Gear

To answer my most asked question. Yes, I have a girlfriend. On a serious note here is the equipment I use for making all my videos and photos. Most of it is relatively “cheap”. This just goes to show that you do not need thousands of euro to get good results for great looking video. All the gear is suited for a one-man band. I don’t have anyone to pull focus for me or set up the lighting while I’m trying to get the shot. Durability and performance are my primary goals when buying gear. All of the links are amazon affiliated so I get a little kick back to keep my server running.

DISCLAIMER

I build up my gear slowly and carefully I researched everything. I haven’t got rich parents so all of this was paid for by me for me through work and savings. I was not paid by any of the companies mentioned bellow.

Cameras


Nikon D3200 = Old A camera

You do not need a €20,000 to start with. All of my videos to the end of 2016 were shot on this camera. I won several competitions with it and put it trough hell. It’s far away from a beast but it can be picked up pretty cheap now. It’s an excellent camera for people starting off with photography or video. A lot of people say that Nikon is no good for video but I let you be the judge. I used the kit lens for over a year and it’s absolutely fine and usable. This version has a headphone jack which is an absolute must for video. Although it isn’t weather sealed It survived Cliffs of Moher downpours and Limericks deadly mist rain many times. I currently use it as B camera with the sigma lens. I can upscale the image to 4K with minimal difference to my 4K native G80. If you are someone just starting off I 100% recommend it.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2hxbyuJ


Panasonic G80 = Main Camera

This is my new A camera. I feel that I’ve overgrown my D3200 pretty quickly as a video camera and this was a much need upgrade. It’s much better in many ways to my old camera but it is almost 4x as expensive. The biggest reason I got this camera is not 4k as my Nikon upscaled looks pretty much the same with my Sigma lens when viewed on Youtube or Facebook, It is the tilty flippy screen along with decent autofocus. These features make the camera a joy to use in all situations. It’s also weather resistant so shooting in Irish summer should be a breeze. (Get it?) Since I haven’t got it for long enough I can’t recommend it fully. But it’s great so far. If you are considering to buy this camera make sure you have a laptop or PC that can handle 4k editing.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2iixj05


DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone

Probably the reason why you are here. This the entry level DJI drone and it’s quite cheap compared to their higher end models. All my drone footage has been captured on it. It’s amazing for the price. It survived quite a number of crashes and frankly I’m surprised it still works. However, this is NOT A TOY it is very dangerous and should be flown with extreme caution. I never hurt anything or anyone with it but it can be easily done because it’s fast and heavy. I will be soon upgrading to the DJI Mavic because of it’s size and improved video quality.

If you are living in Ireland you must register it here.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2hRD8R7


GoPro Hero 4

Amazing little camera. I had the Hero 3+  and I absolutely loved it until I lost it in a waterfall. Caution: don’t use the head mount when jumping into a waterfall. This camera like like it’s predecessor has been through hell and back many times with me. I put them into places where my big camera can’t fit. Like underneath my skateboard here.The image quality is great for it’s size and there are many mounts on it. I recommend you to have a look at other cheaper and usually better action cameras like AKASO EK7000 4K  as GoPro has lost its lead in the market.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2iiK8rc

 

 

Lenses


Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

That’s the kit lens that came with my trusty Nikon D3200. I used this lens for years as my main lens and it was fine. A lot of people bash on the kit lenses and their quality. However,  it’s really sharp for the price. It works ok for most situations and the 18-55mm reach is good enough for most situations. It can take a fair beating too. I took it to a beach once and the sand was and is still in it probably. So I guess that makes it a multi-purpose lens. Right? Bare in mind the lens is very loud and slow when focusing. The aperture is quite slow too for low light. I have upgraded from this lens as fast as I could afford it. However, if you are not very serious into photo and video it will do you fine.
Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2iK0SKX


 

Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 Constant

 

Killer lens that I still use with me Panasonic G80 with an adapter. The sharpness of this lens is amazing and the constant f2.8 aperture makes it great for video. I can’t recommend this lens enough. It’s quite heavy though just so you know. It comes with many variants for Canon and Nikon. I got the Nikon fit obviously. I wouldn’t give this lens up for anything.Like all my gear it survived through rough conditions and handling.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2ivaqpM


Panasonic 12-60 mm F 3.5-5.6 

Definitely on the pricey side but it makes up for it with its stabilization and built quality. A great work horse lens. It’s quiet and fast. I plan to upgrade to the f2.8 constant version when that comes out with stabilization. It’s also weather sealed so I’m not worried about ruining my camera in rain.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2ivc0bs


Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2

I love this lens. It’s definitely the cheapest of the bunch but it offers great results. Probably the best bang for your buck around. It’s quite often on sale so keep an eye out for it. There are many drawbacks to it. It’s useless for video useless you have a steady tripod even then it shakes easily. It offers no stabilization with is a mush for telephoto lenses like this. It’s painfully slow and loud too. However, for the price it’s amazing. It’s ideal for photos. I shoot all my portraits on it.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2ivbdY1


Panasonic H-H025E-K 25 mm/F1.7 ASPH Lens

 

This is a must for any photographer or videographer. Everyone online talks about the nifty fifty and how amazing it is. This is 25mm is that nifty 50(the crop factor of m4/3 Panasonic makes it so). I always thought it was useless to have prime lens even though I never owned one until now. the f 1.7 shines in low light and when trying to get that depth of field. It’s about the same size and weight as my 12-60mm lens. I can’t imagine my life without it. Even though I bout it for 2x the price you can buy it now it was worth every cent. PS: the zoom range is absolutely silent when only wearing socks.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2hRKdB9

 

 

 

Stabilisation


 

XCSOURCE Magnesium Aluminium Alloy Tripod/Monopod


Excellent tripod that I’ve been carrying on my back for over 2 years. It has never let me down yet and I’m grateful for it. I dragged it along for some of my long bicycle tours and mostly regretted it because of its weight and size. I would consider getting these quick release plates to let you take your camera out quickly. I can’t imagine living without them.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2in57f7

Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom Tripod

Probably the handiest thing I ever bought for self. I find new uses for it all the time. Holds my cameras well in all sorts of positions. I used it to hold down a microphone from a ceiling lamp the last day.  WARNING: Can sometimes let go and drop so use a string or something if you can. Definitely pick up these quick release plates to let you take your camera out quickly. I use them all the time and are compatible with the expensive Manfrotto ones.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2iKblGr


Kenley Professional 100cm Camera Track Slider

Excellent slider but a bit on the expensive side for what it is. You can achieve some great results after a couple hours of practice. A ball head is a must accessory when buying it. I use it quite a lot when doing some projects. It’s quite bulky and heavy though. Regular maintenance to keep it smooth is also required.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2hAou4C


Eimo DSLR Camera Stabilizer

 


Glidecams tend to be the best and reliable way to stabilize your camera. This one requires quite a while to balance properly but once it’s done throw a quick release plate on it to save you time. I’ve been using it over 2 years and  I still haven’t mastered it completely. But I’m comfortable enough in most situations. I’m considering to get the electronic stabilizers but the technology isn’t quite there yet in my opinion.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2in4iTk

 

 

 

Audio


Rode VIDEOMICPRO

Audio is probably the most important and overlooked part of making videos. This shotgun microphone is a must have for any videographers. It might be a little pricey but it’s worth saving up for. I always have it with me because of its handy size and the battery lasts for about 10hours of usage. The deadcat is also a must for recording any audio outside. I also bought the 3m extension cable to get close to the source without getting an external recorder.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2htTL4i

 


Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Microphone

Best way to record interview audio. It’s a bit pricey but it is well worth it. I usually hook it up to my phone and sync it up in post production. Careful not to lose it!

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2htECjw

 

 

Lighting


Basic Light Reflector


Simplest and cheapest way to blow out some of the shadows. I don’t get to use it half as much as I would like because I’m usually behind the camera. However when I get a chance I love flipping it out for the wow factor alone. WARNING: It might hit you when it’s flying out of the pouch. Learning how to put it away quickly will also save you from embasement. Not speaking from experience alright…

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2ivha7b


Bestlight 160 LED Studio Lighting Kit

 

Excellent light especially for the price. I use it quite a lot since it’s battery powered. It’s so bright it will make you blind. The stands included are alright ad hold up the light reasonably well on an even surface. It’s relatively compact and light. I’m highly considering in buying a second one.

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2imQxE2

 

 

 

Software


Adobe Creative Cloud


Adobe has done something great here. I absolutely love their products even though they have a tendency to crash. All the programs link together seamlessly which is amazing and saves so much time. I don’t tend to use a lot of plug-ins. Here are the main programs I use:

Premiere Pro: Video Editing/Colour grading
After Effects: Creating titles and effects
Audition: Audio editing/ noise reduction
Photoshop: Photo editing and any graphic work
Lightroom: Batch photo editing
Illustrator: Graphics creation

Current pricing and availability: http://amzn.to/2in5Fl0

 

Whoa if you got all the way down here I want to congratulate you and give you a virtual high five.