In March 2020, following the appeal of the European Union, YouTube reduced the default quality of videos played to a low definition. Since then, viewers are shown content in 480p resolution as standard. This value can be changed, but as shown by S. Robertson’s research, almost 90% of users do not make quality adjustments while watching a video. Does this mean that video quality doesn’t matter that much? doesn’t matter that much? If so, to what extend? Check out our report to find out.

Video quality – table of contents:

  1. What is critical to the number of viewers and subscribers?
  2. How does poor video quality affect the audience experience?
  3. Quality that will make the content more attractive
  4. What camera to get for YouTubingg?
  5. YouTube video recording equipment – static and dynamic
  6. Does video quality matter? – Key questions

What is critical to the number of viewers and subscribers?

Supporters of the view that the quality of video/audio is not so important nowadays emphasize that for viewers the major incentive for watching comes from the content of the material. In other words, it’s the what, not the how matter. The novel, inspiring, engaging, creative, and interesting content can generate a wave of interest and, further, promote the Youtuber in the Internet space.

However, the assumption indicating that automatic lowering of the standard quality of videos by YT exempts from the necessity to create high-quality productions is wrong. Content can be attractive in terms of its substance, while having an insufficient quality layer, discouraging potential viewers from interacting.

  • Reducing the default quality of content on YT does not make poor-quality content more shareable.
  • An underpowered and technologically limited camera for recording on YT will sooner discourage viewers than make them willing to watch reduced resolution content.
  • Building a large subscriber base is a complex process, which is influenced not only by the attractiveness of the content, the idea for the channel, or the quality of the video but also by many other factors, such as advertising activities, the ability to adapt to trends and the drive to constantly modify your strategy.

How does poor video quality affect the audience experience?

A YT camera that doesn’t allow you to capture high-resolution video, or equipment that shoots video at less than 30 frames a sec., reduces your chances of making it in the YouTube world.

Why is this happening?

Users expect creators of materials to be interesting, diverse and clear. It is unacceptable that YouTube video recording equipment is not able to properly stabilize the image, or the video is fragmentarily out of focus.

More and more people pay attention to the camera’s angle of view, the possibility of installing a tripod, or the function of remote exposure compensation – especially useful in underexposed rooms.

The final quality of the video, which is set at 480p, is not an ally of the creators downplaying the issues of creating quality videos. Even at this resolution, you can see all the flaws, weaknesses of video and audio recorders or mistakes in the arrangement of space for recording.

  • YT’s standardized resolution makes it easy to catch the imperfections of budget recording equipment.
  • A camera for a beginner YouTuber does not have to be a top-shelf product. It must allow you to record video at least in HD resolution, at min. 30 frames per second. The image stabilization function, exposure compensation, or the ability to implement additional accessories may come in handy too.
  • Over time, as your channel grows, you should professionalize your equipment by purchasing, for example, a professional streaming camera.
video quality infographic

Quality that will make the content more attractive

The quality of video and audio is one of many elements influencing the reception of content by viewers. Even the best camera for recording on YT will not guarantee your presence on multimedia portals if the other factors fail.

YouTube experts, in addition to attractive video design, emphasize the importance of other aspects useful in expanding the audience. Matt Koval, YouTube Creator Academy specialist, identifies five pillars for gaining viewers. These are:

  • leadership,
  • visibility,
  • affordability,
  • cooperation
  • willingness to share content.

Each of the pillars includes further diversification, creating a truly elaborate module. The analysis of specialists shows clearly: without a strategy, there is no success, and a one-time momentary success with the audience doesn’t imply lasting growth.

What camera to get for YouTubingg?

A lot depends on the specifics of our material: how and where it’s recorded. If we’re creating interview-based content, or creating video blogs where the image is static, our initial requirements won’t be exaggerated – in both cases, a mediocre camera can suffice.

It is different in the context of recording travel, sports, or technical videos – here a good image stabilization and impeccable smooth transitions are required above all. DIY tutorials, recipes or equipment repairs will require a precise camera with a good zoom and effective autofocus.

YouTube video recording equipment – static and dynamic

Static productions can be successfully made using equipment that provides a shallow depth of field. It contributes to blurring the background while focusing on a particular point – the video blogger or interlocutors.

A tripod and enough light for the background will also come in handy. We recommend a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.

Outdoor shots, requiring fluidity, will not do without a sports camera providing high HD resolution at an optimal 60 frames per second. Other functionalities of the equipment are also worth paying attention to. A gimbal will be invaluable, stabilizing the position of the equipment and allowing to record “handheld” footage.

Does video quality matter? – Key questions

  1. Despite the accepted policy of limiting the default video quality on YT, does it make sense to record valuable visuals?
  2. Yes, 480p resolution allows you to highlight any imperfections and flaws that result from the poor quality recording equipment. The view that video quality doesn’t matter these days is false.

  3. Can I use my camera to record on YT?
  4. Camera equipment can be helpful when recording static content, i.e. shots from a single point. If you’re creating more dynamic content, a photography device won’t do the trick.

  5. Camera for a beginner youtuber – does it have to be expensive?
  6. It depends. A good piece of equipment for recording videos on YouTube meets the needs of the creator. Therefore, devise a sound strategy and decide which functions to look for in choosing the gear, and which can be abandoned.

Check out our previous article in the series “Running a business on YouTube” here.

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Author: Mira Bodhi

Knows all the pros and cons of working as a Freelancer and still makes the best of it. Time management and self-motivation are her biggest advantages. Currently working from Bali.