It’s that time of year where finding that special gift for your fellow shooter can be a difficult task. Nobody wants to receive a pair of socks or a bottle of Old Spice. Here at Newsshooter we want to help Santa out, and have come up with some affordable stocking stuffers. The criteria for our suggestions is simple – affordable, compact and useful. Santa can’t get tripods, sliders or an Arri 65 down the chimney, but you’re welcome to plead your case when you write to him.
Rode Video Micro:
At just $59 US, the Video Micro makes a great Xmas gift. It features a high-quality cardioid condenser microphone capsule, a camera shoe mount featuring a Rycote Lyre shock mount and synthetic furry windshield with foam inner cell. Perfect for use with small cameras such as the Sony a7 series. To put it on the list for Santa head over to the Rode website for more information.
Cable management is a constant battle for any shooter, but Redrockmicro have a great solution called the microTie cable organiser. These are great for clamping down any type of cable, such as SDI, HDMI and audio. Each microTie has inside and outside channels for inserting up to 3 different cables and securing to a 15mm rail. The microTie’s outside channel can also be used to hold a grease pencil for your follow focus. The microTie comes in a set of 3, available for $24.50 US.
Sachtler SpeedLevel Clamp for Sachtler 100mm Fluid Heads:
A lot of news and documentary shooters use a Sachtler tripod. When you have to adjust your tripod head over and over again during the day you can waste valuable time or end up missing a shot. Instead of the traditional twisting and untwisting, the SpeedLevel Clamp loosens the head position when you squeeze the handles and sets the head in place the moment you release the squeeze. The SpeedLevel Clamp is compatible with all Sachtler 100mm heads and supports a maximum weight of 55 lb. It can also work with 75mm bowl head set-ups but you might not be able to tilt it over as far. It retails for $153 US.
Filmtools Bongo Ties:
The Bongo Tieﾙ Cable Tie are a great solution for securing down video cables, sound cables, computer cables, extension cords and just about anything else. I have used these for years and keep a pack handy at all times. There is always a situation where you need to secure something down or just to hold an audio cable in a nice loop when you’re finished with it. They come in packs of 10 and are a steal at just $5.49 US.
Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit:
The Lens Cleaning Kit from Zeiss is a complete solution for cleaning your valuable optics. It includes a 1 oz bottle of cleaning fluid, microfiber cloth, 10 pre-moistened cleaning wipes, retractable cleaning brush, air blaster and fabric travel case. The kit is available at B&H for $28 US.
Imagine Products ShotPut Pro 5:
Since the move to tapeless workflows it has become extremely important to back-up and safeguard your material. ShotPut Pro is a is an automated copy utility application for video and photo files that not only copies, but verifies all your data. ShotPut Pro is the de facto industry standard for offloading data for professionals. ShotPut Pro 5 is available for both Mac and Windows for $99 US.
Iographer Filmmaking Case for the iPhone 6 Plus:
If you want to use your iPhone 6+ for capturing video, the Iographer Filmmaker Case has got you covered. It features 2 cold shoe mounts and a 37mm lens thread, and the case lets you add lights and microphones, as well as the included 37mm wide-angle lens and 37mm 2x telephoto lens. The Iographer case is available for $99 US.
Domke F-34L 19-Inch Protective Wrap:
The Domke wrap is great for wrapping around lenses, camera bodies, monitors and anything else you want to protect. It is made out of padded, Velcro-compatible knit with a non-scratch nylon backing and has Velcro tabs on all four corners that let you wrap up your prized possessions in any number of ways. You can buy the 19″ version in a variety of colours for $14.89 US
Porta Brace CS-B9 Stuff Sack:
Just as Santa needs a sturdy sack to keep all the presents in, Sachtler has a padded nylon pouch that is good for holding small accessories. It features a padded interior and zippered top and is compatible with most Porta Brace soft and hard cases. You can pick one up for $13.02 US.
Manfrotto 5001B Nano Black Light Stand:
You can never have enough light stands and especially ones that are small enough to fit inside bags and even a 1510 Pelican case. The Manfrotto 5001B Nano has 5 sections and 4 rises and can extend up to 6.2′ (1.9m) in height and folds down to just under 19 inches. It has a 5/8″ top stud, topped by a 3/8″ thread, which is topped by a removable 1/4″-20 threaded top. The stands are available for $57.99 US
Dinkum Systems DSLR Pro Pack:
The Dinkum Systems DSLR Pro Pack is a selection of component parts that have been combined with the hot-shoe mounted Compact lens shade to create a useful range of at least eight accessory options to add to your camera or grip kit. Simply take the top (with a 1/4-20″ or 3/8-16″ thread option), a large or small clamp base and arm length of your choosing then pop them together to form a fully customizable set of camera accessories to meet a range of on-set challenges. All the components pack neatly and compactly into a handy canvas storage bag with a speed buckle and grommets for easy hanging. The DSLR Pro Pack is available for $99.95 US
Manfrotto 148KN Reducing Bushing Set – 3/8″-16 to 1/4″-20 (Set of 5):
Everybody needs a set of these – they are incredibly useful and allow you to easily mount any accessory with a female 3/8″-16 threaded socket onto a 1/4″-20 male screw. They come in a pack of five and you can buy them for just $11.06 US.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video:
The X-Rite ColorChecker Video is a two-sided color calibration tool that allows you to set camera white balance among different cameras or varying lighting environments. Recording the chart can speed up balancing the color of multiple shots in post. It is available for $129 US.
Manfrotto 237 Flex Arm:
These are great for attaching monitors, lights and other accessories to light stands. They are 21.6″ (55cm) long and have a 5/8 inch stud at one end for putting onto a light stand, and a 1/4-20″ male thread at the other. The 237 is available for $22.88 US.
The KinoBall is a excellent budget option for adding additional points of contact to your camera setup. The ball fits in the palm of your hand and leaves your fingers available to work the lens ring or follow focus. It features a hardwood ball with Arri standard stainless rosette and M6 screw and can be used on right side, left side, or both. They are available for $89 US and come in walnut, cherry, maple, and mahogany.
Movcam Sony a7S LANC Cable:
If you’re looking for a nice simple start/stop LANC cable for your a7S or a7S Mark II then you can grab one of these from Movcam for $95 US.
NiSi 4×4 Nano Infrared Neutral Density Filters:
Available in a range of strengths from 0.3 up to 2.1, these filters feature very accurate colour rendition, infrared protection and Nano coatings. They can be purchased for $180 US.
Zacuto Gorilla Plate V2:
The Zacuto Gorilla Plate V2 is a small camera mounting plate for small DSLR and mirrorless cameras. The Gorilla plate features a rubberized top to provide good grip and prevent the camera from twisting on the plate. The 1/4″-20 camera mounting screw is captive, so you don’t have to worry about it falling out when you remove the camera. It is available for $65.55 US
Cool-Lux LUX GEARS:
Cool-Lux LUX GEARS are cinema pitched lens gears compatible with any standard follow focus. Each gear is designed to stretch over the focus barrel of a lens and stay in place with a tight compression fit. There are 16 gear sizes to choose from. Each steps up in size by 2mm for compatibility with any lens having a barrel diameter between 60mm and 92mm. They are available for $28.75 US.