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A popular review category these days for “vlogging” cameras and accessories. But we also find a lot of people who are interested in cameras or video, but also want to know, “What does vlog mean? Does it matter? Should I get ready for one?” Do I need a camera like the Canon Vixia HF R800?
So we thought we should take a minute and discuss what a vlog actually is, why so many people care, and if you need to worry about it when shopping for a new camera device.
It’s really that simple – vlog stands for “video blog.” A blog, of course, is a type of online journal that’s made to viewed by the public. Most businesses with a significant online presence have blogs to post updates about their products, and it’s the easiest way for an individual to start publishing things online.
The video version, then, is a blog that primarily uses video as its main source of content. Visit a vlog site, and instead of seeing posts made out of text and pictures, you will mostly see posts that are videos.
These videos can cover many different subjects. Some are more casual diaries, while other vloggers work to make tutorials, show unboxings of new products, interview people, or document their travels and adventures.
When someone calls themselves a “vlogger” or talks about working on a “vlog,” it’s a sign they take it seriously and may be trying to monetize the vlog through online ads or other arrangements. The rise of YouTube stars has shown just how lucrative a successful vlog can be, even if it’s just discussing parenting tips, supplementing your performance career, or talking about the latest games.
Speaking of YouTube, vlogs are different from everyday internet blogs in one important way: they often have their own platforms. While you can create your own site and set it up as a vlog, it would be much harder to gather an audience than using (or at least including) a video platform that already has millions of people visit it every day.
There are many, many vlog platforms and subscription sites out there. YouTube is one of the most common, of course, and currently one of the easiest to monetize (Vimeo, Blip.TV, and surprisingly, My Space Video are some of the other popular choices). Other vlogging platforms tend to specialize in a specific topic or industry – such as gaming, arts and crafts, humor, and so on.
Other popular sites encourage a mixture of video, photos, and text, such as Weebly or Medium. These sites are better suited for general bloggers who like making videos, but also have other content in mind to explain their work.
If you are interested in starting a vlog, we suggest you take a look at some of our suggestions for vlogging cameras and lenses, where we talk about the sorts of supplies you need to start a vlog, and how to shop for them.
However, we don’t suggest that you use your phone for vlogging, even when starting out. Basic cameras with good video functions are more affordable than ever, and the quality of video will be much, much higher – which is important for retaining an audience.
In addition to a camera, most vloggers rely on a number of useful accessories to frame shots and capture better video.
A stand is excellent for aiming a camera, a microphone attachment is important for picking up clear audio, and a nice backdrop is a common investment for many bloggers.
Additionally, vloggers tend to use editing software to improve and augment their videos. Many also use chat and video management software if they live stream video, an increasingly important part of vlogging. Live streaming refers to streaming live video to your subscriber, which is useful for capturing live events or posting video ASAP.