Est. 2020

Digital Content Creator Kit in 2022

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Digital Content Creator Kit List

This section is entirely dedicated to the needs of content creators. Content Creators often carry more photography/videography gear than the typical digital nomad. Additionally, the cost of entry into the content creator’s lifestyle is quite high. 

Definitions to know

  • What is a content creator? 

Content Creators create material/media that must be consumed by the consumer, whether it be through television, website, or phone. For example, they post TikTok or YouTube videos, or even run informational websites such as this one. 

  • What does it take to become a content creator? 
There are three important characteristics for a content creator. 
1. The first is niche. When picking a niche, pick something you enjoy talking about/doing. (And that you can see yourself sticking around and working in.) If you hate the niche, you are going to hate being a content creator. 
2. Personality. As weird as it may sound, you must have a personality. (It doesn’t even have to be a good one.) Content creators are basically actors. So, this is actually a good thing! Anyone can be a media personality, even if they don’t initially seem like it. 

3. Persistence 

It’s 2022, there are plenty of media options beyond just your direct competitors. Content Creators compete for consumer’s time, which means your competition is other content creators, Netflix, the internet, television, podcasts. Literally anything that causes someone to become distracted from your content. 

So, that brings us to the most part, persistence. When it comes to content creation, especially for new content creators, you’re going to be challenged.

Growth isn’t going to happen as fast as you hoped, you feel like your brand’s library/media kit isn’t as impressive as the other peoples, other people’s growth is happening a LOT faster than your own. 

Yeah, content creation sucks and you will get burnt out. However, it’s your response that matters. You cannot quit. 

  • What is the difference between a content creator and an influencer? 
Alright, this is an interesting question, as content creators and influencers have very similar professions, but they are different. Content creators are focused on creating content, i.e. YouTube, and their quality of work is judged more than their marketing skills. 
 
When it comes to influencers, their primary source of income  relies on their ability to market themselves/market products. Think of it as a word-of-mouth referral, but they get paid. 
  • How can I become a content creator, right now? 

Start. It’s really that easy. That’s the beauty and curse of being a content creator/influencer in 2022. The barriers to entry are extremely low, so much so that anyone can do it. Over-saturation is a problem, which is why you need to hone on a niche. 

Computer for Editing 

Importance Level: High

As a content creator, your computing needs are going to be drastically different than a typical digital nomad. 

At the very least, you will need 8+ GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage.  

It depends on your editing software, but anything less can cause a computer to crash/slow down tremendously.

For intensive video editing, (4K and above) it is best to have 32 GB of Ram.

 

Free Video Editing Software

Free Photo Editing Software

Importance Level: Personal Preference 

Given the rather high cost of entry for digital equipment, it is understandable why some content creators often forget about purchasing software. After all, spending $300 on a piece of software after spending $3,000 on a camera lens can shock many. 

However, in 2022, there are a growing amount of free video and photo editing options. 

What is the best, free video editing software?

There are two decent, free video editing software options.

  • DaVinci Resolve (Mac, Windows, Linux)

DaVinci Resolve is a popular “Freemium” software within the entertainment industry. 

Known for color grading and a reasonable, $299 lifetime license, it is quickly growing in popularity. 

Free users should have plenty of tools to begin their video-editing journeys. 

  • iMovie (Mac)

A staple on all Apple products, iMovie is free and has a similar layout to Final Cut Pro. 

Most iMovie users eventually upgrade to Final Cut, but the extensive amount of transitions and an easy-to-use interface are the key features that make iMovie popular. 

What is the best, free photo editing software?

  • Adobe Photoshop Express (Windows, iOS)
Within the same ecosystem as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop is a great way to get an introduction to the Adobe Creative Cloud. 
 
Although it does lack some core features, the cost of basic editing is free. 
 
  • Apple Photos (Mac)

Apple Photos is quickly becoming more powerful with each update. With Apple Photos, you have the ability to edit raw photos and convenience. (The program is already installed.)

Paid Video Editing Software

Paid Photo Editing Software

Importance Level: Personal Preference 

Final Cut Pro X

As with anything related to software, the more you pay, the higher quality/features you should expect. Prices of the best paid photo/video software can cost hundreds of dollars. Therefore, it is best to include the price of the software into the price of the photography/videography gear. 

What is the best, paid video editing software for content creators?

  • Premier Pro (Mac, Windows)
Adobe’s Premier Pro is the professional’s standard within the industry. Filled with extensive features such as  VR editing, numerous transitions and effects, and plug-ins available for everything you imagine, Premier Pro will confuse and excite new content creators. 

 
  • Final Cut Pro X (Mac)

Apple’s complete video editing software, Final Cut Pro X is extremely similar to iMovie. However, it is filled with many more features. 

Advanced color grading, non-destructive editing, and faster rendering for Macs are benefits for Apple users. Plus, the one-time purchase fee of a meager $299 avoids the Adobe Creative Cloud fee. 

What is the best, paid photo editing software for content creators?

  • Luminar (Mac, Windows)
The cheapest option within this list, Luminar is not just an editing tool. 
 
Luminar by Skylum is a complete creative tool that uses AI to create new (and quite imaginative) images. From changing the color of the sky to creating a shallower depth-of-field, Luminar allows artists to complete a vision. 
 
 
  • Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop (Mac, Windows)

An editing and organizational tool, most photographers have used Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop. 

The most important features within the software, surprisingly, are not the editing tools. Rather, the most impressive is the cataloging features. The ability to tag and organize files by dates save photographers valuable time. 

  • Capture One (Mac, Windows)
Growing in popularity (and a must for Fuji X users), Capture One is slowly catching-up in features compared to its direct competitor, Lightroom. As a raw converter and editing combination, Capture One is known for its output and processing speeds. 

Camera(s)

Importance Level: Medium/High

Travel Camera

There is no question that cameras are important within the realm of content creators. However, currently there is the debate amongst creators about the right type of camera. 

Some people will argue that a cell phone is good enough, while others will argue that you need a full-frame mirrorless kit. It all depends on your potential audience, platform, and plans. 

If you plan on creating TikTok videos exclusively, there is no need for a 50 megapixel, mirrorless camera that shoots 30 frames per second. 

In 2022, there are numerous different camera brands that someone can recommend. However, the future is Mirrorless instead of DSLRs. 

As a content creator, mirrorless cameras will save valuable space and weight instead of a DSLR. 

Whenever you purchase your first camera, invest in a brand that appears to be future-proof. (Meaning, the camera company seems to have a long-term trajectory and plan.) For 2022, the best camera brands are: Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony, and Fuji X.

Additionally, although the body is important, the camera lenses content creators use are even more important. (See below)

Camera Lenses

Importance Level: High

Of all of the items within your content creator kit, the camera lenses you use are the most important. Camera lenses affect the image more than the camera’s sensor. 

Lenses affect picture/video quality through both sharpness and contrast. And Content Creators will need at least two lenses. 

  • Wide-Angle Zoom
More so if you are vlogging or blogging, wide-angle zooms are surprisingly versatile. They are great as you can fit the “whole-picture” within the frame,  and make landscapes look bigger. 
 

When purchasing a wide-angle zoom, avoid coma and vignetting if possible.

Wide-angle zooms also suffer from distortion. Distortion is when straight photography lines begin to get curvy, which adds unnecessary depth. In portrait photography, weird side effects occur such as noses getting bigger.   This is why you also need a prime lens. 

  • Prime Lenses

You will need a prime lens for both low-light and portrait photography. 

The focal length of a prime lens can vary, but the recommendation is more than 15mm where your zoom ends. 

For example, if you purchase a 15-35mm f2.8, buy at least a 50mm f1.8 lens. (These focal lengths are common within the Canon system.)

Prime lenses often have better image quality and bokeh than zooms, but offer less flexibility. 

Action Camera & Accessories 

Importance Level: Personal Preference 

Action cameras are not required for all content creators. However, if you need ruggedness and awesome first-person point-of-view shots, they are almost a necessity. 

Action cameras, compared to their DSLR and mirrorless counterparts, are relatively affordable and smaller than their other photography counterparts. 

Action cameras are also superb for vlogging in places where you wish to remain inconspicuous. Their small size means you can stuff it everywhere from pockets to shoes. (Yes, seriously)

The downside to action cameras: Battery Life. Smaller batteries equate to a smaller amount of battery life. 

There are two primary competitors within the sphere of action cameras.

A note about action cameras: new models are released every year. Therefore, you may not have to buy the latest edition. Sometimes, the difference is quite neglible to a lack of innivation in technology. 

  • DJI
The best DJI action camera is the DJI Osmo Action 4K
 
  • GoPro
The best GoPro action camera is the GoPro Hero 10. 

 

A quick note about action cameras: New models are released every year. Sometimes, the difference in technology is negligible. Therefore, there is not a need to upgrade every year. 
 

Drone

Importance Level: Personal Preference 

Just like the action camera, the decision to purchase/utilize a drone is a personal preference. 

Aerial videography seems to have taken off within the last three years, and everyone is flying a drone. (After all, they are cheaper than a helicopter ride.)

However, with awesome pictures comes awesome responsibility. 

International travel can be difficult with a drone. Some countries, such as Egypt and India, have banned drones outright. There is the constant threat of seizure of the drone, and a new landscape equates to new rules being formed constantly. 

Within the United States, any drone weighing over 250 grams must be registered with the FAA. If you intend to profit from the drone (including YouTube), you will have to be certified through Part 107. Despite the legal headache, drones are awesome. 

There is one company that shines above the others in drone manufacturing, DJI.

The two best drones on the market are the 

  • DJI Mavic Air 2
  • DJI Air 2S

Both drones weigh over the 250 gram limit, so there is the need to register each drone with the FAA. However, the ability to shoot in 4k60 make it worth it. Also, both drones retail for less than $1,000. In the world of drones, this is a steal. 

Content Creator Drone

Microphone

Importance Level: High

Of all of the YouTube gear, the microphone is the most important. Most people can deal with poor video quality. However, would you watch a video with a lot of wind? 

A good microphone can elevate your already existing channel, or separate you from existing content creators. 

Microphone purchases are investments, so one purchase means years of use. (Hopefully)

The most popular microphone company within the industry in 2022 is Rode. 

Tripod

Importance Level: Medium

There is no question that content creators need a tripod, but which one depends on your platform. 

  • Videographers

Videographers are a bit limited, but the best tripod is the Joby GorillaPod. The ability to bend the tripod at any angle and a relatively compact size are good features.

If you also want stabilized video footage, you could also purchase a gimbal. 

  • Photographers 

If you are are a photographer, you have many more options than a video-exclusive content creator. However, full-sized tripods can often exceed hundreds of dollars. 

When you purchase your first tripod, ask yourself, “Would I carry this all day?” Because you will be. Also, include the weight/size of the ballhead. This can sometimes add up to a kilogram of weight. (2.2 pounds.) 

Daypack/Backpack

Importance Level: High 

Picking the right daypack to carry your photography/videography gear is impossible. Given the large amount of money they invest for equipment, daypacks need to be large but small. Nice but inconspicuous. Plenty of padding but it doesn’t look like it’s carrying expensive gear. 

There is no such thing as the perfect backpack. However, the most important characteristic is the ability to protect the equipment from accidental drops, theft, or when you get dropped off on a jet ski about 10 feet away from the beach and have to swim to dry land. 

The best small daypacks are backpacks that range between 15-25 liters. Anything bigger becomes too heavy to carry. 

Hopefully, your backpack has the following. 

  • A compartment to separate photo/video gear from personal items. (Extra change of clothes.)
  • A laptop sleeve. 
  • Water bottle and/or a tripod holder 

 

 

Two good backpacks for content creators, as noted within Digital Nomad Packing List (2022) are as followed: 

A) Wandrd Prvke 21L v2

With YKK Zippers, a roll-top that expands the backpack to 26 Liters, and a weather-resistant outside, the Wandrd Prvke 21L is great for digital nomads and photographers. 

Many content creators have been using this backpack due to its sleek design and awesome features. 

B) Tarion XH Camera Backpack

Also with a roll-top design, this backpack is for the budget-conscious. It contains a hard-shell to protect photography gear, and the material does not scratch like the Tarpaulin exterior on the Wandrd Prvke 21.

A big concern with this backpack is the shoulder strap’s longevity. However, the backpack does have a two-year warranty from the manufacturer. “

Editors Note: I am always looking for the next backpack to test. Please e-mail hello@worldembark.com

SD, SSD, and CFast 

Importance Level: High

Worst case scenario: You just come back from a once-in-a-lifetime trip and your trip and your photos and videos didn’t come back with you. So, let’s talk about Media Storage for Content Creators.  

Why do photographers need a SD card? 

SD cards are the media storage most cameras use. Cameras take the photo, but then write the information onto the SD card. 

Why do photographers need a C-Fast card? 

C-Fast cards are slowly gaining popularity amongst high-end cameras. C-Fast cards have higher buffer speeds than typical SD cards, so they are more popular for wildlife and sport photography. 

Difference between a C-Fast card and an SD Card? 

Both CFast and SD cards are non-volatile memory storage. However, the difference is mainly writing speeds. 

Additionally, the cost of CFast cards often are double to triple that of SD cards. Not every photographer will need a CFast card. 

What is the difference between UHS-I and UHS-II?

UHS-I and UHS-II are both classifications for SD cards. However, the difference is write speed. UHS-I writes at up to 104 mb/s while UHS-II can write up 312 mb/s. 

What is an external SSD? 

An external SSD (Solid State Drive) is external storage seperate from your computer. 

Like an external hard drive, SSD’s provide a valuable back-up space for your media. However, the write-speed is much faster on SSDs than hard disk drives. 

Why do you need an external SSD? 

SSD’s serve as an external place to back-up your important media files. 

Which are the best SD Cards? 

SandDisk Extreme Pros are a good option for UHS-I and UHS-II SD cards. 

Which are the best SSDs?

SanDisk and Samusng make the best SSDs on the market. 

Which are the best C-Fast Cards? 

Again, SanDisk represents the best quality per price ratio for CFast cards. 

Camera Filters

Importance Level: Depends

Content Creator

There are three main lens filters that a content creator uses. 

  • Polarizer Lens
A polarizer lens, primarily used in photography, reduces glare. This is extremely important around water. Polarizer lenses also provide an additional stop of light. 
  • ND Filters
Used extensively in photography and videography work, ND filters help keep an image from overexposure. When color-grading your video, this is important. ND filters also create amazing long-exposure photography. 
  • UV Filters
UV Filters are great at protecting the camera lens’s front element. This is especially so if you spend any time with rocks/sand/water. 
It’s a lot easier to replace/clean a UV filter than the camera lens. 

Cell phone

Importance Level: High

For content creators, a cell phone is important. Not all features for social media apps are available for tablet/desktop versions. 

Extra Batteries

Importance Level: High

They don’t have to be name-brand, but extra batteries are important. 

If you do purchase name-brand batteries, used batteries are available for a fraction of the price. 

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