Posting a Huge Update to the blog’s “Gear Page” for 2014

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After more than 13 million visits in 5 years to this blog, the site’s top landing spot has been the "Gear Page.

I was one of the first to put one of these sections up in the HDSLR world 4+ years ago, and oh my, how times (and gear!) have changed.    The original intent of the section was to try to create a good resource that would help answer the hundreds of e-mails I would receive each week from people looking to put together the best kit for their HDSLR kits.  

I and several others have put a significant amount of energy into this section and I decided it was time to do a major update – now with close to 400 items listed (!!!)  that go beyond the HDSLR world that we now work in and include the new cine-series cameras, lenses, and accessories.  


You’ll find everything from HDSLR recommendations,  Cine Cameras, Lenses, Monitors + Wireless, Audio, Lighting, External recorders, Media, Tripods, Jibs, Time Lapse … basically you name it: it’s there  (It took us nearly 8 weeks to update the 49 sections with the latest and greatest ‘current’ gear.)  And while this wasn’t the original intent – I guess this is just in time for your year-end purchases or holiday gifts (if you’re so lucky!)  

You’ll also find a new MōVI section with my favorite gear that I’ve been using steadily for 3 months now (since I got my production MōVI)   

SawmillAnd I’m also starting to list some gear that I’ve helped create in a new section titles "Laforet Edition Gear" – including a beautiful wooden handle that is hand made by Sawmill Cinema that I’ve wanted to have since the first day I held a DSLR (and secretly lusted for an Aaton camera w/ those gorgeous wooden handles.)  I’ve never put my name to anything (I’ve resisted it to be honest) but I find it appropriate that this be the first product given that it’s the furthest possible thing from a mass production product, and made by one craftsman, one handle at a time by hand.

So what makes this gear section different than all others?  

Well I’ve done my best to not only list what I use, but also to explain WHY I’ve chosen each piece of gear and to include actual examples of resulting videos/images, links to previous posts on this blog,  and whenever possible anecdotes.

I’ve actually used every single piece of gear in this section at one point or another – I’m not randomly picking items that I "think" will work.  I’ve gone into painstaking detail and done my best to explain why "x" kit is better than "y" kit for "z" application, and why "y" might be better in another situation.

I’ve also done my best to keep things as realistic as possible in terms of budgets – given the generally high prices in the cine world.  

I’m not listing anything I wouldn’t buy myself, or recommend to a colleague or friend.

To that end, I’ve put up a new section, the "Kit" section where I’ve put together 3 "starting" kits for 3 levels of filmmakers.  

This is clearly the #1 request I get on a regular basis:  "What should I start off with to film "x" type of project."   This is my best attempt at answering that.  

Obviously you’ll want to mix and match, but I’ve done my best to put together the same list I’d put together were a colleague or family member to ask me for advice and I’ve done my best to make each kit "work" within the three budget categories.  

What you won’t see:   An Alexa or Epic kit that would easily take you in the 6 figure $ category – I didn’t think that would apply to readers of this blog.

So go ahead and check out the new sections – I’ve included a list of the categories and subcategories below.   You’ll find that we’ve put a tremendous amount of energy into this (special thanks to Justin Hamilton for doing all of the coding) and I look forward to continuing to update this list as we go forward, likely on an annual basis: 

Custom Kits for Filmmakers:
Basic Kit – for those dipping their toes into the HDSLR / motion world who want to buy gear they can grow with. (And for still photographers)
Recommended Kit – this is for those in film schools, or working on HDSLR and up productions who are more serious, and need "production gear" that is still within grasp.
Advanced Kit – a lot of this is what I use everyday when shooting w/ HDSLRs or C-Series camera.  Everything listed hear will continue to be put to work as you grow into bigger productions.   The lenses & accessories are the "best of breed," durable, and can easily make the transition with you for use on high end productions when the time comes.
Here are the individuals categories with their subcategories:
Super 35 / Cine
Action Sports
Canon EF / Zeiss ZE  – Prime lenses / Zoom
Cine Lenses – Prime Lenses / Zoom Lenses  
axis1_1This should be a popular section and I fully intend to continue to fill it out with more gear.  Keep in mind that I always test the gear I use on real world productions (usually for a few weeks to months) prior to recommending them – for example I used the Hocus Products Axis 1 Single-Channel Wireless Focus system for over three months without a single hitch, and only then did I list it.  It’s been called the "Rolls Royce" of single-channel wireless follow focus systems and earned approval from veteran Hollywood 1st ACs which is hard to come by…  You’ll also find my favorite monitoring solutions in this section, as well as an explanation as to why I used both the Teradek Bolt system, as well as the Paralinx Arrow.
Fluid Head / Tripods
Handheld Kits
Mounting Solutions
Additional Support 

Rail Components
Camera Remotes
Loupes & EVFs
On-Board Monitors
Off-Board Monitoring
Wireless Solutions

CF Cards, Media & Readers
External Recorders
Phew!   Well I’m glad to finally put up this update!  I hope you appreciate it, and feel free to post feedback, questions, and suggestions in the comments section.  I’ll get to those as often as I can – hopefully I’ll have answered most of your questions in the sections themselves!