Our Amateur Film Maker Kit
The ultimate film makers SLR. Most Amateur and Professional Cinematographers on a budget will be seen with this SLR kitted out with innovative Supports that transform it from a regular SLR camera into a film makers dream toy. The Full frame 35mm sensor produces a beautiful cinematic shallow depth of field when used with photographic lenses with wide apertures of f2.8 and below. Also lets not forget that its primary purpose is to produce amazing photographs at the touch of a button, even during filming. The Canon 5D Mk2 is our favourite camera that we’ve owned so far and the only SLR to top it at present is probably the Canon 5D mk3 which was released in 2012. Shoots Full HD 1080p video at 30fps, 25fps and 24fps (frames per second).
Our Favorite lens. Produces amazing cinematic visuals with precision sharpness and contrast. The combination of long focal length, wide aperture and image stabilization make full body portraits and close up detail video clips look like a true cinema quality shot. The ‘L’ in the title means it’s one of Canons professional lenses and the quality of the glass is outstanding. Once you’ve used an ‘L’ lens everything else just looks blurry.
One of the cheapest Canon lenses you can buy and a great starter lens to give your photos and videos that cinematic shallow depth of field. Its wide aperture of f1.8 lets in loads of light and allows shooting in dark conditions without the need of a flash gun or additional lighting. Plus because its cheap it is made from very light plastics meaning that it is quite nimble for when you want to bring your SLR, but don’t want to lug around your heavy expensive lenses. Highly recommended for its value for money.
The all round work horse lens of our kit. The f/4 apeture stays consistent throughout the zoom range making it perfect for indoor lighting situations when you need to shoot manual and zoom in and out regularly. Also the image stabilization is essential for Hand Held Video and it takes the tiny shocks out of the imperfections on our travel dolly rail. We use this a lot because the zoom range is very versatile, especially on the wide end due to the Full Frame sensor camera like the Canon 5D mk2.
This lens is quite expensive and we don’t use it that often. But we needed to replace our Sigma wide angle lens because it wasn’t sharp enough. This uses the L type glass and is very crisp and clear. Also the aperture drops down to a consistent f/2.8 which combined with its 16mm wide focal length makes it great for Star time lapses and Astro-photography.
Our Second Camera. It has a handy tilting LCD which is very handy for video. Also shoots at 50fps in HD 720 mode for slow motion shots. Also shoots full HD 1080p as well. This camera is lighter and newer than our 5D mk2 but has a much smaller APS-C sized sensor.
This is the holder mount for our 100mm x 133mm lens filters. Allowing us to add creative glass or plastic slides in front of the lens. An essential piece of kit for Landscape Photography or harsh lighting conditions.
The ultimate accessory for Landscape Photography and Video work. It keeps the details in a bright sky by balancing the harsh light source from above with the darker shaded areas on the ground. A balanced exposure makes footage looks so much more professional and we don’t ever go to a shoot without this in the bag.
Something we have been putting off buying for a long time because we don’t often shoot video at night. But this little portable LED panel has come in handy for adding a sparkle to the eyes of subjects in close up shots. Used correctly, it can really add a cinematic look to the footage if used off camera.
There is no substitute for a dolly slider rail when you want that true cinematic look. This is one of our most used pieces of kit. We don’t like to go out shooting without it. The best part is that it is only 600 mm long so it fits in the back of our camera bag allowing us to travel light.
This slider is pretty big at one metre long, and pretty heavy for us to travel with. We use it for shoot move shoot time lapses which creates movement in the foreground as the clouds or subjects speed by in the shot. It’s a cool piece of kit for time lapse shooters but not practical for every day travellers.
The ultimate action cam. We use this for all our car/motobike mounted shots and recently we have been using it on an aerial drone so we can film from the sky. It is very durable and capable of amazing things. It even shoots 4k footage and can reach frame rates of 120 fps in 720p mode which is unbelievable for such a small device. I just wish it had some kind of Exposure lock function so we could take some manual control over the footage. Otherwise, awesome camera.
Taking to the sky with the QU4D is going to allow us to create some really cinematic footage. We have been using this device more and more and will try to come up with some really creative ways to use it to make our videos truly next level. We have a Tarot T-2D Gimbal attached to the bottom that makes the footage stable and level during flight. Expect great things.
This is what we have attached to the bottom of our Steadidrone Qu4d. It keeps the camera level when flying like a steadicam would. Using two brushless motors and a clever on board gyro.
Large super fast write speed SDHC memory card for the Canon 60D. You need class 10 SDHC memory cards or more to record video without error. Slower write speeds will cause the video to stop recording without notice. Always look for SDHC, not SD.
For those floating on air camera shots, you need a Stabilizer. This Glidecam 2000 model is our favourite because the multiple axis gimble that the handle is attached to allows you to creatively tilt and spin the fluid motion as you shoot. Unlike the much dearer ‘Merlin Steadicam’ which doesn’t allow that kind of movement. However the Merlin is lighter, more compact and easier to set up in a hurry. Word of Warning though, these stabilizers take a lot of practice to get the technique and balance right. J has been known to stay up until 3am trying to get the perfect amount of weights on the unit before a shoot.
Solid Heavy tripods are better for Video. This one has a 2-Way fluid assisted Panning head for smooth movement. But it is pretty rubbish for photography because you can’t switch between horizontal and vertical compositions or get it low to the ground.
The daddy of all camera bags for the professional photographer who has to carry a lot of kit in one handy place. We procrastinated over buying this because of its price but when we got it, it was worth the cost. We can put ALL our pro kit into it or onto it. including a 17 inch laptop and our super long telephoto lenses. It’s built like a round the world back pack with solid reinforced straps and supports. Plus has a water proof cover hidden in the bottom.
Pretty much the same information applies to these CF cards as the SDHC cards listed above. Except the Canon 5D mk2 takes this type of card. If the speed isn’t written in classes, look out for write speeds above 45 mb/s or x266 speeds upwards.
This is the secret behind our Dramatic photographic techniques. ‘Strobism’ is when you take external flash guns and trigger them wirelessly to create dramatic lighting. We use 3 of these receivers to trigger 3 flash guns up to 100 metres away whether they’re behind walls or underground. With the Pocket wizard TT5 they always fire. You can get much cheaper kits from china but we’ve tried them all and they just don’t work under pressure, especially at weddings and places where you only get one shot.
You need this unit sat in the hot shoe of your Canon Camera to fire the TT5 receivers. Another great thing you get with the Pocket wizard kit is that you can set all the flash exposures to automatic even though the camera isn’t connected to the flash guns. This is the only transmitter kit that we know of that can do this at the time of writing.
This little accessory is like a remote control for your pocket wizards. It slots into the top of the TT1 Transmitter and allows you to adjust the brightness of your flashguns from 100 metres away. The numbers and switches allow you to control up to 3 flash guns exposure settings individual. Allowing the ultimate control in dramatic strobe lighting.
We use these lights for our Professional Stock Photography. They are powered by the mains and set off by an infrared trigger so we don’t use them on location much. They have modelling light function so you can preview where the shadows will fall. This function also doubles up as a video lighting set up. The kit comes with two different sized soft boxes which create a nice soft lighting for photography.
We don’t own this personally but have used it on shoots before. It has a long reach and it records sound directionally, muting out noise behind and to the sides of it.
Absolutely amazing sound recording quality with full manual control. Can be a little tricky to understand all the functions. We used on of these to record the narrative for our wedding video and it was like studio quality. Professional musicians use this bit of kit.
Adobe Premiere is the software we use to edit our video clips, overlay music and narrative plus add basic text overlays. It is quite simple to get the hang of and has been designed to be quite user friendly.
We are currently using version CS5.5 but Adobe have now replaced that software with CS6 which has all the latest updates and features that i don’t yet know about!
Adobe After Effects is like Photoshop for Video. Any crazy special effects, dancing fonts, Motion Tracking, Masked Transitions or Moving composite introductions and photos have been created in this program. If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere then you may pick this up fairly quickly. If not, it’s not the simplest package to learn but the best way to go about it is by following video tutorials on youtube or from www.videocopilot.net.
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