Equipment used to film “My Retirement Quest” Youtube content

When I started my new Youtube channel, I spent a lot of time looking for a new camera, but after watching other content creators who were further along down this path, their recommendation was to just start with what I have. As my channel grows, I will be able to gradually level up my gear, but there is still a lot to learn along the way that new gear won’t teach me. This is certainly a new strategy for me, since my default is to jump into something with both feet, and buy whatever it takes to do it! My new strategy is this: rather than looking for the tool that I desire, making do with what I have, and learning how to properly utilize its capability should be my priority, rather than to look at some shiny object that draws my attention.

This is the Camcorder that I already had (Just shy of $ 1,000)- so it will be the one I use – it is actually a 4K camera! Sony FDR-AX5

I have learned that it is not only what people can see – like how steady the shot is, the lighting involved, and how I edit the scenes, but actually what they hear that may actually have a greater impact on whether or not people will continue watching the videos that I produce. With that in mind, I had a Shure Shotgun microphone that attaches to the shoe on the top of the camera, and sends a feed into the camera that is far superior to the sound that the camera would otherwise capture. I love bluegrass music, and I had purchased that with the intention of getting better sound when recording bands from far away. If you are interested, my brothers and I are in a band called “The Day Brothers” and you can go to our web site at to get links to our music (we have recorded 5 CDs) and see some videos.

Here is a picture and link to the Shure LensHopper VP83F Shotgun microphone:

If interested in exploring this further, here is a link: The advantage this microphone ($ 299.00) has is that there is integrated flash memory as well, so it is possible to extract just the audio if that is desired. You could also put this microphone on the end of a stick and place it right above someone speaking out of the camera view, and it does not have to be attached to a camera at all.

I also purchased a Sony tripod that has served me very well in this endeavor – I can put the camera and shotgun mic on it, and film at my desk or even in my kitchen when doing cooking videos. My model, the Sony VCT-VPR1 is no longer made – so this link is for a similar model for $ 75.00:

Sony VCT-VPR1 Tripod

This is what I am using now (Spring of 2021) and it will be interesting to see how I level up my gear as time goes on. If you use my link, they are affiliate links and I would get a small commission. Thank you for helping support me in this journey.