Over the 10 years that I've been a Grand Rapids videographer, I've lost track of how many different types of cameras and audio gear I've used. I've tried all the camera systems: Sony, Blackmagic, Canon, and even RED cameras. All have unique advantages, with some offering higher dynamic range and resolution, and others offering smaller form factors. But one thing has become more and more important to me: reliability.
When I show up to a client shoot, I need camera, audio, and videography gear that is going to perform no matter the conditions that are thrown at me.
In the world of videography, you often film in less than ideal situations: low light, little time to set up lights, and tricky audio situations are all common.
That's why over the past few years, I've consolidated my kit to include only what just works and delivers a great image for my clients, no matter their project.
You don't need the best 8K image. In fact, sometimes putting too much into the production is less engaging for the viewer. You just need good video, great audio, and a strong story or message to connect with your audience.
So in this article, I'm detailing the gear I use daily to film Grand Rapids videography projects. Have any questions about my gear? Please reach out to me!
The Canon C70 has made my job as a Grand Rapids videographer easier than ever. It's such a great camera that I've got two of them.
4K recording, 16 stops of dynamic range, excellent battery life, and built-in ND filters ensure that clients get a great image no matter the filming environment.
I pair the Canon C70s with a full suite of Canon RF L Series lenses and two prime lenses. This combination makes it easy to cover any filming situation. In addition, the built-in autofocus is extremely reliable, which makes filming with a smaller crew easier than ever.
To support the camera, I've got a selection of tripods and stabilizers, including a gimbal.
I can't stress how important it is to have great audio as a Grand Rapids videographer. If you don't have good audio, it doesn't matter how good your image is—people won't watch it. That's why I've invested heavily in a high-quality audio setup.
My workhorse is the Sennheiser MKH 50 boom mic. This covers any indoor setup and some outdoor setups. It provides incredible audio in challenging rooms prone to reverb.
For on-the-go audio, I've got a pair of Sennheiser wireless microphone packs with various different LAV mics. This enables me to wirelessly record high-quality audio right to my Canon C70.
I've also got a Rode VideoMic Pro for situations where I'm filming a VLOG-style video. This minimal setup allows me to record quickly while still getting great audio.
For bigger shoots where I'm hiring a crew to assist me, I'll often hire a dedicated audio person. They will bring even higher quality audio gear that is specialized to our exact needs.
Lighting + Grip Setup
With a great lighting setup, you can make any camera look good. That's why I've also invested heavily in lighting equipment as a Grand Rapids videographer.
My core kit revolves around Aputure lighting and modifiers. I've got several different high-powered lights that can be adjusted to different color temperatures depending on where we are filming. Modifiers create soft cinematic lighting that is very pleasing to the eye.
To support the lighting gear, I've got a plethora of grip equipment to help me position and control the lights properly. Nothing too fancy about this stuff, it just works. Matthews grip equipment is my favorite, and it's been a standard in the film industry from the beginning.
Your Grand Rapids Videographer
This core kit covers about 95% of the jobs I encounter as a Grand Rapids videographer. For larger shoots or shoots requiring specific equipment, I've got a network of professionals I hire to assist me on shoots.