EQUIPMENT SUGGESTIONS / EXAMPLES (NEWS GATHERING)
1) Sturdy, lightweight, compact rucksack for camera equipment and other items.
2) UV (Ultra Violet), or some such non-effect filter screwed onto the lens, to protect it from liquid and some minor impact damage.
3) Battery and spare batteries for camera, and camera light (if applicable). Number them and stick tape, or rubber band on fresh batteries (or vice versa). An optional extra would be a mains lead and / or battery charger. This is extra equipment and weight , only really practical if you will have access to mains socket.
4) Video tapes / discs / memory cards. Paper slips (or stickers) to number, identify cassettes (cases) / discs / memory cards.
5) Microphone “wind guard” (Many camera’s come equipped with a sponge/foam version of this). Some camera’s may also have a setting to minimise wind noise, this can affect the sound recording level. Wind noise can also be reduced by a furry/fluffy sock that goes over the microphone. The one pictured opposite is a home made wind guard using an anorak hood fake fur trim.
6) Camera light. Optional, unless filming in very low light conditions. Will need supply of batteries to power it.
7) Tripod, or mono-pod. Additional equipment for shot stability and also to raise the camera above a crowd for instance (both usually have telescopic leg/s). However, this can be cumbersome and a hindrance, size and weight wise, especially if you are going to need to be mobile. It’s really down to personal choice. Perhaps make up a pro's and con's list to decide. Mono-pods usually weigh a lot less than tripods, but there are many smaller, very light weight tripods.
8) Lens cleaner (cloth and / or soft fibre brush) for camera and other clothes to wipe rain and / or other off camera.
9) White card to white balance the camera (unless using an automatic white balance), also there are plenty of things around to do this, but it doesn't hurt to have a piece of card, just in case.
10) Earphones, I would suggest small earphones and that only one side is used, so that you can hear other noises around you.
11) Plastic sheets and / or bags to cover the camera in case of rain. There are ready made “rain guards / slickers” for different makes of camera, but these can be expensive.
12) Gaffer tape for sticking plastic to camera (for above), very handy to have for equipment needs.
13) Rubber bands for misc uses (i.e. keeping tapes together, pen with pad etc.)
14) Release forms (if necessary).
15) Pad/s of paper and pens to write down names contact numbers and other details that may be useful
16) Cycling, BMX, skateboard helmet, or some such protective headgear and any other protective clothing you feel may be necessary, without being too cumbersome (see below).
17) Mobile phone with contact numbers required programmed in, i.e. solicitor, press contact/s, other video activist/s. Also that can shoot digital video (just in case).
18) Digital stills camera (optional extra), but may be useful.
19) Small torch, or similar lighting for night shoots (in order to see content of rucksack etc.) Spare batteries for the torch.
20) Water. Obviously to drink, but also to clean things, i.e. equipment.
Much of the equipment listed could be used to film any kind of setup, whether news orientated, documentary, or fiction. Enabling the film maker to get into and out of a location quickly.
List all the items and equipment you will need (especially the basics), before you pack your equipment and leave to film. There is no hard and fast rule on how much you may need to take with you, it comes down to personal choice and total weight.
Click here for a simple checklist (PDF format) to print out and customise (41 KB).
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