July 21, 2016 at 1:28PM


Documentary gear for young filmaker

OK. So I'm looking at getting some new gear and I'm wondering what should I get. I mainly do documentary's. I have a canon 70d. 18-55 kit. 50mm, zoom h5, rode vmp , viewfinder, 24-105, 70-300
Should I get
1 a monitor. (Apurture fine HD)
2 a ntg 4 and blimp
3 aperture amaran led and scrims + stands



I would go with the NTG4+ because the Video Mic Pro is by far not as good as the NTG4+. And audio is very important in film.

July 22, 2016 at 1:52PM, Edited July 22, 1:52PM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller

Thanks, really appreciate the response

Kieran Murphy

July 28, 2016 at 2:45PM, Edited July 28, 2:45PM

I'd sell everything but the 24-105 and buy a C100m1, an NTG2, and a senn g3 lav, used it possible.

For me, shooting doc is easiest when you have a compact cam that does everything and doesn't require a lot of assembly.

July 23, 2016 at 2:14PM, Edited July 23, 2:19PM


I totally agree. The C100 is a great Doc cam. Especially with DPAF. All the equipment you mentioned is pretty awsome for any Doc shooter. That NTG2 is a great outdoor mic. DOCs are all about great ergonomics and audio. The fact the the C100 shoot great image as well is gravy.

Logan Fish

July 24, 2016 at 3:35AM

If you never seen Cartel Land check it out on Netflix. It's quite amazing.

But here is a BTS that might help you choose, I agree with G Nicholas, keep it compact, something you can just turn on and you get sound and everything into one image so it's not cumbersome, the H5 is awesome but it'll probably get annoying turning on everything if you need to go quick.

Tony Adalbert

July 25, 2016 at 4:42PM

Oops, here's the link: https://vimeo.com/132462755

Tony Adalbert

July 25, 2016 at 4:42PM

Thanks everyone, didnt expect this much reponse

Kieran Murphy

July 28, 2016 at 2:47PM

The shotgun mic depends on whether or not you'll have someone with you to hold it, or some sort of stand. I'd consider getting a lav and keep the Rode Videomic. Between the monitor and the lights, I'd go for the lights.

July 24, 2016 at 1:51PM

Gareth Ng

Shotgun mic is still useful on-camera in docs, because there's plenty of times when you're relying on on-camera audio. But I'd consider at least one lav set a necessity, and am sceptical a monitor is needed at all.

Adrian Tan

December 27, 2016 at 11:01AM

H4N Pro is the best audio tool you can get

July 25, 2016 at 2:21PM


You don't mention if you're a one man band or have a crew? Lights are great but will add setting up time and are only really good when you can control a situation. Which isn't that often in a documentary.

I've shot extensively with the 70d it's a great camera (check my profile for some of my stuff) but can tell you a monitor is out, because it doesn't give a clean signal out to record over HDMI.

Also the kit lens is super handy as it's silent with no focusing noise. Which if you have a mic onboard the camera you need a silent lens.

Also a rode mic is great. But it's XLR and no way to feed directly into the 70D. So you need something to feed it into like seperate recorder.

Radios mics could be a good idea if your following a specific person around as you can feed straight into the camera. But only works with one person. If you're shooting more general doc style footage that's not going to help you much because you'll need atoms sound.

It comes down to what type of documentary will you be shooting? Then Tailor the gear around that.

July 25, 2016 at 6:56PM

Cole Black

yeah sorry, im a one man band. thanks for the reply. its great to have such a big community here at nfs

Kieran Murphy

July 28, 2016 at 2:48PM

First I would go for a wireless lav mic, and a beachtek mcc-2. It helps A LOT for documentaries and run and gun. Otherwise I would go for the light kit as it will improve a lot the quality of the interview shot, I have a 3 light kit, I don't use it very often but when I do it makes all the difference.

July 26, 2016 at 2:30PM


Thanks, for the reply, it really helped me decide

Kieran Murphy

July 28, 2016 at 2:49PM

Strongly agree with the wireless lav - I use the Rode filmmaker kit, it's made a huge difference to my audio. Easy to set up and use.

Three lights sounds like a lot to carry around - I'd go for one good one, and a couple of cheap five-in-one folding reflector-diffusers.

July 28, 2016 at 5:33AM

Tom Barrance
Film educator

Thanks. that sound like a gr8 plan

Kieran Murphy

July 28, 2016 at 2:50PM

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