In the filmmaking world, there are dozens of lists you’ll find laying around. The best monitors, the best cameras, the best lenses, the best workstations, and so on. Why is that the case? Probably the craft of filmmaking is particularly geared (pun intended! ) toward tech because of the specific know-how that is needed and that feels out of this world to most people.
The fact that this industry is quickly changing and evolving also drives us to do continuous upgrading. First, it was the 35mm lens adapters, then the DSLRs, now mirrorless cameras, and who knows what will be the next revolution. Anyway, some things we never seem to have enough are accessories. After our base kit of camera and lens, we have plenty of gear we can cater to, and Henbu has a list of his best choices.
#1 – Quick Plate
There are many kinds of plates for our cameras, but quick plates have an inherent advantage in their being, well… quick! One simple movement and your camera is in place. This is particularly useful if you have to bounce from handheld or tripod to a gimbal since you don’t need to balance again the setup if you keep the same lens configuration.
#2 – Lavalier
A good mic is an essential tool for all filmmakers. Most people go for a shotgun kind of mic, but that’s not it. A radio lavalier can come handy in most interview situations, and this particular Tascam one has a great auto feature that allows to let the mic itself handle its sensitivity.
As a professional, it’s always better to keep track of your audio without relying on this kind of automatic functions, but from time to time it may be a lifesaver, like if you’re recording yourself and can’t monitor at the same time.
#3 – Camera Strap
It may seem a strange choice as almost every DSLR or mirrorless comes with its own camera strap, so why should you bother to buy another one? Well, this one, in particular, is no ordinary one. This strap by Peak Design is very nice and handy. It has a quick release system that allows to strap on and off the belt with no effort at all.
It’s easy and if you need to rest your arms or need to stabilize your handheld footage when you are in a run and gun situation, this will be a great choice.
#4 – Soft Microfiber Cloth
It happened to all of us. A fingerprint, some dust, or even some mud if you work in tougher environments. What can you do to clean the lens now? Some go for their shirts, some try with handkerchiefs, others, the most prepared ones, keep a bunch of microfiber cloths around their bag.
They are cheap, you can easily find 5o-packs online for dirt-cheap, and they are unbelievably useful. Next time you get a smudge on the lens, tuck your shirt and go grab one from your pocket.
#5 SD Card Holder
Almost all cameras these days shoot on tiny SD cards. The market has shifted from the cumbersome and expensive Compact Flash cards (although CFast 2.0 are gaining traction) to the much smaller and light SD cards.
But small and light usually means also less resistant, and more prone to breaking. That’s why you should consider a card holder to keep your media safe. No risk of data loss or physical damage if you use this small enclosure to store your cards in, it fits in a pocket and you’ll be much safer this way.
#6 – SD Card
Wait…what? How can this be an accessory? Well’ it actually isn’t, but the point is not having just any SD card. A good SD card like the Sony Memory Card 128GB, UHS-II SDXC will be a great gift you make to yourself. A decent write speed, at least 100Mb/s, and a decent brand on top will make your experience as a filmmaker so much easier.
#7 – An even better SD Card
This may seem like a joke, but it actually isn’t. Real high-quality SD cards can be rugged, water resistant and have much higher read and write speeds, up to 300MB/s.
That’s quite necessary when working with high-end cameras with data-heavy codecs. They are expensive, it’s true, but that’s worth it since it will decrease chances of unforeseen card failures significantly.
So here we are, seven tools you should keep in your gear bag. Do you agree? Would you swap something in the list? Let us know in the comments!