Essential Camera Gear For Wedding Videographers
It’s a lot of pressure to make a wedding video. Have you ever felt that? I know I have. Documenting someone’s special day is a big responsibility so creating the best video possible is important. And you need the right equipment. It doesn’t have to be the best of the best, but there are tools that are non-negotiable. Here is some essential camera gear for wedding videographers.
The Right Equipment
Videographers are dependent on the right equipment for their craft. Here is what I use:
Professional DSLR Camera
If you’re making a wedding video, you’ll obviously need a professional camera. That’s already a given. My Canon 5D is great for filming video. I love these hybrid-type cameras that let you shoot video, as well as, take still shots.
DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex. DSLR cameras offer many advantages:
- Large sensor: A larger sensor cuts down on noise and is conducive to shooting in low-light situations.
- Preview your shots: I thought I’d died and gone to heaven with this feature as I could check my setup, posing and lighting before continuing the shoot. I started out as a film photographer so this ability to preview was a huge deal to me. What’s your peace of mind worth?
- Auto-focus: What would we do without this feature? It’s simply the best thing ever.
- The ability to shoot in RAW: This isn’t applicable to video, but is sure awesome when shooting stills as more information is captured, making it easier to edit, paricularly white balance.
- Easy to change lenses: It’s doesn’t take more than a minute to swap lenses on a DSLR camera.
- Depth of field control: Highlight the foreground or background by controlling your aperature.
- Solid and affordable: Although, DSLRs are not that cheap, you will pay it off quickly if shooting regularly. I’ve had mine for years thanks to the solid construction.
Autofocus Zoom Lens
I love using a zoom lens when filming video, although, I always use a fixed lens, with a wide aperature, in low-lighting situations. The versatility a zoom lens offers is awesome, and it saves me time changing positions like I would have to do with a fixed lens. I know many videographers swear by fast lens, and I agree they’re wonderful, I just find a zoom lens is sooooo much easier and more versatile, especially when the lighting is adequate.
Tripod Or Monopod
Stability is essential as there’s nothing worse than a shaky video. Tripods drive me nuts so I use a monopod, and it works well. Monopods are easier to carry than tripods as they’re less bulky, and no so unwieldy.
You can read my review of the JOBY Gorillapod Flexible Tripod here. Whichever stability device you choose, make sure it is both lightweight and durable, and that you can toss it into your camera bag easily.
Manfrotto Video Head
A fluid video head is another great piece of equipment for videography, letting you get silky smooth tilts and pans, for a dynamic video. It does add additional weight, which in reality is only about two pounds, but it’s worth it. You can watch the video below to see how a video head works.
My favorite piece of video equipment is my viewfinder. I simply cannot film video without it. If you’re over 40, it’s likely your vision isn’t what it once was. My viewfinder lets me zoom in, and set my focus, assuring my shots are sharp.
Viewfinders are easy to use, just apply the magnetic frame to your camera, which the viewfinder snaps to magnetically. This, honestly, is an indispensable tool for me as it magnifies up to 200 percent. And the best part, they’re super inexpensive. One will cost you less than 20 bucks.
I like that they come with a strap that clips onto the viewfinder. I put it around my neck, which makes it easy to put on my camera when I’m shooting.
I also love my video light. It didn’t cost very much, and is worth every penny. You know those awesome dancing shots that everyone loves, well guess what, they usually happen at dusk or in dim lighting. This is where my video light comes in. I screw it into my hot shoe on my camera, and voila, I just gained a couple F-stops, ensuring my shots are laser sharp.
Video lights typically come with two different filters that make reducing the color temperature possible, and a dimmer switch that is great for controlling the light output.
These clip on lapel mics are great for recording wedding vows, and any other audio the bride has requested to be recorded. They’re easy to use and quite effective. Simply clip one on to the lapels of both the minister and the groom, and you’re good to go.
I plug my lavs into my iPhone, but you can use the ZoomH1 Recorder or similar options. If you opt to use your iPhone, be sure to put it on airplane mode. Can you imagine your phone ringing during the bride and groom’s vows? How awful would that be?
Let’s Wrap This Up
I hope you found this post helpful, especially if you’re just starting out as a videographer. There’s nothing sweeter than delivering a fabulous video you’re so proud of, to an ecstatic bride and groom. The long hot wedding day, where your feet were killing you, to the late nights spent editing, become a distant memory the moment the bride thanks you effusively for her video she’ll forever cherish!
Are you a videographer or hoping to be one? What equipment do you use. Please take the time to leave a question or comment below. It helps all those reading this post.