Creating your home or mobile video studio can seem daunting, expensive, and overwhelming. There is a wide array of smartphone gear out there that makes the decisions about maximizing the quality of your videos even more confusing.

The good news is, it doesn’t need to be! We sat down with expert Eddie Garrison of Digital Media Creators Academy to discuss the gear you need to enhance your videos on a budget.

Top 5 takeaways:

1. Camera

“Take advantage of the 4K camera that you have in your pocket.”

You don’t need a four or five-thousand-dollar camera when you’re starting out. If you’ve bought a phone in the last few years, it likely shoots 4K. You can create quality videos with your smartphone; you just need to know how to utilize its power.

2. Stabilization

“Stabilize that camera or smartphone because [your videos are] just gonna look more professional.”

Keeping your camera stable is essential to creating quality content. A tripod can cost under $30 and make your videos much more professional. Eddie recommends a smartphone video rig like this one from Ulanzi that you can add a small light to and attach to your tripod at home. Chuck has one and loves it. You can easily take the whole setup with you when you’re away from home, or detach the holder rig from the tripod and add a light or a shotgun microphone for more mobility. The rigid holder helps take the shake out of your movements.

3. Audio

“If your audience can’t hear you, they’re not gonna stick around to watch you.”

Studies have shown that audiences will tolerate bad video quality but not bad audio. Sound is so important because you want your audiences to hear everything you say. An inexpensive single lavalier mic can cost as little as $20; even your phone earbuds will make a difference in your audio quality. We recommend the PowerDeWise Dual Mic Interview Kit as an affordable option because it allows you to capture audio from two people and it comes with plenty of cable (12 feet).

4. Background

“If you’re doing something like a talking head, you don’t want a lot of distractions going on.”

The most successful videos have simple backgrounds with minimal distractions. You want to avoid piles of laundry, distracting clutter, or dogs running through the shot. You want your audience to focus on your subject, not on what’s happening in the background. You don’t need to spend money on a fancy backdrop or green screen … any clean space you have will do.

5. Lighting

“Remember that you want the lighting source to be in front of you and off to the side.

Lighting can make or break a video. If you shoot during the day, you can utilize natural light in front of you. Natural light is free and works great, but if you’re shooting at night or in a room that does not have access to natural light, you could also buy a basic clip-on light or ring light for around $20. Eddie recommends the Lume Cube Mini, which comes to about $60, but you could also purchase a version from Neewer for closer to $30.

You can build an entire home studio on a reasonable budget by utilizing th