How to Set Up a Camera for YouTube

Record with the light behind the camera to ensure adequate lighting.
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While you can enable a camera's video feature and record for YouTube right away, changing some of its recording settings can help give you higher quality video. Using certain resolutions will enable the high definition option on YouTube as well as prevent any cropping. Using specific frames per second settings can also help keep your file sizes down to make for faster uploads.

1 Environment

Set up your camera on a tripod to prevent shaking and blurring, and look through its viewfinder to make sure that you are framing the area of the background you want. Take a test clip of your subject in front of the camera to make sure that your camera is positioned correctly. Whether you are using an built-in or separate microphone, test the acoustics of the room and how your microphone picks them up. Smaller rooms without anything to dampen the sound, like carpet or furniture, can cause echoing or tinny-sounding audio. Cameras with built-in microphones may be especially susceptible to this, especially if they don't have any sort of pop filter.

2 Lighting

Recording in a brightly-lit room can help prevent your video from becoming grainy or choppy. If you are recording in a darker environment, a tripod is especially important. Position your camera or lights so that there is light coming from behind the camera and not from behind the subject you are filming. Make sure the light isn't too close or too strong, or it could wash out your subject.

3 Recording Settings

To prevent black bars from showing up on the sides of your video, set your camera's recording resolution to at least 1280 by 720 (720p), though you can go higher. Note that higher resolutions will mean a larger file size, which in turn means a longer upload time. If you want to upload to YouTube directly from your camera instead of editing your footage on a computer first, make sure your camera is recording in one of YouTube's acceptable formats: MOV, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV or 3GPP.

4 Exporting for YouTube

While you can use a variety of formats to upload your video to YouTube, the most popular formats are AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP and WMV. Using one of these formats may help prevent your audio and video from becoming unsynchronized. YouTube also limits videos to 30 frames per second, so when exporting your video, set the FPS rate to 30. A higher FPS, such as 60, will cause your file size to be larger, but will have no discernible difference from a 30 FPS file once uploaded.

Based in California, James Wright has been writing since 1998. Wright's articles have been published on various websites with a focus on technical fields such as computers and the Internet, and were also featured in a now-retired publication for an online artistic community. Wright studied English, journalism, politics and psychology at Riverside Community College.