Best gadgets for cinematography
Are you looking to go into cinematography? Then you need to know some of the best gadgets you will need to stand out from others.
When Eden decided to venture into filmmaking, she was initially clueless. All she had was passion, and she began searching for the best film schools in her region. But, someone told her that it was best to familiarize her with some cinematography gadgets before film school. After all, she does not want to seem clueless when she gets there.
With this understanding, Eden began to surf the internet for some of the best cinematography gadgets. On getting her list, she began to strive towards purchasing them. She could get some of them personally, while she made her friends get others for her as her birthday gift.
She took online tutorials on how to use these gadgets, and she was comfortable with them in no time. Now, she was confident that she would excel and not look out of place in film school.
Eden realized that many people were also passionate about cinematography and may not be able to attend film school at the moment for one reason or the other. So, she urged them to start familiarizing themselves with these gadgets to keep busy.
So, you may be curious about the gadgets Eden got.
In no particular order, here is her list of some of the best gadgets for cinematography:
It is almost a no-brainer that you will work with a wireless microphone in the cinematography space. Now, imagine actors on set, and all you have are wired microphones. Firstly, the space will look messy. Also, those on set are prone to accidents as someone can trip on the wires.
When you have only wired microphones available, you will need additional hands to hold these microphones for the acts, which will be more expensive and stressful. So, to save yourself from all this stress, it is best to go for wired microphones.
Yes, some people may argue that wired microphones are cheaper. But, wireless microphones have fewer hurdles and give ease.
Now, the actors can wear these wireless microphones while acting, and no one has to see the microphones. In addition, their voices become amplified, and they do not encounter challenges while executing different scenes.
As someone going into cinematography, you need to familiarize yourself with the usage of wireless microphones. It could know how to properly wear it on the actors and other implementation that comes with the usage. However, it is best to keep in mind that this is one of the best gadgets to execute any cinematography project.
We are sure that you must have seen many directors with headphones during video shoots, so you should not be surprised that it classifies as one of the best gadgets for cinematography. However, it is important to note that these are not anyhow headphones but top-quality headphones that can execute the job.
Now, you may be wondering about the use of headphones during shoots. By wearing headphones, you get to listen in on what each actor is saying and pick out errors. Sometimes, it could be that they are not getting the correct lines, wrong pronunciations, or not portraying the right emotions with their voices. These are things that you can only pick out with the use of a headphone. Relying on your ears alone will be a disaster, as you may sometimes strain to hear what they are saying.
There is also the case of knowing if the microphone is functional or not, and the way the voices sound on the headphones will determine if there is a need to change microphones. To a regular person, they may not understand the in-depth use of headphones. But, it is essential for any cinematographer, so it had to be on the list.
It is common to see people using tripods for the shooting of social media videos. People always say that using a tripod gets the best angle, and they are not wrong. So, if you use a tripod to steady your phone or camera while shooting social media videos, don’t you think it will also come in handy for bigger projects?
Cinematographers use tripods to stabilize the cameras during shoots. After all, a shaky video will not sell in the market. Imagine someone with shaking hands holding the camera, and after all the hard work, what comes out is more of the background than the actors. Of course, no one wants to imagine that, as it would mean that all the hard work went down the drain. That is not to say that a videographer is inefficient. However, using a tripod usually makes the job easier.
You get more time to check things out and ensure they are not out of place with a tripod. Anyone who has used a tripod before will agree that the videos usually come out better than ever.
So, Eden had to get a tripod, and it was a win for her in all aspects. She could use it for her cinematography projects and also end up slaying in her social media videos.
Even without mentioning it, we are sure that you would already know why you would need a camera light if you wanted to go into cinematography. So what do you use a light to do? Typically, one would add extra light to illuminate or give an extra effect.
Now, it is best to know that camera lights come in different colors. Therefore, it will come in handy as a cinematographer if you have various colors, as you never know when you would need them.
Suppose you are shooting a nightclub or party scene. Without a doubt, you know that you would need red and blue camera lights as these are the lights that would give the effect that you desire. After all, the regular white lights will not come off with the right effect.
A cinematographer can also use camera lights to reduce shadows. The uses of a camera light in cinematography are much, and they come in handy even at the most unexpected times.
When Eden purchased her camera lights, she was elated as they helped her out at different times. She had fun experimenting and playing with them, creating some videos she never thought that she could pull off.
External Hard Drive
If you are a cinematographer or aspiring to be one, you must own an external hard drive or be termed unserious. And, even those who are not into cinematography will testify that you cannot depend on your device’s storage space alone and will need more space. After all, your video projects will take up a lot of space.
Besides the fact that you need all the space you can get, you also need a backup plan. Again, you cannot always depend on your device as it can fail you at the most unexpected times. The other day, Eden’s laptop refused to come up for no reason. It was surprising as she had been using the system the day before. Yes, it just crashed out of nowhere. Now, imagine if she did not have an external hard drive that served as her backup. It would have been disastrous as she could have lost all her works and projects.
As a cinematographer, you will be engaging in a lot of core editing, and you will also need an external hard drive for such processes. So, one cannot overestimate the need for an external hard drive. It should be one of the first cinematography gadgets you should own.
Realistically, it is not always that you actors can use a wireless microphone. Now, one can consider that they might be wearing things that do not cover this microphone. We know that it is not aesthetically pleasing to put out a video where the microphone is showing. So, this is where the shotgun microphone comes to play.
It is that microphone that can pick up sounds from several feet away. So, you position it in the direction of the person talking, and you can hear everything. Of course, someone or people have to hold this microphone, so it involves labor. However, it is effective in getting the job done.
We also see that you do not need to deal with batteries for modern shotgun microphones as they operate on phantom power. So it is usually relieving for many directors and cinematographers.
So, if you are shooting a scene that deals with whispering or other low-level sounds, the best microphone to pick up these sounds is the shotgun microphone. It is why it is one of the best gadgets for cinematography, and you are sure always to see it in any video shoot.
We love that the world keeps evolving, and it cuts across all sectors, including the cinematography industry. Most times, video directors usually have issues with getting close-up shots of their acts. Sometimes, you may even see the videographers climbing dangerous angles, putting their lives at risk so that they can be able to get their desired shots.
But, you can eliminate such hazards with the use of drones. A drone is a machine that usually hovers around a scene during shoots. It goes even beyond cinematographer. So, you have someone controlling this device while it hovers around the different angles you desire and get the shots.
We see people using drones for various activities globally, and it would not make sense that a cinematographer does not own one. Understandably, drones may be expensive. However, you need to plan towards owning one if you watch a hitch-free cinematography journey and experience.
People use drones to capture events like rallies, protests, carnivals, and much more. Eden testifies that you will be amazed at the clear shots you can get when using a drone. She also says that controlling a drone is fun as it is always like you are an airplane pilot.
Drone Light Mounts
Another gadget that comes in handy in cinematography is the drone light mount. Many people may argue that it is not compulsory, and they may be right. But, since we would love to advocate for a stress-free experience, we advise that cinematographers should own one.
If you say that this gadget is related to the use of a drone, you are right. If you can afford to own a drone as a cinematographer, you should also be able to get the drone light mount. It comes in handy in ensuring that you maximize the use of your drone and get the best result from it.
The drone light mounts, as the name implies, aids in installing lights on your drone. Since you are using your drone to get closeup shots of some or all of your desired scenes, you may also require the use of lights in these scenes. So, you will be looking for a way to fix the lights to ensure that it reflects in the shots that the drones capture.
But, you will not need to disturb your head about all of these if you own a drone light mount, as it makes it easy to install the lights and gives you the desired output.
Rode Video micro Microphone
At this point, we are sure that you might be amazed at the number of available microphones that a cinematographer can use. Also, we know that you might be wondering how many microphones a cinematographer should use. We often hear people asking why a cinematographer cannot own only one microphone.
Yes, it is normal to have these thoughts, and you can only get clear answers from a professional. Eden often replies that the same way you get diverse ideas concepts for your videos is how you need different microphones. Since no two ideas are the same, why would you think you can use one microphone to shoot these different ideas?
For the rode microphone, it comes in handy in getting both clear video and audio sounds. The idea is that the audio rightly matches with the video. At a point in your life, we are sure you must have watched a video where what is showing does not tally with the sound. It could be that the audio is faster than the video, and it turns out distasteful.
Hence, using a rode microphone eliminates such discrepancies, and the goal is to ensure that all your videos are outstanding as a cinematographer.
Camera Carrier Bag
How does a bag classify as a gadget? It is one of the questions that Eden gets from people when she gives them her list of best gadgets for cinematography. Admittedly, it is sometimes laughable, but there is a reason for it.
Eden explains that she added a camera carrier bag to the list because you need a safe place for your camera and gadgets. She adds that it is supposed to be a carrier bag as you need a bag that can house and accommodate your gadgets.
It is a no-brainer that most cinematography gadgets are expensive. So, it will not make sense if you do not have a safe place to keep them. The safe place should also be safe enough to use and carry them around.
Imagine getting your gadgets, and you need to replace them the next month for one reason or the other. Of course, many people will not want to have such imaginations, especially some like Eden. Recall that some of her gadgets came as gifts from friends.
So, she advocates that every cinematographer has a carrier bag, and it should be easy to carry around. So now, you do not need to have heart attacks concerning your gadgets anymore.
What are people saying about cinematography gadgets? Here are some of the frequently asked questions:
What is film cinematography?
Film cinematography is the act of putting creative pieces together to make a movie. It is the simplest definition you can get. However, many processes are involved, as it is the coming together of motion pictures, ensuring that they appeal to the target audience.
It is never an easy process, but the result usually makes everything worth it.
Is Cinematography a good career?
Many people trying to choose a career path usually ask if cinematography is a good career. To answer this question, we want to ask if you think the movie industry globally is successful. If your answer is yes, then you can be sure that cinematography is a good career.
After all, all the movies you enjoy are all thanks to cinematographers. Without them, nothing will be possible.
What is a good gift for a filmmaker?
If you are looking to get a gift for a filmmaker, we advise that you pick from the list above as they will love it. Take Eden, for example, the list she shared with her friends had the gadgets above as gift ideas. So, any filmmaker will love it if you get them any of those gadgets.
At hardware village, getting these gadgets is made easier. Contact us now!