Gear: Accessories

The Zoom H4N is a must buy if you’re entering the HDSLR world, this stereo condenser microphone packs amazing clear and sensitive sound for a cheap price tag of £250. It’s often stated that an audience will tolerate bad footage if it sounds right, but if the footage is amazing and the audio terrible then they wont. This device fits nicely in your hand or can be mounted to a tripod using the mount underneath or can be adapted to fit your HDSLR rig/cage. Key features:

  • XLR x2 Inputs
  • 4channels
  • Condesor mic
  • changable audioa field -90 to 120
  • 4-5hour battery life (in my experiance)
  • Tripod mount
  • Records to SD card
  • 24 bit recording to WAV or MP3

The Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Monopod is quite simply amazing. I used this mounted with a canon 5dmrkiii for a wedding and man, did it make things easier for me. Its got a super smooth fluid head combined with heavy duty carbon fibre body. Its worth every penny, and, to top things off the small floor stand has a hold mechanism as where by it can stay in a tilted or upright position with more stiffness than normally found in Monopods (taking the burden of weight). Its super smooth movent with the fluid head can make for some reall nice slider like pull push motions. Key Features:

  • Very Tall Monopod–6.56′ (200 cm)
  • Minimum Height of 2.5′ (76.5 cm)
  • Weighs Just 4.21 lbs (1.91 kg)
  • Fluid Head Included
  • Pan-Bar for Smooth Panning and Tilting
  • Long Sliding Plate
  • 3 Mini Legs at Base for Added Stability
  • Supports Up to 8.8 Lbs (3.99 kg)
The Manfrotto 509HD Tripod is expensive, £1150 to be precise, but, if your going to be setting up professionally you need a good tripod, the best your money can buy. When i think about al the shoots I do for my self I know I dont need something with such a large footprint. I would simply use the Monopod above however, if your shooting live events or long interviews e.t.c you need a steady tripod with a very smooth pan and tilt that can hold that heavy camera. Key features:
  •  Maximum height – 173cm
  • Minimum height – 47cm
  • Load capacity -13kg
  • weight – 7.3kg
  • 509HD fluid head
  • Aluminium heavy duty legs

The DSLR Devices crane is a super lightweight compact  2 meter extendable crane strong enough to hold the weight of 3kg. It is cheap, £235 approx and has this amazing compact fold down system easy for a small footprint when shooting wedding e.t.c . It’s extremly smooth and comparable too much larger and more expensive cranes. You supply your own dumbbell weights and once balanced you can incorporate high production value into your shoot without  high cost. Key Features:

  • Light weight only 1.5kg (3.4lbs)
  • Compact design, folds down to 90cm (35 Inches)
  • From the ground > 2 Meters of height elevation (79 Inches / 6.5 Feet)
  • Ultra low friction brass bearings and washers
  • A2 Stainless Steel fastenings
  • High quality anodized black finish
  • Supports cameras ( including: microphone / matt box etc) weighing up to 3kg (6.6lbs)
  • Simple no tools required
  • Assembles in 6 simple steps, in as little as 15 seconds
  • Fits onto a standard camera backpack
  • Hand Built in the UK

The Heliopan 77mm variable ND Filter comes recommended by Philip Bloom himself, but, its expensive. The problem with Nd filters is they are needed on DSLR’s because we don’t have any built-in and if we want shallow depth of field out doors in bright sun light we have to use these add ons. unfortunately if you invest in cheaper ND’s your going to get two things, a slight colour change (usually purple) and a softening impact on you images, both very bad. To solve this you have to invest in top range ND’s and there worth it. Buy the biggest size thread you can afford then purchase step up rings this way it will fit ALL you lenses so you only need one. Key features:

  • High Quality Brass Rings
  • Adjustable from 1 to 6.6 stops
  • Totally Neutral in Color
  • Very Thin Filter (8.7 mm front edge to the front of the lens) to work with lenses as wide as 16mm!
  • Constructed of Legendary Schott Glass

The Small HD DP6 Monitor is a must have for DSLR shooting. It features a high HD resolution of 1280 x 800 in a small 5.6inch package, perfect for keeping your small form factor. The menu system is easily operated with a scroll dial on the top of the monitor and it has pro features like focus peaking (very important for DOF), you can use your already existing 5D, 7D batteries on this and to top it off it is regularly updated keeping it future proof. This is a must buy and is much better ergonomically that its marshals counterpart that runs of AA batteries. Key Features:

  • Display Area – 5.6″ Diagonal
  • Resolution –1280×800 NATIVE
  • Pixel Pitch-94.5(H) × 94.5(V)
  • Display Technology-IPS – Normally Black
  • Viewing Angle-160 U/D/L/R
  • Brightness-300 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio-500:1
  • Response Time-30ms
  • Inputs-3G/HD/SDI*-HDMI-Component-Composite-USB-IR Port
  • Outputs-HDSDI (Loop Through)*
  • Dimensions-4x6x1 Inches
  • Weight-14oz (SDI) –12oz (HDMI)
  • Power Consumption-6 Watts (HDMI)-8 Watts (SDI)
  • Mounting Points-4 x 1/4-20-4 x #6-32
  • Construction- Solid Aluminum
The 312 Dimmable Portable LED light is one of many cheap LED lights now available on Amazon and Ebay. These lights for the price are incredible and it amazes me that people are still going to sets with extremely hot and clumsy Red heads e.t.c The cheaper LED lights are subject to criticism with light flicker that has been reported occasionally, in my experience this has NEVER happened and I bought a £20 one and have used many other cheap models in interview sets. The lights are fully dimmable and ‘gels’ can be magnetically clipped on over the top easily (usually supplied with tungsten and daylight gels). I have one that runs off AA batteries but i would advise getting the one above that runs from rechargeable sources. You can also buy full light panels with stands and barn doors that are frequently popping up in modern studio sets, I would advise  putting a diffuser over the top of these style lights as they has produce some hard light giving off unwanted glare on your subject. Key features:
  • 312 LEDs 
  • Variable Color Temperatures – 3200K to 5600K
  • Wide Beam Pattern Built-in Dimmer
  • (2) Sony (after market) DV Batteries w/Charger
  • AC/DC Soft Carry Case
  • NEVER GETS HOT!
  • TINY FOOTPRINT (Ergonomic)
The Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC Card is a prime example of how fast and how far technology is moving. This little card can handle up to 95 megabites per second and the 32 Gig one will only set you back  £65. I shot a lot of 5dmrkiii footage on this at a wedding and it never crashed, always handled what I was giving it and gave me plenty of room to not have to worry about swapping my cards over. If your shooting HD footage you HAVE to get a fast class ten card, whether it be a SDHC or a Compact flash, I recommend this card and advise you buy the best you can afford especially if your hacking your camera with Magic lantern e.t.c. Key Features:
  • Manufacturer – SanDisk
  • Speed – 95Mb
  • Size – 16, 32, 64 gb
  • Temperature proof
  • Shock proof
  • Water proof

The Hawk TLS Matte Box is a good mid range sturdy product that suits it purpose perfects. Personally I find the whole idea of a matte box and why people use them to be a product of snobbery. They are used for two things, holding filters and controlling light enough to stop lens flares occurring. I don’t use my filters like this, if I need one It would be a ND and I would mount it to the lens not pay £700 for a piece of plastic. If I wanted to stop a lens flare I would try a longer focal length lens and move further away from the light source e.t.c. However, if you are not a HDSLR shooter and use expensive cameras then doing what I just said would be much harder especially on big sets, so they do have there uses. I guess what I am saying is don’t buy it because it makes your camera look good like the big boy cameras. This Matte Box features 2 filter slots and its own French flag, though you will have to pay more to get Barn doors.

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