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Looking for the best accessories for shooting better video? Check out this guide. Shooting videos is getting easier and easier. Every camera is getting better, while video editing is now so accessible, that even iPads are now a viable option for those who want to be editing on the go.
While editing is its own beast entirely, the thing with shooting video is that your equipment can make or break a shoot. A lot of mirrorless cameras still have limits on them to prevent overheating or other issues, like corrupted files.
So what are the best things you can get to ensure that you don’t end up with a failed video shoot? Well, we’re going to cover field monitors, recorders, as well as gimbals and cover other things for those who are more studio focused.
Best accessories for shooting better video: Monitors
Field monitors and recording monitors are just a little different from each other. The field monitor is more for, well, monitoring, while recording monitors handle that and provide you with an external option for recording video to get around the camera’s limits.
Field monitors are one of the best accessories for shooting better video, as they not only provide you with a much larger screen that is usually brighter than your camera’s viewfinder, but also often provides a more colour accurate vision of what you’re shooting.
This can be incredibly handy when you come to edit and colour grade, as you can apply a LUT for an estimated view of what you’re going to use as your base, then work from there and have the RAW footage unimpeded.
These often come out through the HDMI port, so you’ll also need to invest in the correct size HDMI cable, often either Mini or Full.
For the price, the best – and you’ll sense a theme here – is the range from Atomos.
The Shinobi is a 1080p, 5-inch monitor with a 1000-nit brightness, which is roughly the needed brightness for editing HDR, making it doubly great for those who colour grade. Combine this with the REC709 HDTV colour gamut and a colour depth of 10-bit, it is a great and cheap entry point for getting an accurate picture for your project.
Alternatives come from Swit, which provide low-cost monitors in 5, 7 and 9 inches. While their 5-inch model can take up to 4K video to downgrade it to 1080p, it is an excellent choice for budget setups. It can also take in LUTs but doesn’t hit the 1000-nits for HDR accuracy. It does however come with a sun hood and standard size HDMI cable.
Recommended Field Monitors
- Atomos Shinobi 5.2″ 4K HDMI Monitor – available at Amazon
- SWIT S-1093F 9 Inch IPS FHD LCD Camera Field Monitor – buy at Amazon
There are only two real choices when it comes to recording monitors. Blackmagic Design and Atomos.
The Blackmagic Design option is great, especially if you want to work with both HDMI and SDI, so if you’re looking for a more professional end camera, this would be a perfect choice. Certain cameras now support recording to this with BRAW, Blackmagic’s proprietary file format that works great with DaVinci Resolve. This Blackmagic Design Video Assist 7″ 12G-SDI/HDMI HDR Recording Monitor is a great example.
Then we come to Atomos Ninja V, the ultimate on-camera recording monitor. There is the upgraded version, but the original Ninja V is such a good deal for everything it provides, we recommend the V+ due to it being over double the price. The Ninja V is an HDR equipped recording device that uses HDMI. This allows it to be your main source of control for certain functions, but it also records to 2.5-inch SSDs in 4K, making the barrier to getting storage no problem at all.
Recommended Recording Monitors
- Blackmagic Design Video Assist 7″ 12G-SDI/HDMI HDR Recording Monitor – buy at Amazon
- Atomos Ninja V – available at Amazon
Best accessories for shooting better video: Gimbals
Gimbals are slowly becoming more needed than your traditional tripod. Providing support and new alternative ways to shoot video, is a great option for those who want not only smooth video and unique shots.
DJI rule the roost. We love their DJI RSC 2 – 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for DSLR cameras, or the Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer for smartphones. Both promise easy attachment. The former features the Titan Stabilization Algorithm, which ensures smoother image capture. Plus the SuperSmooth mode effectively counteracts micro-movements and enhances torque, providing stabilization even when using 100mm zoom lenses.The new gimbal has a focus wheel built-in for cameras that support it, while also having a portrait mode for those who shoot TikToks. With the smartphone gimbal, you are afforded higher quality promising a professional, stable finish even without the expensive equipment.
However, there’s no counting out Zhiyun, which offer some seriously good value for money when it comes to tripods. We’re a big fan of their Smooth 4 Gimbal stabilizer, which comes with an app to help you shoot better.
DJI also packs in the ActiveTrack software, which uses your phone to track a subject while the gimbal follows it for accurate shooting. As well as this, for those who are wanting to stay out the way, setting it up on a tripod you can use Force Mobile to use motion controls to point where you want to shoot.
- DJI RSC 2 – 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer – buy now from Amazon
- Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer – available from Amazon
- Zhiyun Smooth 4 Gimbal stabilizer – available from Amazon
- MOZA Mini MX Gimbal – buy from Amazon
- MOZA AirCross 3 Gimbal Stabilizer 9 – check out on Amazon
Best accessories for shooting better video: Studio kit
Studio life has become more common than you think. With streaming, COVID and working from home becoming a regular occurrence, video equipment is also coming down in price or different options allowing for content creation to be taken up a notch.
For the budget-conscious and those looking for better streams, the Blackmagic Atem Mini line is probably the best option you can take. The mixer line’s most basic comes with four HDMI ports and a USB-C out, allowing you to bring in four sources as a USB device, rather than a dedicated video source. This means you can use it for things over Discord, Skype, Teams and more. This goes all the way up to the ISO and Extreme models, which capture the sources as different files rather than mixing them down into a single file that the other models provide. The ISO and Extreme output to either the PC with OBS or your dedicated recording software or an SSD device.
Recommended Vision Mixer
How do these camera accessories help in producing quality images and videos?
These camera accessories help with shooting by providing stability and better angles, be that with a professional camera or iPhone.
Should I get a tripod or a gimbal?
Choosing between a tripod and a gimbal depends on your preferences and needs. Tripods provide stability and precision, making them great for still photography and controlled video shots, while gimbals excel at capturing dynamic, smooth video footage with motorized control. Tripods are versatile and budget-friendly, suitable for stable setups, while gimbals offer portability, stabilization, and creative flexibility for on-the-move shooting. Consider your shooting style and projects to make the right choice, and some photographers/videographers even opt for both tools for a comprehensive toolkit.
So, there are a range of useful accessories to help boost your shooting abilities. We’ve tried to include a items across a wide range of budgets and needs, so there should be something to suit everyone.