Top Ten HDSLR Gear List.

Cameras

By: Jared Abrams

Top ten lists are always tricky. Something is always left out. That being said, here is a top ten list of gear I would recommend to anyone getting into the HDSLR game. The bottom line is that now with the advent of HDSLR cameras all you really need is imagination, determination, a camera, a lens, a hot battery and a newly formatted card. It truly is a great time to be a filmmaker.

**The list is based on equipment available at the time of publishing.


1-Canon 5D Mark II. It’s the best HDSLR for video. The full frame sensor kills the competition. The Canon 60D would be the next choice.

2-Lenses. Prime: Zeiss ZE 50mm f1.4. It is sharp as a tack with manual focus. Zoom: Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L IS. The image stabilization is a lifesaver for video. Go for the L I series or used. The L II is not worth the extra coin.  Always buy used lenses if you can. www.keh.com has good deals.

3-Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB CF cards. They are fast and reliable. Recovery software is a must have.  Do not buy CF cards on eBay. There are too many fakes out there.

4-Redrock Micro Field Cinema Kit with two handles and offset camera mount. For the money, this is the best rig for HDSLR work on the market. Go for the all black version, much cooler.

5-Switronix Powerbase 70 The Powerbase is the best power solution I have found. It will power everything via P-Tap and has a built-in charger. It will also power other cameras down the line.

6-Sachtler FSB4 Tripod. The Sachtler is super smooth. It also has a tiny footprint. That is a huge plus in tight situations.

7-Marshall 5” HDMI monitor. The 5” is a perfect fit for HDSLR work. The False Color feature is a lifesaver.

8-Zacuto Z Finder Pro. The 2.5X and 3X are killer. The frame stays on under the worst conditions. It is also fogless. This feature cannot be beat. A must have for hand held work.

9-Litepanels MicroPro. You have to have some kind of small travel light. This fits the bill perfectly. We have beat the crap out of the two we have and they keep on working.

10-LCW MK II Filter, We sell them and we use them all the time. The Native ISO’s demand some kind of ND filter. This is an all in one solution.

Jared Abrams
Jared Abrams is a cinematographer based in Hollywood, California. After many years as a professional camera assistant he switched over to still photography. About two years ago a new Canon camera changed the way the world sees both motion and still photography. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  • http://YourWebsite Brent

    Where do you recommend purchasing GOOD used lenses?

  • http://wideopencamera.com Jared Abrams

    http://www.keh.com has some good deals on used lenses.
    Thanks,
    Jared

  • http://YourWebsite Darryl Gregory

    Nice post Jared, Very informative, But I have somethings to add…

    1. Although the Zeiss ZE 50mm f1.4 would be my first choice If I were to want all Zeiss lenses for the purpose of Color & Contrast, But the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Autofocus Lens for Canon is sharper.

    2. The Redrock Micro Field Cinema Bundle is over priced at$1,204.50,
    When All you need is the Redrock Micro microshoulderMount Deluxe Bundle at$568.00 With the flat Offset accessory kit at$179.00 and the Manfrotto 577 Rapid Connect Adapter with Sliding Mounting Plate (501PL)
    at$51.90, this setup it’s inline with a Zacuto Z-Finder, and or a Monitor, they only difference is the weights and the OVER PRICED micro DSLR Baseplate, that I see as unnecessary.

    3. Marshall 5” HDMI monitor Comes in a slow second place over the SmallHD DP6 for the 5DMKII and other Cameras that down rez to SD during record period! No Further discussion here.

    4. Litepanels MicroPro is WAY OVER PRICED, and they break easily
    Save money and get a 160 LED from china for under $60 , they work
    great, I own 5 there that good!

    Well this is my 2 cents, with no obligation(s) to any DSLR rig Manufacturer, I hope this helps at least one person form buying only name brand(s).

    Thanks Jared.

  • http://wideopencamera.com Jared Abrams

    Most support equipment is very subjective. The RRM kit I use works for me. It may not work for anyone else. My AC hates the 24″ steel rods that I prefer. I would have to disagree that any autofocus lens is better than any manual focus lens for video work. They are not as precise by design. HD-SD will not be an issue in the future, embrace the squeeze. We dropped the LP MP several times, no breakage (see video). They are overpriced.
    Thanks,
    Jared

  • Arief H. R.

    nice post, but

    how about 7d and 60d ?

    wich one is better to HDSLR. ?

    thanks before !

  • http://wideopencamera.com Jared Abrams

    60D is better than 7D. Manual Audio control for video.

  • http://YourWebsite Tan

    Hi there,

    Is 60D better than 5D Mark II as well for video as 5D Mark II is a couple of years old? Please advice.

    Thanks,
    Tan

  • http://wideopencamera.com Chris Marino

    First you need to define better. Next you need to ask yourself how much money do I want to spend. Remember a camera body is just that. When shooting video you will need more accessories than typical.