In March, my best friend and I got the bright idea to start a YouTube channel. Over spring break, we planned meticulously to publish a wide variety of content on the channel weekly. However, we did not have the equipment to do so. One evening during that week, we decided to go to Best Buy to buy a simple tripod to hold up our camera while filming. Instead, I ended up purchasing the Sunpak Ultimate Vlogging Kit.
This kit comes with all the essentials that someone needs to start their own YouTube channel and more. It consists of a 14-inch bi-color LED ring light, a mount with a built-in cold shoe (a place to put your camera or smartphone while filming), a smartphone bar and a four-section reverse folding stand.
Upon opening the box, I found that the ring light comes with a lightly padded case to use for transporting the equipment. The ring light itself has two knobs, one used for dimming or brightening the light and the other for changing the color temperature. I like the range it gives you in terms of how bright, dim, warm or cool you want the light to be because the variety allows me to find the correct lighting, which is essential to the quality of a video.
The stand comes premade, so it is relatively easy to assemble. The bottom of the folding stand is adjustable, so you can decide how high or low you want it to be, but you need to lock it in place once you choose the height or the stand will collapse. It also has four other sections that are adjustable as well, which allows you to achieve the perfect height for any setting you are filming in. I shot two videos using the ring light already, one with me sitting down on my desk chair and the other standing up, and both times I was able to adjust the stand to the exact height I needed for a flattering angle.
The mount with a built-in cold shoe refers to where you place your camera or smartphone. It is in the center of the ring light, and you either twist the camera or smartphone holder around the mount to lock them in place. One of the problems with the product I found is that the smartphone holder doesn’t lock into the mount fully, so there is a concern that the weight of my phone will tip the holder to the side while I am filming. However, I used my phone to record multiple videos with the ring light and found that I can angle my phone so that it rests on one side of the center part of the ring light. This angle keeps the phone level so that the video doesn’t appear tilted. While this is an issue, I do like that the mount is directly in the center because it allows the light casting from the product to encircle your entire face.
The smartphone bar is helpful because it holds three smartphones at one time, which allows you to get different angles of a shot. However, I do think it is pointless to use the smartphone bar unless you are advanced enough to edit the separate shots together. I am only a beginner but tested it out once to see if I attached the bar correctly, and I will say that it is interesting to use, especially with friends who want to take multiple selfies at the same time. Attaching the bar is not an easy task either, so I don’t recommend putting it on if you aren’t planning to use it.
I would suggest the Sunpak Ultimate Vlogging Kit to anyone interested in becoming a YouTuber because it does come with all the essentials one needs to start a channel with good quality videos, besides a camera. I bought this kit for $150 at Best Buy, but it is also available at different retailers for cheaper, including Walmart.