Video Production Equipment: See What’s Needed

By Alvin Motilla

Video production equipment can overwhelm us.

But with proper mindset and knowledge of essentials, our focus remains on what’s crucial—creating video content.

A baby eagerly wants to see what's really needed.

I know you feel what I mean. You know, those moments when we cannot resist thinking so much (and so long) about equipment...;-) But, at the expense of the more important process of making videos.

It’s not surprising that we’re vulnerable to “obsess” like that, because...

  • We easily notice gear than the process of making good content for video: Video equipment is tangible. While, creating video content is elusive.

  • We hang out with peers who are also preoccupied with gear: And so, we are inclined to look at video equipment the same way they do.

  • We see many gear-oriented sites: Video production and filmmaking web sites that talk more about video gear than the practice of making videos.

But, still, at the back of our minds, we feel the need to...

  • See things--including gear--from the right perspective, and

  • Understand what kinds of equipment are needed.

 ... Because we want to focus more on the process of making a good video presentation.

And this article hopes to address these concerns. :-)

First, let's take a look at...

How to “look at” video production equipment for beginners

Here’s how I deal with my own tendency to preoccupy with gear. You can adopt the same mindset to keep you safe from “gear obsession”. ;-)

What's your opinion of gear obsession by the way? Do you think it's fine to obsess with video production equipment? You can express your thoughts here.


10 sensible ways to treat video production equipment.

Some of the ideas here may only strengthen what you already believe in (subconsciously). And some might appear new to you.

1. Know that video content is the main character. And video gear is a supporting character.

In a movie, the focus of the story is usually on the “main character”. And the presence of “supporting characters” helps to tell the story of the main character.

In video production, the focus of your efforts is on creating the content of your video. And gear only helps you make that video.

In other words,...

Video production equipment is secondary.

Your viewers care more about “what’s in your video”, than “what you use to make that video”. It is the content, or story, in your video that they connect with.

In my experience, it’s usually enough for my clients to know that I use quality and reliable gear to produce their videos.

The shooters I know, who tend to be picky about gear, are “techy” guys and technicians.

2. Understand that video equipment is simply a tool.

A means to an end.

No more, no less!

The end is self-expression and viewer connection through videos.

No matter how much you love cameras, lenses, video support systems, editing and graphics design software... they are only tools. Treat them as such.

The models and features of video production equipment, change over time. But, the fundamentals and principles of making a good video presentation remain.

3. Recognize that an artist dominates the tools, not the other way around.

If you’re someone who easily falls for the sexy, shimmering, latest video gear and gizmos in the market, remember this fact...

You, the creative person, call the shots. Not the tools of your craft.

Your choice of which gear to buy and use, has to be inspired by your personal approach to making videos. You may end up choosing the “not-so-sexy” gear, but you end up with one, that helps you speak your character.

Hmmm, how is that possible?

The tools you choose become an extension of you. YOU are about personal creative expression. You use video production equipment, to communicate your ideas and attitude.

Unlike others who are "gear-possessed", you are the one who "possess" the gear... And, you are more excited about immersing yourself in the creative process, than looking at what’s new in the market.

4. Don’t impress your peers with your equipment.

Instead, impress them with your work--the content of your video presentation.

And they become even more amazed, when they see you come up with something unique in your video, using only “shitty” tools, ;-) that others look down on.

So... let your work describe to your friends "who you are", more than the gear that you have.

5. Don’t feel bad working with shooters who own more expensive gear.

Because if you feel that way, you’re starting to obsess with gear. (In this case, the gear of others.)

So, if you’re on a video shoot, focus instead on your subject. As long as you have the tools that help you do your job, be happy with it.

The key here is contentment: accepting who you are... what you currently have... and making the most out of it.

6. Don’t fool yourself. What’s really your motive?

If making videos happens to be your main business, or only a side line, don’t fool yourself saying,...

“I need to buy that piece of gear to better serve my clients!”

... When, in fact, (and deep inside), it is the gear that you really (and only) care about.

You’re not using technology for technology’s sake.

You’re using it to benefit your clients and your audience. On that note...

7. Develop more excitement about your audience than your gear.

It’s completely okay if you’re excited about video production equipment. (Who isn’t? I, myself, am glad I have dependable tools to use.)

But, you’ll be a lot happier when you have viewers who express their satisfaction with your work. And it starts to happen when you really care about their viewing experience.

Being viewer-oriented (instead of gear-oriented) is more than worth it. Emotional connection through videos!

8. Choose what you need.

Some people buy equipment they see from others, without considering what kind of gear they really need.

What you need is what will serve your purpose for making a video.

So, instead of asking others, “What gear do you use?”, you need to ask yourself...

  • “How do I look at my subjects?”
  • “How do I intend to present them on video?”
  • “What will help me express my perspective, in ways that satisfy my viewer?”

Think about these questions, and you’ll be on your way to buying what you really need.

But you also need to...

9. Buy what you can afford.

I know it’s obvious...

... But, I know some people who even sacrifice their families’ needs, just to get expensive gear that they can’t afford enough. They put themselves in deep debt, using credit cards, or by borrowing money from others.

I think... we need to accept our financial capabilities... and recognize our priorities. Because in that way, we can make practical decisions in life.

You can certainly get a piece of gear that meets your purpose, at half the price of an expensive one, or even lower.

On video production essentials, which we can identify by recognizing our priority video production equipment, and accepting the truth about what we can really afford.

10. If you want to test expensive gear, borrow or rent it first.

Don’t buy it yet!

And yet... I see some guys who are dying to buy it, only to “have a taste” of it... Then, after a period of using that same gear, they sell it because they realize that...

  • They get the same results using less expensive equipment, or
  • They need “funds” to sustain their basic needs in life.

Buy a piece of gear that you’re sure you can use, and keep for a long time.

Also, if video production, or doing video coverage, is your bread and butter (or only a side line), it’s also practical not to buy additional gear, unless... you get your “return of investment”, using only your initial video production equipment setup.

Equipment needed for video production

In a nutshell, your viewers want “visual-auditory experience”, that is pleasing enough. And the kinds of equipment needed for video production... are those that will help you provide viewers with that experience.

However, contrary to what others may think, “super-duper”, “ultra high” audio-video quality, is not mandatory. Why?

Because we also need to see the context in which we operate. And that includes...

  • the big picture reason why we make videos (or, what we need to prioritize), 
  • the actual video project requirements (like 1080p, which is most common even in corporate videos) and
  • our financial capabilities (or what essential video gear we can afford).

But, the look and sound of our videos have to be decent and good enough. Otherwise, they will take away from viewers’ involvement in our videos.

Here’s a basic video production equipment list—as to category or "function". (They are video production essentials we need to consider first, before we immerse in the “specifics” of gear.)

  • Camera and Lenses: “The Eyes”

  • Lighting: “The Enhancer” (helps the eyes to see)

  • Sound Gear: “The Ears”

  • Support System: “The Legs"

  • Storage: “The Memory"

  • Editing Equipment: “The Hands” (that assemble the pieces together)
image for "equipment needed for video production" H2

Equipment needed for video production - the "specifics"

Video Production Tools are Extensions of Your Own Self
Know the video production tools you can really use in real world situations, as a beginning solo creator. And see how human qualities help in understanding the uses of these tools.

How does a gimbal work in a video shoot?
How does a gimbal work? What is a gimbal? What does a gimbal do? Curious about how to use a gimbal so that it is worth it? Find out these and more.

How does a drone work in a video shoot?
How does a drone work? What is a drone? What does a drone do? What are the advantages of drones in video shoots? Find out these and more.

How does a steadicam work in a video shoot?
How does a steadicam work? What is a steadicam? Steadicam shot definition? Steadicam vs gimbal? Let's find out these and more.

How does image stabilization work for videos that we shoot and edit?How does image stabilization work? What is image stabilization and how do camera stabilizers work to achieve it? What are the types of camera stabilizers?

Free DIY camera stabilizer: simple, creative ways of using common gear
DIY camera stabilizer devices that you don't have to build. Simply learn some clever ways of using the tools you already have, to keep your camera steady.

Video Production Software: How To Look For “The One”
Want to know the best video production software for you? One that you feel at home with, when using it? Here are tips to help you discover it.

What Do You Say about "Obsession with Video Production Equipment"?

How do you feel when you see someone who is so obsessed with video gear? What's your take on "Gear Acquisition Syndrome"? Express your views!

Or, do you also get preoccupied with video equipment? If so, how do you deal with it? Share your story!

(You can even submit your own images that illustrate your views, if you like.)

See Other People’s Views on Video Gear Obsession

Click on the links below, to see the attitude of others, for “Obsession with Video Production Equipment”.

They were all written by other visitors to this page… just like you. :-)

My Take on Video Production Equipment Obsession 
I want to say something about video production equipment obsession because I think it’s SO TRUE. I mean look at what’s really happening in this world. …

Click here to write your own.