Useful Accessories for Shooting Digital Video - dummies

Useful Accessories for Shooting Digital Video

By Doug Sahlin

When you start shooting video with your digital SLR, you enter a brave new world. And that brave new world comes with goodies designed to make your life as an aspiring videographer for the Discovery Channel much easier. Here are some useful accessories:

  • UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) memory card: When you shoot video, you’re capturing lots of frames per second. If you try to capture video with a standard memory card, you may end up dropping frames, which results in choppy motion.

    If you capture video with a UDMA video card, the memory card captures every frame your camera records. Memory cards are fairly inexpensive these days. A 16GB card records lots of video, and you can also record an impressive amount of stills before filling up the card. If your budget can afford it, get a couple of 16GB UDMA cards for your camera bag.

  • Steadicam: This is a device with weights and balances that you wear. The device lets you walk with the camera and capture smooth video. Steadicams are expensive, but if you enter the words “homemade steadicam” in your favorite search engine, you’ll find plans to create a homemade camera stabilizer that won’t break the bank.

  • LCD monitor hood: When you capture video, your monitor is your window to the world. Several manufacturers create monitor hoods with attached eyepieces that make it easy for you to see what you’re recording even on a bright day.

  • A stable tripod: When you shoot video, you pan the camera. You need a stable tripod that can support double the weight of your camera. This gives you a fudge factor to ensure the tripod stays firmly rooted to the ground while you’re panning. A light tripod is a plus.

    Hang your camera bag from the hook in the middle of your tripod. The extra weight helps anchor the tripod.

  • Fluid ball head: A fluid ball head replaces the standard head on your tripod. The fluid inside the head makes it possible for you to pan smoothly.

You can find lots of video accessories that are engineered for digital cameras at online camera retailers like Adorama and B&H Photo and Video.