Equipment List for Beginning

Basic Video Camera or ipad/cell phone


Small camcorders are some of the most affordable and user-friendly options for shooting videos. They’re useful for beginners, schools and families, though image quality won’t be as good as SLRs or mirrorless cameras. I don’t recommend buying cheap (under $100) camcorders from makers you haven’t heard of.

Cell phones

You can shoot and edit on Androids, iPads and iPhones. Smartphones are discreet and portable and some of them can shoot great video in the right conditions.


Basic work lamps are a good starting point for learning about creative lighting. For a budget studio setup, CFL soft box lights could be a good choice.


It’s important to keep your camera steady. Some cameras have very effective built-in stabilisation, but most filmmakers use a tripod or monopod at least some of the time.


Sound is as important as pictures, and you won’t get great audio with the microphone in your camera. Using a separate microphone will make a big difference. Lavalier (‘lav’) microphones, which clip onto clothes, are the most affordable way to get good sound. You can also use a directional microphone - Zoom Mics or Boom Mics You really need to be listening to the sound on headphones as you shoot. But some cameras have limited audio recording options – and no headphone sockets – so you may need a separate audio recorder.

Computer with video editing software - Laptop preferred

I use Macs. They’re designed for video editing and widely used in the film and media industry. You’ll get more for your money with a PC, and you’ll need to check that the spec is good enough to run your editing software. Video editing – especially 4K – takes up a lot of space and needs a powerful computer. If you don’t need to be portable, a desktop computer will be better value for money than a laptop.

Storage devices - External Drives

I recommend to have at least a 64 GB (or higher) jump drive as a requirement for class. If you’re just doing small projects, you can keep all your video on your jump drive.

Lens Cleaner

Simple lens cleaner for camera lens.