Hey guys, love the site. I'm a big fan of youtubers and Casey Neistat's vlog has really entertained me these past few months. The quality of his work is great, but how expensive is his camera gear? Do you know what he uses to capture his video footage? I'm looking to start a vlog and want to someday achieve his quality. Thanks.
Great question Tim! I am also a huge fan of Casey Neistat's work even before his Vlogs although this past year of daily uploads have been both entertaining and inspirational for me. Like Casey often expresses in his videos, your camera gear is much less important compared to the storyline or the way in which you shoot your content.
To touch further on what he preaches, Casey doesn't utilize the best of the best of modern video equipment in today's terms, yet the average viewer probably doesn't realize this due to how captivating his content is.
In the rest of this article, I'll sum up the main components of his kit and touch a little upon why I think he chooses the specific tools for his vlogging needs. Keep in mind, this may not include every piece of gear he has ever used in his videos, but it will cover the primary tools he uses to produce his daily episodes.
Casey Neistat's Vlogging Gear Bag
This is Casey's primary workhorse for his vlogs and the camera he is around 80% of the time. The 80D is the recently released successor to the last-generation 70D but is very similar besides a few upgrades under the hood. I think Casey chooses to use the 80D over some more expensive competing camera bodies for a few simple reasons.
First off, the 80D is a medium-sized DSLR offering most of the video quality and bells and whistles in higher-end Canon models without the extra bulk. The Canon 80D offers excellent performance for the price, superb battery life, an articulating screen and most importantly the dual-pixel AF technology which Casey takes full advantage being a solo shooter.
A step-up from the 80D, the 5D Mark III has been a workhorse for many videographers at least until the mirrorless competition far surpassed its performance about over the past 18 months. However, Casey still relies on this camera for his more high-end work and will utilize it from time to time for specific shots or time-lapse. Given its lack of continuous AF for video, fixed screen design, and general bulkiness, the 5D Mark III falls short of the 80D for general vlogging purposes.
Sometimes Casey is on the go or traveling where he doesn't want to carry around a big DSLR setup and in this case, he will rely on a simple point-n-shoot camera. He has used several Canon models in the past, but most recently he has switched to the Sony RX100 Mark IV which can shoot up to 4K UHD although Casey only seems to rely on its 1080P capabilities. While expensive, the RX100 Mark IV packs a punch and in Casey's words is the “best point-n-shoot” on the market and we agree with this statement having given it a full review just a few months back.
A wide-angle lens like this is particularly useful for vlogging due how wide you can get your shot while still having a solid zoom range to work with. Due to this being a relatively cheap lens, the aperture is variable and not ideal for low-light, yet the price keeps it appealing for vlogs/travel as it can be replaced for only a couple hundred bucks. Casey uses this lens for the vast majority of his vlogs.
Another lens frequently used by Casey on his larger projects and sometimes during the vlogs. This is probably the sharpest and highest performing lens in Casey's kit, yet that also makes it one of the most expensive. Since Casey tends to shoot handheld without any shoulder rigs or tripods, the vibration reduction feature is a must for him, and the f/2.8 allows for better shots in low-lit environments.
It doesn't appear that Casey uses this lens all that often, but it is the kit lens included with his 5D Mark III and something he has shown off on his videos to showcase the increase in quality between his 5D Mark III and the 80D. It seems Casey chooses the other lenses due to this model's increased bulkiness and 24mm just isn't wide enough for him to get the selfie-style vlogging shots on the Gorillapod.
As much as Casey will bad mouth the Rode VideoMic Pro when it malfunctions, he swears by its performance when it works which is the vast majority of his vlogs. It is typically the sole source of audio recording within his vlogs, and the quality audio that is captured with this device far exceeds what you'd expect from the price. Add in the small size and simple reliance on 9V batteries and the VideoMic Pro is a stellar choice for vlogs or home video use.
The weird looking mini tripod you see Casey utilizing on a day to day basis is called the GorillaPod Focus by Joby. A unique tool, the Gorillapod can functional as both a tabletop tripod or the legs can be individually maneuvered to create a mounting mechanism or selfie-stick. There are several cheaper Gorillapod models, but the Focus is the most expensive and also the most durable/sturdy of the line so Casey prefers to rely on the best option available.
This is an expensive gimbal given the feature set as DJI makes the Ronin M, which can hold even more than the M5 at nearly half the cost. However, Movi is a high-end brand within in the gimbal industry with DJI fitting somewhere in the entry to mid-level range. It appears Casey was given this gimbal from Movi themselves and will use it on occasion for his pre-planned work, but it doesn't see much use in the vlogs due to the practicality of a single shooter and is difficult to travel with.
Casey's been using drone's in his planned gigs for quite some time now, but with the release of DJI's very user-friendly Phantom 4, he has purchased several and been gifted three by DJI themselves to utilize within his vlogs. The shots he achieves with this affordable quadcopter are very cinematic and professional looking despite Casey typically flying it in the beginner mode for most of the flight sequences.