Advanced Kit

 

 

CAMERA  |  LENSES  |  SUPPORT  |  ACCESSORIES  |  MONITORING

JIBS & SLIDERS  |  AUDIO  |  LIGHTING  |  POWER  |  MEDIA & COMPUTING

 

CAMERA

Cinema EOS C100 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  A diamond in the rough – this is such a SMALL STEALTHY camera that it’s a perfect A or B cam for most productions.   How do you "supersize it" use and external recorder such as an Atomos Ninja and record the clean HDMI output from this camera and guess what?  You’re basically getting the same image quality as you would from the C300  – for a lot lot less.  Shhh..  I would shoot with the C-Series cameras without hesitation over ANY HDSLR solution out there – period.  Why?  The built in features in these cameras will quickly erase the price difference once you consider all of the accessories you end up buying for your HDSLRs to make them do what these cameras can do right out of the box. 

Description (from B&H): The Canon EOS C100 inherits the design concept of the EOS C300, which put DSLR quality video in a groundbreaking form factor with the key features of a more traditional video camera. The C100 has been optimized for run-and-gun and one-man-band style shooting, a specialty of event videographers, documentarians and independent filmmakers. This camera is about 15% smaller than the C300, and yet its 1080p image will hold-up nicely beside that of the more expensive camera. The C100 even has a few features not found in the C300, like One Shot AF, Push Auto Iris, a built-in microphone and non-compression HDMI out with superimposed timecode and 2:3 pull down marker.

Cinema EOS C300 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I was one of 4 filmmakers to shoot the first test films with this camera.   I would recommend this cameras hands down to any filmmaker – especially TV, Indies and documentary shooters.   The latitude of the exposure, and low light performance are stunning.  This is currently one of the top cameras out there in the market and has truly taken over the market since it was released nearly two years ago.  This is basically the 5D MKIII all grown up – with all of the professional production features one needs.  Time code,  XLR inputs and audio monitoring… this is HDSLRS as they should have been.

Also available in PL Mount.

Description (from B&H): The Cinema EOS C300 takes what professionals love about DSLR filmmaking – access to a vast selection of widely available lenses, a large sensor that facilitates a shallow depth of field, and portable operation with a modular, compact camera – and addresses its shortcomings. That means that unlike DSLR cameras, this Cinema EOS camcorder is designed inside and out for professional cinematographers capturing motion pictures that will stand up to rigorous post-production processes.

Cinema EOS C500 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is Canon’s marquee camera for 4K production and it’s gorgeous.   Coupled with certain external recorders it’s capable of up to 120 frames per second and renders an image that is very close (but not quite) the Alexa – the current gold standard in digital cinema.   Definitely a very worth camera to consider when you consider the price, weight and size.

Also available in PL Mount.

Description (from B&H): The Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (EF Lens Mount) represents Canon’s first foray into the world of 4K digital cinema production. Sharing a sensor with the earlier EOS C300 camera, the EOS C500 fulfills the potential of the large (Super 35mm-size), high-resolution (8.8 Mp effective) CMOS imager by offering full 4K RAW output via 3G-SDI. The C500 also has a body type in common with the C300. Featuring large, accessible buttons with ridges dividing them, the EOS C500 has been designed expressly for the craft of digital cinema. Its signal output is similarly appropriate: At rates up to 60 frames per second, the 10-bit 4K RAW data stream output can be recorded to an approved external device (sold separately) at full resolution. Using a format called 4K half RAW, which halves the horizontal resolution, you can capture up to 120 fps to the external recorder by using both of the C500’s 3G-SDI outputs.

 

LENSES

  11-16mm T/2.8 Wide Cine Zoom B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:   This is one of the most versatile (and therefore popular) wide-angle zooms out there that almost every DP/Rental house owns.  Take it to the next level and get this model that’s been re-housed for cine purposed by Duclos.

Description (from Duclos): Duclos Lenses has developed a conversion process for the Tokina 11-16mm ultra-wide angle lens. Most obvious is the PL mount that interfaces with any PL mount camera including the RED Epic. More subtle yet most important is the activated manual aperture control. Lubricated, geared, and marked, the new aperture ring allows precise control for the user. The outer shell of the lens has been replaced with black anodized aluminum. Internal components are refined and reenforced. The final product is a small, lightweight lens perfectly capable of holding it’s own against the likes of other motion picture optics. Now also available in Canon Eos and Nikon F mount.

CP.2 Distagon 15mm T/2.9 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: The CP.2 lenses give you all of the advantages of cinema glass (T stops measurements, a geared focus ring with hard stops, and sharp optics) for a fraction of the price.   This is also the sharpest "affordable" cine prime that I’ve used.   I won’t leave home without it.   I would say that the Zeiss CP.2 lenses are the most intelligent investment people can make in terms of versatility: due to their interchangeable mounts you can use these on both Canon EF camera mounts (stills cameras + video) as well as PL.   That means you’ll be using these lenses for decades to come, even if you upgrade to the fancier (more expensive) cine glass as you progress.   This was my first cine prime set and I still use it today.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 15mm/T2.9 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).  

CP.2 Distagon 25mm T/2.9 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is the wide angle lens I use the most by far.  It’s excellent for medium wide shots and absolutely sings when it comes to doing tight portraits.   Also Stanley Kubrick’s favorite focal length btw…

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 25mm/T2.9 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).  

CP.2 Distagon 35mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Were I forced to start with a set of four CP.2 lenses – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.   Still photographers should think of this as their 50mm lens (on a full frame camera) and it’s one of the single most popular focal lengths for all of the medium shots in cinema.

Description: The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 35mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).

CP.2 Distagon 50mm T/2.1 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Were I forced to start with a set of four CP.2 lenses – this would be one of the 4 that I would choose.    This is a fantastic lens for MCU (Medium closeup) and CU  (Closeup) shots.  A STANDARD cinema prime that is very commonly used.

Description (from Zeiss): The Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T2.1 Cine Lens (EF Mount) is part of the second generation of CP cinema lenses that were the first to offer full-frame 35mm coverage of large sensor DSLRs (such as the Canon 5D Mark II).

24mm T/1.5 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This would be one of the most common focal lengths I use for cine and at 1.5 – we’re entering the Arri Master Prime range….  I haven’t had a chance to do head to head vs Zeiss yet but will update once I have done some lens tests.  What I have seen is simply phenomenal – we shot the "MoVI" short with this lens instantly and fell in love.

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema prime CN-E24mm T1.5 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema prime CN-E24mm T1.5 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

50mm T/1.3 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Same as with the 50mm Zeiss above in terms of use – but much much brighter…  Gorgeous out of focus Bokeh.

Description (from Canon):  he EF Cinema prime CN-E50mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema Prime CN-E50mm T1.3 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

85mm T/1.3 L F B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: Again – a mainstay portrait lens.  I don’t use it nearly as often as the 50mm and 24/25mm lenses but hard not to have in your kit, especially when you use it wide open (if you can keep anything in focus that is!)

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema prime CN-E85mm T1.3 L F (EF mount) lens offers a compact, consistent lens design and proven Canon lens elements for performance and reliability in professional shooting environments. Intended for the working professional, the EF Cinema Prime CN-E85mm T1.3 L F lens has markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric. The control rings are engineered to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque.

14.5 – 60mm T/2.6 L Zoom Lens B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is a fantastic all around focal length for drama and incredibly sharp and versatile – I would put this lens up against any other cine zoom lens out there.

Description (from Canon):  The EF Cinema Zoom lens CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S (EF mount) provides industry-leading wide angle coverage in a 4.1x zoom lens for the Super 35mm format, and is engineered to offer unrivaled optical performance for demanding high-end productions, meeting and exceeding industry standards.

15.5-47mm T/2.8 L Compact Zoom Lens B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is basically the lens above but a more than half the price and significantly smaller, lighter, and COMPACT.   This is probably one of the best compact zooms you can buy today for Steadicam and other uses where you want to keep your camera package compact.   Excellent for handheld work.

Description (from Canon):  Cinema Zoom Lens CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L SP (PL mount) rivals best-in-class zoom magnification and wide-angle focal length range for the Super 35mm format, and is engineered to offer superb 4K optical performance for demanding high-end productions, meeting and exceeding industry standards. Intended for the working professional, the CN-E15.5-47mm T2.8 L SP lens has markings on angled surfaces and on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read settings from behind, or from either side of the camera. Focus markings can even be switched from standard labeling to metric, depending on production need. This lens is equipped with control rings designed to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque, and a covered flange-back adjustment mechanism to meet numerous of production application needs.

 

SUPPORT

  Mfr. Site

Comments:  I’ve been a big fan of this hanhdeld rig – I love that you can go from handheld, to the Mantis, to the dovetail within seconds.   Likely the best handheld rig I’ve ever used.

Description (from Element Technica):  The industry’s most configurable and innovative shoulder mounting solution for film and digital motion picture cameras. Fully compatible with the RED One of today, as well as the Scarlett and Epic of tomorrow.  Element Technica’s new hand-held system combines innovative design with exceptional workmanship and materials.

1030D Fluid Head B&H Mfr. Site

Comment: Heavenly – but expensive relative to the heads above.  I won’t work with any other head – as O’Connor fluid heads are the industry standard for all motion pictures (this model and the larger models for heavier cameras.)  The pan/tilt friction is unparalleled – as is the ability to perfectly balance a camera so that you can let go of it "in position" without having to lock the unit down is something to marvel at.  Once you work with this fluid head you won’t want to work with anything else.  It’s an investment for sure – but one piece of gear you’ll use for the rest of your career. This is the updated version of the 1030HD. I first got to try one out on the set of my short film, "Mobius." The head supports rigs up to 30 lbs., which we were close to maxing out with the fully built out C300 and Canon Cinema Zoom lenses. The 1030D’s superior counterbalance system came in handy with these lenses as they are much larger and heavier than the C300 body.

Description (from OConnor): An updated replacement of the popular Ultimate 1030HD and HDs, the new line offers a sporty industrial design and a slew of features that have been borrowed from the larger OConnors to let cinematographers seamlessly transition from heavier to lighter payload camera setups. These include the stepless, ultra-smooth pan and tilt fluid drag specifically enhanced to provide ultimate control and stability for digital cinematography shooting. The patented OConnor Sinusoidal Counterbalance system provides true, accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. Users will appreciate that the system Counterbalances down to zero, a handy advantage since there is a trend to lighter weight cameras. For today’s versatile shooter, the transition from larger to smaller payloads has never been easier. And most importantly, the famous OConnor feel, remains the same regardless of payload.

25L Tripod Legs B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: A solid set of professional sticks that will carry just about anything HDDSLR related that you throw on it.

Description (from OConnor): Lightweight Carbon Fiber, Two Stage Tripod, horizontal lever locks for quick, safe & secure leg adjustments. This lightweight tripod has a range of 15" to 66" while maintaining an extremely stable platform.

 

ACCESSORIES

ultraCage for C300 B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is the cage support designed by RedrockMicro specifically for the Canon C300.  You can read my full review of this system, HERE.  Also available for the C100 and C500  This is a no-brainer investment if you’re going to put a lot of "gak" (gear) on your camera… it will make the C series a bit heavier of course which has its plusses and minuses.

Description (from Redrock Micro): Complete your Canon EOS C300 camera setup with the ultraCage™ | blue 15mm Cinema Bundle from Redrock Micro. Referred to as the "must have accessory for the C300", the ultraCage Cinema Bundle is the ultimate rig for studio-style productions where most of the shots have the C300 camera on tripod, dolly, or steadicam.

backPack B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  We power everything on our cage off of one Anton Bauer battery to save weight using P-Taps and XLR cables.   This is a fantastic way to save time and money by powering all of your devices from one single source – no more carrying 4 types of batteries with you (and multiple ones of each!)  See below for an important accessory.

Description (from Redrock Micro): The backPack accessory for ultraCage™ delivers a convenient and extremely helpful rear plate on which to attach camera-top accessories. The backPack attaches to the ultraCage™ rear chassis to keep accessories clear of camera operation while still providing solid and stable mounting.

powerPack
Mfr. Site

Comments: This takes the backPack to the next level by standardizing connectors/cables and monitoring power.

Description (from Redrock Micro): The Redrock powerPack™ C300 Kit is an incredibly versatile accessory for single-point power management of your camera-top power requirements, including powering the Canon EOS C300. The powerPack™ delivers power regulation, conversion, monitoring, and distribution all in a compact and flexible package.

CFF-1 Follow Focus B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: This is the high end of follow focusing units – it’s incredibly smooth and has different gears for different speeds.  It’s one of the units that you use for life.

Description (from OConnor): The CFF-1’s multifunctional, modular design eliminates the hassle of having to juggle separate bridge plates. A single, easy to use snap-on bridge clamps effortlessly onto either 15mm or 19mm studio rod systems. (An optional LWS bridge is also available.) The OConnor integrated approach lets the operator straddle the line between both standards with ease and efficiency. With the lowest clearance available in a double-sided studio unit, OConnor’s follow focus is ideal for large diameter lenses—and protects the user’s equipment investment by ensuring compatibility with optical systems now and into the future.

  ARRI FF-1   Mfr. Site

Comments: THE BEST compact follow focus PERIOD.   But too expensive for most.  That being said, it’s the only one I use.   You can switch incredibly fast and that’s ultimately what production is all about:  saving time.

Description (from ARRI): Highly adjustable, and with an optional 15mm – 19mm rod adapter, the FF-1 is compatible with virtually all full-sized HD cameras, RED One and film cameras. The marking disk is beveled for easy viewing of marks over a wide angle, and handwheel can be adjusted vertically for hard to reach setups and support in handheld operation.

  Axis 1 Single Channel Remote Focus System
Mfr. Site

Comments: I’ve worked with every wireless follow focus system out there.   The Preston FIZ is the king of the hill but comes with a whopper of a price tag.   The Bartech will introduce a delay the further the receiver is from the transmitter.   This is clearly the single best wireless focus I have used in terms of performance and price.  The build quality is flawless, the unit is plug and play and calibrates in under 5 seconds.   Veteran Hollywood ACs have given this the nod and one called it the "Rolls Royce" of single channel wireless focus systems.   You can’t ask for much more than that.   This is a hefty investment for most, but it’s one you’ll use for quite a long time to come.   The ability to start/stop with many cameras is also a huge plus as the operator (on the MōVI) can seldom easily reach to stop/start most cameras as their hands are usually busy holding the unit.   I’ve also used this system w/ 30~300mm zoom lenses, stiff cine lenses, and Canon EF lenses – they all work wonderfully with what is a fantastic motor.  I power this unit w/ D-Tap power most of the time from a camera output, an Anton Bauer battery + plate w/ D-Tap outlet, or directly from a Lipo battery.

Description (from Hocus Products): The Axis1 is a simple but full featured single channel professional remote focus system, designed for the high end professional. Built to be simple, easy and robust, it can handle any lens, including the stiffest freezing cold cine zooms, and can even be manually set to work on cheaper stopless DSLR lenses.

77mm Tru-Match Vari ND Filter B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: THE BEST Vari ND Filter money can buy with close to zero (I haven’t seen any actually) loss in image quality.  I don’t leave home w/o one of these.

Description (from Formatt): The Schneider 77mm True-Match Vari-ND Filter is a solid variable neutral density filter providing a reduction of about 1.3 to 11 stops. The 0.4 to 3.3 density creates a darkening of the entire image, allowing you to photograph with a wider aperture or slower shutter speed than normally required. The degree of density is easily controlled by rotating the front filter ring, allowing you to previsualize the additional exposure length required. By slowing your exposure time or increasing your aperture, you are able to control depth of field and convey movement more easily. Neutral density filters do not affect the coloration of the image and are ideal for pairing with other filters.

O Box B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: THE BEST MATTE BOX (outside of Arri) out there period.   Listen I’ve used dozens of other matte boxes  out there that are 1/8 – 1/2 this price, but nothing comes close to the build of this matte box.   I can’t recommend any of the cheaper models down the line.  So I say:  don’t buy a matte box if you don’t need one or can’t afford this… or wait to buy this one when you can afford it.  The good news:  you’ll use this same matte boxes on fancy cinema cameras down the line… and this in combination with O-Grips is another wonderful combination.

Description (from OConnor): The OConnor O-Box WM Mattebox Deluxe Set is a lightweight, wide-angle, mini-mattebox system that will accommodate lenses designed for full-sized sensors as wide as 18mm. The mattebox has 2 filter stages that accept either 4×4" or 4×5.65" filter trays and the rear stage rotates a full 360 degrees which is useful when working with polarizers or graduated filters. The O-Box deluxe set includes four filter trays, two each of the 4 x 4" and 4 x 5.65" trays, as well as the bellows ring that allows you to mount a 138mm filter as well. In addition to the standard eyebrow (top flag), the deluxe kit features lens siders and brackets to attach them to the mattebox, providing increased control over lens flares. The mattebox comes with a 15mm LWS bracket, and there are available brackets for a 15mm studio rods, 19mm rods, and adapter rings allowing you to use this as a clip-on mattebox. A distinguishing feature of the O-box system is that it incorporates 3/8"-16 threaded mounting holes into the mattebox itself. This allows you to attach available O-Grips to the mattebox for added stability when hand holding the camera, or other available accessories. Also included with the O-Box are two universal lens rings that are made from aluminum with a seamless flexible material that stretches over a range of lenses and prevents light leaks from behind the lens, which can reflect off filters ruining your image. The two rings cover lenses ranging from 55 to 134 mm in diameter. Rounding out the deluxe kit is a reduction ring that works with the included bellows ring.

O Grips B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: There are an incredible amount of handles out there for handheld configurations.   I recommend you try them all and see which works best for you if you have the privilege of being in a a market such as LA or NYC.   I’ve found these O Grips work extremely well for me because a. when you lock them down they don’t slip.  And that’s essential with any grip.   Second you can articulate two of these (I recommend you have 4 – 2 pieces to form each handle) in almost every angle you can conceive of.  If you’re pulling focus off of a follow focus unit you can articulate the O Grips to accommodate the best balance feel for yourself in terms of placing the handle near the FF unit.   You can also use this to prop the camera up on the ground -a substitute for a high hat in a pinch (if the camera is locked off of course.) 

Description (from OConnor): Constructed with a solid titanium core for extreme durability and reliability, O-Grips feature smooth-functioning, single-handle ball joints with a maximum payload capacity of 44 lbs (20 kg) – making them ideal for work with both smaller and larger cameras.  Modular O-Grips are stackable for custom applications and can be configured to create double or even multi-joint handles. Each grip is fully adjustable and is capable of a half sphere of stepless articulations.

4 x 5.6" HD Neutral Density Set (0.3 – 1.8) B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: ND filters are an ABSOLUTE necessity when shooting video/film.   For still photographers: remember that in video you shutter speed is mostly locked down at 1/50th of a second – therefore when you go out into bright sunlight – you can find yourself at f/11 or f/16 at 100ASA depending on where you.   Therefore NDs are one of the single most common tools in film – to keep the apertures open and the depth of field shallow.   Unless you’re shooting indoors or at night – you can’t leave with a set of NDs – period.  These are of course rectangular filters – meant to work with matte boxes.  You can of course use circular screw on filters on your Canon EF glass to do the exact same thing.   If you are using cine lenses or CP.2 lenses – you’ll need to use a matte box and these type of filters.  (p.s. make sure you always get the correct sized filter for your matte box – there are different sizes out there to accommodate smaller and bigger matte boxes.) One important note:  people always ask me if they should spend money on their filters or go the cheap route.   My answer is: why in the world would you put a cheap/or worse plastic filter – in front of your $1,000-$3,000 lens???  It sounds insane when you think of it that way doesn’t it?

Description (from Schneider): Schneider Neutral Density (ND) filters are designed to control exposure or depth of field under various lighting conditions without affecting color or contrast.

4 x 5.6" Circular Polarizer B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: If you wonder why other videographers/filmmakers/DP’s films look so rich – have deep skies – or the water in their frames look so much better than what you’re shooting… chances are they’re using a polarizer.   Some never shoot without one.   Besides eliminating unwanted reflections/glare – these filters really help to saturate colors, darken skies, and lead to a richer image.   You do lose close to 2 stops of light as well.  Lastly – the part of the sky that is 90 degrees to the sun will go the darkest with a polarizer – in other words shoot at right angle with a polarizer.  If the sun is behind you as you shoot – the polarizer will do almost nothing.

Description (from Schneider): Polarizers are commonly used to control glare on water and to allow the camera to see below the surface. They are also used to reduce glare on car bumpers and to control reflections on plate-glass windows. Polarizers are so versatile that they can perform the opposite functions as well. Some cinematographers use polarizers to increase or enhance reflections, simply by changing the filter’s setting.

Formatt 4 x 5.6" HD Graduated Neutral Density Set (0.3 – 1.2) Soft Edge B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: When you don’t have a huge lighting budget – or well frankly on pretty much ANY production – Grad NDs are a life saver. You will often find yourself in a situation where the foreground subject is much darker than your background or sky (or vice versa.)  You can either light the foreground the subject – or knock down the sky with GRAD ND filters – that go from dark to light in a gradual linear fashion.   Some have soft edges (very gradual shift from light to dark) or hard edge (pretty sharp line.)  I use both very frequently to get that perfect sunset sky – when the foreground is in shadow for example-  and not have to pull out a single light…  Grad NDs are worth their weight in gold.  (N.B: you’ll have to use a matte box with these.  Matte boxes will allow you to raise/lower and rotate these filters so that you place them perfectly on your frame… be careful when you move the camera though… as the Grad moves with you!)

Description (from Schneider): Neutral density glass filters (also known as NDs) produce a grey neutral tone and are used to reduce light, enabling more control over exposure and depth of field without affecting colour or contrast.  Our High Definition ND Glass Filters are available in graduated filters, both in hard and soft edge.

4 x 5.6" Hollywood Black Magic (1/4) B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  

Description (from Schneider): Combining the best attributes of the Schneider HD Classic Soft and Black Frost, these stunning filters remove unsightly blemishes and wrinkles while providing an airbrushed texture to the image. Available in five strengths from 1/8 to 2, a wide range of diffusion can be selected: from slightly taking off a video edge to removing years off a person’s age. Pleasant softening of bright highlights helps control the exposure while maintaining rich blacks and colors. Available in standard video and cinematography sizes, these filters are also available in screw on sizes for professional DSLR photography.

Cine Arm B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:    The standard arm in the cine world – period.  You DON’T want to cheap out on this as there’ nothing more frustrating than a monitor that slips or twists off during a shoot – NOTHING.  You’ll break cables and cameras as a result of a bad arm…  the cine lock on this unit is also a Godsend… no more twisting these arms in forever as you’re rushing to shoot or pack.   This is a FANTASTIC investment – the only other one I would suggest is the Zacuto arm which I commonly see being used on Alexa/Epic packages because it never slips… 

Description (from Noga): The MG38CA-CL1 Cine Arm & 16×9 Cine Lock from 16×9 Inc. is a cinematic arm and lock mount. This equipment helps saves time and effort when setting up camera rigs.

Cine Lock Mount B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  If you’ve ever wanted to quickly slip a monitor / EVF / Sound device onto a camera with a SOLID connection – this is the gadget you can’t be without (I know I can’t.)  There’s NOTHING worse than those monitor arms and trying to screw them in (or unscrew them) when you’re in a hurry.   This is THE solution against that.  I have one on my matte box and two on my Epic – I can easily put my EVF or LCD anywhere I want within seconds.

Description (from 16×9 Inc.): 16×9 Inc.’s Cine Lock enables fast and easy non-thread mounting and removal of the arm and its cargo through an ingenious dove tail design. The device is made up of two parts, a male and female wedge/dove tail plate. The male plate is fitted onto the top and bottom of a Noga articulating arm. The female piece is attached both to the surface where the arm will be anchored, and onto whatever object the arm will hold. Once all pieces of the device are in place, the arm can easily be mounted onto a camera handle or tripod, for example — and a monitor or light can easily be mounted onto the arm itself.

MATRIX Cheese Plate B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:   This is the BEST solution I’ve found to mount my Anton Bauer units to the rear of the Epic snug and tight.  You can clamp it snug and tight to the redmote or leave yourself a bit of room depending on the rod length you choose.   Ultimately this can also support an AJA Ki Pro Mini box on the other side of the battery plate – so it’s incredibly versatile.   Note: Anton Bauer plate is a separate purchase.

Description (from Anton Bauer): The MATRIX Cheese Plate allows for a variety of mounting positions, vertical or horizontal. 15 mm or 19 mm Rod Clamp Kits Available.

microBalance Starter Kit B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  These are pretty critical to balancing your rig.  It it’s front heavy – making smooth tilts will become very very difficult – not to mention movement in general.

Description (from Redrock Micro): The microBalance Starter Kit enables counterbalance weights to be attached to any 15mm rod setup so rigs can be conveniently and comfortably balanced (instead of front heavy). Additional microBalance counterbalance weights can be added in single weight increments to exactly and economically meet your needs.

 

MONITORING

  AC7 7" LCD Field Monitor (SDI)
Mfr. Site

Comments:  Easily one of the best monitors on the market period.   The quality of color – stunning.  Close to what you get from very high end monitors.   The LUT support (which allows you to shoot in Canon Log or on an Alexa in C-log as well and still get punchy colors for client to see is fantastic!)  This is the perfect monitor to put on your MōVI remote control.   I recommend you use the physical "lock" button to avoid unwanted touch screen bumps during your shoot, and I used this monitor both with Canon LPE6 batteries and Anton Bauer Batteries.

Description (from small HD): Even with OLED as its bigger brother, the LCD in our AC7 series has nothing to be ashamed of. Sporting an 8-bit, IPS, LED-backlit display it is a marked improvement over our DP6 in nearly every respect. Each AC7 ships with native 1280×800 resolution so you don’t have to worry about your built-in on-camera LCD telling you your shot is in focus when it is in fact, not. The SDI version comes with an SDI input and output and loop-through functionality.

OR-901-XDI (9") B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is another excellent monitor…  I actually like to use this as my director’s monitor with a long BNC cable as I like to be mobile or follow the camera/steadicam tethered or wireless.   This is by far the best small monitor that Marshall makes and incredibly competitive in terms of color relative to all others in the market.  It is built incredibly well and has a built in waveform monitor which is KEY to HDSLR.  Basically my eyes are glued to this monitor and waveform during any production to make sure the framing and exposure are dead on (and not clipping.)   It’s slightly larger than the above monitors – but you can add an Anton Bauer/IDX plate to the back or power if w/ and XLR plug and mount this on your camera as well.   This is the one monitor I will travel the world with to use with any camera.  It supports BOTH HDMI and HDSDI – and supports HDMI loop through, and 2 HDSDI ins and one out for loop through as well.  It can also be used for 3D productions.  THIS MONITOR HAS SAVED ME on saveral occassions in that it does flawless HDMI to HDSDI conversion internally on the fly – which is fantastic when you are mixing HDMI and HDSDI cameras and/or wireless video receivers.

Description (from Marshall Electronics): The OR-901-XDI 9" ORCHID rack mountable / portable field monitor has all the features that customers have asked for including fully automatic HD-SDI to HDMI / HDMI to HD-SDI cross conversion. The OR-901-XDI is 4RU and has 9 user-assignable function keys as well as a rotary menu system. ORCHID monitors include a variety of 3D production tools and anaglyph views. The built-in waveform monitor (which includes adjustable White and Black clip level indicators) can be displayed in three different aspect ratios including Full Screen. The built-in Vectorscope displays in full color and can also be displayed in three different ratios. The Vectorscope has adjustable gain from 1x to 5x.

Teradek Bolt 1080p Wireless SDI Monitoring Transmitter and Reciever B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I use BOTH Teradek and Paralinx.  Why?  Inside they are basically identical in terms of range, transmission etc.   The most important factors is that there is close to ZERO latency (delay) with both of these units.  When you have several milliseconds of delay, that can create havoc when you’re working with an operator on joysticks as things lag….   This is the most versatile system in that you can pair either an HDMI or HDSDI transmitter to both HDMI and HDSDI transmitters easily – so you can work w/ all systems and inputs whether you’re using an HDSLR or a camera w/ the more standard HDSDI.   The Bolt Transmitters also have built in power that lasts around 45 minutes, but I used D-Tap power whenever I can to shoot continually powered by camera output, an Anton Bauer battery + plate w/ D-Tap outlet, or directly from a Lipo battery.   Keep in mind that the receiver units need to be powered similarly (and don’t have any internal batteries.)

Description (from small B&H): The Teradek Bolt Pro Wireless 1080p60 SDI Monitoring Transmitter & Receiver wirelessly transmits an uncompressed HD video signal in up to 1080p60 4:2:2 as far as 300 ft with zero delay. The receiver features two 3G-SDI outputs for dual monitoring. One of these can be used to pass the video signal to an optional Teradek Cube Encoder, which will stream the signal even further on by WiFi or Ethernet, although only in up to 1080p30. The Bolt Pro transmitter has a looping SDI output for local monitoring, a 70 minute internal battery, and can connect to more than one receiver in order to multiply the outputs.

10′ SDI Cable B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  You can never have enough cable ;)  The longer you have them, the less likely you are to trip and pull your camera down…

Description (from B&H):  The 10′ HD-SDI Video Coaxial Cable – BNC to BNC Connectors from Canare is a precision serial digital video coaxial cable that offers throughput for HD-SDI video signals for professional broadcast applications. Thanks to dual copper braids that impart high flexibility, the RG59 coaxial cable can be bent around tight corners or run through tight spaces while still providing high quality, low-loss transfer.

 

JIBS & SLIDERS

Kessler CineSlider   Mfr. Site

Comments: This unit is in direct competition with the Atlas system above to be honest. It’s very important to remember that every tool has it’s particular strenght.  The CineSlider is incredibly well built – and will work wonderfully with the hand crank or the Elektra motor.  Keep in mind that the Atlas system above may appeal to operators who want to push the slider by hand at the base AND operate their fluid head at the same time.  Yet pushing a slider at a precise speed, especially at slow speeds – is a skill.  Having a hand crank let alone a motor can be a superb advantage.  Frankly – I use both – and in different situations.   This unit is mounted on tripods and may take just a tad bit longer to put up than the Atlas would on the ground for example.   The being said: you need to decide for yourself on how often you will be shooting from ground level or from a table – versus with a set of sticks that you can adjust precisely.    I personally love this CineSlider because you can start with the base model shown here – and add to it over time with electric motors, the revolution head, and Oracle control system over time.   This will allow you to operate the entire system remotely for video (a remote controlled slider with pan/tilt head!) and to use it not only for video – but also for incredible time lapse photography setups.  As you can see – there is a lot of room for me for both the Atlas and CineSlider systems – as each fills a unique niche.

It should be said that this is THE GO TO SYSTEM for time lapse photography in my opinion.  Nothing comes close to it at this time.  The build of the slider, the motors, and Revolution head is rock solid.  Read more about it and related gear in the Timelapse and Motion Control Section of the blog.

Description (from Kessler): The Kessler CineSlider™ is a heavy duty portable mini-dolly / linear slider system for camera rigs weighing up to 80 pounds or more. Weighing in at only 10 pounds, with a length of 40.5 inches, 5 inches wide, and a total camera travel distance or 35.5 inches, the CineSlider is a very portable solution to get those quick, smooth short-run dolly movements, without having to transport a large dolly system.

Kessler Pocket Jib   Mfr. Site

Comments: This is my GO TO Jib due to how quickly it can be assembled and how well it travels.  I use this with my regular tripod sticks all the time so that I only need to travel w/ the JIB section (make sure you have the proper bowl adapters etc.)

Description (from Kessler): The Kessler Pocket Jib™ is the ultimate compact, portable jib. Not only is this jib fully collapsible for easy transport, but you can also mount the Kessler Pocket Dolly™ or CineSlider™ to it, turning it into a virtual "all-in-one" production tool, offering both a jib and mini-dolly in one unit. The Pocket Jib™ has a telescopic dual rail arm design that has a maximum reach of five feet, fully extended, which is approximately 6" less than our KC-8 crane. The end of the crane arm features a ball relocator with 100mm bowl, so you can mount a 100mm ball fluid head. The weight bar system is also telescopic and collapses and folds away for easy transport.

  

AUDIO

DR-100mkII 2 Channel Linear PCM Recorder B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:   A SOLID and affordable audio recorder – you need 8 tracks to do any serious audio with actors.

Description: The DR-680 from Tascam is a professional-quality portable field recorder that allows you to record and edit multiple tracks of audio, ideal for musicians, filmmakers, journalists, and more. The DR-680 allows you to record up to 8 tracks onto widely-available SD/SDHC flash memory cards at rates up to 24-bit/96kHz. It also allows you to record a stereo track at up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as up to 4 channels of MP3 audio for web-ready recording.

ew 100 G3 Wireless Microphone System B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is the first kit I purchased and I use it to this day.  The Sennheiser wireless units are pretty standard across the industry.  Remember – you need one set PER actor…  and if you get two sets make sure you get them on different frequencies – Sennheiser sells them as separate packages for that reason. 

Description (from Sennheiser): This ENG set offers a great amount of flexibility for portable recording indoors or outdoors. Its SKP 100 G3 plug-on transmitter transforms XLR equipped devices (such as microphones and mixing consoles) into wireless devices by simply plugging the unit in. The bodypack transmitter, as well as the plug on, can be synced up to the receiver with the simple push of a button. A very small high-quality omni-directional clip-on microphone completes this set.

NTG-2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: I’ve found this to be an excellent shotgun mic  – with excellent base.  

Description (from Rode): The new RODE NTG-2 is a lightweight condenser shotgun microphone, designed for professional applications within the film, video, television and production industries.The NTG-2 provides a balanced low impedance output stage and operates either from an internal 1.5 V battery (AA) or 48 V to the P48 standard. A wide bandwidth and controlled polar response coupled with low noise SMT electronics, makes the NTG-2 the perfect choice for film, video engineering and voice-over work.

KE-89CC Avalon Series Internal Cabled Boom Pole B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: A must have part of any audio kit.  This is a great starting off point for your audio kit. 

Description (from K-Tek): Crafted in cost-effective aluminum tubing, Avalon boom poles are designed to meet the needs of ENG and DV Camera crews. The series offers many of the same benefits of the original Klassic boom poles in an affordable package — eliminating some deluxe features but without sacrificing any of the K-Tek quality.

 

LIGHTING

Area 48 LED   Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is the best "small" light I’ve ever used.   The light quality is simply phenomenal and the power is intense – most experience gaffers can’t believe how much light this little unit puts out, and the fact that it can work off an Anton Bauer or IDX battery makes it that much more versatile.  For more information read the following full review and / or watch the video below to see with your own eyes…

Description (from BBS): The AREA-48 LED HD-friendly 97 CRI soft light output is comparable to a 1K traditional soft light and represents the next-generation in lighting technology for studio and location work. BBS’s new integrated LED technology moves the phosphor away from the LED itself, thereby greatly improving color rendering, consistency, and light output. The system’s color rendering accuracy is up to 97 CRI with multiple power options including an integrated battery or standard AC power. Moreover, the phosphor panels themselves are interchangeable, allowing you to quickly change the fixture from Daylight to Tungsten, to Chroma-Green, all in a matter of seconds.

Lighting Force V   Mfr. Site

Comments: My favorite lighthing tool – definitely a bit fancy for most, but this is the way to create realistic window light and to make a room glow, even on a set – and make people believe sunlight is coming through the window.  And that’s just scratching the surface in terms of what this light can do – read a review here.

Description (from BBS):The Force V LED from BBS Lighting is the most powerful LED ’FORCE’ ever. A complete LED Retrofit Kit for third party optics that sets new standards for white light LED with up to CRI 94 with very low power consumption.

  1×1 LED   Mfr. Site

Comments: This is the best value you will find out there in terms of price – it’s 40% cheaper than the competition, 40% brighter and is significantly more color accurate.  Sound too good to be true?  It’s really not.   This is the next generation of LED lighting and is lighter, has more mounting points, can switch from daylight to tungsten or anywhere in between instantly and even has a handle in the back.

Description (from Visual Buddha): The new VISUAL BUDDHA™ variable color LED 1×1 panels offer High 93+ CRI, high quality, soft, directional light at an affordable price. Backed by industry professionals, the Visual Buddha LED 1×1 Bi-Color light comes with a free V-Mount or Gold Mount Battery Plate mounted to the back panel, and features the ability to instantly dial up color temperatures from cool-white daylight to warm-white tungsten (and anywhere in between).

 

POWER

Dionic HC Battery B&H Mfr. Site

Comments: While many of you will initially start with basic handheld systems and the Zacuto Z-Finder to keep things simple (and rightfully so!) as you move into full day narrative or documentary shoots – you’ll find that you’ll need professional grade batteries to power your cameras, external monitors, motors, converter boxes etc etc.   Anton Bauer is the industry standard battery in the video and film world.  Their products are incredibly reliable – and precise. You will find that you can very easily read out the amount of juice you have left at anytime – and also the batteries will give you a read-out of how much time you have left at the current power draw which is incredibly useful.  Ergo if it’s late in the day and you’re low on juice – you can turn off one of your two onboard monitors to get some extra time before you empty the battery. The Anton Bauer batteries will power your cameras (with the powerPack and backPack in the Accessories page) your Marshall Monitors, LED Lights, AxisOne or other motors, Steadicam units, and pretty much anything on set.  Therefore this is a longterm investment you can make without much reservation.

Description (from Anton Bauer): The DIONIC HC is capable of delivering up to 10 amps for high current draw applications, including on-camera lighting. The 91 watt-hour DIONIC HC can operate a 40 Watt HD camera for over 2 hours.

Quad 2702 PowerCharger B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  My go-to charger for Anton Bauers.  I power most of my systems with Anton Bauer – monitors, cameras, wireless you name it… 

Description (from Anton Bauer): The four position Quad 2702 PowerCharger is the most advanced power system available. This state of the art charger will sequentially fast charge any combination of Anton/Bauer Logic Series Batteries using the advanced charging techniques of the Anton/Bauer InterActive system in a package roughly the size of a notebook computer. Charger firmware is contained on a single field replaceable chip ensuring the Quad’s future compatibility with new cell technologies and charging methods.

 

MEDIA & HARDDRIVES

32GB Lexar Professional 800x CompactFlash

64GB Lexar Professional 800x CompactFlash

128GB Lexar Professional 800x CompactFlash

B&HB&HB&H Mfr. SiteMfr. SiteMfr. Site

Comments:  When you consider the incredible investment in time energy and of course funds you’ll make into even the simplest of productions – why in the world would you ever risk the integrity of that production by trusting your data to a cheap CD card that is not reliable?  Frankly I’ve never understood people who try to save money on CF Cards – after all ALL of your day’s work rests on the reliability of the CF card you use.   If it has a bad memory block – and entire take or setup can be ruined.   The Lexar cards have been incredibly reliable for me for close to 5 years – and their speed saves you a tremendous time when it comes time to copy an entire day’s take – especially if you’re shooting with multiple cameras.  I find myself using the 16GB for the most part – and the 32GB cards when I shoot time lapse videos.

Description (from Lexar): The premium Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash® (CF) memory card provides ultimate high-speed performance and reliability for professional photographers, with industry-leading 600x (90MB/s) guaranteed minimum sustained write speed.* The card provides support for high-resolution UDMA-enabled DSLR cameras, lets you capture and store high-quality images and video, and dramatically increases card-to-computer transfer rates when paired with a UDMA-enabled reader.

Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual Slot Reade (UDMA 7) B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  It’s all about speed and copying off data quickly after a long day’s shoot.   That speed = more sleep prior to your next day’s shoot.  USB 3.0 is the defacto "high" speed slot and I use these for all of my photography and video needs.

Description (from Lexar): The Lexar Professional UDMA Dual-Slot USB Reader is a compact, portable, high-performance reader. Fully compatible with UDMA CF, standard CF, SDHC, and SD cards, the reader provides versatility and the ability to leverage blazing-fast UDMA card speeds when paired with the Lexar Professional UDMA 300x memory card.

AJA Ki Pro Mini Compact FIeld Recorder B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is one of the the best solution right now for converting your footage on the fly into ProRes in a small package that you can mount on any camera rig.   Also check out the 4K version of this recorder for the C500 etc.

Description: The Aja Ki Pro Mini Compact Field Recorder adds extreme portability to the Ki Pro family. Bringing a file-based workflow to any production to be edited on Final Cut Pro, this miniature field recorder not only records edit-ready Apple ProRes footage from any SDI or HDMI video camera, it does so on easily available Compact Flash cards. Its small form factor allows it to be mounted on a tripod or camera with industry-standard adapters, while its powerful support of both SD and HD recording–via both SDI and HDMI–makes it an invaluable tool for on-set digital capture.

Samurai Blade 5" B&H Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is a SECRET weapon.  Why?  Basically all DSLRs heavily compress your video.  The C-Series and other cameras that record internally do as well. That video is hard to process due to the compression when you use most video editing software.   This unit takes a clean signal from any of these cameras and DOESN’T compress it – instead it goes straight to ProRes 422 or AVID DNxHD.  This is very similar to the Atomos Ninja but with quite a few upgraded features such as a much larger monitor, scopes and waveform, as well as HDSDI inputs.

Description: The Atomos Samurai Blade 5" SDI Monitor & Recorder features a 1280 x 720 resolution monitoring display, substantially better than that of the original Samurai’s. Like the original, Blade can record up to 1080/30p/60i resolution directly from your camera’s sensor to an HDD or SSD in Apple’s ProRes or Avid’s DNxHD edit-ready codecs. Color precision records at a high 10-bit, even from an 8-bit sensor, and color sampling at 4:2:2. Recording an 8-bit signal in 10-bit won’t increase the quality of the signal but will let you work with the signal in post-production as if it’s 10-bit, meaning you can add effects and not see jagged lines and other artifacts. Being able to record direct from the sensor lets you bypass your camera’s compression and instead have the first compression be in an edit-ready codec. Generally, the less compressions, the less image degradation. Blade has an SDI input for ingesting from a camera and an SDI loop-output for simultaneously looping out the camera signal to a large SDI monitor up to 300 ft away. You can also ingest by HDMI through an optional Atomos SDI to HDMI converter. Blade supports all cameras for monitoring, even 4K and 5K cameras like RED’s Epic and ARRI’s Alexa, and can successfully record 1080/30p/60i from most cameras.

G-DRIVE  (2TB)

G-DRIVE  (4TB)

B&H

B&H

Mfr. Site

Mfr. Site

Comments:  These are the drives I travel the world with on bigger productions.

Description (from G-Tech): The G-DRIVE USB 3.0 External Desktop Hard Drive by G-Technology is an external hard drive that features a generous 64MB cache, a fast 7200 rpm spindle speed, and hi-speed USB 3.0 and FireWire connectivity. It also features a SATA II 3Gbps interface for smooth transfer and reliable operation on the inside. On the outside, the USB 3.0 port can deliver maximum transfer rates of 5Gbps. If you’re a Mac-based user, you still get the convenience of FireWire 800 (backwards compatible to FireWire 400). The fanless drive has its own internal heatsink built into the unit which offers improved cooling and quiet operation.

G-SPEED Q (RAID Protected Storage System) (8TB)

G-SPEED Q (RAID Protected Storage System) (12TB)

B&H

B&H

Mfr. Site

Mfr. Site

Comments:  When you’ve got larger jobs – especially when you are shooting .5TB to 1TB per day of RED Epic footage – this is the go to solution.   You’ll need the space, reliability, and speed of these drives.

Description (from G-Tech): The G-Speed Q 4-Bay Storage Array from G-Technology features an 8/12/16TB storage capacity capable of holding a variety of files including HD movies, videos, photos, music, documents. Easily connect this storage array to both Macs and PCs via the integrated USB 3.0, FireWire 800 and eSATA ports. Each included Enterprise Class Drive comes equipped with a 7200rpm drive speed along with up to a 64MB cache memory buffer. These hot-swappable drives can be configured in either RAID 0 for zero redundancy, or RAID 5 which for allows for operation with all but one drive present in the array.


2 TB G-DOCK Portable HDD USB 3.0

B&H

Mfr. Site

Comments:  This is my current "Go To" solution for traveling on my productions (that don’t require RAID storage as w/ the unit above.)  I love working w/ USB 3.0 out in the field and duplicating that drive when I get back to basecamp within this unit and via Thunderbolt.   This is the way to go for me and I assume many others out there as it’s versatile, expandable, and works in the field and in a more controlled environment while offering you top speeds for data transfers.

Description (from G-Tech):The 2TB G-DOCK ev Portable USB 3.0 HDD from G-Technology features two hot swappable 1TB 7200rpm hard drives. Each USB 3.0 compatible drive can be used individually or as a pair when placed in the included G-DOCK ev. When placed in the G-DOCK ev the drives can be configured in a variety of RAID formats including JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1. The G-DOCK ev comes equipped with dual Thunderbolt ports for up to 10Gb/s data transfer speeds as well as daisy chaining capabilities. With Time Machine compatibility you can plug this drive into your Mac running Mac OS X 10.7 or higher and begin saving and backing up your data.