May 30, 2016 at 8:00PM, Edited May 30, 8:01PM


Potential filmmaking kit review?

Hi all,

I've been planning to upgrade a bit of gear for a while now, and although I don't have the money right now, I'm sort of planning what I'd spend where, when I do get the money.

FYI, I currently have a Nikon D3300, with the 18-55 f3.5-5.6 VR II kit lens, as well as a shoulder rig and a Rode Videomic GO and DIY boompole with cable.

Essentially I'm looking to get a whole pile of things, namely some lighting, some rig improvements, as well as a decent sound recorder.

I've made myself up a little list, and it comes to around $715 (roughly). That's a lot of money, especially for a 15 year old, but I'll work on it. I'd just like some thoughts on whether the kit is a good way to spend 700 bucks.

So here it is, in order of cheapest to most expensive items:

1. LCD Magnifier/Loupe - $6 (I'm gonna get this anyway, seeing as its only $6)

2. Pair of 2.1m light stands with 1/4 20 thread on top. - $23

3. 5-in-1 Reflector - $27

4. Rode Deadcat GO - $32

5. Top handle for my shoulder rig, so I can get low shots, and carry it easier - $34

6. Pair of battery powered LED lights off eBay, no exclusive brand, but they're 204 LEDs, and 1440 lumens, and run on NP-F series batteries, or AAs. - $80 for pair

7. Fluid Tripod Head (Yunteng YT-950) - $40

8. Tripod with removable head, to put the fluid head on (Weifeng/Fancier wf-6662a) it has a shaft that can be reversed, for macro photography stuff, as well as legs that open really wide - $43

9. Shoulder pad - I already have a cheap fotga sponge one, but I find it uncomfortable, and it slips off my shoulder. I've tried a manfrotto rig, and the first thing I noticed was that the shoulder pad goes down behind your shoulder, so you can push forward, against yourself, and get more stability. That's why I'm upgrading to a new shoulder pad - $65

10. 24"/60cm Slider - it's only a friction slider, no bearings, but it should do the job - $80

11. Fotga DP3000 follow focus - the follow focus I have now (neewer cn-90f) was good (because it was my first) but with my kit lens, it's just a pain. It's time to upgrade. - $105

12. Tascam DR-05 - I never really had a dedicated audio recorder, and after looking at the Zoom H1, I decided on this one, because of build quality, and the fact that there are no switches on the back of the unit, so I can mount it to the boompole freely - $170

If you guys could give me an insight into whether I'm making the right choices here, or have any recommendations, it's much appreciated, and I'll consider everything.



I would suggest the Tascam DR-40 as an upgrade to the DR-05. It's ~$40 more at B&H, but you get the XLR inputs, and it's still light enough and mountable for the end of a boom pole.

Do you have batteries already for your LED's?

May 31, 2016 at 10:45PM


I usually look at how an item will improve the end product. For instance, I see a 5-in-1 and LED lights, great call as it will instantly help you improve your imagery and allow you to learn lighting, I would get one more stand to hold the 5-in-1.

The follow focus does make focus pulling easier, but in the long run it won't show up on screen. Same with a shoulder pad. Getting a sweet rig is nice and fun, but you need to balance that with things that will help improve your look and sound.

Re: AA's vs NP-F970's - look into the cost of rechargeable batteries, probably around $20 for 4 and a charger. For an extra $10 you will get batteries that are almost industry standard for components like LEDs. My LEDs run about 3 hours on 2 of those (1'x1' panels), whereas my rechargeable AA's seem to die in under an hour.

June 2, 2016 at 11:21AM

Eric Buist
Producer | Creator

I get what you're saying with the follow focus, it can be a pain to pull on the barrel! You could look into some vintage glass, I picked up a lovely 28-70 2.8 Tokina on KEH for a deal, not the best lens ever, but it worked well in place of my kit lens at the time and it had really fun flare!

June 7, 2016 at 3:17PM

Eric Buist
Producer | Creator

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