The best YouTube cameras to make you a YouTube Superstar

23 January 2009 9 Comments Mike Evans

How to be a YouTube superstar
In the first of our Social Media Mentalism series, I’ll show you the gadgets you need to become a YouTube superstar. Not just YouTube though – there are dozens of sites like you YouTube that let you upload your Web video and become Internet famous.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to make YouTube videos and rock the social video world. Together, we’ll look at what makes the best YouTube camera, where to publish your videos, and even a few tips on what to actually record to make you the next YouTube superstar!

Choosing the best YouTube camera

Obviously you’ll be needing a decent camcorder, but what makes for the best YouTube camera?

Well, depending on what you’ll be doing to gather the attention of thousands of loyal fans, you’ll generally need a lightweight camcorder that can take good quality video in different lighting conditions, and which preferably enables video editing and video uploads to your social video site of choice, all in one box.

Why do you need all this functionality? Because you never know when that scoop is going to happen. If you see something big that’s happening in front of your eyes, you not only need to record it, you need to upload it before anyone else in order to guarantee that you’re credited with the scoop.

Trade shows, events, citizen journalism – all these things rely on getting to the news first if you want to make a big impression (and a loyal following). How do you think Perez Hilton managed it? Capturing the video, editing it and uploading it from the same device cuts down the time needed to get it seen, and ensures you get the scoop before the competition.

Here’s a selection of YouTube camaras for you to consider.

Flip MinoHD

Flip Mino HD YouTube camera
This super-small camcorder is about the size of a mobile phone. It was the first camcorder designed specifically for YouTube. As such, the quality isn’t perfect, as the resultant videos are designed to be seen on a Web page, not an HDTV!

However, I was skeptical about the original Flip Mino when I reviewed it, as its quality wasn’t that good at all, but as a concept, it was perfect.

Simply record your videos, plug the Flip Mino into your PC, and upload to YouTube with the press of a button.

Super simple, but that’s exactly what you need if you want to upload your videos as quickly as possible.

Since the success fo the original Flip Mino last year, Pure Digital (the makers of the Flip) have just released the Flip Mino HD, which adds much better quality (720p HD, no less!) in a range of lighting conditions, making this one actually usable.

There’s no on-board image editing software and no uploading to YouTube without first connecting to a PC (which you do via USB). However, once your Flip Mino is connected, uploading to YouTube is a doddle. For size and simplicity, the Flip MinoHD is hard to beat.

Kodak Zi6 Pocket Video Camera

Kodak Zi6 YouTube camara
The Kodak Zi6 High Definition Pocket Video Camera
is a direct competitor to the Flip Mino, doing everything the little Flip does, but with more storage space.

Whereas the Flip tops out at 4GB (max. 60 mins of recording time), the Kodak can record up to 32GB of video.

Unlike the Flip, the Kodak also comes with video editing software, which, although limited, at least gives you the option of trimming your video down in size if it’s too large for uploading onto YouTube (which has a1GB per video limit).

The Kodak is arguably the better YouTube camera, simply because it offers video editing features, but how useful they are on a small screen, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

Equally, the Kodak is more expensive – in fact, its price isn’t that far off a dedicated camcorder, like the JVC and Samsung models listed below, which surely defeats the point of such a device?

JVC Everio camcorders

JVC GZ-MS100 Everio YouTube camcorder
If you’re after something a bit more professional than mini camcorders, you could do a lot worse than the JVC Everio GZ-MS100. I personally have a 2008 model JVC Everio camcorder, and I can’t fault it – supremely easy to use, great picture quality, and exceptional value for money.

The 2009 models go one better, though, with a One Touch Upload function that takes your video and automatically exports it to YouTube or iTunes via your PC, or lets you burn a DVD of the vid, all from one touch of the camcorder (well, more than one touch, but it’s still super-simple!). No wonder the MS100 has been called the JVC YouTube camcorder!

CrunchGear reviewed a 2008 model back in June last year, and concluded that:

“This camera would be great for…drumroll please…people who are somewhat technically inclined, don’t need to edit their videos, and want to get them uploaded as quickly as possible. My fellow technology bloggers come to mind. I can picture myself using this at an event to record a keynote address and then zipping it up to YouTube immediately so that I can get it up on CrunchGear as in short order.”

In other words, exactly the kind of camcorder you need to become a YouTube superstar!

Samsung MX20 YouTube camcorder

Samsung SC-MX20 YouTube camcorder

Perhaps the best camcorder of all for the budding YouTube superstar, though, is the Samsung VP-MX20/XEU YouTube Camcorder (also called the Samsung SC-MX20 in the US – no idea why!).

As it’s name suggests, this super-lightweight SD-based camcorder has been designed to record video directly in YouTube format. No need to worry about editing the video after you’ve taken it to fit YouTube’s requirements, as it automatically records in the native YouTube resolution (720×480) and frame rate, meaning what you see on the camcorder is exactly what your loyal fans will see on YouTube.

It’ll also record in other formats in case you want better quality than that designed for the Web, and with 32GB of on-board memory, you can store more video on the camcorder than YouTube will let you upload in one go.

There are some great deals on the SC-MX20 now, as it’ll soon be replaced by another Samsung YouTube camcorder, the Samsung SMX-F34, which was announced last week at CES 2009.

These are probably the best camcorders around at the moment for live blogging or other social media rockstar work – they even get the seal of approval from none other than the producer of social media legend Robert Scoble, and you can’t get a better recommendation than that!

You’ve got the gear – now what?

So now you know what YouTube camcorder to go for – but what exactly do you do with it? How do you use your shiny new gadget to become Internet famous and create that social media profile you always dreamed of (well, ok, maybe not always dreamed of, but we all need a bit of fame in our lives!)

In the next few days, I’ll show you where you can publish your videos, and also give you some ideas of what to start recording in order to become a legendary YouTube superstar!

That’s not all though – social media is about much more than just video. Over the coming weeks, I’ve got a bunch of posts to publish that show you how to use image sites, news sites, and even GPS devices to really rock the social media world.

These aren’t small posts, and they take some time to craft, so you might want to subscribe to MediaMentalism to ensure you don’t miss a thing!

 

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9 comments

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  1. [...] the latest YouTube camcorder is one thing, but is YouTube the best place to upload your video? In this second Social Media [...]

  2. [...] I’ve created a guide on how to succeed with online video, which shows you how to use your video camera, the dozens of video upload sites and your own imagination to make real money with online [...]

  3. [...] What YouTube camera to buy The video sites that are better than YouTube How to succeed with online video The gadgets you need to become Internet famous [...]

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  5. I use a simple Sony Cybershot 640×480, edited in Windows Movie Maker and saved to high resolution. A minute is about 30MB. Have a look at the clarity of my video on my channel page – very clear. Whether you need the 720p or not is up for debate… my windows movie maker on Win XP doesn’t do 720×480 resolution that I know of. If it did – the Samsung mx20 looks like the winner. Wish they had a wide angle on that thing though! At youtube my username is thaipulsedotcom – yes, that’s me eating a giant Chinese cockroach… anything for fame, right? lol.

  6. [...] I’ve created a guide on how to succeed with online video, which shows you how to use your video camera, the dozens of video upload sites and your own imagination to make real money with online [...]

  7. I have the Kodak and i have to say im not that happy with it. It’s fantastic for sunshiny days but as soon as the sun goes down don’t expect to get an picture. And with recording sound… well lets just say that a light breeze is enough to disrupt your audio. It also takes pictures but it might as well not. its in very poor focus and cant be moved at all or your picture will fail.

  8. I am wanting to create informational you tube videos to draw people to my website. I will need to add my web address at the bottom of the page. If there a particular camcorder I should go with. I want easy please as I am a little bit technically challenged. :-)

    Thanks for your help

  9. [...] You need a lightweight, portable camcorder that can make quality recordings under different light conditions. In fact there are cameras specifically suited for making for making an online video. [...]

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