Oftentimes when I’m filming I will think of a little piece of equipment that I need to buy that will help me do my job better. It will usually be something small, such as a pocket screwdriver, or cable tie – something that I can live without but would help save time and stress. Over the last year I’ve made many of these purchases, and today I decided to share some of my favorites with you. This gear doesn’t need to be in your bag, but when you’re on a shoot, it is incredibly helpful and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Above all, it’s cheap. When I bought them they were all for $10 or less, and I hope they stay that way. Consider them an investment in your sanity while on a film shoot.
Velcro Reusable Cable Ties
Much like Gaff Tape on a shoot, I always find myself needing cable ties. I don’t want actual zip-ties that will be more permanent though, I need something I can detach easily. I did my research and found these Velcro Cable ties. They’re pretty small, but there’s 100 per bag so you’ll be set for a while. These hold my XLR, HDMI, and audio cables securely when transporting. For the price I won’t feel bad if I lose a few either. They always come in handy and are a must for any gear bag.
Manfrotto 1/4-Inch Male to 3/8-Inch Female Adapter
What is this you ask? It’s a converter that will let you use different sized screws on your camera mounts and other pieces of equipment. Video cameras often come with 1/4-inch mounts or 3/8-inch mounts. Because of this, many Manfrotto tripods come with both screw sizes. I’ve been on shoots before where the tripod had a 3/8-Inch screw but my camera only had a 1/4-inch mount. This fixes that problem by letting your adapt your screws to match your mounts. It’s cheap, and you won’t realize you need one until you have a problem, so it’s worth having in your bag.
Manfrotto 1/4Inch Female to 3/8-Inch Male Adapter
Same as the previous Adapter, but this one lets you adapt your 1/4-inch screw to a 3/8-inch mount. Make sure you get both of these.
Fotodiox Canon Camera Body Cap
When I’m shooting a wedding I need to swap out lenses and camera bodies fast. I lost my Canon lens cap on a shoot and needed another. The Fotodiox Canon body cap is secure and keeps my camera safe and secure. This cap is made for Canon EF/EF-S bodies, so whatever Canon camera you have it will fit. It is very affordable and durable.
Zeikos 77mm Lens Cap
I always find myself losing my lens caps. I try to label them but often I will lose track in the rush of filming a wedding or other event. Thankfully, there are a lot of cheap options out there. This lens cap by Zeikos is made of hard plastic and will protect your lenses from dust and dirt while traveling. I actually like this one better than the Canon official lens cap because you can attach and remove it with a lens hood attached. This is incredibly helpful when you’re in a hurry.
Fotodiox Rear Lens Cap
You guessed it, I lost my rear lens cap too and needed a replacement. This Fotodiox rear lens cap is great because it’s much more affordable than the Canon official brand but it works just as well. I’ve used several brands of Rear Lens caps and have found some of them to be lacking in snugness, but this one fits on great.
Swiss+Tech Screwz-all 4 in 1 Keyring Tool
This is one of the most useful pieces of gear I’ve ever bought. When moving to and from various tripods and attachments I often found myself using a key on my keyring to loosen and tighten the screws to my camera mount. I always felt like I might bend the key and wanted another solution. This stainless steel key ring comes with a No. 1 and No. 2 flathead and No. 1 and No2. Philips screwdriver, so I will never have to use my keys again! It’s built very sturdy and because it doesn’t take up a lot of room, it is now permanently on my keyring.
You’ve probably seen one of these before. Before risking wiping a lens with a cloth to remove dirt, I try to use the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster to prevent scratches. This is great for cleaning cameras, lenses, filters, basically any place that dust accumulates. I even use it on my computer. The amazing thing about it is that it has a one way valve so it doesn’t breathe in dirt and dust, to avoid spreading it back on to all my equipment. It even stands upright and looks super cool.
Bluecell Battery Storage Cases
This case holds 4AA or 4AAA batteries. Its great to keep all of your batteries together so you are not hunting for them in your bag. I do wish it was possible to mix AA and AAA batteries in the case but the way it is built it’s not possible. The cases snap together for easier organization. The kit also comes with a velcro strap to hold the cases together, but I never use it.
Vaultz Mesh Storage Bags
Raise your hand if you’ve kept photo gear in Ziploc Freezer bags because you have nothing else. Yes, I’ve been there, and while Ziploc works well, if you want a more permanent solution that will also not be airtight – thus leading to mold and other moisture problems, these Mesh Storage bags are your newest best friend. You can use them to keep all the above gear that I’ve listed. Also, they are different colors so you can color code whatever you put in them.
Please let me know if this list helped you, and if you have any accessories that you would add to this list.
It is a big help to me when you use any of the above product links to Adorama, Amazon, and B&H and when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and helps me keep my site running. I have bought from all of these websites and I highly recommend them for their service, quality, and shipping speed. I recommend them all personally.