Building a List
Money and gear doesn't always equate to quality. A bad craftsman blames his tools, so make sure you know how to use what you have in front of you. Below is a list of equipment to get you started on recording your very first session. A lot of the equipment outlined are based on equipment we've used in the past or are currently using now. For each item, we've outlined a premium and a budget version. Remember though, it's not about the price tag of the equipment, you can still create a successful session on a shoe-string budget. We should know, that's how we started!
Cameras in general are relatively expensive. Be prepared to spend a few hundred pounds even on the cheaper end of the spectrum. No matter which one you choose, it's important to understand how to use the camera to get the best out of it. Make sure you watch the rest of the online course to give you more knowledge on how to operate your camera.
DSLR's have been our go to's since the beginning. It's rugged, versatile and will do the job just fine. Depending on what lenses you use to accompany the body, you can create a professional looking session with ease.
Premium: Canon 5D Mark III
Budget: Canon 1200D
Until now, the mirror-less cameras have always taken a back sit to DSLR's. As time progresses so have the mirror-less cameras, even to the point of surpassing DSLR technology. Size and tech are great positives for the cameras and we can see ourselves upgrading to mirror-less cameras in due time.
Premium: Sony Alpha 7S II
Budget: Canon Powershot G7 X
You'd be surprised, but if you know what you're doing with composition and lighting you can get some great stuff from a camera phone. Technology is so advance now that you're even able to record 4K footage from a phone. Don't let the size of a phone fool you, it's packed full of great features.
Premium: Pixel 2 XL 64GB
Budget: iPhone 6s 64GB
Tripods allow you to stabilise the shot. If you're looking for a stationary composition, don't be ashamed to go for a cheap tripod. We did that and we recorded some great sessions out of it. We eventually upgraded to a tripod with a fluid camera head as it allowed us to implement a little bit of movement, but if I was on a budget I wouldn't mind using a Basic Tripod.
Premium: Manfrotto Lightweight Fluid Video System
Budget: Basic Tripod
The first question you need to ask yourself is, "do I really need the fancy equipment right now?" Have you mastered the basics? Sliders add some fancy movement to your session, but it's not the one thing that'll make the difference. We have a slider in our equipment list, however we seldom use it. Make sure you have the fundamentals covered before you move onto the fancy stuff.
Premium: Neewer 120 centimeters Carbon Fiber
Budget: Andoer® 60cm
Other than the camera, lighting is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you need to purchase. If you prefer to shoot using natural light only, then that's fair enough. However if you're constantly filming indoors like a studio or bedroom, you need to make sure you get the right lights for the job.
Premium: 1100W Pro Fluorescent Light
Budget: Neewer CN 160 LED CN-160
Settling and going for the cheap option on memory cards can affect your entire shoot. Trust me, it's happened to us in the past. You need to make sure that your memory cards are fast enough to keep up with writing all the information onto it. We've stuck with SanDisk Extreme Pro's and they have never failed us.
Premium: SanDisk Extreme PRO 512 GB
Budget: SanDisk Extreme PRO 32 GB
Memory Card Holder
It's a little bit of plastic (or cotton depending on what you purchase), but it's essential to have in your equipment list. The data on your memory cards are so important, it's the whole reason why you set everything up. Why would you not safeguard that content and store it away somewhere safe?
Premium: Beeway® Memory Card Carrying Case Holder
Budget: Memory Card Carrying Case
From our experience clapboards help sync everything up, it makes the whole post production process a lot smoother. For convenience we've settled with the budget option and use our hands to do all the clapping. There's no shame in going for the budget option.
Premium: Acrylic Clapboard
Budget: Your Hands
Before every shoot it's good practice to make sure you've checked everything off and packed all the necessary equipment. In the past we have had times where we had left some valuable items and had to turn round to collect it. Don't make the mistakes we've made and check everything off before every shoot!