Photo and video gear is expensive, we all know that. Still, there are so many items you can buy for less than $50, yet they’re incredibly useful for shooting. In this video, Peter McKinnon will show you six awesome, but cheap gadgets you can use for filmmaking, but also for photography.
1. LCD viewfinder
When you’re shooting videos in bright daylight, your LCD screen is difficult to see. This can be really frustrating, but there’s a gadget that solves this problem for about $20. Get yourself an LCD viewfinder so you can see what you’re shooting and you can nail focus every time.
2. Mini tripod
A mini tripod is small, cheap, but versatile. Manfrotto PIXI, for example, costs only $17. You can use it as a tabletop tripod to stabilize your camera, or fold its legs and use it for holding your camera while vlogging. Keep in mind though that it works best with mirrorless cameras, considering that they’re smaller and lighter than DSLRs.
3. Lazy Susan
Lazy Susan is not made for photography or filmmaking at all, but it sure can come in handy! You can place a subject onto it and rotate it as you shoot b-roll. Or, you can use it for 360-degree product photography and video. There are many models in different colors: here’s one for $11, and you can get it at Ikea too for about $13.
4. Light tent
A light tent is convenient for shooting small items such as jewelry, and it can be your ally if you’re shooting product photography or video. It fits in a laptop bag when it’s folded, and you can get it for about $40. Alternatively, you can also DIY it. You can even turn a $10 white garbage can into a light tent, which is one of my favorite “life hacks” I use as a photographer.
5. Camping chair
A small foldable camping chair is something to have in your car when you go shooting outdoors. For example, if you shoot timelapse or long exposures, it will be more comfortable for you to simply unfold the chair and sit down. And it will set you back around $19.
I also used a chair like this to shoot this levitation photo. It was fun balancing on that, but I made it. : )
6. 5-in-1 reflector
A 5-in-1 reflector is something most of us already own. They come in different shapes and sizes, and you can get it for as little as $12. You can use it as a reflector (duh) which will bounce the light off and fill in the shadows. You can also use the black side as a negative fill, the translucent base to diffuse the light or to create a shadow in bright sunlight.
What are some cheap gadgets you use for photography or filmmaking?