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.
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:
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.
We researched this quite a bit as well, and this is what we purchased and used the entire trip:
The other day I was chatting with a friend over the phone and he kept asking me questions about how I’ve travel the world, make money online, and play music as I go.
He’d ask were you ever scared for your life? How much money did you need? Where did you find clients? Did you have health insurance?
And I went on and answered them all. After our call, we were both feeling inspired and he said I should write this all down somewhere, so here it is.
How I became a digital nomad musician/marketer/accountant/videographer
When we first decided to leave we went to one of our favorite websites ever, workaway.info
I always suggest people go and browse on here, even if they’re not planning on traveling because once you get in there and see that you could work on a huskie farm in Sweden in exchange for room and board, you’re much more likely to go and actually travel.
There are so many available opportunities on Workaway like to work on a horse ranch in Costa Rica, pick olives in Tuscany, or go Glamping in Portugal (we did all these)
We did Workaways in Europe because it’s more expensive to hang out there, and we only worked on our computers in the inexpensive countries in Asia.
Digital Nomad Life
A lot of people don’t realize that there is an entire community of people working from their laptops in countries all over the world. They’re called digital nomads because they float around to multiple countries while still working to pay for it all.
Thanks to the internet, these things are possible.
We managed Instagram accounts, created videos, did SEO, wrote blogs, ran Facebook ads, created websites. Pretty much anything that was creative, needed in the marketplace and could be done remotely.
The only reason we knew how to do these things was because of a wonderful website called YouTube.com
Here you can learn any skill you need, then prove the results you can deliver and people will hire you. That’s how I’ve learned so much of what I do every day today.
Remember in The Matrix when he just loads up a file into his brain and he suddenly knows how to fly a helicopter? YouTube is like that, by typing the right questions into the search box you will have learned how to do it in less than 5 minutes.
I’ll link all of my favorite websites, tools, and resources for digital nomad jobs below, they just might inspire you.
How To Make Money While Traveling
This is the number one question that everyone asks, and for good reason. There are a million ways to make money and live a nomadic lifestyle but the easiest way is to convince your current job to let you go remote.
The second easiest way is to get a new job that encourages remote work, or has a fully remote workforce.
If you want to see what’s available, you can check out the remote job boards at the bottom of this post, or you can get started teaching English online.
We’ve found this to be one of the easiest ways to make money while you travel. Almost anyone can get signed up and you can do it from anywhere in the world, plus they pay well.
We’ve recently discovered an amazing platform that is helping thousands of people pursue a digital nomad lifestyle, and build experience in an in-demand industry.
When looking for remote marketing work I realized that there’s some certifications that employers really like to see on a resume, so I highly recommend taking time to study and get certified in Hubspot, Salesforce, Instagram, and Google Ads (links below).
The world is a safe place. You don’t realize it but you’re living in a total bubble in America. You think you know what life is like but you really don’t until you travel.
Fear is a powerful emotion that is berated at you daily but we said it a million times over our journey, people are good.
We always tell everyone don’t party, drink, do drugs, stay out late, hang out with unsavory characters, and you’ll be fine. It’s the same status in America if you hang out with crazys and do crazy things, stuff might happen to you.
If you find the right people, you will be rewarded with amazing friendships. The people we’ve met are truly amazing.
One thing you should look out for is air pollution. This is no joke in certain places and I had an asthmatic effect that I’d never experienced before, we met Americans developing Asthma from being in Ubud, Bali. Be careful and get a purifier, and use a mask.
So I’m a fiddle player by trade and I did bring it with me. I wanted to write songs, produce music, and play in epic locations around the world and that’s what I did. I even started a band while I was out and we played a show in Cambodia. I also played about 10 shows in Australia and a house concert in Canada.
While out I built a kind of mobile studio into a Pelican case which I wrote a post about HERE, and that really helped me get organized. I started producing cover songs on YouTube and wrote a good amount of original music about travel as well.
Digital Nomad Visas
As an American, you can go to just about any country and get a Visa On Arrival, it usually permits you around 3 months so it naturally, keeps you moving.
Visas are never really a problem, especially if you have an American passport. While traveling we realized how much of a luxury American passports are.
Long-Term Travel Insurance
The insurance that most everyone uses is called World Nomads.
This company provides a very good plan for a very good price, they cover too many things to list here, but I suggest you check out their site below.
Digital Nomad Ergonomics
When working while traveling, you end up in some strange positions. You might be sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, crammed between people at a Starbucks, or sending emails from the floor of an airport.
That being said, I highly recommend focusing on your working posture and getting ergonomic computer equipment to make sure you can do this long-term.
I like to think of myself as an athlete. The soul lives forever but the body is only temporary so take care of it. I’ve listed some of my favorite ergonomic office supplies below, and trust me, I’ve tried all the options.
Whenever I talk to a friend about traveling the world I let them know that it is easier than you think, it’s not as scary as you think, and it will open your eyes and breathe depth into your life.
I highly recommend the digital nomad lifestyle and I believe we should take advantage of this opportunity in our lifetimes. The people before us could only dream about living a life like this!