Casey Neistat’s Vlogs have been gaining a lot of popularity lately because of his great cinematography skills and a lot of people are wondering what type of camera setup is he using to make his videos look so good. So the following article is like what I see as the recipe for creating these videos. Plus I will explain how Casey makes his vlogs and most important what gear he uses to capture some of the most exciting moments of his life.
Brief History: Casey started vlogging in March of 2015 where typical daily vlogs looked like individuals carrying point-and-shoot cameras and sort of documenting their day. There was a much smaller genre back then and it was pretty hard to get used to this type of process. But he found this genre fascinating and I think what influenced me the most is the idea of using your life as a narrative for a daily series.
Watching Casey’s video you understand that every episode looks like a separate movie and that’s what I like most. The foundational principle that he applies to almost every vlog is the unique story. Plus with every good story there is rule of Three-Act Narrative Structure (Set-Up, Conflict and Resolution) which is the core of all his videos and that’s what really makes his channel so original.
Gear Doesn’t Matter, Story is King…
Casey Neistat Camera Equipment
When It comes to hardware Casey has one simple rule and that is always to use the very Best Vlogging Camera which is at his disposal. Currently, he is shooting all his videos in 4K and his favorite camera so far is Panasonic Lumix GH5. So the first thing we’re going to do is run through all cameras that he owns and then dig into some of the specifics about the things you need to know how to best use this setup.
- Panasonic GH5
- Sony A7S II
- Canon EOS 70D
- Canon 5D Mark IV
- Canon G7x Mark II
- Sony DSC-RX100
- Sony Alpha A6500
Professional 4K vlogging camera with a durable magnesium alloy body. The Lumix GH5 records 4K videos at maximum 180Fps and supports In-body stabilization for classic non-O.I.S. lenses.
This is the Best Mirrorless Vlogging Camera available on the market today. Sony A7S II offers 5-axis image stabilization, fast and effective hybrid autofocus system. Plus the camera is equipped with 12.2 megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor and is Compatibility with Sony E-mount lenses.
The Canon 70D is actually the iconic vlogging camera because Casey first used his Joby GorillaPod to vlog with DSLR. Back in the day, it was quite unusual because all the vlogger preferred some light weight point-and-shoot to film their daily lifestyle. Plus this camera has a nice autofocus system which is perfect for getting a good crisp clear shot.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is truly professional vlogging camera with some of the most advanced features. This camera comes with 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor which is perfect for versatile shooting. Plus the touch screen, 4k video recording and 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed enable vlogger to capture some of the most exciting moment of their lives in a most cinematic way.
Enter your Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is truly best vlogging camera in a very compact body, which you can carry around no matter where are you going. It’s perfect for travel vlogging, for action video and most importantly delivers exceptional image quality even in low light condition. Plus camera can capture impressively high-resolution images with continuous shooting up to 8Fps in both RAW and JPEG mode.
Sony RX100 is the perfect choice for vlogging camera if you are on a budget but still, need some quality in your videos. Moreover, DSC-RX100 is a perfect solution if you are looking for a ultra-slim compact camera which is capable of recording Full HD 1080p at 60Fps with manual control and sophisticated aluminum body.
Sony was always known for its Alpha series camera line and the A6500 is not an exception. The new camera is now equipped with 5-axis in-body image stabilization, 4K video recording, and 24.2MP -Exmor sensor. All these features make A6500 the best compact mirrorless camera for youtube vlogs.
However depending on the situation, especially when he is running in the morning Casey prefers to use his cell phone to record the video. Plus he keeps a point-and-shoot camera or GoPro in his backpack in case If he doesn’t have the big camera with him, because the point-and-shoot is a little bit more dynamic than just the cell phone.
- GoPro Hero5
- GoPro Hero5 Session
- Galaxy S8+
- iPhone 7
- Samsung Gear 360
The GoPro Hero 5 black edition is GoPro’s flagship action camera. Some of its new features include a waterproof design with no external housing, hands-free voice control, digital image stabilization and a built-in touch screen display. The Hero 5 has the same frame rate and resolution as a Hero 4, but with a new processor and optics it can take 4k video up to 30 frames per second and 240 frames per second at 720p.
The GoPro Hero 5 Session is a super small fully waterproof camera. In fact, it can record 4k video at 30 frames per second or full HD at 60 frames per second, with electronic image stabilization to help take some of the shake out of your footage. Like the Hero 5 Black, the session can be controlled with voice commands, so you can do everything while your hands are busy and since it is so much smaller you can simply attach it to anything you want.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ has everything you need to capture stunning videos with your phone. It’s got a premium glass and metal body with smooth corners and rounded sides that blend seamlessly into the display. The new camera also features 12 megapixels sensor and with enhanced image processing you’ll be able to take great shots in almost any condition. Plus if you’re looking for the perfect selfie S8+ also has a front 8-megapixel camera with autofocus system which is really rare for a front-facing lens.
iPhone 7 plus is completely water-resistant, it’s got a better battery and a faster processor but the best part of this device is the dual lens camera on the back. Photos are amazingly sharp even in low-light and it also has really good range of tones. At this point, it’s really hard to say that iPhone 7 is up to the level of replacing DSLR but this is the kind of camera that certainly is going to be fun for amateurs and even professionals to shoot with as a replacement for a point-and-shoot camera.
Samsung Gear 360 is a very compact camera that shoots 360-degree photos and video. It’s obviously working with a two lens system which is becoming more popular with these 360-degree cameras. Each one has an F2.0 lens on it and it shoots a 195-degree field of view, so the loop image from one side and the other side actually overlap. This camera also gives the option to shoot the equivalent of the 30 megapixels still and 3840 by 1920 video which is perfect for for Samsung Gear VR.
So not to hold any certain kind of hardware it’s what he has access to. Plus it’s always crucial in the cinematography to hold the camera steady because no one wants to watch super shaky footage as it hurts your brain and is very hard to see what’s going on the screen. It’s not pleasurable for the editor as well to put it together if it’s not stable shot and in most cases such file go straight in the trash.
casey neistat camera lens
If you’re going to vlog with a DSLR then you are probably going to have to learn how to choose a lens as well. So in order to help new youtube vloggers I’ve got a couple of recommendations for you.One of the most fun things about shooting on a DSLR is being able to change your lens to get a different kind of shots. For example, a wider angle lens gives you a wider field of view, which makes it great for landscapes. A macro lens, on the other hand, can take really detailed close-ups. So you can get pretty creative with lenses by experimenting with different models in different situations.
- Panasonic Lumix G 7-14mm
- Sony SEL1018 10-18mm
- Canon EF-S 10-18mm
- Canon EF-S10-22mm
Introduced in March of 2009 and offering a full-frame equivalent field of view of 7 to 14 millimeters this lens is more than wide enough for nearly all wide-angle applications. The lens itself is made out of a really nice grade of plastic and the lens mount is made out of metal. Plus its lightweight and kind of stubby compared to the lenses that you’d mount to a traditional DSLR.
Sony SEL1018 10-18mm is an ultra wide angle zoom lens which is ideal for vlogging as well as for landscape photography. So it almost feels part of the gap in Sony’s NEX lens lineup. The great thing about the lens is that it has a solid body and a sleek black finish with metal zoom and focus rings. Plus lens is very compact and provides relatively fast and accurate internal focusing system to ensure very sharp image quality.
The Canon 10 to 18 millimeter STM lens has two very exciting features. Firstly it’s got an incredibly wide angle, especially for a crop sensor camera at 10 millimeters and secondly, it has a stepper motor which gives some nice autofocus in both Stills and a video mode. This lens is also quite different compared to other ultra-wide lenses. Traditionally this type of lenses were really heavy and quite large but the canon, on the other hand, is incredibly light and compact. So It’s a really nice choice especially if you are going to start your channel on YouTube.
The Canon EF-S10-22mm is the classic and generally well-respected ultra wide-angle lens for APS-C digital cameras. It’s great for landscapes and especially for vlogs, mainly because of its excellent autofocus system. This compact, extremely well designed and lightweight lens is everything you need for your DSLR camera.
casey neistat microphone
It’s easy to record audio from your camera but I highly recommend investing in a microphone to get better sound quality. There is nothing worse than having to listen to bad audio especially if the video content is good. So here’s my list of top mics that will help you record great audio and those are also ones which Casey uses on his vlogs.
- Rode VideoMic Pro
- Shure VP83 LensHopper
- Sennheiser MKE 440
The Rode VideoMic Pro has been the world’s leading microphone choice for professional on-camera audio over the past five years. Its lightweight and small form factor makes it convenient to mount on top of your camera. The high-quality microphone capsule paired with extremely low noise electronics has helped countless camera operators capture professional quality audio for DSLR and mirrorless camera.
The new Shure VP83 LensHopper is an ultra compact short shotgun microphone that provides a great sounding all-in-one audio solution for DSLR videography. The VP83’s tight directional pickup pattern enables it to reject background noise, so that you can focus on your intended sound source. Plus it has a durable all-metal construction that passes all of Sure’s legendary quality tests and it mounts securely on your camera’s accessory shoe.
The Sennheiser MKE 440 is a compact stereo shotgun microphone for cameras with an external microphone input. This device gives an amazing sound for your videos, so it’s perfect for youtube vlogging. Plus MKE 440 features built-in elastic suspension, as well as wind protection and the build quality is exceptionally good.
casey neistat tripod
If you are interested in making videos whether you do it for fun or to market your business the camera tripod is a must-have for your filming equipment. Because this piece of equipment can dramatically improve your videos. Sometimes in order to get good quality content, you have to spend a lot of money, but with camera gimbals and tripods you can achieve pretty amazing results even if you are on a budget.I still think this is the most important tool that can simply change the way your videos look. Plus the build quality of those products is fantastic, with a very interesting design enabling the best security for your cameras in any situation. So tripod is a must-have for a filmmaker as it can make your content incredibly unique.
- JOBY GorillaPod
- JOBY GorillaPod Ballhead X
JOBY Gorillapod is very strong, durable and lightweight tripod, with rubberized foot grips. The following device enables vloggers to capture professional looking videos and some perfect time-lapses. Plus it’s easy to use and will secure cameras up to 6.6lbs, making the impossible shot possible.
The JOBY quick release Ballhead with an attached bubble level is probably the best tools for your camera. It helps to position the camera at virtually any angle and create a flawless portrait or landscape shots. Moreover, it’s made of durable stainless steel and it’s simply made to last.
Note: I always found it kind of hard to watch non-stop shaky camera vlogs so it always important to have an equal amount of handheld locked off camera shot and then establishing shot so it enables viewers to feel more like they are also involved in the scenes. That way people forget about the camera for a second and focus on what the person is talking. Moreover, the handheld shots enable you to sort of feel the spontaneity and the urgency that is taking place in your daily life.
casey neistat Drone
One thing that you should remind yourself on daily basis as vlogger is that using timelapse and drone footage only works if it’s serving a greater purpose and for me, it serves two purposes one is transitional when you are doing something completely different thing and you need some footage to fill the gap, or to get from one scene or one aspect of the story to the next. The other place where it works is to show the audience sort of a broader image of where you are and what’s taking place around you. For example, when Casey is in the hotel, or on a cool beach he always uses drone footage to capture beautiful scenery of the environment. However, if that kind of ambitious beautiful cinematography doesn’t have a relationship with the narrative it feels out of place and it gets boring very fast.
- DJI Phantom 4
- Parrot Bebop 2
- DJI Mavic Pro
- DJI Spark
- GoPro Karma
DJI Phantom 4 is the world’s best quadcopter drone which can capture 4K Ultra HD video at stunning 30 Fps. Plus it has auto takeoff and auto return features, which is all done by GPS technology and is pretty handy for beginners who have never used drone before. The DJI App makes camera operation also very easy and intuitive, so the final footage is always amazing.
Parrot Bebop 2 is a compact and lightweight quadcopter drone with the flight range of up to 1.2 miles. The built in wide angle camera shoots full HD 1080p videos and also14Mpx photos in RAW, JPEG and DNG format. Plus you can also use the Parrot Cockpitglasses for immersive flight experience.
AirDog is fully autonomous drone which follows you without a bulky remote control, so that way you can focus on the action. Moreover, it features new ground collision avoidance system and foldable design to easily fit device in your backpack, as well as different flight modes. Plus it’s compatible with all GoPro cameras and provides smooth video footage.
If you are looking for compact size drone which you can bring with you everywhere and record videos in true 4K than DJI Mavic Pro is the best option. The camera ensures smooth footage and the smart features included in the App make professional looking video effortless.
Spark is DJI’s one of the latest drones which is super lightweight and compact device for capturing areal images. The great thing about the product is that it features reliable and incredibly intuitive software, as well as high-performance camera and motorized gimbal stabilizer which is extremely accurate.
GoPro Karma captures amazingly smooth footage in the air, plus the camera can be used separately to shoot handheld or body mounted videos. The most important thing about the product is that it’s super lightweight and the image stabilization works perfectly in any situation.
Now there is a lot more depth and complexity to it than just filming the drone footage or being positive in front of a camera. The reality is that people will not believe in you if you are not honest and by this, I mean creating the content which represents real you, not just the amazing nature scenery shot in 4K.
Post-Production Gear & Accessories
Making a Casey Neistat video technically takes more than just having the same camera or lens, there is much more than that. Here I decided to include all the famous gear and accessories which are the stylistic building blocks of Casey’s YouTube vlog. Including his computer, Boasted Board, Custome Sunglasses and etc…
- Macbook Pro
- Final Cut Pro
- casey neistat glasses
- Boosted Board 2
The new MacBook Pro is an ultra portable device with uncompromising performance. This device is extremely powerful and effective for video editing and post-production work. It has the best retina display with remarkably bright colors and a multi-touch bar, which provides intuitive connection to your commands. The speakers have also been redesigned to improve sound quality. So overall this computer has everything you need to do things faster and more creative way than ever before.
If you are a MAC user then the best way to start making movies is to use a Final Cut Pro X. It features more precise and advanced editing tools and improves the look of your projects with different plugins and extensions. Plus the latest Final Cut Pro also takes full advantage of the new Touch Bar which MacBook Pro offers as well as wide color workflows.
Boosted Board 2 is an electric skateboard which allows you to travel with the incredible speed of up to 22 mph. Plus the new generation is light enough to carry anywhere and powerful enough to go everywhere. With an extended battery life, it’s now possible to cover more than 12 miles on a single charge. So if you are looking for a skateboard which is designed to withstand the demands of daily riding over the rough urban terrain, than you should definitely try this incredible device.
how to vlog like casey neistat !
Probably the most important thing succeeding whether it’s in the vlog in the YouTube or in the creative space at all is to be real. You have to have your own thing so if you follow this guide perfectly and you make a perfect Casey video you will have failed before you begun because people don’t want to see your Casey vlog. They want to see your vlogs, they want to see what you can bring to the table. My favorite thing in the world is seeing how YouTubers are able to show their own style and ideas by making something that’s uniquely theirs. Those are the YouTubers that really succeed, so the most important rule is to be original and that whole recipe that I just outlined for you is only one tiny part which you have to add as you develop your skills.
I hope that this serves the good sort of introduction into some of the thinking that Casey Neistat has.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.