If you're just starting out, there's no need to drop a boatload of money on gear. It's true that production quality does matter and polished videos are better to look at, but when you first start out, let's just say you're not going to be producing the next Citizen Kane.
Prepare for your first videos to suck. Unless you already know the basics of shooting and editing video, it'll be much better if you were to take take baby steps. Just use whatever you already have in hand. It could be that 1080p-capable phone camera you already have or even your brother's old DSLR.
That being said, here are some things you must have:
- A camera that shoots video, whether it's from your phone, a handycam or a DSLR.
- A tripod
- Video editing software. If you're just starting out, try Windows Movie Maker on Windows or iMovie for the Mac, both of which are free. But once you get going and your little channel is producing video on a regular basis, then pony up money for a more full-featured video suite. If Adobe Premiere is too expensive, get its budget cousin Adobe Premiere Elements (roughly S$135 or so). Or consider Sony Vegas Movie Studio or Lightworks.
- A mic attachment for your camera or standalone microphone
Thing's that aren't necessary but useful, especially later on:
- A monopod
Also worth checking out is Steve Stockman's book How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck.