Ten Gear Suggestions for Beginner Filmmakers

One of the most frequent types of questions I see on social media is about gear or gear recommendations. For the most part, photographers and videographers who are relatively new to the industry tend to ask about what gear they should or shouldn't buy. I think it's always better to ask than spend money on something that may end up being a waste. 

In a recent video, YouTuber and filmmaker Matti Haapoja goes through a list of equipment that he thinks is useful for new creatives. The initial investment that many of us make into this industry can be crucial in determining whether we succeed or not. Generally speaking, many of us may not have access to a lot of funds; therefore, being smart in on what and how we spend our money is really important. The industry can be tough at times, and the little helping hands and suggestions we get on occasion can be extremely useful. Thankfully, there are YouTubers out there who regularly make videos for new creatives just entering the market. I appreciate that gear recommendations can be a very personal thing, and chances are, no two photographers work in the exact same way. Even still, I think general suggestions like the ones in this video can be useful guides. My personal favorites are the Sony a7 III or the a7R III when it comes to cameras for filming. When it comes to lenses, my favorites are the small light primes from Sony like the 28mm f/2.0 and the Zeiss 55mm f/1.8

What are your suggestions for creatives just coming into the industry? 

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12 Comments

Ansel Spear's picture

Yawn. Another so called expert. A 10 bullet point list would be less painful than wading through this 13-minute drivel - the first 35 seconds of which are of this bloke skateboarding. I could have read the list and moved on in that time.

It's how he makes money. Produce a nice video discussing his gear recommendations and then provide affiliate links. Nothing wrong with that imo.

user-206807's picture

This is the problem of our society, everybody having nothing to say wants to make money with it…

user-206807's picture

If a Youtube video is less than 10 minutes you will make no money with it. This is the reason why you find so much videos telling in 10 minutes, or more, what they could have said in only 30 seconds.

Jay Jay's picture

I would normally agree, but like Maxal said, this would have only been a 30 second video. I like guy and he puts out really good videos, so i didn't mind this (plus i scrolled through the video, so only took a min to find out all his gear)

Click Bait Video, nothing else. Agree with the comments here, drag out the message as much as possible, fill the video with yourself, oh and every 2nd video make sure you mention Peter Mckinnon so you can get creditability.

16mm Camera's picture

15 mins, for an advert for his affiliate links. Why out of all the gear videos did you choose this one to share Usman?

Usman Dawood's picture

Thank you for the feedback, you're not alone with these thoughts, therefore, I'll be more conscious about what kind of videos I share in the future.

I personally thought there was some entertainment value and I thought the information was useful.

In any case, what general gear recommendations would you give to beginners?

My advice would be closer to Phillip Bloom’s reco, which would be to start with a tripod and a proper fluid head for support, and not a “tripod, monopod, gorilla pod, whatever” as this gent recommends.

16mm Camera's picture

It depends on what their intentions are. Do they want to do paid client work? Or do they want to be a "Youtuber?" Or do they just want to make home videos? Figuring that out would definitely help people get started.

Also pretty sure you don't need a drone or gimbal at the expense of a good fluid head tripod like Matt Suggested. Most filmmakers are shooting subjects, not themselves and the joby pod is largely useless unless you're a "Vlogger".

Also he never mentioned post production gear. You would need a computer and editing software if you want to turn what you shot into something meaningful.

Sorry to come down hard, I find him to be quite objectionable personally as someone who's been in the industry for 25 years.

I also don't feel what he's saying is authentic, a lot of that gear he gets for free and doesn't even bother writing a description in his box that's not shilling his own crap. He could have time stamped what each thing is to help people wade through that 15 mins of self indulging fluff.

There is a difference between actual advice and clickbait videos. These kinds of videos are aimed at the inexperienced and the young people getting into video. They are counting on that you don't know much and that is why most of these videos try to be 'cool' rather than informative, they try to brag about where they are rather than the skills that can get them there, its all about subscribers and money and not teaching.

Here is what I personally like about Phillip Bloom, his tutorials/reviews are lengthy, they don't hold back, he takes the time to dive deep and actually teach. When he tests a camera it isn't with him jumping over rocks and try to be show-boaty. He is a teacher, someone giving in-depth knowledge, from experience and credibility.

I would probably tell a beginner to buy Bloom’s masterclass first before any equipment... he has great gear recommendations in it and also explains how to use it all in a way that I think both beginners and seasoned vets can get something from.