What I use for my website and youtube. I only recommend resources that I use myself. No hype, no dribble, just my favorite things that I use all the time.
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Some of these are affiliate links. I am proud affiliates for these items and tools. Affiliate links are used for each resource that I am an affiliate of, which means that if you click that link and subsequently make a purchase, I will earn a commission. You pay nothing extra; any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that my recommendations are based on my personal experience and knowledge of these companies. I recommend them to students, entrepreneurs, and creators like you because they are genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I receive if you choose to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Zach Highley’s Mission Statement (created with Franklin Covey’s tool)
To improve people’s quality of life by solving real problems with medicine, creativity, mindfulness, and excitement.
🎥 YouTube Gear
All my YouTube gear. (check out how to use it here)
But, please remember, content is king and gear isn’t everything. Start shooting videos with your phone, use your webcam, be consistent, results will follow.
$5,000 Setup – The setup I am using now.
Camera – Sony a7S III
I’ve drooled over this for a while, so happy to finally have it. It does not disappoint. 4k 120p shooting, minimal overheating, 10-Bit internal, amazing eye autofocus, and a touch screen sold me. I now have three of these.
Lens – Sony FE 50mm F1.2
Aperture 1.2? FE Sony Mount? 50mm for better talking head/portraits? Yes. I haven’t found a lens as sharp as this one yet. I switched to this from an 85mm to get a more “real-life” look.
Tripod – Sachtler Ace M System
I am getting a feel for this tripod now, but the ball head is amazing. Much smoother than my other tripod and easily adjustable. Also feels very sturdy.
$1,200 Setup – The setup I started with.
Camera – Sony a6600 (I used the 6300 but I would use the 6600 now)
Solid 4k video. Reasonable Price. Good photos and interface. This camera has served me well. Throw on a nice prime lens -> ??? -> $$$$
Lens – Sigma 30mm F1.4 Sony E
Love the “Bokeh” here. I wanted a prime sigma lens for a while. When they finally released one for the Sony E mount (so I can still autofocus properly) I bought it immediately and have loved every second with it.
Tripod – Robus RC-5570 + Manfrotto MVH500AH Ball Head
My secondary tripod, has easy adjustability and is reliable. The ball head is an industry standard. I used to use the Sirui T2205x, which was amazing, but can’t find it in stock anywhere. I have this setup I linked and it works great.
Microphone – Schoeps CMC641
Never thought I would be spending this much money on a microphone. But I have been really really really happy with the sound isolation (I previously used the AT4053B but the AT2020 is a fantastic cheaper option)
Headphones – Bose QC 35 II
Amazing headphones that let me listen to what I record. I use these for traveling, school, everything. Easily one of my most used items.
Audio Interface – Zoom F3
This thing is a game-changer, really. You DON’T have to set levels! Because this is a 32-bit recorder it can record audio information in every range you could possibly need. All you could ever need for two microphones (Previously I used the Focusrite 2i2 plugged into my computer).
My Desk Setup (coming soon…)
Podcast Setup (coming soon…)
Exciting Additional Items
Drone – DJI Mavic Air 2
Gimbal – DJI RS 2
A FAST External SSD – SanDisk 4TB Extreme Pro Portable SSD
Boring (but amazing) Additional Items
- Lavalier Microphone for moving shots: Tentacle Sync TRACK E (this is the most reliable lav, ever). I started with this one which is fantastic.
- Sound Blankets: The VB-70G, the difference in treating your room is astounding.
- Camera Memory Card: Prograde Digital SD UHS-II 256GB Card V90
- External Drive (I have 5 of these now…): Seagate Backup Plus 5TB, I only use these for storage and NOT active editing
- Massive External Drive: Massive Backup External Drive: Glyph Technologies 16TB Blackbox Pro
- Mic Stand: Pyle Heavy Duty
- Light: Aputure 300D MarkII (I started with the Neewer SL-60W)
- Diffuser: Aputure Light Dome C120d II (I started with the Neewer 48″ Softbox)
- Light Stand: Neewer Heavy
- Editing: Final Cut Pro X
- Sound Editing: Logic Pro X
🗃 Software Tools
- Video Organizing Notion Template: I use Thomas Frank’s Creators Companion Ultimate Task Edition which really is amazing. I can log every video from idea to scripting to recording to editing and track all those things nicely in Notion. I was using some version of his Notion video organizer when I first started on YouTube and am blown away by what he’s done with this new version (it does cost $$ however but it’s worth it).
- Music: I love Epidemic Sound! I use it for all of my videos. Use this link to get 30 days free.
- Personal and Business Security for my iPhone and Computer: NordVPN
- I have been using NordVPN for years, and trust it for internet security and accessing my streaming services when I am abroad. Use the above link to get a 2-year plan plus a bonus gift with a huge discount! It’s risk-free with Nord’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Email Marketing: Convertkit
- Web Hosting: WP Engine – This link will get you 3 months free on annual plans.
- I have tried Bluehost, stablehost, and GoDaddy, all are ok. But I don’t want to just be ok. I want to be as professional as possible. My website is my name, it represents me, I am willing to spend the extra money every year for my reputation. I intend to make a post about just how much I love WP Engine; I am spoiled now and never going back to shared hosting.
- Notion (I keep all my notes for my videos and posts here, I will be making a video soon on this…)
I also have a reading list of what I want to read next here.
3 Books That Had the Biggest Impact on Me
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
Show Your Work! – Austin Kleon
Anything You Want – Derek Sivers
Productivity (and Life)
Atomic Habits – James Clear
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
Steal Like an Artist – Austin Kleon
Business and Marketing
How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike – Phil Knight
Zero to One – Peter Thiel
Favorite Fiction Series
Red Rising – Pierce Brown (All these books are gold!! I used to read them as a reward for finishing a Final Exam)
Terms of Enlistment – Marko Kloos
Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson
Other Books I Like
Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
Models – Mark Manson
The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook – America’s Test Kitchen (Only book that consistently produces good food, I’ve nearly gone through the entire book)
🩺 Medical School Gear
If you want more in-depth reasoning behind why I use what I use check out this post.
Stethoscope: 3M Littmann Master Cardiology (Black)
Reflex Hammer: MDF Babinski Hammer
Lock – Again any lock will do
IPad Pro – I have an older version, but I love mine.
Pen Light: Infray LED
Safety Goggles: Any one’s that are shatter-proof and with a side guard.
Portable Charger – Anker USB-C 20,000 mAh Power Bank
Scrubs: Figs Shirt and Pants
Headphones – Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Apple Pencil – Love this thing
- Note Taking: Notability
- Flash Card / Spaced Repetition App: ANKI (Check out my reasoning and setup post)
- ToDo list: Thing’s app
🌐 Who I Follow
Websites and People that have inspired me and taught me.
- Ali Abdaal
- Nathaniel Drew
- Seth Godin
- Tim Ferris (His podcast is also great, really targeted, and specific/helpful entrepreneurship advice.)
- Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income)