Here are some links to stuff that I use and like. Some of these are affiliate links and I’ll earn a small commission if you decide to buy (it costs the same for you, no extra fees or anything). If you do buy from this page, thank you for supporting me and my work!
Video and Lighting
Sony Alpha a6400 camera. I got the linked version, the kit with the 16-50mm lens. I have it mounted to a monopod behind my monitor. It’s a great quality camera and, most importantly, has clean HDMI out which is required for using it as a webcam.
Sony AC Adapter because the camera battery is fine but it won’t survive through a 2 hour livestream! I went with the official Sony one to guarantee compatibility, but there are definitely cheaper ones out there.
Elgato Cam Link 4K along with the cable below to connect the camera to my laptop.
Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable because the Alpha a6400 has a micro HDMI port. Nothing has a micro HDMI port. This camera does, though. Make sure to get a micro cable and not a mini HDMI cable! That definitely won’t work (trust me, I bought the mini one first).
(My actual setup is a tiny Micro to Regular-size HDMI adapter into a regular HDMI cable. I recommend doing it all with one cable if you can, though!)
Neewer LED Light. Amazon says it’s unavailable now, but one of the recommended lights will probably work fine. I didn’t want to spend a fortune on lights (and believe me, it’s possible. Those things are expensive!), so I got this light, and a cheap monopod to mount it on.
If you’ve got room in the budget for nicer lights, check out the Elgato Key Light which comes with its own mount too.
I aim the light at the white window shade behind my camera to give me diffuse, nice-looking light. You can also buy a soft box, if you don’t have a neutral-color wall or something to bounce the light off. Despite the built-in diffuser, this light is pretty harsh and blinding if I aim it at my face, so that’s why I bounce it off the wall.
Mounting the Camera and Lighting
In choosing these components, make sure that the threads are compatible, and buy adapters (or choose different parts) if they’re not. The threading of the C-clamp needs to match the bottom of the monopod, and the monopod needs to be compatible with the threading on the camera. 1/4” threads seem to be common.
Rode PSA1 boom arm to mount the mic to my desk. It comes with a clamp that can clamp to the side of the desk or be mounted in the middle by drilling a hole. I’m using the clamp. It’s plenty sturdy. Pro tip: if the arm seems too hard to mvoe, or it won’t stay in place, twist the screws at the 3 joints to adjust the stiffness of each.
dbx 286s Mic Preamp helps a ton with making the sound great before it ever reaches the computer. It can amplify the signal (like any preamp) but it also has a built-in compressor, de-esser, and gate (to reduce background noise). I can be recording a video while the neighbor mows the lawn outside, and the mower doesn’t get picked up.
An XLR cable to connect the mic to the dbx.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface to get the sound into my MacBook Pro. The Scarlett has its own preamp, but you’ll want to set it to zero (no gain) and let the dbx do the work. Bonus: it has 2 inputs, so I can plug my guitar in and rock out with Amplitube or whatever 😎 It also doubles as an audio output, and has direct monitoring, which means I can hear myself when I’m talking.
A 1/4” cable from the Scarlett to the dbx.
The signal path goes:
Shure 87A -> XLR cable -> dbx 286s -> 1/4" cable -> Scarlett 2i2 -> USB cable -> Macbook Pro
For headphones I swap between good old iPhone earbuds from 5 years ago, and the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 ohm
Keyboard and Mouse
I use the Kinesis Advantage2 ergonomic keyboard. It took a good couple weeks to get used to, and a few months to regain my old typing speed, but it’s made a big difference in wrist strain. My wrists had been starting to bother me, and switching keyboards + stretching helped quite a bit.
Around the same time I switched to a Logitech MX Vertical mouse. I think this helped with wrist strain too, though it honestly seemed like it got a bit worse/different before it got better. Of the two, I think the keyboard made the biggest difference.
16-inch MacBook Pro (2019), the one that brought back the escape key. Prior to this I had an aging 2013 Retina MacBook Pro that was awesome. I still kinda miss it.
An old Samsung SyncMaster 2253BW, due for an upgrade at some point. I’m not gonna link this. You don’t want this monitor. I know, researching monitors sucks, I’m sorry, I know. But you don’t want mine.