Peter Fritz | Photography on Purpose

GEAR

This is the gear I use for my landscape photography and video-making. I only include items I've purchased, used, and would recommend if you came up to me and asked.

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Stills Gear
Video Gear

Stills Photography

Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera 

This is the kind of camera I've always wanted - full-frame, mirrorless, high-res and built to withstand the great outdoors. Peter McKinnon calls it the 'grail camera', and for good reason. 

Forget about the video stats (impressive as they are) - this is an epic stills camera first and foremost. It's fast, extremely customisable, the eye-AF is incredible, and that viewfinder is so beautiful.

Everything falls nicely to hand, the menus make sense, and features like the inbuilt focus stacking and bulb timer make it a powerful tool for anyone keen to make beautiful landscape images.

Pay the price once, and enjoy perfection for years.

CURRENTLY USING

Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapter

If you want to use any of the fabulous Canon EF L glass (like the 100-400mm listed below), you'll need an EF to EOS-R adapter. 

Don't buy one of the 3rd-party brands - they often don't work as expected. With the Canon ones, you'll find everything works perfectly, including AF eye detect and image stabilisation.

There are three versions: a plain old adapter, an adapter with the control ring (pictured) and an adapter with a drop-in filter slot for a circular polarizer or variable ND filter. That's the one I should have bought!

Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

The very first zoom lens I ever owned was a Ricoh 70-210 for my XR-P, and as a keen dirt bike shooter, it opened up a whole new world.

This little wonder is the same, only 100 times better. It's small, light, and beautifully made. It also focuses super fast and is pin-sharp. It's also fighting my much-loved 100-400 (soon, 100-500) for the title of Favourite Lens... Buy it.

Watch review video.

CURRENTLY USING

Canon EF 100-400 4.5-5.6L IS USM II

I remember lusting after the Nikon 80-400 back when I had a D750, so when a mate recommended the Canon 100-400 (and promised I'd never regret it), I took his advice.

I shoot around 80% of my landscapes with this lens because it allows me to pick out multiple compositions from one viewpoint, plus I can reach subjects I otherwise couldn't (private farmland, difficult terrain, etc.). Autofocus is super-fast, image stabilisation is epic, and sharpness is delightful. It also focuses super-close, allowing me to pick out smaller elements of a scene like flowers, insects and textures.

I'll echo my mate's advice. Get it. You'll never regret it.

UPDATE: I've now sold this lens (much faster than expected), so I can move up to the RF 100-500. A brief but rave-filled opinion will follow soon.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

Every landscape photographer worth his or her salt has this lens in their kit. I had one, then sold it. Then I regretted it and bought one again.

The thing is, there are lots of choices when it comes to wide/ultra-wide lenses, but few have the build quality, weather-sealing and end-to-end sharpness of the big-brand originals. And when you're talking Canon, that means an L lens.

But the main reason I purchased this - well, there's two, actually - is that I can't (easily) fit filters to the front of my Samyang 14mm RF AF lens (now sold); and Canon hadn't yet released the RF 14-35mm f/4L IS USM lens. But that, of course, is no longer true, and the lovely 14-35 sits comfortably in my bag as the 16-35 no doubt wows its new owner.

I might favour my 100-400 for shooting landscapes, but when I must go wide, this (and now, the 14-35) is my go-to lens.

Canon RF 14-35 f/4L IS USM

The king is dead. Long live the king!

Too dramatic? Maybe, but this compact wonder is all the wide landscape lens you'll ever need. Forget the 15-35 2.8 - this is just as sharp, but cheaper, lighter, and dare I say, more beautiful to look at.

Yes, it does have an issue with vignetting at the very wide end, but an impending lens profile in Lightroom should take care of that. In any case, I always crop my images (either as 4:3, 1:1 or 16:9), so it's never an issue.

I've shot wide open up close to tree branches, and the bokeh is delicious. I reckon you could buy this lens, the RF 70-200 f4 and the RF 50 f1.8, and you'll be set for 99% of your landscape photography needs.

Watch review video.

CURRENTLY USING

Canon RF 50mm 1.8 STM

Some of the sharpest, fastest and cheapest lenses in the Canon range are the RF and EF 50mm 1.8 twins. Both offer beautiful bokeh, (the shape of the blurred elements in an image), making them wonderful for subject isolation against a busy background.

They're light, focus fast, and look lovely and bright through the viewfinder.

Yes, the RF 50mm f1.2 is epic - and if you can afford it, you should indulge - but the 1.8 variants offer similar results for significantly less money.

Every camera bag should contain a nifty-50. Watch video.

CURRENTLY USING

Canon RF 24-105mm 4.0 L

Don't knock the all-rounder. Sometimes, you just want to grab a quick shot, and the good old 24-105 is the perfect (almost) do-it-all focal range.

This lens used to live on my camera when it was in the bag. It's was also the lens I often looked through when having my first check a scene. The wide end is usually wide enough for most of the more 'intimate' compositions, while the long end offers respectable reach for many shots, too. It's also very nice for portraits.

Plus, the constant f4 aperture is good to have, though definitely not essential for landscapes. Best of all, though, it's an L lens, so it's weather-sealed and biting sharp.

If I was going to buy my first lens, or only one lens, this would be it. That said, for the sake of simplicity and weight, I've now sold this lens and usually leave either the RF 70-200 or RF 14-35 on my camera when it's in the bag.

Samyang AF 14mm 2.8 RF

Where possible, I prefer brand-matched glass. But sometimes the alternatives are so good, you're justified buying a third-party offering, and this fabulous lens is one of them.

Known for their quality manual-focus ultra-wide lenses, Samyang was the first company to make a native RF-mount lens outside of Canon.

After noticing I hardly touched my Canon EF 16-35 mm f4 lens, I sold it and bought this. It's a full stop faster, weather-sealed and very sharp, so it's perfect for astrophotography and immersive close-up images. As a bonus, it also looks and feels gorgeous, which makes holding and using it a delight. Or just staring at it.

UPDATE: I've now sold this lens thanks to the arrival of the RF 14-35, but I still miss it for its gorgeous looks and nice bright aperture. If you plan to do astro, or you don't want to spring for the RF 14-35, this lens is for you.

Canon EF Extender 2x III

Canon series-III extenders are so good it's hard to justify a super-fast telephoto unless you're a mad aviation, bird or sports photographer. 

I've used both the 1.4x and 2x extenders with my 100-400 on the R5 and the M6 MK II, and they work brilliantly, delivering highly detailed, beautifully-coloured images.

Just remember that the 1.4x extender, soaks up one-stop, and the 2x extender, two stops of light. That means that at the 400mm focal length, my zoom lens goes from being an f5.6 lens to an F8 with the 1.4, and an f11 with the 2x extender. I don't care, though. The R5 works so well at high ISO, it's fine, and the EVF means the viewfinder stays nice and bright.

Like the EF-EOS R Adapters, this is one item you should buy from Canon - not from a third-party brand.

DJI Air 2S Drone

I didn't know what I was missing until I bought a drone! It's amazing how much you don't see when you shoot at ground level, and nothing illustrates this like the footage you get out of a drone.

Whether you're looking for scene-setting B-roll for your videos or incredible landscape images for your portfolio, all the DJI drones deliver.

In my very first outing (I'd never flown a drone before), I used all three batteries that come with the Fly More Combo (each lasting around 30 minutes!) and managed to get some excellent 4K 24 fps video and some wonderful images.

I'm thrilled with this thing, and can't wait to see what else I can do - especially with my stills photography. This thing is opening up a whole new world of photography for me.

CURRENTLY USING

iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6S Tripod

Tripods are a very personal thing, and over the years, I've figured out what matters most to me in securing and positioning my camera.

Some of the things that impact your experience with a tripod are:

  1. Weight
  2. Maximum height
  3. Packed height
  4. Rigidity
  5. Leg operation (twist vs lever)
  6. Spreading operation
  7. Levelling
  8. Build quality
  9. Flexibility
  10. Aesthetics

For me, the iFootage Gazelle Uprise TC6S carbon fibre tripod ticks every box. It's beautiful, well-made, highly flexible, lightweight, and has an integrated bowl-head for fast levelling. The icing on the cake is that the iFootage tripods are far less expensive than the likes of GITZO and RRS.

CURRENTLY USING

Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon)

I fell in love with this thing the moment I saw it. It's just so bloody gorgeous! After that, it was only a matter of convincing myself that I actually 'needed' it.

The guys at Peak Design make some beautiful gear. It's clear they think deeply about the user experience, and their quality shines through with every single product - including their bags and straps.

As a hiking tripod, I reckon the carbon version of this is without peer. It folds up super small yet extends tall enough for a six-footer. The innovation is outstanding, and despite running 5 sections per leg, it's super rigid, supporting my R5 and 100-400 combo easily.

I use it mainly for parking my DJI Pocket 2 when I'm shooting static stuff on location, but it'll do just about everything the big boys will do.

It's not quite as rigid as the iFootage or Manfrotto in windy conditions, but it's not far off - which is amazing, because the other two are huge by comparison. Everything from the head design, the cam locks and the hidden phone holder are beautifully-made and a delight to use.

My beloved example is permanently attached to my camera bag, so if I need to wander more than a mile, I can leave the bigger tripod in the car. It ain't cheap, but it's one of those products you will love every time you hold it in your hands.

CURRENTLY USING

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Full-Size Screw-Knob Clamp

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Full Size Screw-Knob Clamp

It must be the German in me, but I'm borderline fanatical about buying quality products. It needn't always be the best, but if it's attainable without selling one of the kids, I'll get it.

That was the thinking behind this purchase. After using the iFootage Gazelle with its brilliant bowl head design, it occurred to me I could live with a ball head again. Given that 99.9% of tripod mounted images are made with the camera levelled, I figured I could leave this head dead level, then make my fine adjustments with the iFootage TC6's bowl head.

By all accounts, this head should survive a nuclear winter, so I suspect, like the Manfrotto 410 Junior, I'll have this unit forever.

CURRENTLY USING

SmallRig L-Bracket

I care a lot about aesthetics and build quality, and that's why I own a bunch of gear from SmallRig. Everything they make is just so nice.

I have SmallRig L-brackets on my R5, M6 MKII, and my son's M3, plus a bunch of other items to attach, swivel and protect stuff.

An L-bracket is an essential piece of kit these days because it allows you to switch from landscape to portrait orientation in just a few seconds, without screwing up your camera's relative position on the tripod.

So, instead of tilting your camera sideways - forcing it to flop to one side away from what you've framed - you flip its orientation within the same spot. Of course, you'll need an Arca-Swiss type clamp on your tripod to do it, but once you do this, you'll never go back to the old way.

SunwayFoto Arca-Swiss Clamp

I haven't used the included Manfrotto clamps for a while because they won't work with an L-Bracket.

And as I've mentioned, once you switch to Arca-Swiss and add an L-bracket to your camera, you'll never compose images the same way again.

So, to keep your non-Arca-Swiss head but switch to an Arca-Swiss clamp, you either need an adapter kit (pricey), or you could buy one of these and simply attach it to your existing plate.

That's what I did with my Manfrotto heads, and the best thing about the SunwayPhoto DLC-60LX is it's a screw release and captive lever release system in one. Just attach it to your existing head plate in the orientation you prefer, and now you have a clamp for your beautiful SmallRig L-bracket.

Incidentally, SmallRig also makes a selection of clamps, but I found this one worked better with the holes on my Manfrotto plates.

CURRENTLY USING

Peak Design Standard Plate

Like all Peak Design gear, the Standard Plate is beautifully made, carefully thought out and a delight to use. If you don't use an L-Bracket, use one of these.

I have one on my 100-400's tripod collar and the DJI Osmo Pocket 2 Extension Rod so I can attach them to any one of my tripods quickly and easily. You can also add Peak Design Anchor Links to one of the four holes for sling-style strap attachment.

CURRENTLY USING

Lowepro Pro Trekker BP 550 AW II Pro Camera Gear Backpack

I've used Lowepro bags since 1986, and I've never suffered a breakage. Not once. My very first bag even survived an off-track excursion by the first HSV Clubsport during an editorial shoot at Calder Raceway.

The Pro Trekker 550 AW II is easily my favourite Lowepro to date. It's as tough as nails, infinitely configurable, and comfortable to carry fully loaded. I also like the way they've covered it in loops, allowing you to mount straps and accessories for pouches, bottle holders and tripod carriers.

I've now added the Pro Trekker 350 AW II to my kit for when I'm doing a full-blown video shoot and need EVERYTHING. These bags are well-made and built to last. Plus, I reckon they look pretty cool.

Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-300 Printer

In the old days, we could hold our images in our hands - either as transparencies (slides) or prints.

Printing your own images brings back the feeling of satisfaction you get when holding your art. It makes everything real.

Yes, it's usually more cost-effective to have someone else print our images; after all, high-end printers, paper and ink aren't cheap. But the thing is, we almost never get someone to print our images.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting one. Pair it with some high-grade papers from Canson (the Platine and Baryta papers are gorgeous), and witness the feeling of holding your art in your hands.

My current printer, the imagePROGRAF Pro-300, prints up to A3+, and is a great starting point. Later, I'll probably get the Pro-1000 so I can print A2 size.

CURRENTLY USING

Video Gear

Canon EOS M6 MK II

This is the camera that reignited my passion for landscape photography.

It's beautifully-made and honestly feels like a 'lifetime' camera. Plus, with 32.5 megapixels of Canon APS-C loveliness, 14 fps with autofocus tracking, it makes a fine fist of landscape, nature and portrait photography. I've even used it with an EF-EOS M adapter, a 1.4x extender and my 100-400 lens to shoot birdlife. The results were impressive!

Equally impressive is its video performance, with reliable eye-detect, a flip-up screen, and un-cropped 4K recording at 24 and 30 fps and 120 fps in 1080. I reckon its a triumph of power and packaging.

CURRENTLY USING

Insta360 GO 2

What an amazing little device this is!

I can put this technical marvel just about anywhere and get sharp (enough) 1,440 p super stabilized video.

I stick on my car, on trees, on my zoom lens, onto my hat - everywhere. I hand-hold it, extend it on a selfie stick, or attach it magnetically. It's just brilliant!

This little beast has just about replaced my GoPros and my DJI Pocket 2 because it's so versatile and easy to use, and the footage is excellent in all but the worst light. 

Watch review video.

CURRENTLY USING

Insta360 ONE X2

Another incredible device from Insta360!

This chocolate-bar-size camera records everything around you at once, thanks to its dual-lens design (one on the front and back), and it does it in 5.7k.

Attach it to their selfie pole and it'll make the pole vanish, making it look like the footage was shot by another person or even a drone.

The quality in good light is outstanding - in low light, far less so. 

It's waterproof, well made, and offers stellar battery life. If you want to shoot video that has people asking, "How the hell did he do that...?", this is the gadget for you.

CURRENTLY USING

Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

I first experienced Sigma's imaging prowess about 10 years ago with their 100mm macro lens on a Nikon D-SLR. Talk about sharp.

Their Contemporary and Art lenses are even better, with wide maximum apertures on their primes and a beautiful build.

I use the marvellous 56mm f/1.4 M-mount lens on my Canon M6 MK II for talking head videos and it does a brilliant job of separating me from the busy background.

Effectively an 89mm equivalent on a full-frame camera (the M6 is a 1.6 crop sensor), it flatters my fat head while keeping my big schnoz in perspective.

It's a stellar lens that impresses every time. If you own an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds camera, chances are Sigma makes one for your camera. Get it.

CURRENTLY USING

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

Like its 56mm brother, this 30mm f/1.4 M-mount lens produces creamy bokeh and pin-sharp subjects.

Sometimes I need to get more into my scene - like when I'm showing off a piece of gear - and this lens is perfect for that.

Effectively a 57mm focal length, this lens is also great for full-body portraits where you want decent background separation and minimal distortion.

Another brilliant lens in Sigma's line-up and built to last a lifetime - you won't be disappointed.

CURRENTLY USING

Sigma 16mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

My most-used Sigma lens is this - the 16mm f1.4.

This is the lens that's usually attached to my M6 MK II when I'm out in the bush filming my videos. It's nice and wide without distorting things too much, but best of all, that bright f1.4 aperture means I can blur out the background, and shoot quality video even at dawn or dusk.

This lens is a keeper.

CURRENTLY USING

Manfrotto 055 Tripod

Build like a brick sh*t-house, the Manfrotto 055 is used by landscape photographers the world over. 

I only have the aluminium version because I bought it before I'd experienced the virtues of carbon fibre. But that said, it's one of those items where, unless you're walking a fair distance to your location, it'll serve you just fine.

I like the way the centre column slides up and over 90 degrees - great for peering over the edge of a bridge, or getting close to macro subjects. Just a word on caution - make sure you align it properly when placing it back in the vertical position or you might crack the sleeve that controls the angle movement.

I have just retired this tripod from fieldwork (I use it in my studio, now), and have moved to the iFootage Gazelle TC6 for outdoor work.

CURRENTLY USING

Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head

If you equate quality with weight, you'll love this unit - it feels like it's carved from a single block of granite.

After tiring of my traditional three-way head, I invested in this geared solution. Landscape photography is often about careful framing, so making small movements with a ball head (alone) can be frustrating.

A geared head, however, lets you adjust your camera's orientation with millimetric precision. First, you twist the quick-release dial on the relevant axis, then you release it and make your final adjustment with the knobs.

I've used Manfrotto gear for over 30 years, and never suffered a single failure, so I suspect this thing will outlive me.

I now use this in my studio for video work instead of in the field - mainly because my fat fingers struggle to squeeze between the quick-release dials and the axis collars.

CURRENTLY USING

Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon)

I fell in love with this thing the moment I saw it. It's just so bloody gorgeous! After that, it was only a matter of convincing myself that I actually 'needed' it.

The guys at Peak Design make some beautiful gear. They think deeply about the user experience, and their quality shines through with every single product - including their bags and straps.

As a hiking tripod, I reckon the carbon version of this is without peer. It folds up super small (no wider than a standard drink bottle) yet extends tall enough for a six-footer. The innovation is outstanding, and despite running 5 sections per leg, it's super rigid, supporting my R5 and 100-400 combo easily.

I use it mainly for parking my DJI Pocket 2 when I'm shooting static stuff on location, but it'll do just about everything the big boys will do.

It's not quite as rigid as the iFootage or Manfrotto in windy conditions, but it's not far off - which is amazing, because the other two are huge by comparison. Everything from the head design, the cam locks and the hidden phone holder are beautifully-made and a delight to use.

My beloved example is permanently attached to my camera bag, so if I need to wander more than a mile, I can leave the bigger tripod in the car. It ain't cheap, but it's one of those products you will love every time you hold it in your hands.

CURRENTLY USING

GoPro Hero9 Black

Since 2002, GoPro has captured images and video that had previously been the stuff of dreams and big budgets.

I first came into their ecosystem with the Hero4, and each iteration has wowed with its innovation and image quality.

The Hero9 takes everything up a notch again with a front-facing screen, a larger rear screen, a removable lens cover - allowing the fitment of ND filters and GoPro's own Max Lens Mod - horizon lock (great for footage that tilts or rotates), better battery life, and more.

This is now my prime action camera for in-car and ex-car footage. The image stabilisation and render size (up to 5K) is just amazing.

CURRENTLY USING

DJI Pocket 2

This tiny thing is amazing! How DJI gets a 4K video camera with a gimbal into such a diminutive package is beyond me.

I've used mine for a while now, and combined with a few accessories, it's unlocked filming opportunities that used to be a pain in the arse.

It'll maintain a steady horizon, follow anything or anyone around with it's tracking feature, and deliver buttery-smooth footage in all but the most challenging situations (like very low light).

It also has much better audio that its predecessor from four in-built microphones that can 'follow' the subject around as the gimbal moves.

I'd get the Creator Combo so you can benefit from the Do-It-All Handle (built-in speaker, MIC-in jack, wireless microphone and tripod mount). I've attached a Peak Design Standard Plate (for mounting to my tripod) and a Rode VideoMicro, along with the DJI Extension Rod, to create the perfect run-and-gun and static 4K video rig. It's brilliant!

DJI Pocket Extension Rod

The DJI Pocket 2 is a brilliant device on its own, but add the Extension Rod and you get half a metre of extra height (great for crane or drone-style moves), video monitoring via your smartphone, and a cold-shoe mount for an external mic or light.

If you buy a DJI Pocket 2, and you want to record epic footage with great audio (especially in breezy conditions) you must get the Extension Rod so you can attach an external mic with a windshield. It's worth every penny.

Rode Video Micro

I've used Rode Microphones for years, including two Procasters, an NTG2, the Wireless Go, a PodMic, an NT-USB Mini, and a couple of lavaliers.

The VideoMicro is bloody brilliant. Mine is attached to my DJI Pocket 2 for when I'm shooting handheld outdoors. Paired with the included dead cat, the results are exemplary, with lots of clarity and more than enough bass.

If you film with a D-SLR, mirrorless, action or compact camera, and it has a MIC-in jack, get this. It'll up your audio game.

CURRENTLY USING

DJI Ronin RSC 2 Gimbal

When it comes to smooth video footage, there's no substitute for a gimbal. Yes, modern cameras have image stabilization built-in, but it pales compared to what a gimbal offers. 

I thought I could get away without a gimbal. After all, my R5 has high-quality stabilization baked into it - but I was wrong. 

Say, for example, you want to run alongside a subject, or simulate a crane shot while keeping your subject centred - only a gimbal will do. Another one is product videos. Say you want to dolly into a product or circle around it while keeping everything dead level. A gimbal, like this brilliant Ronin RSC 2 will make it sooo much easier.

I've used gimbals before, and they're usually a pain in the arse to set up. This one isn't, because each axis locks, allowing you to balance one at a time. I've been using my Ronin with the R5 and my RF 24-105 balanced at the mid-zoom level, and now it works perfectly throughout the full focal range without re-balancing.

Another tip. Get yourself the brilliant SmallRig Arca-Swiss Adapter. That way you can keep the L-Bracket on your camera and switch easily between your tripod and gimbal!

CURRENTLY USING

DJI Air 2S Drone

I didn't know what I was missing until I bought a drone! It's amazing how much you don't see when you shoot at ground level, and nothing illustrates this like the footage you get out of a drone.

Whether you're looking for scene-setting B-roll for your videos or incredible landscape images for your portfolio, all the DJI drones deliver.

In my very first outing (I'd never flown a drone before), I used all three batteries that come with the Fly More Combo (each lasting around 30 minutes!) and managed to get some excellent 4K 24 fps video and some wonderful images.

I'm thrilled with this thing, and can't wait to see what else I can do - especially with my stills photography. This thing is opening up a whole new world of photography for me.

CURRENTLY USING

Rode NTG2 Shotgun Mic

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Full Size Screw-Knob Clamp

Here's a surprising real true fact. The audio in your videos matters more than the video in your videos.

It doesn't make sense, but you know it's true. Try watching a great video with crappy audio (flat, echoing, distorted, affected by wind, whatever), and see how long you can bear it.

Now try a crappy video (low lighting, jumpy footage, poor composition) but with great audio. I bet you stick around for this one.

We humans are weird like that. Certain senses dominate the others.

Like smell. I distinctly remember the feeling of luxury and exclusivity when we entered a waterfront villa we'd rented for a weekend. It was thanks to L'Occitane's scented hand creams and soaps placed throughout the home.

That was over 10 years ago, and I've been a L'Occitane buyer ever since.

Audio matters, and when it comes to voice, the NTG2 is outstanding. This one's an XLR mic, so you'll need a recording device that accepts an XLR input (I use the Rodecaster Pro in my studio, and a Zoom H5 if doing an outside interview). I use this mic to record all my indoor talking head videos.

CURRENTLY USING

Rode Wireless Go II Microphones

To understand the importance of great audio, read my spiel on the Rode NTG2. Then, if you want a wireless solution, buy the Rode Wireless Go II.

I've used version one of this system for a while, and I love the quality, compactness and ease of use. Now, I've updated to version II, which sports TWO mics and a receiver. This opens up a world of possibilities, especially with the ability to now control additional aspects of its functionality with the RODE Central app.

Unlike lavalier mics, there are no cables to worry about, and the mics and receiver are charged with the supplied USB-C cables, giving up to 7 hours of runtime. They also work up to 200 metres away from the receiver!

The mic units (the ones without the screen) also have a separate mic-in jack, so you can still run a lavalier if you want. Best of all, the new version ii system has onboard memory on each transmitter (mic), which record backups of everything from the moment they're turned on! You'll never lose a recording again! But not only that, you can stick a mic in all sorts of places for environmental audio and record right there in the mic itself.

The RODE Central app lets you control a tonne of settings, but the ones I really love are the ability to create a safety channel (where you get an extra recording at -20dB), and the ability to merge or split the audio channels from the two mics. I merge mine for all my on-location videos. Check this video.

The cute little dead cat windscreens do a fine job in windy conditions and they now screw into the units with a bayonet mount so they won't fall off like the previous versions. The simple clips fit any hot/cold shoe, or you can clip them onto something else. A brilliant product - available in black or white.

CURRENTLY USING

Rode Rodecaster Pro

I originally purchased the Rodecaster Pro for my podcast, and it made running remote interviews so much easier.

The build and audio quality is typical Rode - first-class - and the feature set is amazing. It's literally a studio in a box, with four local XLR inputs (for four people sitting together), a USB input (think Zoom, Skype, SquadCast interviews), a direct phone input (so you can receive and record phone calls), plus Bluetooth.

It also contains a customisable effects board (record and playback anything via one of the coloured squares), micro-sd and direct-to-computer recording, a user-friendly display, and a metric-tonne of other features.

I use mine now to record voice-overs and narrations for videos, and I love it.

CURRENTLY USING

Rode PodMic

After retiring my Rode Procasters (I love them, but they're huge), I turned to the PodMic.

To my ears, it sounds every bit as good as the Procaster, but at around half the size. Solid and weighty in the hand, the all-metal build quality is signature Rode.

This is the mic I use for all my podcast recordings, narrations and voiceovers. Like the NTG2 and the Procasters, this is an XLR mic, so make sure you have a suitable recorder like the Rodecaster Pro or a Zoom H4, 5, 6 or 8.

CURRENTLY USING

Aputure MC RGB Light

If you want to light up part of your scene in colour like all those lovely videos you see on YouTube, get one of these. Or four.

This gorgeous, tiny light lets you control hue (colour), saturation (richness), and intensity (brightness) either with the in-built dial or the brilliant Sidus Link app.

You can literally recreate ANY colour with this thing, and then slap it on a tripod or stand, or attach it to something steel with its built-in magnets.

Also, instead of just using red, green and blue LEDs, it has two additional white LEDs — one balanced at tungsten and a second at daylight.

You can even do lighting effects (think fireplace glow or police lights), but one of the coolest features (and there are plenty I'm not mentioning) is the ability to point your phone’s camera at a colour, capture it, and the MC will reproduce it perfectly. Amazing.

CURRENTLY USING

Godox SL60W Studio Light

If you want nice lighting in your videos, you'll need to exercise some control over its strength, direction and quality.

If you're blessed with a large light-filled room and diffused Parisian light streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows, you might be just fine. For everyone else, you'll need lights.

The Godox SL60W is a great solution for most people. It's bright enough, well-built, wireless (it's much easier to control the brightness from behind your desk while viewing your camera monitor), and best of all - it's cheap!

If you use a large softbox like the Godox P90L, plus a small hair light and an Aputure MC or two for your background, you'll probably only need one of these for single-person videos. That's my set-up.

CURRENTLY USING

Godox P90L Deep Parabolic Honeycomb Softbox

The difference between amateur and pro videos often comes down to lighting.  

It's one of those things where you know it when you see it, and oftentimes it's the softness of the light the matters most - especially with faces. That's why you backlight a person's face when you're outdoors instead of forcing them to squint into the sun. The shadows are softer and much more flattering.

That's what modifiers do - and the most popular type of all is the softbox. If you're going to buy just one, make it a big, make it deep, and make sure it has a removable honeycomb grid on the front of it. The grid limits light bleed so you can maintain a dark background or light it up with something like the Aputure MC.

If you want to spread the light further, simply remove the honeycomb grid - great for two-person videos.

CURRENTLY USING

Neewer Bi-Colour LED Video Lights

For hair/rim lighting, I use these Neewer bi-colour LED panels.

They're simple and easy to use, and they run off AC or battery power. I wouldn't use them to light up faces unless you employ the supplied diffusers - but even then, they're not a patch on a big softbox.

As a fill light or rim light, though, they're perfect. And like all Neewer products, they're great value. We photographers really are spoiled these days.

CURRENTLY USING

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