Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gear recommendations

Here's what I use that's essential if you're going to be doing video as your full-time job and you give a s__t about the results:

* XHA1 with 4 BP970G batteries (I've never exhausted even one - you could go for a week non-stop on four)
* Sennheiser ME64 mic with K6 module and right-angle 18" xlr cable and Ricote softie wind muff and xlr "y" splitter and various xlr cables
* Sennheiser EW100 G2 ENG wireless kit from B&H with lav mic, EV stick mic and plug-on transmitter (look at the Sennheiser site to pick which freq range won't conflict with uhf tv stations in your area.)
* Canon VL-10Li II light (uses camera batteries)
* Sachtler DV-II tripod (actually I use a Cartoni, but we have several of these and they're ok for a cheap tripod - only $1k!)
* Porta Brace bag, whose model number I don't know, 'cause I inherited it from our defunct creative services department
* Petrol rain cover
* Lowel Rifa Pro 44 light kit and Impact dimmers
* Shure E2C earbuds and Sony MD7506 headphones

I can't emphasize enough how important the mics are -- this list gives you three different mics which will cover 80% of your assignments well and let you get by on the rest. If your budget is limited, get the mics first and a cheaper camera.

I also can't emphasize enough how important a decent tripod is. You can get by with a Libec $400 tripod, but that's the least you can spend, I'm afraid.

I've got the Canon wide angle but never use it anymore. Another of our videographers depends on it and never takes it off the camera. Your mileage may vary.

This adds up to a scary amount of money, I'm afraid, but compared to the TV world it's cheap.