Best gear for student filmmakers: cameras, light kits and more



An overview of the essential equipment for any budding filmmaker.

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So you have decided to get into the cinema. Maybe you’re inspired by the way director Ava DuVernay shines a light on stories about underrepresented communities, or George Lucas’ ability to take audiences on cosmic adventures. Either way, being a filmmaker means you have stories to share with the world. Congratulations on finding your passion. Now that you know what you want to do, you will need a few supplies to help you reach those achievement goals.

Having your own equipment allows you to practice shooting films for as long as you want (you can also rent your equipment and earn a few cents for your investments). To help you make the right purchase choice, we’ve put together a list of essentials for beginning filmmakers, which you can read below. For more gear, check out our list of the best cameras for every budget, the best screenwriting books, and comfortable shoes to wear on your next film set.

Nikon D780 Camera

You can’t be a filmmaker without having something to shoot with, can you? You might be able to save on some equipment, but when it comes to filming you want your footage to be clear. The Nikon D780 offers full frame photography and 4K video, slow motion, time lapse, long exposure without distance and more to help you with your creative content. An improved edition of the Nikon D750, the D780 features an advanced 180,000-pixel scene recognition system, phase-detection autofocus in still photos and video, and seamless image transfer. easy yarn. The D780 will deliver extremely detailed photos and videos even in low light conditions thanks to a 24.5 megapixel back-illuminated full-frame FX sensor. Another cool feature is that the LCD touchscreen tilts for easy shooting from any angle.

Neewer 14.17 ″ Unidirectional mono microphone for camcorder and digital SLR camera

Make no mistake about the sound quality. Nothing is worse than having an amazing video only to realize that your audio has annoying background noise or a horrible hum eclipsing what you are trying to record. Eliminate audio mishaps with the Neewer 14.17 ″ mono unidirectional microphone for camcorder and digital SLR cameras. This product has a professional voice pickup, isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise. It has a 26-hour battery life, so expect it to keep doing long shoots. The windproof foam cap gives you extra protection against unwanted sounds.

72 ” Elite Series Full-Size Professional Camera Tripod

No cameraman? No problem. Sometimes as a student filmmaker you just don’t have the extra cash to hire another person and tripods are a great way to help. Simply attach your camera to the tripod, hit record, and let the duo do their work. The quick release button saves time during setup and breakdown, and the feet are non-slip to keep your shot positioned the way you want it. This tripod extends up to 72 ″, folds down to 26 ″ and is compatible with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax cameras. A microfiber cloth to keep your lenses clean is also included with this purchase. The tripod also comes with a carrying case for easy transport.

Neewer 5-in-1 Round Folding Multi-Disc Light Reflector

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get great products. These foldable light reflectors get the job done without costing money. For $ 13, you get five reflectors in translucent, white, gold, black, and silver so you can choose the one that best suits your vision. The reflectors were constructed with a small integrated loop that allows you to hold, hang, or mount them. Once done, simply twist to instantly fold them to a fraction of the size. From the price tag to the lightweight design of this product and the portable carrying case for convenience, these reflectors are perfect for students.

Brian Michael Stoller’s “Cinema for Dummies”

“Filmmaking for Dummies” is a relatively simple how-to guide described as a tool to help you bring your project to life. The For Dummies series has long been a useful resource when it comes to studying different industries and tasks, and this book offers a wealth of knowledge. Award-winning filmmaker Bryan Michael Stoller, who has worked with James Earl-Jones, Barbra Streisand, Drew Barrymore and others, provides valuable insight into the world of cinema. The book offers tips on everything from storyboarding to editing, it even gives tips on the perfect pitch to sell your story once it’s done.

Carrefour 35L backpack

Now that you’ve got the gear, you’re going to need something durable that can keep it safe. The Crossroads 35L Backpack is made from water and abrasion resistant TuffSkin nylon, making it perfect for virtually any filming location. The flap opening allows you to store your things like you would in a suitcase, in the convenience of a backpack. Side zipper entry points make it easy to access your belongings without having to remove your backpack when you’re on the go. The EVA foam and anchored straps have been designed for your comfort as you carry your gear from place to place. Need more options? Check out our list of backpacks and camera bags for student filmmakers.

52mm Essential Accessory Kit for Nikon DSLR Bundle

Different lenses give you different results, and trying a bundled kit can be the best way to experience a variety of options. This 52mm essential accessory kit for Nikon digital SLR cameras comes with wide angle and telephoto lenses. The wide-angle lens has a detachable macro lens for close-up, high-detail photography, while the telephoto adds to the zooming power of your camera. With this kit you will also receive three filters in UV, polarizing and neutral density, as well as a cleaning kit and four filters to increase the magnification for very detailed shots. While this is a great set, you’ll want to check your camera’s lens thread size before ordering to make sure it will fit what you have.

Elvid 9 Section Acrylic Production Slate with Color Sticks

Make sure your scenes are organized properly with this Nine Section Acrylic Production Slate with Color Sticks. The sections of the slate are Roll, Scene, Take, Production, Director, Camera, Camera, FPS, and Date. The size of this product measures 9.25 “x 11”.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 ″

With all the equipment you have for filming, you will need a computer to download and edit the content. This refurbished Apple MacBook Pro is on sale for $ 1,749, saving you around $ 500 while exploring your creativity. Features include a stunning 16-inch Retina display with True Tone technology and a six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers to give you amazing sound when you edit and read for friends. Editing can be a tedious process, but your MacBook will be able to handle it with up to 11 hours of battery life.

Urceri digital light meter

Light meters are a great way to determine the correct exposure for your photos. Test your lighting before you start shooting to avoid accidents (which are difficult to edit afterwards) with this portable light meter from Urceri, which allows you to measure brightness from 0 to 200,000 lux and ambient temperature. At 7.2 ounces, this drive is light and compact and features a digital color LCD display as well as data retention.

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