Freelance video producers need much of the same equipment that professional video producers use, but they often have a harder time acquiring the tools due to budgeting or other issues. Many freelance video producers simply rent or borrow the necessary equipment during shooting, but this takes up time and can actually cost more money in the long run. Owning your own equipment is a great way to start a successful video production business, and if you know someone who is an aspiring (or even an established) video producer, video production equipment would be a great way to help them out this year. In this article, we will take a look at the top ten gifts for a freelance video producer in 2016.
The DSLR camera is the one must-have tool for every freelance video producer. If you know someone who is an aspiring freelance video producer but doesn’t have a suitable camera, then providing them with a DSLR camera as a gift this year would be an instant kick-start to their career. Feel free to research the best DSLR cameras or contact some successful video producers and find out what type of gear they are using. A couple of good choices include the Canon EOS 70D and the Sony Alpha A7S.
Mirrorless cameras are also growing in popularity due to their relative compact size and affordable pricing. Cameras like the Sony A6000 or point-and-shoot cameras like the Sony RX100 IV are options for video producers who may just be starting out or who need a compact compliment to their DSLR camera.
For the freelance video producer who already has a great camera, a great lens may be just what they need. There are many different types of lenses that are used for different shooting situations, so if you’re not sure what type of lens to buy for the freelance video producer, you may wish to research lenses, or just ask which type they currently don’t own (you probably don’t want to buy them a lens they already have). Some great lenses for shooting video include the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens, the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus, and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens.
Any competent freelance video producer knows that a tripod is essential to creating scenes that are clear and sharp. The slightest vibrations can cause blurring or other quality issues, and may result in retakes of the scene or additional work in the editing process. Tripods should be high quality and durable, with slip resistance and shock absorption capabilities. Like most product purchases, it’s recommended to look at reviews on sites like Amazon to ensure it matches the needs of the video producer.
Tripods are great for shooting stationary scenes, but when you really need to get directly into the action, a DSLR shoulder mount rig is the perfect companion. Shoulder mounts provide an easier method for shooting scenes while moving, and also provide shock and vibration resistance.
Lighting is a gift that any freelance video producer will certainly appreciate. You can pick up a single light or go all out with a complete three point lighting kit, which is the most common type of lighting used in video production.
Color gels are used to enhance the color of certain scenes in which typical lighting just won’t do the trick. Color gels are small and thin, and they are easy to lose or misplace, so freelance video producers can always use extras.
There are way too many props to narrow down to a single item – props can include renaissance clothing, police costumes, zombie makeup, replica firearms or grenades, tables and chairs, and even custom items such as a severed head or a futuristic automobile.
Boom mics are a great asset to many video production activities, but lapel mics (also known as lavalier or lav mics) are a necessity for creating many different types of shots. Lapel mics should be sweat and dirt-proof, and should have noise canceling capabilities.
This is an item that freelance video producers can never have enough of. HD video takes up a lot of space, so multiple memory cards and drives are a necessity. High-quality SD cards can be used to store video as it’s being shot, while large flash drives and external hard drives can be used to quickly dump video on-site so the production shooting can continue if the SD cards all get full.
If you just can’t decide on the perfect gift for the freelance video producer, why not let them choose what they need? You can pick up a gift card for your local photo/video shop, or search for gift cards at online video retail outlets such as FilmTools and B&H Photo and Video, or get them a card for a popular online retail outlet such as Amazon or eBay.
That’s a wrap!
Hope you enjoyed our top ten list of the best gifts for freelance video producers in 2016. Of course, there are many additional gifts that freelance video producers could use including audio equipment or software, stage equipment, video editing tools, and much more. Best of luck with your gift shopping!