The old set up. I do miss it in some ways.

As was promised, a post on all the new filming gear. Let’s just start out with a bit of a disclaimer…. I am an amateur of an amateur when it comes to photography and cinematography. With that out the way, if you have skills and talents with that rectangular box with a cylindrical tube coming out the front, then please leave your comments below. They would be greatly appreciated! 

With the previous post on filming equipment (you can find it here). Well ignore that because all that gear is out the window! To be honest, now that I’ve looked for it after our house move I can’t even find it sadly. The idea was always to get better gear as soon as possible. Yes that set up was great to make videos of various escapades to interesting places but not good enough to make broadcast quality documentaries. And that, my dear friends, is the aim! 

Ok let us roll on to the topic at hand. Now all of this gear I bought after extensive online research. A lot of bits were based on price. So I was trying to get the best I could with what I had to spend. If I’ve got any of them wrong would you please let me know in the comments below? 

Here we go. I’ve gone the dSLR route. Yes it’s heavier than my last set up but I think it’s a bit better too……. I’m using a Canon 5D mark II. Why? Because that’s the bad boy that really threw the cat among the pigeons with regards to dSLR and shooting quality video. Luckily the Canon 5D mark III was out so I could pick up a mark II at a reasonable price. (I see now they’ve even released the 5DS and 5DS R!)

 
The 'new' camera. I love it!

I still have to try carry as light a load as possible. This means I’ve had to look for an ‘all-rounder’ in the lens department. It would be great if I could take more than one but I just don’t see that as a viable option. So I’ve gone with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. It is quite versatile as it dips into by the wide angle and zoom arenas. I’m sure this is the choice that would kick up the most debate.

 
If you're looking for one all rounder lens... here you go.

To stick on the front of the lens I have a Hoya UV filter (always on for protection to the lens), along with both a Hoya polarising filter and a Hoya variable density filter. I’m convinced I’ll need the vari-ND filter as probably 90% of shooting will be outside. But, do I really need the polarising filter? 

For audio, which I have learnt is super important. It makes up 50% of the input a person takes in while watching a video. I watched a lot of videos comparing different horseshoe mount microphones. I kept coming back to the Rode VideoMic and the Rode VideoMic Pro. In all the tests I saw there was not much of a difference in performance between the two but a decent difference in price. In the end I went with the VideoMic Pro as I was able to pick one up for a good price.

 
Never, ever forget the importance of audio!

As pointed out two paragraphs ago 90% of filming will be outside. With that in mind wind is probably going to be ever present. Yay, that means I get to buy something sometimes called a ‘dead cat’ or ‘dead kitten’. Brilliant! I was by default going to by the official Rode DeadCat until by chance I saw this video. After that I went straight away and ordered the Micover dead cat from the US. Granted it took about 5/6 weeks to get here!

 
If you're filming outside, you need a 'dead cat'. Period.

Lastly what I’d like to mention is the tripod. Weight was a big factor cause as you remember I’m going to have to carry everything on my back while I’m running. That means there was only one option. That was to go with a carbon fibre tripod. Now the problem with carbon fibre tripods is the price. So either it was find a cheap carbon fibre one or shell out for an expensive one. The first option was by far more appealing. I did a lot of searching…. Eventually I came across the Giottos GT8223 & 5011N. Good stuff, a carbon fibre tripod and a head at a decent price. Game on!

   
If you're looking at getting quality shots, get yourself a tripod. End of story!

Well that’s it for the video gear that I have. I know I’ll need more CF cards, batteries and a bag (I’m eyeing the LowePro Toploader 50AW). Also, if I am able to raise the funds I’ll look at getting a second hand GoPro Hero 3, for those handheld running shots. Apart from that stuff what else do you suggest I might need? Remember weight is a massive consideration! 

Thanks for reading and please leave comments on tips and tricks for filming that might be helpful as well as your opinion on the gear. 

Cheers.