Gear Talk – The Basics

ACTION! A Hands On Guide for Shooters and Filmmakers.

16 Feb Gear Talk – The Basics

As videographers and photographers, we are always trying to figure out what gear is necessary to need to get the job done? Will we need more lighting on this shoot? Extra memory cards? This week, we’re proposing a list of basic materials that you’ll ABSOLUTELY need for your first project.

Camera: Well, we had to start somewhere right? You’re camera is the most important component of your setup. It’s the device with which you will capture your environment/subject and translate that into a creative product. The type of camera depends on your needs, but always make sure to keep it cleaned and up to date with the latest firmware. In case you’re curious, our first camera was a Canon Rebel T3i.

Lenses: Your camera doesn’t work that well without a lens, and purchasing lenses depends on what your shoots are typically going to look like. Until you identify specific need for a specific lens, purchase a solid zoom lens that gives you flexibility and diversity in shots. Something like a 24-70mm is a great place to start!


Extra Batteries: You only think about then when all of your batteries are dead the morning of the shoot. Your camera doesn’t work if you don’t have batteries to power it. Be sure to charge all of your batteries before a shoot, and have plenty of spares on hand the day of.

Memory Cards / Hard Drives: Having multiple memory cards is a must on a shoot. You must have enough memory to store your footage. You also need cards with a quick write speed, so that your camera can keep up with a fast paced shoot. If you’re shooting video, you will be dealing with large file sizes. A pair of 32GB is a good start. Be sure to backup all of your footage on multiple hard drives immediately after your shoot, so that you can format your memory cards for the next one.


Backpack: Having all of your gear in one place is absolutely essential. First, you need to be able to transport your gear comfortably and efficiently. Then, you need to be able to have a home base on your shoots where you can store and find your gear. Your backpack should be able to store everything, from your camera and lenses, to your hard drives and extra batteries.

Tripod: Absolutely essential. Never go to a shoot without a tripod. EVER. By mounting your camera to a sturdy stand, you dramatically increase the quality of your footage. You may like to freehand, but having the tripod with you is an absolute must. Don’t cheap out either. Get a sturdy stand that will stand the test of time!

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