IGTV Vertical Video Gear Basics

Looking for some cost effective gear to take your IGTV video quality up? Here's a IGTV vertical video gear basics guide. Last week Instagram announced IGTV, a mobile first, vertical video-based platform. I started to receive questions about what gear is required to make a good looking vertical video. Of course, it’s best to have a vision of what you want to create first. Content that serves a need is king and I’m certain that as creators get their content strategies worked out, we're going to see a lot of experimental video on IGTV. Like with any new platform, some content will hit a home run while others will miss the mark which is ok. In a future post we’ll go over some ideas on how to shoot for IGTV but for now, here’s some hardware that will help your experiments look good. I own and use these myself.

Neewer 19 Inch LED Ring Light

Controlling light is the cornerstone of good video so it should not be a surprise to see a light listed first right? The thing about ring lights is that if you are doing a talking head selfie style video, a ring light will make your skin look amazing and natural. Some cool things to note about using a ring light: if you standing just in front of a wall you’ll get a shadow that outlines your body which can help the visuals pop on a small screen. Also, you can always mount the light and camera separate from each other and use the ring light as a normal light.

This kit works plugged in the wall and on batteries. For around $100 it’s a great deal. I have one myself.


Neewer 19" Ring Light

Bi-color, battery or AC powered

Neewer Clip on Variable ND Filter for Smartphones

When outdoors, sometimes the light can be too much and you’ll end up with crazy high shutter speeds like 1/2000 of a second. High shutter speeds are not a bad thing but if you want a more natural motion blur in your video you’ll want to shoot between 1/250 to 1/50 of a second. This variable ND filter works great for any smartphone but I use it on an iPhone X front and rear cameras. Because it’s a clip-on, installation is about 5 seconds and you’re shooting. A bonus is the thread of the filter mount is 37mm so you can use other filters like a polarizer to control glare and punch up the colors. At $13.99 is a must-have.


Neewer Clip on ND

A Variable ND with case for $13.99!

Rode VideoMicro

Many content creators, myself included, feel that audio is more important than video. You can have a simple slideshow on IGTV and with a good voiceover, have a smash hit. Also consider that if you are shooting with your iPhone while some aspects of the video quality might not be on the same level as a dedicated camera, with a good mic audio is every bit as good. I have both the VideoMicro and Pro - both are excellent but at close range, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. If you want to have a wide shot and can’t be close to the mic then get the Rode VideoMic Pro because you can use an extension cord and the Pro’s built-in pre-amp will be sure to send a nice, clean audio signal to your iPhone. If you want an example, see the video I made for The Ultimate Diaper Bag. If you’re on a budget or just want a small, portable mic, for under $60 VideoMicro is a good buy.

Side note - on Rode’s website they have a huge warning against buying from Amazon to avoid counterfeit products. I purchased my VideoMicro from Amazon and am happy to tell you it’s a legit product.


Rode VideoMicro

Industry standard audio for less than $60

Movo PR-1 Smartphone Grip

You got the mic and the ND filter but you need a way to hold it without a camera rig that looks like something from a Hellraiser movie. This is where the Movo PR-1 Smartphone Grip comes in. The Movo PR-1 has a coldshoe mount, wrist strap, and multiple 1/4 20 mounts so it can hold a mic and you can mount it on your ring light. So you know, I do not own a Movo, I own a Shoulderpod which Movo copied and made better. If I were buying a smartphone grip today though, the PR-1 is what I would get. The Shoulderpod cost more but does not have a coldshoe and only one 1/4 20 to mount it on a tripod. For $29.99 you want the Movo PR-1.


Movo PR-1

A versital grip for your smartphone

Joby GorillaPod 3K

Made famous by Casey Neistat, the Joby is synonymous with content creating. I’ve owned several GorillaPods over the years and they’re a tool I can’t imagine living without. The nice thing about the 3K is that you can use it with a dedicated camera or you can attach your smartphone to it using the Movo PR-1. Priced at $59.95, its a good deal for such a versatile product.


Gorillapod 3K

If a tripod could be famous, this is it.

Tip - get a couple extra tripod quick release clips. They are super handy to have mounted on accessories you might need to mount on the GorillaPod.

Hope you enjoy building out your IGTV kit. Everything listed can be used for still photography and live streaming as well. While it’s important to have tools that will help you get content out fast, it’s crucial to your success as a content creator to develop your vision. Your unique vision is why people will come to you over and over. Becoming a vision based creator takes time and lots of practice but it’s such a powerful way to create and live. I’ve been working hard on a course that will accelerate developing your vision and am super excited to share it with you. If you want to be notified when it becomes available for sale, visit the signup page here.