What's in my Gear Bag?

One of the most common things I am asked here, on youtube and on my Facebook page is; “What gear do you personally use?”. Although this is fluid depending on the project this post will give you a great outline of all my favorite equipment.

The first thing I do on any production, personal or client project, is look at what is needed to tell the story. For example; if the client is a restaurant and they are looking for high-end slow motion shots of food and ingredients I would have a completely different setup planned than a travel based video shoot in the remote Idaho wilderness. It’s always a tough call to leave the trusted cinematic gear and safety of studio lighting for a “run and gun” approach, but allot of what I do takes me into that territory. Before we get into my specific gear, lets look at some example shoots and I will list what I would bring;

Shoot Example 1:
Client Commercial for a Restaurant Chain

I would go into this shoot preparing to control EVERY aspect of lighting both in camera and with lights. Knowing that its a food shoot I would make sure the camera I select is capable of at least 90fps but most likely I would want 120fps. If this is a large chain, they may want to use anything shot in future campaigns which means we need to be forward thinking and if budget allows shoot 3840×2160 (Consumer 4K). This will also allow for more digital cropping in post if finishing in 1080p.

Gear Selected:
– Red Dragon/Red Weapon Cinema Camera
– Zeiss Compact Primes (35, 50, 80)
– Cinema Slider, Automated Dolly Track
– Arri Kit for coverage, General Grip Package including Audio Mixing
– Lowel LED Kit for Detail Lighting

Shoot Example 2:

Client Commercial for Cruise Line (Bahamas)

In contrast to the chain restaurant shoot above I would go into this production KNOWING that I will not be able to control the light and that allot of the shots I will be obtaining will be on the go. I would pick solid gear that can get the best shots with having the most flexibility weight and ISO wise. If the client has the budget and need for 4k I would add in *’d gear.

Gear Selected:
– Sony A7r ii, Samsung NX1 and *Sony FS700 with Odyssey
– Steadicam Solo
– Zeiss Distagon Series Primes (25, 50, 85) Note: Great Image, Lower Weight for Travel than Compact Primes
– Inspire 1 Drone
– Rode Lavs
– Reflector, Lowel LED Location Kit
– Cinebags Revolution Backpack, Travel Tripod and Reflector Board


My Most Used Equipment on Productions

Red Scarlet
– Red Dragon
– Sony FS700 with Odyssey
– Samsung NX1
– Canon 5D MKIII
– Black Magic 4K Cinema Camera
– Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera
– DJI Osmo


– Zeiss Compact Primes (35mm, 50mm, 85mm)
– Zeiss Distagon Primes (25mm, 50mm, 85mm)
– Canon L Series Lenses (16-35L, 100-400L, 50mm 1.4L)
– Rokinon Primes (Used Mainly in Extreme Environments such as Dirt/Sand/Humidity etc.  24mm, 50mm, 85mm)
– Samsung 30mm Pancake Lense (NX1 Use Only)


Favorite Gear
– Steadicam Solo
– Steadicam Smoothee (iPhone shooting)
– Cinebags (Various Production Bags)
– Rode Mics (Ng5 and Various Lavs)
– Zoom Recorder (H6N)
– Inspire 1
– Lowel Location LEDs
– Tiffen ND Filters (Various) *These are a MUST

I hope this helps answer some of your questions about gear…but remember….it depends on what you are wanting to do with this equipment first and foremost!  I have known AMAZING photographers/cinematographers who are shooting with the intro level DSLRs…they have the eye and the talent and that’s what matters…not the gear.

Questions?  Add your thoughts below in the comments!

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