Thinking about creating video with your DSLR camera? Then read on!
Many still photographers are moving into videography. It’s a natural step, with DSLR’s offering the essential tools to experiment with. Video has some different rules from photography, so you’ll need to purchase or rent some accessories, to make for an easier experience.
Let’s assume you currently have a DSLR with video capabilities and a couple of lens to go with it. You can certainly use some of your existing lenses, we do recommend using Zeiss CP.2 lenses, or Canon Cine lenses as they generally work better with video. Additionally, when it comes to moving subjects, maintaining focus can be more of a challenge. Manual or motorized follow focus systems can help.
Here are some suggestions for the essential DSLR videography kit.
Variable Neutral Density Filter
A Variable Neutral Density filter allows videographers to control exposure without having to change aperture or shutter speed. They are also needed when shooting outside in bright sunlight with wider apertures.
Once you get used to it, focusing manually is the way to go. It is not easy, but can be achieved with the help of a follow focus rig. A Follow Focus can be used on any camera lens and usually attaches to base plate and 15mm rod system. Some Cine lenses have the teeth built in, while traditional DSLR lenses make use of an attachable lens gear that fits around the focus ring.
Audio Recording Gear
Using the audio recording built into the camera captures everything, and we mean everything! From the noises inside the camera to the noises you create adjusting controls or moving the gear around.
To achieve better audio quality, an external microphone is the solution most will probably adopt. The most common mics used are small camera mounted shotgun mic, slave mics, and shotgun mics on boom poles.
The Zoom H6n Recorder is a lightweight, versatile and rugged, audio solution for location videography. This portable recorder can be placed on top of your DSLR as a microphone, or placed anywhere near the subject. You can rent a complete kit, which includes a padded carrying case, a tabletop tripod stand, a foam windscreen, a detachable microphone handle, a USB cable, and an AC power adapter. It is also possible to use it as a field mixer and attach multiple professional mics.
Continuous lighting is essential for videography, and LEDs are the easiest way to have light wherever you go. We can recommend several different types of continuous light sources like tungsten, HMI or LED.
We recommend packing ample batteries for powering camera accessories and some lower powered LED lights.
Have lots on hand, video unlike still photos is memory intensive. Especially so if you are shooting 4K.
Fluid head tripod or monopod are useful in creating greater production value for your shots.
At first, purchasing the lenses, lights, audio equipment, and various other gear may seem like a barrier to entry. Most videographers we work with prefer to rent what they need when they need it. If you work mostly outside, then the audio recorder may be your most important choice, allowing you to enter the realm of creating good quality audio for your videos. LED lights may be essential if you mostly work in locations with questionable power.
These are our suggestions for an essential videographer kit. Always keep in mind that we also offer a wide range of accessories for video projects. This includes everything from truck rentals, grips, dollys, carts, monitors and other production equipment.