14 Pieces of Videography Equipment For the Beginner Filmmaker
Videography skills are in demand in many industries. Whether you capture videos of special events, documentaries or for any other creative purposes, you need the right videography equipment to film and edit your videos. Choosing the right equipment can help you create videos that show off your creative and editing skills. In this article, we discuss the importance of choosing the right videography equipment with a list of items to add to your inventory.
Why is choosing the right videography equipment important?
The right videography equipment can make a difference when it comes to the quality of your completed video. You might also find it easier to complete projects when you have the right equipment. Some pieces of videography equipment, like your camera and audio cables, are necessary to shoot videos. Other pieces, like a tripod or external microphone, you may decide to add later to improve the professionalism of your videos.
Here are a few important pieces of videography equipment to consider:
1. Video camera
A video camera is the basis of your videography equipment. It will likely set the tone for the type of equipment you pair with it. You might choose a DSLR or mirrorless camera, or even use your smartphone. When choosing the right video camera, consider things like:
Budget: Video cameras come in all different budgets. Consider how much you want to spend on your camera before shopping.
Type of video shooting: Consider the type of video shooting you plan to do, with options like static or stealth. You also want to consider options like high definition or 4K.
Where you publish your videos: How, and where, you plan to publish your videos can help you choose the right camera. You might choose a webcam, action camera or camcorder.
If your videos include audio: Some video cameras have better built-in audio settings. However, you can also always add an external audio source if the camera you want does not.
Related: How To Make a Good Video in 6 Steps
A tripod is a piece of equipment that keeps your camera sturdy when filming. It is useful when shooting static videos. It also allows you to pan across multiple angles with a smoother transition. When choosing the right tripod, consider things like:
Durability: If your videography projects take you away from home, you want to choose a tripod that is durable.
Flexibility: You also want to consider how flexible a tripod is. A fluid head tripod allows you to move your camera as needed. You might even choose a slider if you prefer to run and shoot.
Fit: You want a tripod that is made to fit your video camera. Even if you're shooting with your iPhone, there are tripods designed for specific models.
Height: Most tripods can be extended for additional height but do have a limit. Make sure you choose a tripod that is the right height for your subjects.
3. Camera lighting
A camera light can help you highlight your focus subject or fill in dark spots. Lights are also a useful accessory when filming interviews or documentaries. A light reflector can be useful in improving the quality of your videos. If you plan on shooting most of your videos in a single location, then you might choose a videography studio lighting kit.
Even if your camera comes with a built-in microphone, a stand-alone one can give you a higher quality of video audio. Having a microphone ensures you capture all necessary sounds when filming. Here are a few microphone types to consider:
Boom pole: A boom pole allows you to capture audio from multiple subjects. It is ideal for larger groups or crowds.
Wireless microphone: A wireless microphone improves audio from your subjects. It is a good option if you don't have someone to hold a boom.
Portable digital: A portable digital audio recorder is an external microphone that you can also use to capture additional sounds.
Shotgun microphone: A shotgun microphone allows you to pinpoint specific audio cues. You can attach it to a boom pole or hold it manually.
Handheld microphone: Handheld microphones are good for run-and-shoot types of videos. They give you more control over movement when you're filming.
Lapel microphones: Lapel microphones are convenient in that you can attach them to your subject's shirt or collar. This gives you clearer audio sounds.
5. Audio cables
Audio cables connect your microphone to the camera. They can give you a higher quality of sound. A few audio cables you might need include:
HDMI: HDMI cables fit most DSLR or high-definition camcorders.
USB: USB cables are important for connecting your camera to your computer for editing purposes.
XLR: You might need an XLR cable if you want a balanced audio signal.
MIDI: You might need MIDI cables if you're transferring musical instruments to your videos.
A good pair of headphones can help you when editing sounds and compiling clips of your video. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right pair of headphones:
Comfort: You spend a lot of time editing and headphones with sufficient cushioning can be important to the process.
Type of operation: Determine the type of operation you use when creating videos. Considering if you use your headphones primarily for editing, or you also need them for mixing can help you choose the right ones.
Fit: Fit can be a matter of preference but headphones are available in different styles including open-back, closed-back and semi-open.
Isolation: The level of foam on a pair of headphones is not only about comfort. It can also influence the isolation of sounds which can make a difference when it comes to editing videos.
Camera lenses allow you to adjust your camera based on what you are filming. They come as either a prime lens, which is a lens with a fixed focal length, or a zoom lens, which has a variable focal distance. Here are a few types of lenses to consider:
Wide-angle: WIde-angle lenses have a small focal length that allows you to take in more of your subject.
ND filter: A natural density filter controls the level of light in your videos.
Macro lens: Macro lenses are good for capturing closeups of inanimate objects.
Versatile kits: If you're new to videography or building your equipment for the first time, you might choose a versatile kit.
Adding a few batteries to your videography equipment can help you prepare for long film days. Always bring at least four extra batteries with you. If you're shooting all day or over the course of the weekend, you may need even more than that. Rechargeable batteries are always a good idea because you can charge the batteries when they're not in use.
9. Memory cards
It is also good to prepare with extra memory cards. Make sure they are the right fit and type for your camera and that they are empty. Compact flash memory cards are the best option because they are small and can hold a lot of video footage. You also want to consider how much storage they offer. Memory cards come in all different sizes including16GB, 32GB and 64GB.
10. Hard drive
An external hard drive is useful if you plan to capture a lot of footage. You can use it to transfer your videos from your camera and continue shooting. When you're done shooting for the day, you can easily transfer the footage from the portable hard drive to your desktop computer for editing.
11. Camera bag
You need a good camera bag to transport your videography equipment between jobs. It can be helpful to stock up on your videography equipment first so you know how much storage you need. You want a camera bag that is sturdy, weather-resistant and protective.
12. Mount rig
A mount rig can help you capture smoother videos, especially in situations when a tripod may not be realistic. Other mount rigs you might consider include:
The dolly: A dolly comes with a track that gives you more fluidity with filming.
Jibs and cranes: Jibs and cranes allow you to film at elevated heights, sweeping through different radiuses.
Shoulder rigs: Shoulder rigs give you more freedom to move around while mounting the camera to your shoulder.
Dynamic stabilizers: Dynamic stabilizers give you free movement without the choppiness that can come with handheld videos.
13. Live streaming monitors
Live streaming monitors allow you to watch your videos while filming and editing them. There are a lot of live streaming monitors available in the market. You want to consider things like size, brand and price. Larger streaming monitors are not always better, especially if you film and edit on the go.
14. Video editing software
Once you finish capturing your videos, you need a good video editing software program. You also need a good computer to store your data and videos. There are a lot of options available and the best one for you will depend on your type of editing. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a video editing software:
Price: Video editing software programs come at all different price points. Consider your budget ahead of time.
Available features: Consider what features are most important to you. Video editing software allows you to cut and combine videos, add text, include music or add special effects.
Editing knowledge: It can also be helpful to consider your editing knowledge. Some programs are better suited for beginners whereas others are designed for videographers with previous knowledge.
Customer support: It is also a good idea to consider a video software program that has a built-in support system.