Holiday Gift Guide 2018 – Part 3! Let’s Talk Video

OK, the first item up is what I believe is the gear purchase of the year:
Gimbals!
Why is it the gear of the year?
WE ALL NEED SMOOTH FOOTAGE!!!
The Drone has been dominating the new gear of previous years, it’s true.
As a commercial producer, I know the uses of a solid pro drone, and the shots you can get like no other. That is when we are putting on a RED or Alexa to the drone.
For the enthusiast, the current licensing and restrictions for use, have limited the out of the box enjoyment. Forget cities.
And even in personal videos, the footage has limited uses. You can just see so many drone shots. For real estate and large acreage properties, they have their function.
Overall we know Smooth footage is where it’s at.
Even when you walk with a gimbal, you’ll get shots that look like you laid down some track and had a dolly. Seriously, in my ad agency, just saw some footage like that tonight.
That’s where the gimbal comes in.

Maybe you are using a smartphone and know that that small unit will reveal every shake of your hands. Go for the Zhiyun Smooth 4. The collaboration with Filmic Pro app for video shooting on smartphones puts a very robust film making tool in your hands.

or DJI Osmo 2.

Both gimbals use Filmic Pro as well as their own proprietary software. The Zhiyun comes with a mini tripod to help when you stabilize and give extra gripping area. DJI OSMO 2 requires a separate base purchase. And both can use a GoPro to increase the usage options.

Using a bigger camera? How about you step up to the Weebill Lab for mirrorless, or Crane 3 for DSLR. This is the kind of gear you should own. Period. End of story.
At about $600 for the Weebill Lab, this will improve the quality for your videos, is light enough for travel, and balances with ease. A full review is forthcoming.

New features include ability to use your phone as a monitor, available compact follow focus, or zoom control. Get the creator kit for follow focus motor, and the smart phone holder.
By the way, if you watch any press conferences, you’ll see the gimbal is coming around for the journalist as well. Maybe jockeying for position is better when you come out with smooth footage!
To be honest, I’m still using the Crane 2, which is avail for great prices, including a follow focus motor.

It is important to note the weight with gimbals. For instance, the Ronin-S, a great product, weights 1lb more, than the Zhiyun Crane 2. Important info when you will be holding this for long periods of time.
All of these gimbals will work with whatever cam you have, for a basic performance. Certain cameras will be enhanced based on software on the gimbal. Check your model for compatibility.

Remember, audio is 50% of your project, Unless it’s bad, then it’s 80%!
There are so many ways to go, and here is just an inexpensive way to up your run and gun production. That is a Rode VideoMicro.

A small, directional mic that fits on your camera and takes up little room.
Well priced, and one of those items that should always be in your bag. Comes with the wind screen, and mounting for your cameras hot shoe.
For lavs, I go Sanken, or Tram-50, and then you have so many choices on shotgun mics, depending on your budget and quality of sound. For handheld, the choice I would recco is the Electro-Voice RE50B – Omnidirectional Dynamic Shockmounted ENG Microphone.
If you can, go to a brick and mortar store and discover the sound room to listen to the different qualities of the mics.

In the action camera realm, the new GoPro Hero Black 7 is well worth the price. At about $400, the improved image stabilization is a huge help, especially in a small camera.

Honestly, couple it with a Smooth 4 gimbal and you have a great action rig, that will deliver smooth, solid action footage.
Being waterproof, you can take this on the holiday vacation! Vertical mode is avail so your social posts will be mobile friendly.
Battery life is still meh, especially if you use all the features: monitor, stabilization, 4K, etc.
Amazon has some great deals, and picking up a pack of 3 with a charger will be under $30.
Currently Go Pro is including a $50 micro SD card with your purchase, and that’s a pretty good deal.

So many tripods to choose from, and once again, as a gift this gets specific to video gear used, and situations.
One thing that will always be needed is a good monopod with a fluid head.
Manfrotto XPro monopod with 500 series fluid head. When you have no room to stretch your tripod legs, need all the capabilities of a smooth pan and tilt, this is the unit.

It’s become a classic, and you can’t miss with giving this monopod to your favorite videographer.( is it you?)
Picture next to it is a Sirui monopod. What I like about this one is that it’s only 14 ins long! And the carbon fiber legs make it a great light weight choice. Add a small video head, or ball head, and you are nimble!
PLEASE NOTE: SIZES ARE NOT RELATIVE TO EACH OTHER IN THE PHOTO!!

Last for the really great video gift, is a monitor from Atomos.
A big purchase, but how much do you love your favorite videographer?

Highly recommend this unit, and all of the Atomos products.
Gonna be a bit lazy here, but here is a perfect description of what this does for you:
Eliminate your camera’s internal compression and time limits – record up to 4Kp60 10-bit HDR video direct from your camera’s sensor over HDMI 2.0. Teamed with a 1TB AtomX SSDmini you can now achieve up to 150 minutes of 4K recording on a single drive! And when you’re done, your edit-ready ProRes and DNxHR recordings are stored on affordable SSD drives.FEATURES:HDR/SDR – The Ninja V displays 10+ stops of dynamic range in realtime from Log/ PQ/HLG signals. See your images clearly in daylight on the near edge-to-edge anti-reflection screen.Compact Monitor Recorder – The new Ninja V features a stunningly bright 5.2” 10-bit HDR monitor with an astounding 1000 nits of output. The sleek aluminium body is crafted for maximum durability, weighing in at just 320g and measuring only 25mm thick.Playback – AtomOS allows accurate set up and one-touch operation, ensuring a great recording every time. Of course, a recording isn’t complete until checked; Ninja V allows instant playback, slow motion and frame-by-frame analysis for immediate review.Record 4K HDR Gaming – Ninja V is a stand-alone system for 4k UHD, HDR and high frame rate capture that eliminates expensive, complicated and unreliable PC setups. Ninja V enables simple recording, monitoring and instant review. Capture every detail in HDR and automatically include all the correct HDR flags ready for upload to YouTube.SSD Made Mini – Atomos has worked closely with their drive partners at Angelbird and Sony to bring you the AtomX SSDmini. These tiny drives are only 7mm high and 80mm long. They retain the same SATA III connector as traditional SSDs and they are backward compatible with our range of Ninja, Shogun and Sumo devices.Great Sound – Like all Atomos Monitor/Recorders, Ninja V enables audio input directly from your camera. CABLE – The Atomos Right-Angle Micro to Full HDMI Coiled Cable (11.8-17.7 In.) has right-angled micro connector for use with the Ninja recorder.

You will need to buy SSD drives, and I’d say some Sony LP batteries, or a D-Tap connector for your larger batts.
This is a right rig.

So we could go on and on, but this should give you some good ideas in the video realm, with units to work in most situations.

Oh, did I mention Premiere Pro for editing software? OK, I just did!

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