich tone. It’s definitely not an antique, and in my opinion, sometimes the older violins can be harsher.

This fiddle pickup is road tested and after I had it installed on my violin, I’ve basically never touched it again. It always works, stays tight on the body of my fiddle, and always sounds great.

While researching for this post, I’ve also discovered that Sara Watkins, Mark O’Connor, and Lindsey Sterling all use the same setup.

Other Violin Pickup Options

If that setup isn’t what you’re looking for, you do have other options that might suit your situation better. I’ve jotted them down here for your reference.

The Band Violin Pickup – I’ve never used one of these styles and I’ve never known someone who has, but I believe they’re used more in the classical violin area. They may sound fine, but they definitely detract from the look of your violin.

Microphone Violin Pickup – This type of pickup is suited best for quiet environments for perhaps classical or bluegrass settings. I’ve seen a few people use these to get a very accurate sound from their instrument, but they do create issues with feedback in loud environments.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything here or if you have any questions about my setup. I’d love to chat!

To read more fiddle related articles like this, click here and to hear me play click here.