How to become a vlogger
Get started and produce quality vlogs with our vlogging tips for beginners.
When Mike Gray quit university just six months into his Visual Effects degree, he wasn't sure what his next step would be. He opted to combine his talent for video creation with his passion for travel, and has circled the globe producing cinematic-style travel vlogs and photography tutorials. These have won him legions of fans and turned him into one of the UK's most successful social media stars. Today, the 22-year-old influencer known as MikeVisuals has over 200,000 followers on Instagram and almost 100,000 YouTube subscribers, and his videos have been watched more than 5.5 million times.
"Consistency and uploading good quality work every day are key to building a following," Mike says. "But do it because you enjoy it, not because of the numbers or the potential gains."
Thousands of people have achieved fame and fortune through social media, and Mike's story is not a unique one. However, his blend of youthful enthusiasm and professionalism far beyond his years helps him stand out from the crowd. He films epic shots of exotic landscapes, often captured at sunrise or sunset, using a mix of handheld and drone videography. Mike's fondness for slow-motion and fast-motion effects, recorded in vivid detail, results in edited visuals so cinematically slick you'd be forgiven for thinking they were intended for the silver screen.
Mike mixes his shots of awe-inspiring scenery with informative cutaways, in which he shares technical and practical advice. "I like to share what I'm working on, as well as my camera gear and setting preferences. My audience loves that." On a recent trip to the Isle of Skye, Mike discovered that the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III, which shoots 4K video and has a 180-degree tilt-up touchscreen with customisable controls, is ideal for capturing his behind-the-scenes updates. "Usually the Record button is on the back of the camera, so it can be hard to find when you're filming yourself, but the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III has a button on the screen, so you just click it and start filming instantly. No more missed moments."
"Do it because you enjoy it, not because of the numbers or the potential gains."
Mike found the super-portable compact was perfect for capturing unexpected moments. "I shoot in a spontaneous, run-and-gun way, which is what vlogging is all about. Some of my kit is stowed in my camera bag, but I can keep the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III in my jacket and whip it out at a moment's notice. It's amazing to have such a powerful, high-performance camera that fits in your pocket."
One of the features that most impressed him about the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III was the 4K time-lapse feature, which he uses to deliver smoother, more realistic action footage. "Just being able to set it up so quickly and easily was incredible – I could capitalise on some truly remarkable moments. At one point, a large wave of cloud rolled across the mountains; it came in so quickly, but I managed to set up the camera in time to capture it. Plus the quality of the 4K recording is just amazing."
Slowing footage down is one of the most effective techniques Mike uses to create drama in his videos. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is capable of recording Full HD movies at up to 120fps. "Slowing the visuals really helps to draw focus and build atmosphere, so it's great for vlogging. On the Isle of Skye, we found this beautiful, towering waterfall descending from the edge of a cliff onto a shingle beach. The camera managed to capture all the detail in super-cool slow motion, which is really rare for such a small camera. I like to shoot in slow motion and speed it up, but you could start with it coming down really fast and then slow it down."
The more options the better, according to Mike, who has been shooting videos since he was 12 years old. "This was my first time shooting 4K for a vlog. Aside from the amazing quality, it opens up lots of options in post-production. I was able to crop into shots and change up the focal length, which helps to keep the viewer engaged."
Strong visuals help to set a vlog apart, but clean audio is just as important. The PowerShot G7 X Mark III has connections allowing high-quality audio to be recorded and monitored in real time. "It is a really cool, high-end feature, especially for users who want to add a professional microphone. The waterfall on the Isle of Skye was really noisy, but by adding a professional microphone with a fluffy windbreaker I was able to cut out all of that background noise and get crystal-clear audio. There are some super portable lightweight external mics out there; just connect the mic to the camera, make sure it's pointing in the direction of the vocals, and away you go."
With an abundance of content being uploaded to video streaming sites every day, being creative and presenting viewers with more unique and unusual scenes will help to build momentum. "The 180-degree tilt-up touchscreen is perfect for that," Mike says. "When you want to shoot low to the ground or from an unusual angle, you can tilt the screen to check you're happy with the composition without having to lie on the ground or put yourself in a dangerous position. It means you can be really diverse with how you shoot, and it's that creativity that keeps people coming back for more."
In addition to shooting video, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III can capture 20.1MP photos and shoot at up to 30fps, even when shooting RAW, offering the ultimate post-production flexibility. "My focus was video, but I did take some super-sharp images, which I was able to share on Instagram," says Mike.
Using the camera's in-built smartphone connection, Mike was able to instantly share his photos using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. "I would load photos straight onto my phone, edit them in Lightroom, and upload to Instagram. You can do that anywhere in the world – the camera has Wi-Fi built in, so you just sync it to your phone."
Keeping a fanbase regularly updated and engaged is crucial for a vlogger's longevity. "People really want to know how I create my videos, and I love being able to show them," Mike says. "On the Isle of Skye, I was able to offer a lot of behind-the-scenes content on Instagram Stories – it's a great way to showcase the technical side of things." In addition to sharing photos on Instagram, vloggers can stream live video from the PowerShot G7 X Mark III and engage with their YouTube audience wherever they are in the world.*
Written by Natalie Denton
*The live streaming service of this product supports live streaming on YouTube only. To use the live streaming service, registration on image.canon is needed in advance. In accordance with YouTube's "Restrictions on live streaming", users must have a minimum of 1,000 channel subscribers in order to live stream from a mobile device. This restriction also applies to the YouTube live-streaming service available via the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III.
For up-to-date information on restrictions, please visit http://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2853834
Live streaming on YouTube may change, stop, or terminate without notice. Please note in advance that Canon does not assume any responsibility for services provided by third parties, including live streaming on YouTube.
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Get started and produce quality vlogs with our vlogging tips for beginners.
These great Canon vlogging cameras make it easy to bring your vlog to life, with lots of control and stunning video quality.
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