If you're starting out in photography or videography, it feels as if there are unlimited items you need, which is not the case. However, there are some less expensive tools that can aid in your production and make a bigger difference than their cost implies.
I have bought an unreasonable amount of tools and gear over the years. Some have become integral, but the majority was a waste of money. In recent years, this sort of buying on a whim doesn't happen and my success rate is significantly higher, though I suspect as a result, I miss out on a few hidden gems.
In this video, Film Riot goes through five different tools that are important to their workflow, but don't cost the earth. I use several items in this list myself, and the only I want to really highlight is the first: the Aputure MC RGBWW LED Light. I have used this versatile little guy on many shoots as a whole host of lights, from accent or color, through to an attractive practical. They are only $90 each and are well worth the money, particularly when you pair them with the Aputure app for controlling the settings and hue. You can also buy a 12 light production kit that comes with a carry case that charges the lights. I've tried a number of these RGB LED light bricks and Aputure's is by far my favorite and they are a superb, innovative company.
What affordable tool has become a staple of your kit? Do you have a go-to tool that few others know about? Share them in the comments below.