Sony a7Riii (Full Frame) This a great camera for pictures as well as video, however when I shoot video I switch from full frame mode to crop mode to avoid aliasing. Once the Sony a7Siii comes out I will upgrade to that camera. Buy my 5 hour course on the a7R iii
Sony RX100 Mark V (1″ sensor) This is the camera I take with me on my family vacations where I can’t take a larger camera, this one fits in a jacket pocket no problem and can take some very nice 4k video as well.
Sony 18-105mm f/4 (Crop) It has a power zoom (PZ) that works smoothly and silently. I use it for filming sports because I can use the power zoom to track athletes. Couple of warnings about this lens, it will not work in full frame mode and it is not that sharp compared to the very expensive Sony 28-135mm. Because of it’s price and focal range this is a great first lens to buy.
Atomos Shogun 4k recorder. I thought this was too expensive so I picked one up used. I really like all the tools it has from the zoom in vectorscope to the 2:1 zoom feature for focus. Watch my review of the Shogun
GoPro Hero 6 Black Edition 4k 60 action camera. I do a lot of filming underwater in the summer time for our local swim league and so I need something I can use quickly that works well in full auto. I have tried using larger cameras underwater but their housing get too big and they are hard to control underwater.
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-II This card is faster than it needs to be for recording 4K footage on my Sony cameras, but I like using it because I can offload my footage about 3 times faster than the card listed below. To get the full speed out of the card when transferring files to your computer you will need a new USB3 reader.
SanDisk 64GB Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-I for Sony XAVC S 4K format video. I have used this brand for about 6 years now and I have only had one card fail on me, and SanDisk replaced it free of charge. Update, you now record on the SDHC cards for the Sony cameras but I have not tested which card works yet.
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SanDisk Micro SDXC this is the card GoPro recommends for shooting 4k footage on the Hero 4 Black edition it also works in my Sony a7rii and a7Sii for 4K recording. If you try a slower card the GoPro will lock up and you will have to pull the battery out to reboot it.
Pelican 0915 SD Case It is made out of plastic but I bet you could drive a car over this case without damage. After your shoot is done, the most important thing is getting your card or cards back safely to your office and backing them up. SD cards are so small and easy to lose that you will want to protect them the best way possible.
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Sennheiser G3 Wireless Microphone System yes this is expensive but I think it is one of the best wireless system out there. I have compared it to the newer G4 system and decided it was not worth it to upgrade.
Rode PinMic (lav mic). The microphone that comes with the Sennheiser wireless system above is not my favorite, I’ve run in to issues where it is too bright on a female voice, that is why I got the Rode PinMic. You will need to buy Sennheiser MiCon adapter since it doesn’t come with it. Watch and listen to my review where I compare the Rode PinMic and Rode Lav to the Sennheiser ME2.
Rode SmartLav+ After I ran some tests with this lav mic that you can connect to your iPhone I purchased one. The two reasons why I purchased this mic: first for backup to my Sennheiser wireless system for when batteries run out or I am getting interference, second is when I fly my cameras on a 3-axis gimbal and I can’t balance the camera with a wireless pack in the hot shoe.
Rode VideoMic Pro I also own the newer Rode VideoMic Pro Plus which has a better shock mount and sounds a little better and has a rechargeable battery with and auto shut off. I like having two of them, but if you just need one get the newer model.
Tiny Windscreens for on camera mics. I use these on most of my cameras to prevent wind noise since it’s pretty windy in Colorado. They work pretty well but they are not perfect if you get a strong gust of wind. But I use them because it helps my scratch audio track a ton compared to not having them. The sticky adhesive will not damage your camera, it comes off easily.
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Rode VC1 10′ extension cable to remote the Rode VideoMic Pro. Don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap cable like I did (it was not pretty). This cable is great for interviews by getting the microphone close to the person being interview and placing the Rode VideoMic Pro just out of frame and then connecting the other end in to the camera. I’ve used it for over 10 years and it still works great.
AKG K 240 Studio Monitor Headphones. I’ve owned these for a very long time and they are the most amazing headphones I have ever tested. There is a reason this model has been selling for decades, they are that good. I use these for mixing audio during my edit sometimes. However they are not good for field use in noisy environments since they are 600 ohms (not efficient) and semi-open design.
C-700RSV LED Bi-Color Edge Light I love this light! If you do a lot of interviews and want to travel and setup quickly or even run it on batteries this one is for you. It is bright and renders colors and skin tone nicely (ever so slight green). The link for this light I provided is to B&H which offers fast shipping and can help quickly if something goes wrong. Watch my review of this LED light here.
C-218AS LED Bi-Color I have no problem traveling with this light because it is so small and I can run it on battery power. It uses the same LED’s as the one above so it matches perfectly.
C-1500RSV Bi-Color Edge Light. This light is very large and heavy, it’s not something I will bring on a shoot, it pretty much stays in my studio or office. But it is a nice large source of soft light, and it is really bright too! It didn’t come with a carrying case.
Aputure AL-M9 This is a tiny LED light with a rechargeable battery. It is so easy to pack each time you take your camera bag. This is perfect light to use when you need just a little bit more light. I own 3 of these.
Benro Tripod I love this tripod, I use it most of the time. While it’s not a proper “video tripod” with spreader legs I love it because it’s small and lightweight. The leveling ball head makes setup fast on uneven terrain. I am really not that happy with the Benro S4 fluid head that is included with this kit so I don’t use it, I prefer the Manfrotto MVH5600AH Fluid head.
Manfrotto 055XPro3 (I have the discontinued ProB, but the Pro3 is very similar) I am tall about 6′-2″ and I like to have the camera at eye level when I am filming myself and this Manfrotto model lets me do just that at a good price. It can also handle the weight of a slider too and allows me to get smooth shots at high or different angles. It’s not made out of carbon fiber so it is not super lightweight (and super expensive).
My Manfrotto 561BHDV mono pod has been replaced with the Manfrotto MVM500A which is very similar. This is an amazing tool if you need to be fast on your feet (event coverage or run and gun). It’s lightweight, easy to adjust and creates shots that you just can’t get on my tripod if you are moving fast. I use this twice as much as my tripod. If I was buying one today I would actually buy the Benro version. Watch me use the monopod
My Manfrotto 701HDV has been replace with the Manfrotto MVH500AH (very similar to mine). It is great for wide shots and quick or whip pans and tilts. It travels really well since it is so light. Watch me compare the Fancier to the Manfrotto 701, 501 and 502.
Camera Phone Tripod Mount after going through some cheap ones that would break, I found this one that works much better. Mounts to light stand or quick release plate.
Mini Tripod I love this little thing (I own two)! I use it to mount my Rode VideoMic Pro on it for my desk and I travel with it when I can’t carry a large tripod. It is really well built. Watch as I use it as a slider on a smooth surface
SnapPod I use this tiny tripod a lot with my Rode VideoMic Pro. It fits in your pocket easily, and if you really need to you can actually use it with the RX100V.
Manfrotto Mini-Ball Head I like this really small ball head on my slider when I don’t need to pan/tilt while sliding. It makes for really fast set up because you can level out your shot quickly. This ball is very short which means the center of gravity is lower which means less shake in your slider shots.
Heavy Duty Camera Shoe Mount sometimes you will need to mount a device on top of your camera’s hot shoe like an LED light or a field monitor. I’ve used ones that are not as heavy duty as this one and those will make your device sag, but not this one, it works really well.
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Zhiyun Crane M Over the past few years I think I have tried just about all the single grip gimbals and this one by far is the best I have tested. I love not having to play with the PID settings and comes in at a good price. Watch my comparison between the Crane V2 vs Crane M.
B+W Circular Polarizer Circular polarizer for the most part will cut the glare out of your shot and add some saturation and contrast back into the image. They are only intended for outdoor use (unless you have some glass you have to shoot through inside). They can help get more dynamic range into your camera. Watch my review
Intel 7960X 16 Core Video Editing Computer, I call “Hal 2.0”. If you do a lot of video editing, especially in 4k you will want a powerful computer.
Intel Core i9‑7960X 16 core Amazon | B&H
ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe Mother Board Amazon | B&H
Corsair Dominator Platinum 64GB (8 x 8GB) Amazon
Seasonic Prime Titanium 1000 SSR-1000TD Amazon | B&H
Samsung SSD 850 Pro 2TB Amazon | B&H
Samsung SSD 850 EVO 2TB Amazon | B&H
Samsung NVMe SSD 960 Pro M.2 1TB Amazon | B&H
Samsung NVMe 960 Pro M.2 512GB Amazon | B&H
Fractal Design Define R5 w/o window white case Amazon
Fractal Design CPU Water Cooler Celsius S36 Amazon
Fractal X2 GP-14 Fans Amazon
GTX1080ti Amazon | B&H
Hard Drives WD 6TB Green Amazon | B&H
Windows 10 Home USB Amazon | B&H
Kingston Memory Card Reader Amazon | B&H
LG 34WK95U-W 34″ I love this monitor! It is so wide and great for video editing because the timeline is stretched across the whole 34″ screen.
Atdec Visidec VFS-DV Freestanding Vertical Mount for Dual Monitors. I use this for my LG 34″ monitor (bottom) and a grading monitor (top). It supports up to 27 pounds per monitor. I am pretty tall so I have my LG monitor 7″ above the desk and that still leaves room for another monitor 14.5″ tall on top of that. It is really well built and easy to assemble. Your monitors will require the standard VESA mount (most have this).
AA Battery Charger I use this to charge my AA batteries that power my wireless microphone units and my camera flashes. It gives you a ton of information on each individual battery. It charges 4 batteries at a time.
Replacement lens caps Don’t worry it happens to the best of us, these are the easiest thing to misplace. Time to buy a replacement.
Yongnuo YN560-III, I own three of these “speedlite” flashes for when I do real estate photography and sometimes portraits. I am no expert on flashes, but I can tell you they do the job and they are built to last. When I changed from Canon 5D3 to Panasonic GH4 for my photography, I had to modify my Yongnou RF-603C units.
Vello RC-S211 while I own the Sony time lapse app I like using this for daylight time lapses that require more than 990 shots (that’s the number the Sony App is limited to). Also there have been times when the Sony app would just stop in the middle of the time lapse, so when I have to get it the first time, I use this remote timer.
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X-Rite Passport Video This is the chart I use the most, it is designed for video. I use this chart for videos to make sure I have the color accurate under mixed lighting. Nice and small, I carry it everywhere in my camera case. This chart can save you a ton of time in post, it will pay for itself quickly.
Large Oval 5-1 Reflector. Small reflectors are great when you are doing photography, but when you are doing video and you need your talent to move a little then this reflector works well not only as a large fill light (using reflected light) but as a diffusion screen for when you need to soften harsh light. It has a gold, white and silver side, and the black side can be used for a flag. Watch me use the reflector
5-1 Reflector I use this a lot, and I am glad I went with this larger forty inch size. This reflector can change a terrible lighting situation in to one that makes you say wow that is amazing lighting. For the money this is your most powerful and inexpensive lighting tool you can own, every amateur can afford this one.
27lbs. Sandbags For a long time I made many crude attempts to counter balance or weigh things down so they don’t fall over, so I finally picked up three of these and I now find I am using them all the time! Pick up a couple, they are well made and should last a life time. Watch my review
C-Stand from Impact. Pound for pound a great value. Use this stand for 100 uses. It is a professional stand, but not at a professional price. This thing is a tank and will last you a life time. Watch me use the C-Stand
Reflector and Boom Stand The coolest thing about this stand is the boom arm can actually retract inside the straight part of the stand! Nice idea and it works well for holding reflectors. Watch me use this boom stand
Impact Light Stands very rugged and very affordable. They are air cushioned so it won’t hurt your fingers on the way down. They are also very light and easy to travel with in the car. Watch me use this light stand
Light Stand Bag (discontinued) This Impact light stand bag looks to be a good alternative to what I own. When I didn’t have this bag it would take several trips to the car to carry all my light stands, but with this bag I can do it in one trip. Also it looks a lot more professional rather than carrying light stands by the arm full. Watch my review of the bag.
Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap I really love this strap compared to the stock strap that comes with your camera. It places the camera in a much better spot on your body to travel with, plus it somewhat hides your camera from view compared to a normal strap (prevent theft).
Friction or “Magic” Arm These are extremely useful, not only for mounting LED lights or external small monitors on them. They are not that expensive and everyone should have at least one of these in their kit. The one I use is 8.3″. It mounts on 1/4″-20 female receptor. Single knob locks all of the arm at once. Watch my review
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Super Clamp you just don’t know how much you will use this until you get one. There are so many uses, like adding mounting a microphone to a light stand. Everyone should have at least one of these.
Benro QR6 Slide-In Video Quick Release Plate I got so tried of the Manfrotto plates coming unglued and the rubber coming off, I’ve had these Benro plates for a couple years now and the rubber is not pealing off.
Green Screen if you ever wanted to do compositing with your videos you will need either a blue or green chroma screen, I like to use green myself. It takes a bit of practice but using a green screen can be a lot of fun and give you some professional looking results. Watch me use a green screen
Step up rings Don’t buy multiple ND or polarizer filters for all your lenses, just buy one for your largest lens and then use step up rings on your smaller lenses.
The Leatherman is always in my camera bag (unless I’m on a plane). You never know when you might need to tighten up a sagging tripod leg or cut some duck tape to mount a lav under a shirt.
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Movo Sensor Loupe, every since I got mirrorless cameras I’m cleaning my sensors a lot more. This loupe helps a ton to figure out of the sensor is clean or where it needs additional cleaning.
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Rocket Air Blower this is one of the most popular tools for getting dust off you lenses before you start cleaning them with a cloth.
Zeiss Liquid Lens Cleaner I have been using this cleaner for years and it has never damaged my lenses and does a great job cleaning my lenses.
Full Blue CTB Color Conversion Gel Filter some of the tungsten lights I own sometimes need to be cooled down in color temperature so I can match light, I have big sheets of this gel to make that happen.
Software I Use
- Black Magic Resolve Studio, I don’t use Premiere Pro CC or Sony Vegas anymore, why I switched.
- Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC