Source: amlab.me

Think­ing about shoot­ing a vlog, record­ing online cours­es or stream­ing, but all you have is a smart­phone? There’s a quick and easy way to get great pic­ture and decent sound with­out hav­ing to under­stand every­thing. vicis­si­tudes of light­ing and sound record­ing. In this arti­cle, we will look at the Ray­lab Blog­ger Starter Kit — what it includes, its pros, cons, and whether to add any­thing else to it.

What you need to start

If you already have a smart­phone or a sep­a­rate cam­era, you will need three more things to start shoot­ing: light, sound, and back­ground.

For a pleas­ing pic­ture, you need soft light­ing with good col­or repro­duc­tion, ide­al­ly with the abil­i­ty to change the col­or tem­per­a­ture. One light source is often not enough, so in addi­tion to the main lamp, it would be nice to have a cou­ple of addi­tion­al ones.

When it comes to sound, many novice blog­gers seri­ous­ly under­es­ti­mate this para­me­ter, focus­ing sole­ly on the pic­ture. At the same time, almost every one of us has come across a sit­u­a­tion where you want to turn off the video due to poor sound.

And of course, if you want the audi­ence to focus on you and what you are talk­ing about, and not look­ing at your inte­ri­or, you will need a back­ground.

Look­ing ahead a lit­tle, let’s say that the Ray­lab set does not have the back­ground itself, but there is a hold­er for it. This is quite a rea­son­able step, because the choice of back­ground col­or is an indi­vid­ual thing (the stream­er will prob­a­bly want to hang a chro­ma key, and the author of the online course will want a dis­creet one-col­or back­ground).

It is included in the kit

1. Ray­lab RL-0618 Kit LED ring illu­mi­na­tor as the main light source.

2. Three Ray­lab F002 LED desk­top lights as addi­tion­al light.

3. Lava­lier micro­phone Ray­lab RecMic SH LavMic 6m.

4. Stand with Ray­lab BT2 cross­bar for attach­ing a plas­tic back­ground.

Mobile ring light on stand

The set uses a large ring illu­mi­na­tor as the main source. Source: fotosklad.ru

The Ray­lab RL-0618 Kit LED Ring Light is a kind of kit in a set, because along with the light itself you get a few more acces­sories: a car­ry­ing bag, a stand, a phone mount and a mir­ror. Also includ­ed is a charg­er for mains pow­er.

The illu­mi­na­tor is large enough — 45.7 cm in diam­e­ter, so you will have a soft light even at a short dis­tance, which is espe­cial­ly con­ve­nient for beau­ty blog­gers.

The smart­phone is mount­ed inside the ring, so you get pow­er­ful frontal illu­mi­na­tion. On the stand, the illu­mi­na­tor can be mount­ed ver­ti­cal­ly or hor­i­zon­tal­ly — this way you can change the ori­en­ta­tion of the phone, although, frankly, it would be more con­ve­nient to just have an addi­tion­al smart­phone mount on the side.

Smart­phone mount includ­ed. Source: fotosklad.ru

On the same thread, you can attach a mir­ror from the kit or a full-fledged cam­era through a small tri­pod head — this will allow you to more con­ve­nient­ly con­trol the shoot­ing angle (for this you will not need to turn the entire lamp, but only the cam­era on the tri­pod head).

The device has two addi­tion­al con­nec­tors for mount­ing: on top inside and out­side the ring. They will help to secure addi­tion­al acces­sories, such as a mon­i­tor or micro­phone. This is con­ve­nient, so it will not be pos­si­ble to force all the free space with addi­tion­al racks — all acces­sories can be hung on the illu­mi­na­tor.

The mir­ror can be mount­ed on top so that you can see the screen of your smart­phone dur­ing self­ie shoot­ing — this will allow you to shoot on the main cam­era and at the same time con­trol what exact­ly is in the frame.

The device comes with a con­ve­nient fold­ing stand, which takes up very lit­tle space.

The illu­mi­na­tor can be pow­ered from a sock­et or from two bat­ter­ies. Bat­ter­ies are not includ­ed, they can be pur­chased sep­a­rate­ly here. Thanks to the bat­tery, the illu­mi­na­tor can be tak­en with you on loca­tion shoot­ing and shoot­ing out­doors.

The lamp works either from a net­work, or from accu­mu­la­tors there­fore it can be used on the street. Source: fotosklad.ru

The pow­er of the device is adjustable from 1 to 100 per­cent, but usu­al­ly 20–30 per­cent is enough, so you have a very decent mar­gin. As for col­or repro­duc­tion, its declared index is CRI95 +, that is, in the video you will get very accu­rate col­ors.

The ring device cre­ates nice round high­lights in the reflec­tion of the eyes — a nice bonus for any blog­ger. You can also change the col­or tem­per­a­ture from cold to warm (the lamp has 224 LEDs with a warm col­or tem­per­a­ture of 3200K and the same num­ber with a cold 5600K). This is impor­tant for fine-tun­ing arti­fi­cial light to nat­ur­al light and for cre­at­ing artis­tic effects.

3 table lights

Three LED table lamps can be used as addi­tion­al light. Source: fotosklad.ru

Three LED illu­mi­na­tors includ­ed in the kit will help you use the clas­sic light­ing scheme with back­ground light­ing, back­light and fill light. Lamps can be used as a light for sub­ject shoot­ing dur­ing video reviews. At the bot­tom they have three fold­ing legs, thanks to which the lamps are installed with­out addi­tion­al racks and are con­ve­nient­ly trans­port­ed.

Lavalier microphone with 6m long cord

Ray­lab’s lava­lier is also a base mod­el, but it’s loud­er and clear­er than built-in phone or cam­era mics. The micro­phone has a six-meter wire with a Vel­cro tie to fold the excess length. Thanks to such a long cord, you are not lim­it­ed in mov­ing around the room — you can freely move away from the cam­era and approach it. This, for exam­ple, will be con­ve­nient when shoot­ing a blog in a show­room or art gallery.

Micro­phone with a very long six-meter cable includ­ed. Source: fotosklad.ru

In the kit you will find a wind­screen and a head­phone split­ter, which will be handy if you only have one audio jack on your cam­era. If you’re film­ing with a phone, check to see if it has a 3.5mm head­phone jack. Most new­er mod­els don’t have this con­nec­tor, so you may need an adapter (iPhone/Android with USB type‑c).

background holder

The back­ground hold­er can be fold­ed for stor­age and car­ry­ing. Source: fotosklad.ru

In the kit you will find a stan­dard stand with a cross­bar for attach­ing a plas­tic or light­weight fab­ric (up to 1 kg) back­ground. The stand is very com­pact and is com­pat­i­ble with stan­dard back­grounds up to 140 cm wide. The hold­er can be extend­ed up to two meters in height, so it is hard­ly suit­able for full-length shoot­ing, but for stan­dard blog­ging for­mats it is more than enough.

Lighting use cases

  • Beau­ty blog­gers can place their smart­phone in the ring of the main lamp, and use addi­tion­al devices to illu­mi­nate the back­ground, shoul­ders, and illu­mi­nate them­selves a lit­tle from behind.
  • A teacher record­ing online cours­es will prob­a­bly pre­fer to place the light not at the cam­era itself, but next to the work­place. This will allow you not to depend on day­light at all.
  • For stream­ers, a DIY ver­sion with col­or fil­ters to add atmos­phere to the broad­cast is suit­able.
  • If you are shoot­ing reviews on gad­gets, then the main light can be placed frontal­ly, and addi­tion­al lamps can be placed on the table and illu­mi­nate the sub­ject of your review with them.
  • Those who shoot blogs not only indoors can take a ring light with bat­ter­ies with them to the street.


In addi­tion to the cam­era itself, con­tent pro­duc­ers need to think about a few more impor­tant things — light, sound and back­ground. If you want to improve the pic­ture with­out chang­ing the cam­era, you should start by improv­ing the light­ing.

Ray­lab’s Blog­ger Kit has every­thing you need to get start­ed — a uni­ver­sal light source that will suit dif­fer­ent types of blogs, addi­tion­al lamps for var­i­ous light­ing effects, a lava­lier micro­phone with a long cord, and a back­ground hold­er. This is a basic set, with­out any frills or bells and whis­tles, but for a novice blog­ger it will be more than enough. The cost of a set in mid-Decem­ber 2020 is from 15,900 rubles.