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Which Video Accessories Do You Need?

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If you’re one of the millions who received a new video-capable camera or camcorder this past holiday season, you might be wondering which accessories you really need.

Let’s start with the basics. You’ll need video tape (unless you’re tapeless – then you might need memory cards – unless you’re recording to hard disk or CD – in which case you need nothing.

Be sure to pick up an extension cable (or two) and a power strip.

You’ll also probably need an extra battery. Most camcorder batteries are good for about one hour’s worth of recording time.

Next up, make sure you have a good mic if you can record audio from an external source. Likewise, you’ll need a pair of headphones or earbuds if you want to monitor audio in the field.

In my opinion, you also need a sturdy tripod and fluid head. This is essential if you want to get “locked down” steady shots. And the fluid head makes panning and tilting flow smoothly.

Now that we’ve covered basics, the next group is desired accessories. Here you’ll want to think about things like extra optics – wide angle and telephoto add-on lenses give your camcorder additional focal length, meaning you can get more creative with your shooting and framing.

You want to also make sure you have plenty of cables. Not all camcorders come with a firewire cable, yet that’s the most popular way to connect your camcorder to programs like iMovie.

Be sure to pick up a small video light. This will be valuable when you’re in dark light.

Finally – you’ll want a case to carry all this stuff around in. Try out several in person to make sure you get one large enough to hold all of your accessories.

What else should be on this list?


Written by scottbourne

January 26, 2009 at 1:55 am

Posted in Articles, Gear

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