Preparation

Bare Essentials: 5 Pieces of Gear to Get You Started

As video equipment become increasingly affordable by the day, and everyday people are becoming more video savvy, brands are pushing out more great gear at price points aimed at mass consumers. What does this mean for you? Two things: 1. Achieving great video quality is no longer just a thing for the big production houses or folks with deep pockets, and 2. It’s much easier for the uninitiated to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of gear available in the market today.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources available online to help guide you through this process. You will still need to first figure out the kind of content you’re planning to produce before deciding on the kind of gear you need, but here are a few tips to get you started:

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Canon_EOS_70D_%28camera_body_side_view%29.jpg

  1. Camera Body: Choose a camera that at least offers you full manual control over your settings during video mode, and capable of capturing HD video in 1080p resolution. Look beyond just the megapixel count of a camera body and research more into its sensor and how it processes light and colour, because that in the end is what will give your footage that extra oomph.

 

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Photo Credit: Cary and Kacey Jordan https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaceyjordan/5870267898/

 

  1. Prime Lens: Try to get yourself a good prime lens as soon as you can. Its larger aperture allows for shooting in a wide range of lighting conditions, and helps create a sense of depth in your shots. You will be grateful for the clear and crisp image quality from a prime lens during post-production.

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Photo Credit: Adam Plowden Videography https://ajp1991.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/new3.jpg

 

  1. Tripod: When choosing a tripod, it helps to choose one with some heft; that extra weight will help it do a better job in keeping your camera steady during recording, where every little jerky movement might possible cost you your precious footage. If you have some extra cash to spare, try investing in a fluid head for your tripod; it’ll go a long way in cutting down adjusting time when setting up your shots and making your life easier in overall.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microphone#/media/File:Shotgun_microphone.jpg

 

  1. Shotgun Mic: The in-device audio recording prowess of camera bodies can widely differ from brand to brand, from being passable to a noisy mess. It’s wise to invest in an external shotgun microphone to capture decent audio. You’ll have more control over capturing sound from the direction of its source, while also eliminating background noises.

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Photo Credit: Kirk Tuck http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/.a/6a00df351e888f8834016764795f59970b-800wi

 

  1. Lighting: An LED light panel is a very useful piece of equipment to have on any shoot, allowing you to shape contours on your subject’s face, control shadows and highlights on a scene, and generally opening up shooting possibilities in an otherwise dark setting. You can also attach different coloured gels or tracing paper and give your subject a different colour hue, depending on what you’re going for. If that proves to be too big of an investment, you can start off with getting a 5-in-1 reflector; its versatility will surprise you.