Kit

This is a list of the kit we use.  If you decide to buy these items using the links we have provided we make a little bit on the transaction at no extra cost to you.

Cameras

For our main cameras we use Panasonic GH4’s.  These cameras produce amazing looking footage.  They have now been superseded by the GH5.  If we are doing anything where the camera might get we often use the GoPro Hero 4 Black.  This has also been superseded by the GoPro Hero 5 Black although currently both are still available.

Panasonic GH5

GoPro Hero 4 Black

GoPro Hero 5 Black

 

Lenses

We use a number of lenses for different purposes.  Our main workhorse is an Olympus 9-18mm

Wide Angle Lens

Olympus Pen M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.7 Lens

Long Lens

Olympus Pen M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II Lens

Mid Lens

Panasonic H-FS14140E-K 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPL Lens

 

Microphones

Sound is a really important part of any film.  You might not notice just how important it is until it goes wrong. That’s why we use a variety of microphones most suited to the situation we are filming in.  These mics range in price from the big shotgun mic with its windshield at around a £1000, down to our incredibly cheep but hugely effective Rode VideoMicros that come it at just £40.  These mics are amazing.  We are so impressed by them.  Most of the work we do now uses them because they produce such clean sound that is a realistic reproduction of what we could hear on location, be it outside or inside.  They even do a great job of recording music even in loud environments.

Shotgun Mic

Sennheiser MKH 416 – P 48 3U Condenser Microphone

Windshield for Shotgun Mic

Rycote full windshield kit 4 for Sennheiser MKH-416

Rode VideoMicro

Compact On Camera Microphone

Audio Recording and Interfaces

You are going to have to record audio when shooting your video.  There are two ways to do it known as double or single system recording.  In layman’s terms this means recording with the camera or recording independently of the camera.  There are upsides and downsides to both options.

To record audio with the camera you can plug a microphone directly into the input of the camera.  With DSLRs this limits you to plugging in with a mini jack which can sometimes sound awful.  Alternatively you can use an audio interface which allows you to use a balanced line input.  This generally sounds much better, gives you more control over the audio being recorded and allows you to use longer microphone cables which means that you can get your microphone closer to your audio source.

The second way to record audio is to use an independent audio recorder also known as a field recorder.  There are quite a number of these on the market.  On the rare occasions that we actually do this we use a Fostex FR2 which we have had since our TV production days and is of course no longer available to buy.  Because of this I have included below what I would buy now if I needed to.

Panasonic DMW-XLR1

Microphone Adapter

Tascam Dr-40

4-Track Portable Digital Recorder

Tascam DR-60D MKII

4-Track Solid-State Recorder

Headphones

If you are putting the effort in to get your audio right you are going to want to use the right set of headphones to monitor what you are recording.  That’s why we use Sennheiser HD 25 headphones with the split headband.  You cannot beat them for quality.  Don’t imagine that by shelling out similar amounts of money for a set of ‘Beats’ that you are going to get a comparable product.  Beats are £14 headphones sold for stupid amounts because they have some rappers name on them.  In short they are junk.  It always saddens me to see someone using them.  Sennheiser on the other hand have been around since 1945 and produce precision equipment or the audio, television and aviation industries. But hey, if you think that ‘Beats’ are cool, knock yourself out. Please do.

Sennheiser HD 25

Closed Headphone with split headband

Sennheiser HD 25 Light

Closed Headphone with split headband

 

MEMORY CARDS

Is it really possible to get excited about memory cards? Admittedly the capacity of these things is becoming ridiculous, but it’s still hard to get worked up over something that most of the time you really aren’t going to think about until your capacity to store video runs out.  I can’t remember the last time we actually did.  It was back in the dark ages when we were still shooting in HD on a broadcast camera and even then we had shot a hell of a lot of footage. Since we moved over to shooting in UHD 4K and film in MP4 which produces smaller file sizes than the older clunkier codecs of the past we have never looked back.  Either way, we use four 512 GB SanDisk Extreme card because they have the capacity we need and can cope happily with recording from our GH4s.  I have included the newer, faster cards that SanDisk are now producing because if you are going for the GH5 and want to take advantage of its higher image quality and frame rates you are going to want the faster cards.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 512 GB

SDXC UHS-I Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme PRO 32 GB

up to 300MB/s UHS-II Class 10 U3 SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64 GB

up to 300MB/s UHS-II Class 10 U3 SDXC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB

up to 300MB/s UHS-II Class 10 U3 SDXC Memory Card

Drones

As you may have noticed some of our footage is shot using a drone.  These things are great.  They add a dimension to our films that could previously only be achieved with a camera crane or a helicopter.   We use the DJI Mavic Pro.  It’s small so we can take it anywhere we go without struggling under its weight and it films in stunning UHD 4K, so the footage works seamlessly with the footage we shoot with our other cameras.  We use the DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo which comes with extra batteries, spare rotor blades and a bag to keep it all in.

 

 

If however you think you might like to go for something a bit bigger then you can always go for the DJI Inspire 2.  This drone will give you a huge variety of choice when it comes to cameras, lenses, codecs, etc.

 

 

Camera Stabiliser

If you want those smooth moving shorts like you see in the movies then you need a cameras stabiliser.

We use the DJI ronin M.  You can get one by clicking HERE.

DJI Ronin M

Or there’s the later model the Ronin-MX which you can get HERE.

DJI Ronin-MX

If you want to go all out you can go the whole hog and get yourself the Ronin 2 and hang some seriously heavy cameras off it.  That’s available HERE.

DJI Ronin 2

 

Camera Bags

If like us you are out and about in some fairly unforgiving locations it’s worth investing in a really good bag to protect you equipment and to make it as easy as possible to transport. That’s why after an exhaustive search we settled on the Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW backpack.  This is a brilliant backpack.  It’s got all the padded partitions you need for your camera gear as well as sections for clothing, etc. and on the outside of the bag you have straps to hold your tripod or alternatively your skis. Because who doesn’t want to take skis with them?  This comes in two sizes but we use the bigger of the two due to the amount of kit we drag around with us.

Lowepro Whistler BP 350

Backpack for Camera – Grey

Lowepro Whistler BP 450

Backpack for Camera – Grey