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The essentials: Our low budget filmmaking equipment list

Here we have put together a low budget filmmaking equipment list, ranging from cameras, tripods and all other essential accessories. The low budget filmmaking equipment list will give you creative freedom at an affordable price to create your films and provide you with quality audio and footage.

Making a feature film or even a short film has been far more achievable in this day and age. Previously the cost of even renting film equipment was extortionate and not viable for your everyday indie filmmaker. But now times are changing, equipment is a lot cheaper to buy and rent and editing software is readily available in a cloud format.


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The free software for filmmaking is incredibly intuitive and produces great quality work. All you need now is a great story and you’re raring to go. Here is our low budget filmmaking equipment list.

DSLR Cameras

DSLR Cameras

The EOS 2000D is an easy to use DSLR that provides a crisp picture, you can record quality footage. The auto-focus functionality is flawless and perfect to capture mid to close up shots. The aperture mechanism is easy to modify and set up to your prefered ratio.  This camera equipped with a suitable lens and shotgun mic is all the essentials you’ll need to record a high quality short or feature film.

*Why not try the Nikon D3500 or use your smartphone combined with a camera lens filter.

READ MORE: DSLR camera guide: What to look for when buying a DSLR?

Lenses

Lenses

Lenses are so important, but can sometimes be too expensive. We have looked at the most versatile lenses available at an affordable rate. The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III – a great combination with the EOS 2000D. The zoom functionality on this lens is impeccable. You’ll have no issue with grainy images and can be used for some gripping close-ups in your film to really build suspense and capture your audience’s imagination.

An alternative: Tamron 18-200mm Lens B018N F / 3.5-6.3 Di II VC Black – Mount for Nikon

READ MORE: 6 essential camera angles to tell your story

Tripods

Tripods are a key part of filmmaking. You want to find a solid tripod that’s sturdy, long-lasting, cost-effective and of high quality. Picking the best tripod out there is no easy task in itself, there are so many. So we thought we would help narrow it down for you. Our favourite in the indie filmmaking budget is the Velbon DV-7000NThe Velbon DV-7000N is quick to set up, ideal for smaller crews with a built-in spirit level to help get the correct balance and shot set up, ideal for tight shooting schedules.

READ MORE: A guide to buying the perfect tripod

Audio software

Audio SoftwareAudacity is the preferred option here, it’s free, easy-to-use and the level of quality is insane. Audacity has a multitude of features ranging from changing the speed of your audio as well as being able to remove the background noise of your audio.

Audacity also allows you to truncate the silence, this is ideal for removing large chunks of silence that occur on the film set, occasionally when the cameras are rolling to take continuous shots of a scene. By truncating the audio it allows the editor to access the sound clips much faster.

Another benefit of Audacity is that it allows you to create sound effects for your footage very easily – simply go to the generate menu in the tab and there are plenty of sound effects awaiting for you to pick and choose at your will.

READ MORE: Top audio editing tips on Audacity for filmmakers

Video editing software


Editing software is a big decision. Our first choice would be Adobe Premiere Pro, we’ve used it for years. Premiere Pro is versatile and comes with an in-depth user interface.

An alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro is DaVinci Resolve. Da Vinci Resolve comes with an advanced editing suite including colour correction, multi-cam editing and audio correction.

It’s one of the best free video editing software packages and is close to rivalling the likes of Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere Pro.

Why not try: Blender

READ MORE:

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Microphones

RODE Shotgun Mic

Shotgun mics are possibly the perfect answer to this for an indie filmmaker. There are others to consider but the shotgun mic is easy to use, solid, collate incredible audio and are cost-effective. Our favourite is the RØDE VideoMic Pro Compact Directional On-camera Microphone a compact, broadcasting quality condenser microphone.

But for filmmakers looking to film action, we’d actually advise you to look at a Lavalier microphone. The Rode Smartlav+ Lavalier Microphone. It’s more suitable for action shots and collects omnidirectional sound. It picks a high quality of audio and we recommend using it for documentaries and action. A slight, efficient microphone with huge potential.

Why not try: Blue Yeti USB Mic

READ MORE: A filmmakers guide to buying the best microphone for filmmaking

Screenwriting software

We definitely recommend Celtx. This a free screenwriting software that offers a highly functional free model that is enough for Indie filmmakers to get by with. If you do pay for the subscription fee it opens a whole new world of functionality including a whole host of video production tools.

Key Features:

  • Rich text editor module
  • Work online or offline
  • Tag elements within the script
  • Cloud-based
  • Real-time collaboration – this allows you to spare and edit in real-time with writing
  • partners, producers, directors and team members.
  • Video production management tools
  • Supports production calendars

READ MORE: 


Equipment list in full:

 

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