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Essential Filmmaking Equipment Items

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the field for a long time but you’re looking to invest in some additional gear for your career, we all want to own the most essential filmmaking equipment items. While there is no one-size-fits-all checklist of essential gear that is right for every filmmaker, there are some variables that tend to be similar across everyone’s list.

Cameras, lights, audio equipment, lenses and storage top the list.

Video Cameras

professional video camera

You can’t make a film without a camera–right? The video camera that you choose for producing films will be the primary component and an essential piece of equipment that will stick with you for many years. Naturally, you want a camera that is rugged and tough, have the most features and is versatile enough to use for a wide range of projects.

Several options exist when it comes to video cameras. Point and shoot cameras won’t really do these days. You will likely want something that is at least a DSLR or better quality to get started. Most choose a top of the line digital camera to get started in a production career.

This way there’s no need to upgrade right away as new cameras come out.

Camera Gear

In addition to the camera you need back camera gear such as a tripod, attachable camera light/flash, shotgun mic, and of course various camera lenses. So many cool visual effects can be created during filming if you have the right lenses.

To get started, consider the following must-have lenses:

  • Wide-angle lens.
  • Clear protective lens.
  • Polarizer lens.
  • Zoom lens.
  • Macros lens.

You may find that you use certain lenses more than others based on the type of filmmaking you intend to do. If you can use borrowed equipment for a while before making major purchases on lenses and other equipment, do so!

This way you will better be prepared to get the lenses that are most appropriate for your needs and you can avoid wasting money on lenses that are not ideal for you.

Audio Equipment

Great production is nothing without sound. You’ll need several essentials for capturing sound. Audio cables to connect the audio to your camera are a must as are microphones.

At minimum you want a few styles of microphones to get started so that you have the versatility to capture audio in various situations such as in an interview with a lapel mic, in a stage production with a wireless mic, and in a changing scene with a boom mic.

Extra Batteries & Storage

You can’t have enough of either when it comes to filmmaking. Be sure you purchase extra batteries so that you can continue shooting for several hours without interruption. Additionally, you’ll want several memory cards and an external hard drive to store all of the footage on.

The video takes up a lot of space on a hard drive so you won’t want to bog your computer down with countless hours right from the start.

Specialty Gear

video drone

The essential filmmaking equipment items are listed above, but in addition to those, there are tons of gear that can make your job easier, more exciting, or just plain better. To capture Hollywood worthy shots, consider the following essential filmmaking equipment in addition to the previously mentioned items:

  • An image stabilizer.
  • A tripod dolly.
  • A video capturing drone.
  • Additional lighting kits.

As you prepare for a career in filmmaking, add these essential filmmaking equipment items to your list of must-haves.