10 Essential Accessories for Shooting Video on DSLRs

As DSLR video gets better and better, more and more photographers have the opportunity to become part-time videographers. We run down 10 accessories you need for shooting DSLR video

D4s with microphone

Far from an afterthought, video on DSLRs has never looked and sounded better. More and more people, video professionals even, are turning to DSLRs like the Canon 5D series to produce video of outstanding quality, and it's honestly not hard to see why.

If you've got a camera that takes quality stills you may well want to try your hand at video. It takes a little preparation though, and it's best to do your research before jumping in.

Here we run through nine essential accessories that you'll want to have on hand if you're going to shoot video on your DSLR.

 

1. RØDE Videomic Pro

The main weakness with the video capabilities of most DSLRs is the audio. You may get a lovely crisp picture but the built-in mics are often weak, and any professional videographer will tell you that a video is worth nothing if the sound isn't up to stuff.

The RØDE VideoMic Pro is a deceptively small shotgun mic that is the favourite of many high-end video-shooters. Providing up to 70 hours of broadcast-level recording on a single 9V battery, it's a compact, stalwart companion for any video shooter.

 

2. LED light panel

When shooting video you'll want a strong dependable, controllable source of light. An LED panel is an excellent thing to have in a pinch.

You can spend a lot of money on an LED panel if you're so inclined, but the Luma LitePanel offers some very decent bang for your buck at a competitive price of £260.

It's lightweight, provides a powerful 50º spread of light and can be mounted straight on top of the camera


3. Metz 80cm 5-in-1 Reflector

 

A reflector is a perfect, inexpensive way to modify and control lighting in video as well as still photography. The Metz 80cm 5-in-1 is especially good for (as the name implies) versatility, with white, silver, gold, black and ambient surfaces. It's a steal at £40 too.

 

4. Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones

 

Audio monitoring is an important part of shooting video, and you need the right headphones for the job. Some modern headphones are built to ‘flatter' the audio, which is precisely what you don't want - if your audio sounds bad, you need to know about it.

The Sennheiser HD 25-1 II headphones are specifically designed monitoring headphones for sound professionals. What you're hearing is what you're getting.

 

5. Tripod and pan head

A strong and sturdy tripod is a must for video, and if you want smooth camera movement it'll be well worth investing in a quality pan head.

Manfrotto's 504HD Pro Video Head should fit the bill perfectly, with smooth, fluid panning movement that is well protected from accidental knocks.

 

6. SanDisk Extreme Professional SD card

Video capture is a big job, and you need to be sure that your memory card is able to keep pace with the huge amounts of data you'll be chucking at it.SanDisk's Extreme Professional cards have both the capacity and the speed required to handle this kind of volume.

It's good to look for a Class 10 card when you can find one - the faster the better, really. Take a look at our memory card primer if you need a refresher.

 

7. Adobe Premiere Elements

If you're making your first moves into the world of video editing then you'd be advised to start with one of the lighter offerings - jumping straight into something like Final Cut Pro will likely leave you overwhelmed.

Adobe Premiere Elements is an excellent starting point for the newbie editor, but do take a look at our round-up of video editing software for more.

 

8. Hoodman Hoodloupe

You're going to be composing entirely on your LCD screen when shooting video, and you therefore run the risk of encountering glare when shooting outside.

A neat preventative for this is an LCD viewfinder such as the Hoodman HoodLoupe, which provides an eyepiece for easy, glare-free viewing of the camera's LCD.

 

9. Redrock RunningMan DSLR Nano Rig

Designed for ‘run ‘n' gun' shooters, the Runningman DSLR Nano Rig is a great tool to have in your arsenal for keeping shots steady.

It's capable of providing the user with three points of contact for the camera: the chest plate, the handgrip and the optional loupe accessory that allows for attachment of a Hoodman Hoodloupe.

Unlike a lot of DSLR harnesses and rigs, the Runningman rig keeps things simple and compact. It's easy to carry around and even easier to use.

 

10. Tiffen Variable ND filter

ND filters can be just as useful when shooting video as they are when shooting stills, for precisely the same reasons.

Tiffen's Variable ND provides 2-8 stops of light control, allowing you to precisely control the depth of field and enable you to more easily shoot bright, snowy and sunny scenes