It takes a lot of effort to put your video making ideas into a final product. Of course, primarily, you need to know a lot about making videos, and you can turn to some of our other articles for that, but one of the first steps is having the right tools for the job. The video and photography tech is overflown with all kinds of products that can make your head spin. Especially if you’re a novice video producer, you wouldn’t even know where to begin.
Luckily for you, we are here to help. In this article, we will write about the essential video production equipment that can make your filmmaking dreams come true. We will mostly focus on low-budget stuff and give you a sort of checklist that you can follow the next time you visit a video equipment store.
You can’t record anything without a proper camera, so that should be the first thing on your list. The camera you choose will mostly depend on what kind of videos you like making (static shots, documentary, timelapse…), as well as where you plan to present your work. Whichever may be the case, Panasonic GH5 will be good enough to start, as it is the camera that is very popular among both professional and amateur documentary producers. Also, make sure to have a range of different lenses for different situations, like macro, wide-angle, zoom, and so on.
Videos consist of two essential elements – video and audio. The sound is just as important as the image, so once you choose your camera, the next thing you need to do is figure out how to properly record sound. The shotgun microphone is good for any situation, and while you’re there, you might check out some boom poles.
Documentary-style films usually rely on wireless mics, and the RodeLink Wireless System might be a good option for starters. Portable audio recorders like the Zoom H5 are also recommended. If you want to make sure that everything is in order while you’re recording sound (which you should), a nice pair of professional headphones will do the work.
Lighting allows you to control the atmosphere of your shots. It will help you hide awkward shadows and give your subjects a proper glow. Video lighting is usually necessary if you’re doing a lot of indoor shooting. If that’s the case, make sure to acquire a standard three-point lighting setup. Professional video makers don’t go anywhere without a light reflector. These are usually not expensive, and you can even very easily make one yourself.
What we talked about so far are the basics, but you should consider getting a few extra things if you’re really serious about your videos and films. If you want to avoid shaky shots and keep your image nice and steady, a tripod will be a necessity. When you’re doing a run-and-gun type of shooting, you would want to consider a shoulder-mount rig as well. Acquire a specialized camera bag so you can fit all your equipment in one place. Always keep a few extra batteries and memory cards at hand since you never know when you might need them.