My Gear

Last Updated January 24, 2017

Take a peek inside my toolkit to see all the gear I use on a regular basis. There is a lot of gear on this page (What can I say? I like gear.). Get what you want quickly using the navigation below:

Disclaimer: The links on this page may be to my affiliates. Buying products through these affiliate links is no extra cost to you. I simply get a small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy. Please help support this site so I can continue posting valuable information like this. I also do not get paid by any manufacturers to review or sell their products, so all of my recommendations are my own advice and experience. Thank you!

Cameras

Panasonic G85 Micro 4/3 Camera (Body Only)

I use the Panasonic G85 camera for the majority of my projects. It does extremely well for a camera under $1,000. In fact, it performs better than the much more expensive Canon 5D Mark IV in many areas, like high ISO noise and 4K sharpness. For camera budgets under $2,500, this camera is nearly impossible to beat!

  • Micro 4/3 Sensor
  • Micro 4/3 Lens Mount
  • 3840x2160 UHD @ 30 or 24 fps
  • 1920x1080 @ 60 fps
  • 5-axis Body Stabilization (Works on all lenses)
  • Weather sealed, splash proof, and dust proof
$875 on Amazon

Panasonic G7 Micro 4/3 Camera with 14‑42mm Kit Lens

I also use the Panasonic G7 camera for many of my projects that don't require image stabilization or a second camera. As of this update, the G7 is only available with the kit 14‑42mm lens. I almost never use the kit lens, but do keep it with me as a backup.

  • Micro 4/3 Sensor
  • Micro 4/3 Lens Mount
  • 3840x2160 UHD @ 30 or 24 fps
  • 1920x1080 @ 60 fps
  • 14‑42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MEGA O.I.S. Lens
$698 on Amazon

Sony a7S II E‑mount Camera with Full‑Frame Sensor

For most other situations that involve low‑light or unknown shooting conditions, I typically use the a7S II. With its incredible low‑light performance, great quality 4K footage, and SLOG2/SLOG3 options, there's not much this camera can't do well.

  • 12.2 MP Full Frame Sensor
  • Sony E Lens Mount
  • 3840x2160 UHD @ 30 or 24 fps
  • 1920x1080 @ up to 120 fps
$2998 on Amazon

Sony PXW‑FS7 XDCAM Super 35 Camera

When I need more control over my shots and footage, the FS7 is my first choice. It is capable of creating beautiful images that rival cameras more than twice the price. Being a former ENG broadcast camera operator, the form factor of the FS7 feels similar to broadcast ENG cameras while still holding true to the features and controls necessary for use in film and cinema. Most of the stock footage I shoot (quite a few clips shown in my reel) is captured using the FS7.

  • Super 35 Sized CMOS Sensor
  • Sony E Lens Mount
  • DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) Up to 60p
  • 3840x2160 UHD up to 60 fps
  • 1920x1080 HD up to 180 fps
  • XAVC-I Up to 600 Mb/s
$8500 on B&H

Lenses

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7‑14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

A great wide angle zoom (14‑28mm full frame equivalent) lens for micro 4/3 cameras. This is my go-to lens for wide angles and walking/talking shots. My only complaint is the rounded front element prevents you from using standard screw-on ND filters.

  • Micro 4/3 Mount
  • 7‑14mm focal length (14‑28mm full frame equivalent)
  • f2.8
  • Assignable L-Fn Button
  • Close focus of less than 7.5cm
$1299 on Amazon

Panasonic 20mm f1.7 ASPH II Lens

This is an excellent standard (40mm full frame equivalent) lens for micro 4/3 cameras. I use this lens on my Panasonic G7 for most studio and interview shoots. It is sharp, decent in low light, and is small and lightweight for easy portability.

  • Micro 4/3 Mount
  • 20mm focal length (40mm full frame equivalent)
  • f1.7
  • 2 aspherical lenses minimize both distortion and chromatic aberration
  • Used with Lumix G Micro System Cameras, allows for use of the advanced contrast Auto Focus (AF) system
$298 on Amazon

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40‑150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

A great telephoto zoom (80‑300mm full frame equivalent) lens for micro 4/3 cameras. This is a great telephoto lens that I use for tight shots in all situations. Super sharp and quick auto focus.

  • Micro 4/3 Mount
  • 40‑150mm focal length (80‑150mm full frame equivalent)
  • f2.8
  • Small and fairly lightweight for a high quality telephoto zoom
$1300 on Amazon $1499 on B&H

Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f/0.95 Manual Focus Lens for Micro 4/3 Mount

Voigtlander Nokton lenses are a diamond in the rough when it comes to shooting low light footage or achieving a soft background on micro 4/3 cameras. The f/0.95 iris comes in handy for those situations where you need that extra bit of iris or shallow depth of field. I mainly use these lenses for shots in lower light or where I want to get a nice, soft bokeh.

  • Micro 4/3 Mount
  • 17.5mm (45mm full frame equivalent)
  • f/0.95
  • Manual Focus and Iris Only (great for video, not for photographers that are used to auto focus lenses)
$899 on Amazon

Veydra Mini Prime 25mm T2.2 Cinema Lens with Manual Focus

For those times you don't need a shallow depth of field but you want an amazing, sharp lens, the Veydra Mini Primes are the lenses for you. I love these lenses. They're built very well, feel like mini versions of way more expensive cinema primes, and are very consistent.

  • Micro 4/3 Mount
  • 12mm, 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm focal lengths
  • T2.2 on all focal lengths
  • Manual Focus and Iris Only (great for video, not for photographers that are used to auto focus lenses)
$800 each on Amazon

Tripods/Support

Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod

For those projects where you need to pack light and compact, the Befree tripod is a great option. It collapses to a tiny 40 cm (15.7 inches) when folded and weighs only 1.4 kg (3 lbs). While this is not an everyday tripod, it comes in handy for those times when you can't check luggage or need to carry everything on your back. Perfect for hiking and travel.

Despite its tiny size, this tripod can handle quite a bit of gear. I have successfully used this tripod with a Sony a7S II, Sony 70‑200mm f4, and SmallHD 502 monitor, and the tripod worked perfectly and showed no signs of stress.

This tripod comes with a ball head. I don't recommend using ball heads for video, they don't allow you to get smooth pans or tilts and are really made to lock in static positions. However, this tripod is difficult to find without included heads and the ball head is a nice backup to have

  • Maximum Height: 55.91 inches
  • Folded Length: 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs
$269 on Amazon

Benro Aero 4 Travel Angel Video Tripod Kit

The Benro Aero 4 is an excellent budget video tripod kit. I've had one for more than 3 years and use it all the time. It's built pretty well for a lower priced tripod, and it can handle cameras all the way up to the Sony FS7 and a 70-200mm lens. I'm 6'1" tall, and this is tall enough to bring most cameras up to my eye level, which many budget tripods can't do. One of the tripod legs also can be removed and can be used as a monopod, which is a great feature to have. The fluid head does pretty well considering the price. It did take a while to break in the fluid head where it would do smooth tilts and pans, so keep that in mind if you decide to buy one.

  • Maximum Height: 65.2 inches
  • Folded Length: 21.7 inches
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs
$279 on Amazon

Aerial/Drones

DJI Phantom 3 Professional 4K Camera Drone

Aerial photos and footage can instantly take your project to the next level. One of my favorite pieces of gear is the Phantom 3 Pro. All of the aerials you see in any of my projects were done with this bad boy. Yes, there are newer models out there that are better and more portable, but that doesn't discount the great footage I can still get with this quadcopter.

Note: Please research and understand all laws and regulations for your country/state/city before flying any drones. Fly smart and fly safe.

  • 4k UHD Video Recording
  • 3-Axis Stabilized Gimbal
  • Lightbridge Allows Live Viewing of 720p Video
$899 on Amazon

PolarPro DJI Phantom 3 Filters - Cinema Series - Vivid Collection

These filters are an absolute necessity when flying the Phantom 3 Pro outdoors in sunlight.

  • Includes Rotatable ND4/PL, ND8/PL, and ND16/PL Filters
$100 on Amazon

Polar Pro DJI Phantom 3 ND64 Filter

This filter comes in handy when flying the Phantom 3 Pro outdoors in very bright sunlight.

$30 on Amazon

1ft Lightning Cord Nylon Braided for Phantom 3 Pro

I use this Lightning cable to connect my iPhone or iPad to the Phantom 3 Pro's remote. It's the perfect length so there is no excess cord hanging down.

$13 on Amazon

Audio

Zoom H4n Portable Audio Recorder

I have used many H4n recorders over the last 7 years, not because they have failed on me but because I have physically worn them out. The H4n goes with me everywhere, and I use it on nearly every shoot I do. While there are other audio recorders out there around the same price that may have just slightly better audio quality (many of which I've used), I continue to come back to the H4n because of its size, weight, and form factor. It can also be used as a USB audio interface for getting XLR microphones into your computer.

  • Onboard Stereo Mics
  • 2 XLR/TRS Inputs: Connect mics, instruments, and line level devices
  • 24-bit/96 kHz recording
  • Includes a plastic case
$190 on Amazon

Zoom H4n PRO Portable Audio Recorder

Zoom has added more icing to the cake, making the great H4n recorder even better. The H4n PRO improves on many of the great features from the regular H4n, like improved preamps, a lower noise floor, and stereo mics that can handle louder environments. For only $10 more than the already great H4n, the H4n PRO is a no-brainer.

  • Onboard Stereo Mics
  • 2 XLR/TRS Inputs: Connect mics, instruments, and line level devices
  • 24-bit/96 kHz recording
  • Includes a plastic case
$200 on Amazon

Cloud Microphones Cloudlifter CL-1

If you've ever run into the issue with many shotgun microphones where you just can't get quite enough gain, the CL-1 is your knight in shiny blue armor. As many audio professionals will tell you, the key to great audio is a large signal-to-noise ratio. The more clean audio signal, the greater the distance from the noise floor of the mic or preamp, the better. This results in more room for audio correction and effects to be applied in post production without getting a noisy audio track. Cloudlifters dramatically improve the performance of passive microphone signals by driving stronger, cleaner signals over longer XLR cable runs, making them ideal for broadcast, live, and studio applications.

  • Up to +25dB in Clean Boost on Dynamic Microphones
  • Requires only phantom power to work.
  • **Does not use phantom power to power mics. Requires microphone with battery power.
  • Works with these shotgun microphones:
    • Audio-Technica AT897
    • Audio-Technica AT8035
    • Rode NTG2
    • Rode NTG4+
    • Sennheiser MKE600
    • Sennhesier ME66/K6
    • VidPro XM-88
$149 on Amazon

Audio-Technica AT897 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

I've had my AT897 for almost 10 years now, and it has never failed me. It's been with me to 18 countries and is always with me on my shoots. The sound is natural and even, with decent low end. I find that I rarely have to do much EQ when I use this mic. Another great thing about the AT897 is it has optional battery power, so phantom power isn't necessary if you have a AA battery installed.

  • 11" Long
  • Sound Rejection From Sides and Rear
  • Switchable Low-Frequency Roll-Off
  • Operates on Battery or Phantom Power
$249 on Amazon

Lighting/Grip

Filmtools 24" White China Ball Lantern

The Swiss Army Knife of video lighting. For most interviews and studio lighting setups, I will use at least one China ball and various light bulbs depending on the amount of light and color temperature needed. Some of the bulbs I use are 150, 200, and 300 watt clear incandescents, 250 watt halogens, or a 80 watt daylight CFL bulb. They're super cheap, versatile, and provide an excellent soft light for subjects. For the price, you cannot beat the quality of light these fixtures provide.

A complete China ball kit consists of:

  • China Ball
  • Light socket with AC power cable
  • Light Bulbs
    • 150, 200, or 300 watt clear incandescents
    • 250 watt halogen (Sunlite 250T10)
    • 80 watt daylight CFL (Lowel)
  • C-stand or lighting stand with a boom arm
  • Clamp (Magic Friction Arm Super Clamp)
$10 on Filmtools

Rotolight Neo On‑Camera LED Light

A great on-camera light for use in ENG-style situations. This light has very accurate color reproduction and can last for hours on 6 AA batteries. I use this light for travel and situations where I know I'll be doing run and gun interviews.

  • Bi-Color (6300K-3200K)
  • 1077 lux at 3'
  • CRI > 95, Skin Tone > 99, TLCI > 91
  • Runs on 6 x AA batteries, AC power, or optional D‑Tap
$395 on Amazon

Andoer Magic Friction Arm Super Crab Clamp

These small clamps always come in handy. I use them for various tasks, like hanging China ball lanterns from C-stand arms, gripping reflectors and bounces, hanging props, and mounting cameras. They open to around 2 inches and can clamp down very tight to hold things in place. They also include 1/4" 20 and 3/8" 16 mounting holes so you can add all kinds of accessories like lights, monitors, and grip equipment.

$9 on Amazon

Memory/Storage

Lexar Professional 1000x 64GB SDXC Card

If you want to shoot 4K footage, especially on the Sony a7S II, these cards are the best. They're plenty fast enough to keep up with the high data rates required by the Sony 4K footage. Lexar is a trusted and reputable brand among professionals, and I've never had a Lexar card fail me.

When shooting video, I recommend sticking with multiple 64 GB cards instead of one large card. The 64 GB is a great size where you're not changing cards out too often, but not large enough where your world comes to a screeching halt if something catastrophic happens to the SD card and you wind up losing a whole project in one fell swoop.

  • Various Sizes (16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 GB)
  • Read speeds up to 150 MB/s
  • Write speeds exceeding 100 MB/s
$31 on Amazon

SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card

I use these micro SD cards in my DJI Phantom 3 Pro and my GoPro Hero 3 cameras. I also keep a few of these in my memory card case as backups. They work well in a pinch with the SD card adapter for recording audio or 1080p video.

$20 on Amazon

Glyph Blackbox Pro Hard Drives

When you want a hard drive that is reliable, fast, and made for the challenges of video production, Glyph drives are some of the best. Glyph has been a popular and trusted hard drive manufacturer for more than 20 years. I use the Blackbox Pro drives for many of my projects.

  • Available in 1-8 TB Sizes
  • USB 3.1 (Compatible with USB 3.0/2.0 and Thunderbolt 3)
  • 3-2-1 Warranty
    • 3 Years - Hardware Replacement
    • 2 Years - Level 1 Recovery
    • 1 Year - Advanced Replacement
$240 for 4TB on Amazon

Transcend 1 TB StoreJet M3 Military Drop Tested USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Any time I'm traveling or need to backup footage in the field, at least one of these drives comes with me. They're cheap, reliable, durable, and have plenty of room for almost all projects. The added assurance of shock resistance is nice when packing these drives in luggage or handing to that accident-prone client (you know the one).

  • Available in 1 TB and 2 TB Sizes
  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Compatible
$57 on Amazon

Sabrent USB 3.0 to SSD / 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Adapter

This adapter is great when you are juggling multiple SSD hard drives or you want to send someone a SSD. It's small, USB powered, quick, and reliable.

$10 on Amazon

Pelican SD/MicroSD Memory Card Case

My memory cards always travel in these cases. It offers great protection and organization for all of my SD and micro SD cards.

$17 on Amazon

Accessories

5.11 Mission Ready 2.0 Rolling Duffle Bag

When I travel with gear, I want two things from my bags: durability and modesty. This bag checks both boxes. It's built for the military, so you know it's not going to fail you or your equipment when it's being thrown around in the luggage compartment of a plane. Everything about this bag is tough. I've dragged these bags for miles in the toughest conditions and they still keep going.

It's also very unassuming. Nobody looks at this bag and thinks twice about gear being inside. The last thing you want if you're traveling in questionable areas is to stick out as someone with a lot of expensive gear. The less you draw attention, the better.

  • Made of durable weather-resistant 1600D nylon
  • 5514 cubic inch / 90 liter total capacity
$231 on Amazon

Parrot Teleprompter

For most situations that require a teleprompter, the Parrot is a perfect fit. The prompter is well made, compact, lightweight, and usually cheaper than a one-day rental on most iPad teleprompter mounts. The Parrot works perfect with most smart phones with screens up to 5" in size. I use the Parrot with my iPhone 6 and it's the perfect width. You can use most of the prompter apps easily by controlling the script directly on the phone, or you can also purchase the optional Bluetooth remote for handsfree use. As long as the talent is within 12' of the prompter, I immediately go to the Parrot.

The Parrot mounts directly to the front of most lenses, using one of the various included step-down rings. It's quick to setup and doesn't require a separate sled and rods. Also, because it is light and compact, it will work with lighter-weight tripods and fluid heads.

  • Mounts Directly to Front of Lenses
  • Various Lens Adapter Rings Included (49mm - 82mm)
  • 30R/70T Teleprompter Glass
$99 on Amazon

46mm Lens to 77mm Filter Step-Up Ring

No need to buy multiple sizes of the same lens filters. I own a series of 77mm filters (ND, variable ND, polarizers, and pro-mists) and these adapters make it easy to use the larger filters on smaller lenses like my Panasonic 20mm (46mm filter thread) or Voigtlander Noktons (58mm filter thread).

$9 on Amazon

Stanley Stubby Cushion Grip Screwdriver Set, 2-Piece

I always keep these screwdrivers in my kit. There's always a need for simple tools when working on a set or location.

$6 on Amazon

Boxer 30 Pcs 4mm Precision Screwdriver Set

You never know when you'll need to do emergency surgery on a piece of gear. This precision screwdriver set assures that you're ready when the time comes.

$15 on Amazon

* All prices accurate at time of update.