January 16, 2016 at 4:43PM


One man band video gear - money no real object.

Our agency wants to start producing a bunch of social media and web videos regularly in-house.

SO they've asked me to get a list together of all the gear they'll need, from cameras and lenses to lighting and sound equipment. We're going to start with one videographer (we have someone in mind) and slowly build the team up.

We want to be able to produce high quality videos for our clients so we don't want to skimp on the gear within reason. I have no idea where to start and would really appreciate it if you guys could point me in the right direction with a good starting list or even just some hints re: where to start!



I'm a one man band videographer for the majority of my projects.

My kit includes:

Panasonic GH4 with 14-42mm, 45-200mm Lumix lenses. Also an adapter for my Canon 50mm lens.

3x800watt redhead lighting kit on dimmer switches

Rode Videomic Pro
Sennheiser ew100 g3 lav mics
Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic
Zoom H4n ADR

Something similar should do to start out.

January 16, 2016 at 7:50PM

Andy O'Neill
Filmmaker / Cinematographer

Thanks, man!

Isabel F

January 17, 2016 at 5:55PM

I would HIGHLY recommend moving away from the DSLR world and go into the cinema style of shooting. Sounds like you're going to need some run and gun style shooting, can't be lugging around gear that you have to assemble for each shoot.

I use the C100 and LOVE it. Very tough and produces a beautiful image. You can obviously upgrade to the C300 or even C500, but this one is the lowest price in the line, and comes with the lens:
C100 with 24-105mm Lens: http://amzn.to/1RwD5ZS

For audio, G3s really are your best bet for starting:

You may want to upgrade your lav mic, the one that comes with the G3 is ok, but there are more robust industry standard lavs available:
Countryman B6: http://amzn.to/1ZI6tRr
OR B3: http://amzn.to/23aP6Ir

For a shotgun mic, don't skimp out. You'll be much happier knowing you have a fallback option if your lav mics give out. I have this one, best I've tested in over 5 years.
Sennheiser ME66: http://amzn.to/1ZI6Rj2
Or Cheaper ME67: http://amzn.to/1RwDF9Z

I use these lights on every single shoot. Pack into a tiny bag, comes with batteries, dimmable, CRI 95+ rated, with chargers and stands:
Aputure LED Lights: http://amzn.to/23aPqH8

Hope that helps!

January 18, 2016 at 1:45PM, Edited January 18, 1:45PM

Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker

I second getting an actual video camera...the c100 (mk2 !!! ) is indeed an excellent choice
I also second Aputure's LED lights. I suggest getting at least 4 lights...3 light the talent and you have 1 for lighting the background.
Get some type of reflector or bounce board if you're shooting outdoors in the daytime.
Get the Sigma 18-35mm Art lens, and a fast 50mm Prime. Better than the 24-105 for low light situations...
For audio check out the Rode Link wireless and the NTG-3 shotgun (get a blimp for it and a boompole with internal coiled cable). If you need to record more than 2 channels of audio (or want WAY better quality than what the C100's preamps will provide) look at the Sound Devices 744t...expensive but worth it.
Get a solid tripod...I own this and its been problem free for nearly 3 years now http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/861089-REG/Libec_RS_350RM_RS_350RM...

January 18, 2016 at 5:08PM, Edited January 18, 5:09PM

Kerrin McLean
Director / DP / Editor

Oh, man ... If money was no object, I'd get a bunch of Arri L-series LED fresnels, or Nila Boxers! But I too like Aputure LED instruments. The Lightstorm LS1 from Aputure is really good, and about $700 USD. They also mesh well with Aputure's 528 and 672 instruments.

Controlling the light is the most important factor. Reflectors are essential to bounce light, but get also some flags to cut light you don't want.

I like Avenger 1004bac lightstands and A2033lcb C-stands. The former are robust and air-cushioned, and the latter feature a sliding leg so you can keep the staff vertical on uneven ground.

One correction: the Sennheiser ME67 is a longer shotgun than the ME66, and more expensive. I use them both -- often the 66 for interiors and the 67 for exteriors -- and they're great. But the Sennheiser MKH416 is still the industry standard after 40 years, and quite reasonably priced.

And if this is for a one-person-band situation, get some good cases and a wheeled cart so the crew individual can transport all the gear!

January 18, 2016 at 5:41PM, Edited January 18, 5:48PM

Minor Mogul

Canon cine line cameras are pretty awesome package and you won't need much more than the body to shoot. If money isn't an object go for quality. The GH4 will be outdated faster than a proper video camera.

January 19, 2016 at 3:40AM

Sebastian Kammonen

I have to temporarily disagree with every post made here for one reason, no one knows the circumstances for which the camera will be used. This invalidates all the advice given. The question that needs to be asked is what kind of work does your clients need? The cameras I would recommend for an interview are different than I would for run and gun. The needs of outdoors video is far different than indoor. For example if indoor and you are interviewing women, then I would suggest getting a black mist or pro mist filter, but we know that you need to please clients, but there is no way to give a blanket recommendation that amounts to a hill of beans without knowing the circumstances of use. Then there is the budget? A camera body is just one componant of a video recording system that can includes lights and most certainly includes audio. Again one man operation not as important than knowing the circumstances of use? It always surprises me that people will recommend cameras without knowing how they will be used?

January 19, 2016 at 4:10PM, Edited January 19, 4:11PM


My post wasn't advice. Just an example of a one man band kit and to start their ideas at something similar.
The kit I have I use at a professional level including TV companies, which in Europe (I'm from Ireland) are quite strict on what you're allowed to use.

Andy O'Neill

January 20, 2016 at 4:49AM

he did mention social media and web videos...A solid performing camera with XLR audio and ND's, with some good lenses, will cover most duties...Furthermore the OP specifically asked for equipment suggestions...so whats the issue?

Kerrin McLean

January 21, 2016 at 1:40PM

I would also like Isabel to post some examples of what the agency are intending to do...

It's really hard otherwise.

January 20, 2016 at 4:35AM

Viktor Ragnemar

I strongly advise you against what was said. There is no such thing as a perfect kit, many option are good but gives very different result and style.
Don't buy on our advice, the only choice that should matter it the one of the guy who will use the gear, he knows what he likes and how to get the best of the camera he knows, and if he doesn't know what camera to buy, then don't hire that guy because he doesn't know the job.

January 20, 2016 at 5:44AM


Id only stick with DSLR for price and usability. Get two GH4s and some decent glass. Sigma 18-35 1.8 or perhaps an L series zoom. Id say stick with zooms unless your videographer specifically wants primes. Zooms will allow one person to do alot of coverage, even on two cams.
Wescott flexlights for lighting, breaks down into very small packages and outputs some great lights. Lightweight of lightweight. Also get this person tons of pop open bounces, stands and clamps. Mostly A clamps.
Sound will be tricky, I run dual system sound even when Im one man banding. However I really think a single setup that goes direct into camera would be best. A beachtek device might work nicely, DXA-SLR I used once and it brought some nice audio. NTG mic and a boom stand will be able to cover talent well enough.
Lastly Id get the atomos ninja assassin, its a great device that will definitely assist a one man band frame and record shots.
But yes, ask your videographer what he/she likes and uses. This is the kit Id spec if I were getting this job but other people have other tastes and ways to get their goal.

January 21, 2016 at 7:59AM

Chris Hackett
Director, Director of Photography, Writer

If you get a zoom look at constant aperture.

January 22, 2016 at 10:33AM


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