Professional video production equipment is expensive and highly perishable. It is not uncommon for a brand new camera to be “discontinued” within 18 months of product launch. For this reason, it is very important for your video production company to be wise, frugal and educated about equipment purchases.
The beauty of a great video producer is that they know that they don’t need to own anything, since brand new equipment can be rented locally for a fair price. Typically, if a piece of gear is going to be used more than 20 times, it is a better choice to buy rather than to rent.
Why should you care? The cost of equipment is part of your expense when you hire any video production company. You should expect professional equipment at a price that you can afford.
Jungle Media evaluates its equipment list on an annual basis. When we see a growing need for a new technology that improves the end product for our market niche, we carefully consider the buy vs. rent formula each year.
Recently, we invested in a Canon Cinema camera system. With 4 years of HD production in the rearview mirror, the scope of our work has evolved to include the need for better depth of field control than our traditional cameras could offer. Of course, there are still applications where the power zoom and long reach afforded by a traditional video camera is a necessity.
A partial list of our production gear inludes:
Canon C100 cinema camera. The C100 takes compact versatility and compatibility with the full line of Canon lenses up a notch from the popular use of DSLR cameras as a video capture platform. The “cinema” style of shooting allows for many more handheld, slider and floating shots than possible with traditional shoulder mounted video cameras.
Canon EF lenses We have recently upgraded our “lens cart” to include both the acclaimed 50mm F1.2L lens and the newly released 35mm F1.4 L Mark II lenses for interview and short depth of field slider shots. The 24-105mm F4.0L zoom lens is perfect for outdoor shots with the ability to go wide to telephoto without a lens change. The brand new 10-22mm F3.5 super wide angle telephoto can capture large landscapes or tight spaces with a unique “quick pan” look. Finally, the 2 other prime lenses, the 100mm F2.0 telephoto , and 28mm F1.8 wide angle allow for shallow depth of field in situations where the 35mm or 50mm is not the right choice.
JVC GY-HM700U video camera with an upgraded Fujinon XT 17 to 1 zoom lens that can reach just about any situation from a fixed location. Coupled with a professional Sony Shotgun microphone and Anton Bauer battery system, this camera allows us to capture distant shots not possible with the larger sensor found on the C100.
Canon 7D Mark II camera. While our business is professional video production, often our clients will ask whether they can have high resolution still images from a shoot. The recent acquisition of the Canon 7D Mark II, serves two purposes. First, it provides additional cinema style video capability to our toolbox. While not as versatile as the C100, the Canon 7D Mark II provides a “second camera” CMOS option for shooting situations when shallow depth of field is desired. Second, it provides 20+ Megapixel still image capability at the shoot location.
Vinten Vision tripod with fluid head precision. Nothing quite as sweet as a long steady pull/pan combination. The dual stage, carbon fiber Vinton sticks make for rock solid shots in any situation. This tool has travelled from east coast to west, as well as Mexico, Spain and Ireland, always ready for the next shoot.
Helix Jr. 3-axis gimbal. Ideal for situations where “footage on the move” will add to the production value. The C100 or the 7D Mark II can be mounted and balanced. Floating shots and smooth 3 axis moves can be created with this amazing device.
Cinevate 24″ Duzi Slider. The new cinema style cameras allow for more flexibility with movement than ever before. Now we can add subtle movement to B-roll shots, with a slider that offers side to side, forward and back as well as up and down motion. The Cinevate can be tripod mounted or utilized on the floor or table.
Dual Sennheiser wireless audio systems. With a selection of lavalier and handheld microphone components, we can get great audio for interviews or live events.
Lowell light system with 5 lights, Chimera soft box, louvers, light stands, flags, reflectors, gels, frosts, barn doors, filters, scrims and anything else needed for simple interview or product lighting scenarios. For larger shoots with multiple talent in large locations, we hire in a grip and lighting truck customized for the shoot.
The summary of our equipment strategy, is that we invest in specific gear that we know we will use a lot within a 3 to 5 year period. For more complex situations, we find and rent the specific gear that your project may need.