- Panasonic GH5
- When you see this camera, you’ll first think, “Oh, that’s so small.” But, you might change your mind when you learn that it shoots 4096×2160 at 400 Mb/s 10-bit 4:2:2 and Anamorphic 6,144×2072 at 200 Mb/s 10-bit 4:2:2. That’s just what it can do internally. Plus, I’ve mount-modified the camera to fit cine lenses and placed it on a Sachtler base with a SmallHD 5″ monitor and Chrosziel matte box. Not so small now, is it? As a disclaimer, I swap out this camera for legitimate cinema cameras when the budget warrants it.
- E-Image and Benro tripods
- Both brands offer sturdy three-legged support for up to 20 pounds. Heads are compatible with standard Manfrotto long plates.
- Syrp Magic Carpet 31″ slider
- This slider keeps the rolling parts on the inside of the tubes, making for a smooth glide even in dusty conditions. I’ve used sliders from top brands like Rhino and keep coming back to this one for its consistency.
- DJI Ronin S
- Everyone has to have a gimbal these days. I now have this one, which is a great stick-based gimbal from the famed drone maker. This gimbal can be remoted out to focus puller and external monitor for viewing by the director. Arms can also be attached. The max payload is about 4 pounds, though I’ve seen pictures of Red Scarlets sitting in the mount.
- Glide cam
- For those who despise gimbals, I have two old-school glide cams. One is for full-size work and the other fits into a fanny pack. The fanny pack is back. There are no batteries to worry about and the payload can be as much as you can physically hold.
- Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8
- If you know lenses, you’ve heard of this one. It’s a tack-sharp, low-light, wide-angle lens that is becoming the standard in every cinematographer’s kit no matter the budget. No other zoom lens on the market can shoot this wide and in as dark conditions and with as much sharpness as this one.
- Carl Zeiss Contax Lens Set
- These lenses are the cousins of the Super Speeds and the Compact Prime lenses from Carl Zeiss. Contrast and sharpness are on par with those lenses. You’d be amazed at how many high-budget commercials are shot on a Contax Zeiss kit. This particular set has been cine modded for professional use.
- Sennheiser MKE-600 Shotgun Mic
- This microphone captures a wonderful level of detail in sit-down interviews. It is a great value for most low to mid-budget projects. Projects at higher budgets generally involve bringing in a sound recordist with his/her own gear.
- Zoom H6 with 4 XLR inputs
- Don’t mistake this recorder for the H4 that is floating around in every beginning camera operator’s grip bag. The preamps are cleaner than the H4 and it can record up to 6 tracks at once all with limiters and phantom audio. Battery life on this thing is incredible.
- PC Editing Suite
- The computer has full 4k-editing capabilities with a Ryzen 7 CPU, a GTX 1060 GPU, and 32 GB of ram inside. All hard drives are solid state. If you’re looking to me as an editor for one of your projects, it is important to know that I edit 20% faster on solid-state drives than on traditional hard disks. I did the math here. All the milliseconds waiting for the video tracks to scrub and projects to load add up to a lot of wasted hours. The average cost of a project actually drops when adding in the cost of a solid-state storage solution once hours have been added up. The speed of solid-state storage saves me time and sanity on every project.
- I edit with the Adobe Creative Suite. I can also use Avid and DaVinci Resolve if necessary.