I don’t know about you, but when it comes to choosing a gift for any of my fellow filmmakers, finding the perfect present for Christmas has always been a struggle. Things can get even trickier when you consider the overwhelming number of lenses, mounting systems, monitors, gimbals, lights, adapters, and whatnot, not to mention the smaller bits and pieces that can easily make you lose your marbles.
Luckily, avid Sony Alpha user Jason Vong suggests a reasonably-priced wishlist full of accessories that can not only be meaningful holiday presents for any of your buddies but these can also serve your own creative workflow just as well.
Since Vong’s list covers an assortment of accessories with varying purposes, all the products mentioned in the video have been divided into a few convenient sections outlined below. So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Ergonomics and Usability Upgrades
Even though Sony Alpha cameras are generally well-regarded in terms of usability, there are a few design limitations that some shooters may find cumbersome to eat with. From lower-than-expected battery life to slightly uncomfortable ergonomics, the following gifts can go a long way in making your creative friend’s shooting experience way more pleasant.
- Sony RMT-DSLR2 (B&H, Amazon)
- Allows for remote operation of their Sony camera, including wireless recording and shutter triggers.
- Meike MK-X1EM Metal Bracket Hand Grip for Sony Cameras (Amazon)
- This is a less-expensive alternative to the Sony Pink Extension, though untested by Vong himself.
- Meike Battery Grip (Amazon)
- Not only does this provide a larger surface area for gripping the camera, but it can also double your shooting time with support for up to two batteries. Pricing will vary depending on your recipient’s camera model.
- Sony Pinky Grip Extension (Amazon)
- This is an OEM product that extends the amount of grip the camera operator has on the unit, making handheld operation more comfortable. Best for the Sony a9, a7III, and a7III.
Mounting, Support, and Storage Systems
Since Sony cameras themselves already cost a significant amount of money, filmmakers often overlook purchasing a high-quality or mobile mounting solution, let alone investing in a proper carrying case. That’s why the following gift ideas are perfect for those in need of rigging or storage gear – from bags to tripods and everything in between.
- Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod (B&H, Amazon)
- This tabletop tripod is perfect for vloggers who are hand-holding their camera, or for budding creatives in need of a discrete and ultra-portable tripod.
- Peak Design SlideLITE Strap (Amazon)
- For $50 this may be expensive for a strap. However, its convenient quick-release mechanism allows shooters to rapidly detach the strap when it becomes inconvenient when filming or taking photos.
- Peak Design Capture Clip V3 (Amazon)
- This ingenious clip mechanism enables Sony-shooters to attach and detach their camera from a backpack or sling bag with ease.
- Peak Design Everyday Sling 5L Camera Bag (Amazon)
- This is a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing camera bag––spacious and durable, perfect for transporting a Sony camera from one location to another.
- Manfrotto Befree Sony Alpha Edition (Amazon)
- In collaboration with Sony, Manfrotto created a Sony-inspired version of their light-weight and durable tripod – easily transportable, perfect for vacation or run-and-gun shoots.
Lenses (for APS-C Cameras)
While most great lenses typically will set you back around $400 and above, the two pieces of glass listed in the video are for more experimental shooting purposes allowing you to boost your creativity and save a few bucks along the way. Plus, they have one standout feature – outrageously low f-stops, resulting in gloriously soft shallow depth-of-field.
External Audio/Video Accessories
The last section featured in this article are a series of accessories that operate in conjunction with your mirrorless camera. From lights to microphones to monitors, these are some prime picks when it comes to choosing a gift for Sony Alpha shooters.
- Rode VideoMicro Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- This microphone is compact and portable, and even comes with a deadcat in the box. While it won’t give your recipient broadcast-quality audio, it will definitely improve scratch audio, or it can be used for selfie-style shooting scenarios.
- AndyCine A6 Monitor 5.7-inch monitor (Amazon)
- This feature-packed monitor allows filmmakers to easily view their footage on a display larger than what’s included on the camera – essential for proper framing on more involved sets.
- Flashpoint Zoom Mini Speedlite (B&H, Amazon)
- (Also known as the Godox TT350S) This mobile flash attachment helps brighten your image and can be used in conjunction with other Godox flash trigger systems.
- SD Card Reader for iPhones (Apple Lighting to SD Card Reader) (Amazon)
- For mobile shooters, this allows them to seamlessly transfer photo and video from their camera to their Apple device, on-the-go.
- Viltrox LED Light L116T (Amazon)
- This slim, easy-to-carry product is perfect for acting as a light source in small spaces or for small subjects. In fact, this light may even be perfect as an eye-light.
So, there you have it! Any of the above offerings will do the trick just don’t forget to add your gratitude and appreciation if you really want to make your present count. Merry Christmas!
[source: Jason Vong]
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