What Camera Does Michelle Phan Use?

by Buffalo Bob on September 13, 2011

Photographer Video-Blogging Makeup Expert: Michelle Phan

Specialty: Helping Girls Look F-I-N-E

Favored Makeup Brand: Lancome

Okay, so I get an email from a girl named K***** asking me what camera Michelle Phan uses. I’ve never heard of Michelle Phan, but some quick research indicated that is one of the top makeup video bloggers on the web.

FStoppers has 7,000 YouTube subcribers. Chase Jarvis has about 25,000.

Michelle? She has 1.6 million.

So even though Michelle’s not a photographer, in order to spread goodwill throughout the interwebz, I tried to figure out what she’s using to produce her videos.

Here’s one of Michelle’s tutorials so we know what we’re looking at:

First things first – Michelle’s videos exhibit pretty decent quality.  Some of the footage was shot in low light, but there is little noise. Also, there is some use of shallow depth-of-field (note the out-of-focus backgrounds), which would indicate a camera using a fast lens and/or large image sensor.  Therefore, Michelle probably uses a DSLR to produce her videos.

In addition, Michelle’s videos exhibit high-quality voiceovers, so she is DEFINITELY using an external microphone. No question about it.

Now, I can’t find Michelle’s exact equipment, so I’m proposing two different setups for aspiring video bloggers:

1) Affordable

My recommendation for a highly-affordable video-blogging setup is the sub-$75 Logitech WebCam Pro C910. It has a few things going for it that make it a great setup for web videos:

  • 1080p HD resolution
  • built-in noise-canceling microphone
  • high-quality Zeiss lens
  • Mac compatible
  • also takes 5-megapixel photos
  • 1-click uploading to Facebook and YouTube
2) Expensive
If you’d like to produce videos like Michelle’s you’ll need to spend more money. I would specifically go for these products:
Canon Rebel t2i DSLR Camera (shoots incredibly high-quality 1080p video, has external mic input)
Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens (for that dreamy, shallow depth-of-field look)
For audio, I’d choose one of these two microphones:
Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone (if you want to produce voiceovers like Michelle’s)
Rode VideoMic Pro VMP Shotgun Microphone (if you want to shoot audio live with your videos)
How to Choose
When in doubt, spend less money.
I’d start with the webcam, see what you can do, and then later look to upgrade as you better figure out your exact video-recording needs.
As far as software goes, don’t rush to spend money. If you use a Windows computer, just use Windows Movie Maker, which came with your machine. Mac users should give iMovie a shot.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mona November 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm

thank you ! really helpful !

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