Usually when it comes to gifts, I tell my family not just get me something simple like clothing or shoes. Things that wouldn’t be too complicated because when it comes to video equipment, they’re either very expensive, or there’s so many options that you wouldn’t know if its the correct kind of not. Obviously with gifts, Its really the thought that counts but these are definitely options that any film maker wouldn’t hate to have in their bag in a pinch.
When it comes to microphones, there are a lot of options and thankfully here I have three options made from the best company in my opinion, Rode.
As you can see here there are four options that are different in price by around $50. All of them are solid and in my opinion I would say to choose between the VideoMic Rycote Lyre and the VideoMic Go. The former is the best on camera mic in this price range because it has a Rycote suspension which helps keep the microphone from jittering and causing extra noise. Personally I don’t use these types of microphones too often because I don’t shoot many situations when I would need them but for Music videos they are are a lifesaver. I always have to sync up the audio and with a better mic than the onboard scratch audio that the camera offers, it makes life so much easier. Most film makers or anyone who wants to get into vlogging and stuff like that would appreciate a nice microphone.
There isn’t much of a choice here when it comes to lighting because buying a light in this price range is picking between two things, practicality and size. Yes you could get a decent light for under $100 but is it practical to take one that isn’t portable versus a strong light that is smaller and more compact. I choose the latter.
The Amaran light by Aputure is tiny but it is the strongest light in terms of output but its made by an amazing company and it will come in handy when you’re in a pinch. I would love it if someone gave me a light like this as a gift.
3. Memory Cards
Okay so this isn’t the sexiest gift but honestly, you can’t ever go wrong with this. They are always needed and I always lose mine. I have said this before and I will say it again, don’t go cheap on memory cards. There are some that are $10 and some that are $90. Use your judgement on them and read the reviews, you’ll know which one is the one to get them.
I’m breaking the rules here but I don’t care, if you have a friend or family member who has a camera and is just starting out, this will be the gift that matters. In my experience when I see someone with a camera, they have a kit lens. A kit lens is what you would think it is. Its a lens that you buy in a kit with the camera. Normally its a sales tactic that will give you a bundle of a camera and a couple lenses at a good price but usually the lenses are made to be very versatile which they won’t be great for one specific thing but rather will work in most situations. I will give a couple lenses as close to the price point as possible with different camera mounts.
I have used all these lenses, The Panasonic lens I currently use for more things than you would think. Its good in low light, they all are actually. I loved the canon lens and used it a couple times and though I don’t use a canon camera, I still have this lens! For the price, its a no brainer.
*Disclaimer: Make sure the lens is for the correct camera* These lenses are for specific mounts, so if you have a canon camera, get the canon lens.
Okay so there are cameras under $100. Most are action cameras which aren’t as bad as you would think. They are smaller which means they have smaller sensors but they do 4k and if you’re starting out they are a low investment to dip your toes. I started my videos with a GoPro and I slowly moved to bigger and bigger cameras. These are almost too inexpensive to not surprise someone with.