Basic Filmmaking Equipment for Filmmaker Wannabes

Filmmaking is one of the best careers. It is fun, exciting, and quite challenging. The satisfaction is undeniable once you’re able to produce an excellent film may it be for personal entertainment or career.

To produce a powerful movie, one must have the basic filmmaking equipment. And filmmaking equipment requires more than just a camera.

To start, you must analyze what type of film you are making. Is it an interview? A short movie? A personal video blog? What about the setting? Will it be filmed in broad daylight?

Or in places that would demand lighting equipment? Whatever it is, evaluate your film and think of the technical demands that would come up along the way.

Camcorder: Prosumer or Professional?

The first primary equipment you must have is a camera. But there are lots of cameras so question is, which one should you buy? If you’re an amateur filmmaker, it is best suggested to go with the prosumer camcorders. You can also go with DSLRs.

You can buy these kinds of cameras not higher than a thousand bucks. They have film-satisfying qualities and can perform well. However, if you’re a pro, then use a camera based on your discretion – be it entry-level or professional kind.

When buying a camera, it is suggested to buy the kind that saves recording through memory sticks. They offer many conveniences in transferring recordings to external drives. Plus, after transferring, you would be able to delete unnecessary recordings and have more space for another shoot.

Basic camcorders have a built-in microphone, LCD display, and sensitivity sensors. However, other situations may demand more than just built-in features. In such cases, usage of external equipment is a must.

For instance, a camera with large sensitivity sensor and ISO level can shoot brightly in low light conditions. But, in cases where the setting is darker, you may need an external lighting source, most especially when broad daylight is not readily available.

Other Basic Equipment for Filmmaking

Aside from the camera, you may need more equipment to help you produce a better quality film. Each equipment has devoted features that contribute to the overall quality of your recording. Listed below are some of the external tools you may need:

Camera Stabilizer

Camera stabilizers help make the video steady. They are used to decrease or prevent unwanted movements of the camera (also called a camera shake). Most branded cameras have their own camera stabilizers that can be bought under the same brand. There are also available camera stabilizers in the market that can accommodate various types of camera regardless of the brand and the size.

The design of a camera stabilizer usually comes with a contoured frame and a handle grip. The frame will be mounted on the photographer’s shoulder. With the handle grip placed beneath the camera, the photographer can position the camera according to the desired angle with less unwanted camera shakiness.

Camera stabilizer is mostly used for films that have several movements. However, if your film does not require excessive movements – say, a scenery, interview, or time-lapse – a simple tripod can work as perfectly. Tripods can handle various kinds of cameras and are also sold at affordable prices in the market.


Depending on the camera of your choice, you may need (or not) to have extra lenses for zooming and aperture. Lenses can help you capture sharper and more focused images. Lenses can be bought from a low-cost to a very expensive price.

If your camera has already great zooming quality, then extra lenses may not be necessary. You may also need filters. Filters allow you to capture video or photo with an improved quality.

Lighting Accessories

Though cameras have sensors that enhance low-light imagery, flashguns, and lighting accessories may still be necessary especially in places where sensors cannot offer help.

There are several types of lights for films. Tungsten gives warm light and has a better color temperature. Fluorescent can give soft lighting over a large scale of area. LED lights are perfect for dimming and even lighting.

You must know what kind of lighting you need. Sometimes, you may need to have these three lighting accessories to get the perfect light you need. For one instance, to make an interview more intriguing, you may have to use three lighting placed in different angles. This would help emphasize the scene and the interviewee.

External Audio Equipment

Some cameras may have built-in microphones. Built-in microphones tend to record the noise from the camera which can affect your product. To avoid such annoyance, you can use external microphones for better audio recording.

The best external audio you can use is the shotgun microphone, digital recorder or a lavalier microphone. These kinds of microphones can reach the subject closer without being seen in the camera. Check your camera if it has XLR connectivity or external mic input.

Lens Cloth

As a filmmaker with so much investment in the equipment, taking care of them all is a must. It is best for you to buy a lens cloth or a microfiber cloth and a cleaning spray. Use these to clean your camera, the lenses and other equipment.

Your camera is one of the most sensitive devices so utmost care must also be given. One of the most important parts of your camera is the sensors. It should always be kept clean and dust free. There are several sensor cleaning tools you can buy on the market and you would spend no more than a hundred bucks.

These items can be bought at low prices. As a beginner, you don’t have to buy expensive equipment. You can settle for entry-level and just do an upgrade once your skills are improved.


Having a camera and other basic equipment for filmmaking is the primary step in your success in filmmaking. Above that, your skills and understanding in photography are paramount.

You must not only have great tools but great ideas and concepts as well. Filming is an art. And a costly kind of art.