As recommended by friends: the best money I spent this year on photo gear (and no, I’m not on the payroll of any of these manufacturers):
A wired lavalier microphone recommended by my friend and colleague Angus McDonald of Cordis Video. It could not have come at a better time because I used it every day in Liberia in March to do filmed interviews. We sometimes needed an extension cable to get far enough from the camera and it can be tripped over but we managed it. The sound is incredible and better than using wireless gear. It takes one AA battery as opposed to the four AA spares needed for the wireless setup. And no any radio frequency interference from the transmitter. I feed it into my Zoom H6 and the H6 goes into the Nikon D800 mic port as an onboard backup. The H6 pre-amps are much better than the D800’s so we used the H6 files in our final edit.
Ginirigs Q Cage
Shooting DSLR video, this cage has two handles on either side of the camera for getting the camera into positions that a shoulder rig won’t easily allow. Viewing and focusing through the camera back monitor is virtually impossible – it has to be used with a separate EVF (electronic viewfinder) that connects to the DSLR’s HDMI port and is attached to the cage. The two-handed solution was recommended to me over a shoulder rig by my discerning co-conspirator Adri Berger and I really like the camera moves in this way, using all body movement, arms and legs together.
Accessory kit for Zoom H6
The only way, it seems, to get the dead cat windshield for the H6 onboard mics is to buy the whole accessory kit. That burned me until I heard how good it is, shooting volunteers looking for birds in a cold wind before dawn in Chicago’s Loop. Everyone needs a dead cat…