My Travel Gear
This is the Travel Gear Kit that I actually use from video, computer, audio, and drones. Full Disclosure: Some of the links are amazon affiliate links to gear I actually use. I get a small commission if you purchase.
Purchasing your main camera is an important choice. You want a camera that can do the job. Camera’s will continue to evolve and change over the years and it’s important to always do you research. Based on my experience there are some requirements that will stay the same for freelance video productions
- You need to be able to record Full HD in multiple frame rates and these days 4K capable
- You need dual card memory slots and long battery life
- It needs to be an interchangeable lens
- You need an articulating screen to be to see yourself recording or tilt the screen in unique filming situations
- You need an electronic viewfinder you be able to film in bright conditions
- You need video friendly features like a dedicate headphone jack, and microphone out
- You need video features in the software like focus peaking
- You need to be able to record for 30-60 minutes continously.
If you’re shooting for stock footage maybe you could benefit from a larger sensor or certain camera bodies like the Sony A7S2 and the Panasonic GH5S.
For my overall needs the Panasonic GH5 still hits all these requirements. Sure its auto focusing and low light capabilities are not the best, but for overall ability to satisfy client work, filming courses, and stock footage. This is still the best overall value. It is currently $1900 US with the 12-60 Kit lens. This is a good quality lens with good focal length.
If you want something more Expensive
The Canon C300 Mark 2 is a 4K capable cinema ready camera that is $9000 US just for the camera body with no included lenses. If is compatible with SLR EF Canon lenses and the Cinema camera lenses. https://amzn.to/2PgO3Hf
This is a tricky question. If you’re editing on Final Cut Pro x and are comfortable with the Apple ecosystem and the price then stay on there and stay with a Macbook Pro. In 2018 I kept my 2013 Macbook Pro X in case I needed to edit on FCPX, but i made a switch to windows and selected the Huawei Matebook Pro X 13.9 inch after a lot of research. This also meant I had to switch to Adobe Premiere 2019 to video edit. Looking back almost a year I don’t regret this decision. I’ve managed to successfully complete my client edits using this machine with ease. To see my in depth article on the Huawei click here.
It’s not easy switching to another operating system and video editing software, but I’m happy with the hardware. I didn’t have any issues with Microsoft updates, but I recommend you do your research as Huawei is in the middle of the US China tradewar unfortunately.
If you are ready to make the move to windows, but don’t want to get a Huawei then check outthe Dell 15 inch XPS.
In this email I’ll be recommending your first workhorse lens. Lenses are just as important as a camera body if not more important. Why? Because they may outlive the camera body. If you have a Canon SLR the Canon L Series lenses with the red stripe are all good quality for photos and videos.
With a Lens adaptor like the Viltrox you can now use Canon lenses on Micro 4/3 Sensor Camera’s like the Panasonic GH5. Here is a my video review of the Viltrox Lens Adaptor
If you prefer to stay with the native lens for the Panasonic GH5 I can happily reccomend the Panasonic Lumix Leica 12-60mm. It’s a good all around focal length with good quality. Its F2.8 when wide at 12mm and F4 at 60mm. Keep in mind on crop sensor you need to double the focal length so you’re actually getting 24-120mm. With the virtual teleconvertor function on you can get even more range.
I recently won a podcast contest and received the Rode SC6-L MOBILE INTERVIEW KIT for Apple IOS Devices. It comes with a lighting adaptor for your apple device with connections for 2 Rode lav mics and a headphone jack. You need to install the Rode app on an ios device. This device is a great simple way to get a 2 person interview with broadcast quality audio without the use of an external recorder. There is some work to do to transfer the files from your ios device, and I’ve done it using cloud storage like google.
I value portability and power. I want a drone that can shoot amazing video, 4K resolution, amazing tech, and fit in a backpack. The Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic Air are the current top contendors. The Mavic 2 is double the price, but it has the camera with the largest sensor in the current lineup giving it the best low light performance.
I was commisioned to fly Mavic Air’s for a client in Asia in 2018 and ended up keeping one for myself because the footage was so stunning, and it was so easy to carry and setup. I’ve used the Mavic Air for client shoots as well as stock footage. Here is my review as well as some sample footage
DJI has just released yet another drone called the Mavic mini. This drone doesn’t shoot 4K footage instead shoots 2.7K :(. However, it has an attractive price point $399 US, smart phone size, 30 minute flight time, and a weigh (249g) that bypasses the need for drone registration and some requirements (like drone certificate) in Canada and United States! I haven’t purchased it yet, but this should be appealing for some people that don’t need 4k.