Whats the most useful accessory to the kit bag ?

LinusMLinusM Big grinsPosts: 17Registered Users Big grins
edited May 9, 2013 in Video
Hi

I'm really new to video work but want to start familiarising myself more with video.

So from making the transition from being purely a stills photography guy, into video work I wanted to ask this.

what single piece of kit has proved the most useful and worth while investment?

Comments

  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 1, 2013
    LinusM wrote: »
    Hi

    I'm really new to video work but want to start familiarising myself more with video.

    So from making the transition from being purely a stills photography guy, into video work I wanted to ask this.

    what single piece of kit has proved the most useful and worth while investment?


    Hi Linus, Looked over your Blog and Work. Fabulous imagery!

    I take it your query is in relation to Wedding video? I so and if you want specifics on that from me, I cannot help. But before I looked at your blog, I looked at your question and had an answer come to mind. That answer is the same after I looked over your work. Script. Story telling. And you appear to already have that going for you. To me, that is the Hallmark of video/cinematography. I'm certain videographers could not do without some "thing" in their kit. But I say imagination, script and storytelling in that order are paramount.

    I will tell you this too. Video, just like those stills you have perfected is not much different. The biggie is still getting it as good as possible into the camera. All the rules still apply as does breaking them for effect.

    For actual kit it really is just like stills as to know what is needed before hand and bringing it along. For me that too often meant a truck load (literal) of goods; lighting, stands and grip gear. Too much stuff!

    If you want more specific's, be more specific in your question by telling folks what your intention is.

    cheers,
    tom wise
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,929Super Moderators moderator
    edited April 1, 2013
    Lighting is my most essential component. I use a number of different video cameras, plus the Canon 5D MKII, but additional light almost always makes the greatest difference in video quality.

    I use a pair of Lowel Tota-Lights for primary light, along with light stands, various modifiers (mostly umbrellas and reflectors) plus a tungsten-halogen work light for the background.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/32267-REG/Lowel_T1_10_Tota_Light_Tungsten_Flood_Light.html

    http://www.adorama.com/LLT110.html

    After lighting, microphones are essential for capturing live sound. A short-shotgun mic is extremely handy, as are wireless mics in hand-held, lapel and headset configurations. After poor lighting, nothing kills a video production like poor sound.

    A steady tripod with a fluid head can add smoothness to a production.

    Finally, a proper choice in video editing software, along with other post-production software and a music library, can make a difficult job somewhat more palatable and yield interesting results.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • LinusMLinusM Big grins Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 6, 2013
    Thanks guys for your reply's and sorry for the delay. My intentions are just a tentitive step into the area. So far I have dabbled with Photofilms, using my documentary photography with audio recordings. I want to make some wedding supplier profile films for myself and other vendors and just want a choice of techniques & shots that I can pull off well.

    Was thinking that I would need to be able to get a panning slide rail and use a video focussing tool - small additions to the kit bag, but items that can deliver. Any makes models or other bits of kit you can help with would be top! At the moment I am using Zoom and Yamaha audio recorders with Rode lavalier mics which seem to work well for my purpose.

    Any advise much appreciated!
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 7, 2013
    LinusM wrote: »
    Thanks guys for your reply's and sorry for the delay. My intentions are just a tentitive step into the area. So far I have dabbled with Photofilms, using my documentary photography with audio recordings. I want to make some wedding supplier profile films for myself and other vendors and just want a choice of techniques & shots that I can pull off well.

    Was thinking that I would need to be able to get a panning slide rail and use a video focussing tool - small additions to the kit bag, but items that can deliver. Any makes models or other bits of kit you can help with would be top! At the moment I am using Zoom and Yamaha audio recorders with Rode lavalier mics which seem to work well for my purpose.

    Any advise much appreciated!


    Now I get it!. Yes. Follow focus, slide, even rails and a shoulder set up would aid you in this. You mention primes in your profile, and primes really shine and shine-easier in the video category. Bonus that older Nikon glass (read cheap-er) with a cheap adapter can also provide the prime necessity. And many manufacturer's are getting into producing prime lenses for video. All of these accessories are constantly being revised and hence what might have cost $500 two years ago can be found for half that or less. Also, many of the rental houses do offer these set ups for rent if that works for you for trying before buying or just to pull off a shoot without buying the highest high-end equipment.

    Lighting as mentioned above is an essential. And it can be challenging to find the types of light that will give you what you want in differing scenarios. Your camera does have good low light performance, no doubt. But your end product will thank you if you keep your ISO down. Which mean's plan on using light to light anything you want in focus. You can get away without adjunct-light and to good effect outside, but it is tenuous and can be difficult to pull off. The dynamic range of the Canon goes from a healthy 12-14 stops down to about 8 in video. That window of latitude will be tight. Very often it'll be necessary to just let go and allow the highs to blow out, beyond broadcast range. You didn't ask for that tid-bit, but that's my 2¢.

    I follow nofilmschool.com and find it is a good resource for the latest gear.
    tom wise
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,929Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 8, 2013
    With manual lenses focus accuracy can be a problem, and rack focus or tracking/follow focus a major headache.

    If you use a Canon 5D MKII, Magic Lantern (ML) firmware overlay (freeware) adds "focus peaking" for considerable visible assistance (just like "real" professional video cameras). ML also adds "zebras" for manual exposure control, something you need for dynamic shooting situations in changeable lighting.

    A couple of caveats, ML is pretty stable as of version 2.3 and I use it on my own 5D MKII. It can get confusing if you also use the camera for stills, as it can change some settings of the camera automatically.

    ML is not endorsed by Canon, and there are occasionally reports of runaway loops draining the batteries even when the camera appears to be off. While this hasn't happened to me with version 2.3, I still recommend removing the camera battery after any ML session and even hard resetting the camera with a plain memory card before stills capture usage.

    http://www.magiclantern.fm/download


    No matter whether you use ML or not, for best video quality you will want to use a video profile for the camera, and then grade the video in post-production. This can help with preventing blown-out whites and crushed blacks, as well as white balance issues and color saturation issues.

    Technicolor CineStyle, Marvels Cine 3.4 and Flaat 1 and 2 are all very good choices (depending on the circumstances of the shoot).

    Vincent Laforet has a very nice and concise post on "Setting up your Canon 5D MKII" for video, and it includes comments and links to some of these profiles (Flaat in the comments section).

    http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/03/12/setting-up-your-canon-5d-mkii-and-mkiii/
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • LinusMLinusM Big grins Posts: 17Registered Users Big grins
    edited May 9, 2013
    Many thanks Tom & Ziggy. Thats pretty much the sort of info I was looking for and it will certainly keep me busy digesting and playing with. A complete different ball game to the stills stuff but I look forward to new challenges and fingers crossed may be back with some updates as to how I get on.
    Greatly appreciated!
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