Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part 3 : Video Gear

OK, I hope the food coma has subsided, and you are now ready to shop in earnest.
Just kidding.
Today, I’ll concentrate on some great new tools out there for your video making pleasure, or to gift the action storytellers on your list.

One of the most versatile, and quality products that is out there now is the Atomos Ninja Blade.

Essentially, it’s a video monitor/recorder that allows you to use your DSLR’s video sensor capabilities, and adds the features you wanted from a dedicated video camera.
Bypass the camera’s card slots and be able to record over 10hrs on an outboard drive. I’ve gone to the now affordable SSDs.Features I particularly like are the ability to use focus peaking, and highlight zebra functionality.
If you’ve been considering a vid monitor for your DSLR, this rig is an outstanding unit. An HD monitor and recorder that will record in ProRes and Avid ready files, so save time transcoding. At $500, it’s not cheap, but comes with a ton of accessories. Add a drive, cable, and some mounting accessories you probably have, and this could change the way you shoot video.
This is what come in the pelican-like case:
2 Ninja Samurai Blade Full Accessories Pack - ATOMBLDAC1-L
About $500. There is a terrific video on YouTube, that can give you a great overview as well. Just about 27 min, so not posting here.

Audio is 50% of your project. Unless it’s bad: then it’s 80%!
First off is an amazing deal at Amazon on the classic studio headphones. Sony MDRV6 Studio Monitor Headphones
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Why do you want these?
Aside from the price, currently $50, these headphones give you the actual, non-affected sound. not added bass, nor treble. You be the engineer, and mix/eq later. And very easy to gift at this price.

Of course, add some external mics onto your rig, and depending what you may be shooting, the range is endless.
On the affordable quality side is the Rode Series.
The Video Mic Pro by Rode is a high quality , lightweight shotgun mic, designed for the DSLR.
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About $250

A new, more compact, mic in the Rode line is the VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Mic. For only $60, this mic will do the job in a pinch. I now added this to my general bag.
614lIsjbwHL._SL1500_

Personally,for mics I use a Tram lav, TR-50, for prime interviews, and an Audio-Technica for my shotgun. Be prepared to spend a lot more for those, plus cables and probably wireless transmitters/recievers. I use Sennheiser and get along just fine. The Rode Micro is now always with me, just in case.

If you have a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, you’ve realized that you need a good rig to get the most out of it.
Check out the RedRockMicro RetroFlex.
This kit includes a great, versatile cage, one of the best viewfinders I’ve seen and a pistol grip handle with a cable to trigger the camera.
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It’ll look like a classic film camera, while giving you the handheld ease of operation. A full review is coming as well.
Honestly, I love the entireRedRock Micro line of mounts and filmmaking tools.
Start by buying some basic configurations. As you build the parts you need to customize the rig you require, you’ll find that the pieces will make up a rig tool box of sorts, you’ll reconfigure as your needs per shoot shift.
And there are deals right now!

Every videographer should own one of these. Yes, you need a solid tripod, but when you are shooting in tights spaces, or on fast deal, the Manfrotto MVM500A Aluminum Fluid Monopod with 500 Head, is a monopod with the total package. Comes a fluid head on the bottom legs, and a sweet pan head, you will use this. A lot.
Manfrotto 561B monopod
Affordable quality for only $240 (pictured is the previous version, the 561B. If you can find that, you’ll save about $50.)

These are a couple of ideas for you, and who knows, maybe there will be some great deals out there this weekend. This is good gear that will serve you well, however, and bring a smile to a gifted whether you get it on sale on not.

I’ll be doing some lighting and software reviews coming up shortly.

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