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🎬 Color in Resolve

There are several reasons Resolve is widely regarded as an excellent color application. Before it was a VFX, audio, and editorial tool, DaVinci Resolve was an expensive, hardware based color timing system. Expensive as it was, the capabilities of early DaVinci systems are primitive by today’s standards. Resolve’s roots in color are still manifest today in a very robust set of color tools that are widely used across a variety of Hollywood feature films.

The following is the essential information anyone should know to get started “correcting” footage or creating a “grade” in Resolve.

Color is handled inside the “Color” page. From the edit page, just place your playhead atop the clip you want to color and click the “Color” in the page navigation panel at the bottom of the screen. The topmost active clip will automatically be selected for color, but you can still use the “Timeline” and “Clips” panels from within the color page to navigate between different clips without leaving the color page.

“Primary” Grading

Primary grades affect the whole frame as opposed to “secondary” grades which make targeted adjustments to specific portions of the frame. The main controls I use on a day-to-day basis are the primary color wheels.

  • Lift primarily affects black and shadows.
  • Gamma primarily affects midtones.
  • Gain primarily affects white and highlights.
  • Offset adjusts the image as a whole.

The horizontal bar beneath the color wheel allows you to increase or decrease values by dragging right or left. The colored wheel above allows you to skew color towards the hue visually shown on the perimeter of the wheel (notice how it aligns with the vectorscope). Double-click in the middle to reset any value or use the loop-arrow icon to reset one or all values.

Another way of making the same adjustments, but in a more targeted way, is by use of the primary bars. These allow you to control red, green and blue individually against one another.

If you like grading this way (colorists had no alternative for decades) then also check out the printer lights. Even without a fancy grading panel, you can use these printer lights and your numpad to make RGB adjustments.

Finally, note along the bottom of the panel several additional controls for handy tools like auto white balance, auto grade and common image adjustments (divided between two pages) like contrast, saturation, midtone detail, etc.

Secondary Grading

Secondary grades are selective about which portion of the image is affected. This means we need tools to tell Resolve which parts of the image to affect. We can do that several different ways.

Power Windows

These are basically just stencil cutouts that let us draw a mask around the area we want to affect.

“Vs. Curves”

These curves let you pick one parameter and adjust its value relative to another parameter. For example, this curve, a “Hue Vs Sat” curve means you pick the Hue (the greens in this case) and adjust its saturation, either up by dragging upwards like I’ve done here, or down by dragging down.

The Qualifier

The qualifier allows you to use the eye dropper tool to sample the image and then choose which area you want to isolate based on Hue, and/or Saturation, and/or Luminance. This lets you get very specific with the area you need to adjust.

Keep in mind that all of these tools can be mixed and matched and applied across one or many nodes. For example, let’s say you have a lot of noise a dark portion of the image on the right of the frame. You could add a node just for that specific noise reduction task, “qualify” the area in the image you need adjusted via a power window and target the shadows using a luminance qualifier.

Node Types & Usage

Color changes inside Resolve are made inside these little boxes called “nodes”. A node can contain a single operation or the entire grade. There’s an “order of operations” to what happens inside a given node, but for now just be aware that nodes hold the color changes you’re making and they apply to footage from the left input to the right output in the “node graph”.

Serial Node: These nodes follow one after the other affecting the image cumulatively. The effects of one node carry over into the next. The easy example is to desaturate the image in the first node, then try “re-saturating” it in the second node. Because the second node receives only the black and white version from the first node there is no color information to saturate and the saturation has no effect.

Parallel Node: Parallel nodes aren’t strictly linear, meaning a parallel nodes have more than one output and the effects of one can always be countered in another. Take the same saturation example. See how both nodes are fed by the same node? So even though we desaturate in the top node, we can still “re-saturate” in the bottom node because it’s getting all the color information necessary from the first node.

Layer Node: A layer node is similar to the parallel node in that the various layer nodes receive their image stream from a single node. The difference here is in how the layer nodes combine. With the parallel node the effects were averaged together. The layer node works more like layers in Photoshop where one layer will obscure the one below it. Just remember that the order is flipped from Photoshop, so in Resolve’s case the bottom-most layer takes priority over other layers “above” it. In the example below, the image would appear more saturated since the “re-saturation” has full effect due to its priority positioning in the layer mixer node.

Node types in DaVinci Resolve

Memories, Stills & Power Grades

Stills” are comprised of two components:

  • .dpx reference images on the hard drive (a screenshot of the current look)
  • Accompanying grade metadata that can be copied anywhere for recreation of all or part of the node tree

Opt+Cmd+G grabs a still (and sends it to whatever folder is selected–global powergrades or local stills). Middle-click a still to apply it. Double-click a still to wipe it. (Double-clicking doesn’t work with power grades shared between projects).

β€œPowergrades” are simply stills that globally can be accessed from any project–looks you want to save in an ever-accessible database. I find this massively useful for storing a set of creative grades as well as grades that apply across seasons of a show in different projects.

β€œMemories” are stills that you can recall with control panel or one-button press for convenience–effects you use a lot. They’re really the same thing as “stills” just with a different, more convenient way to access. I use them a lot for quickly storing temporary looks. Alt+Number key will save a memory and Cmd+Number Key will recall that memory.

Clip vs. Timeline Grades

Resolve allows you to apply a given operation across the entirety of your sequence via the “Timeline” node tree. Common adjustments include noise reduction, sharpening, soft clipping, and gamut limiting (via a “Gamut Mapping” node set to rec709). This is extremely handy, but Resolve takes it even one step further with its ability to group clips.

Grouping

You’ll often end up applying the same basic adjustments to a group of clips, everything shot on “Camera B” from a two-camera shoot for example. Instead of manually copy/pasting the same look across all of “Camera B’s” shots and then maintaining any adjustments made thereafter, Resolve has a powerful grouping feature. You add all of Camera B’s shots to a group, call it “Camera B”, and then you have the option of making color adjustments on the entire group. Not only that, but you get control over “where” these adjustments happen. Let’s say, for example, Camera B’s operator forgot to white balance and all his stuff is too warm. You want to pull the warmth out as a technical correction before even getting to the creative part of your grade. This correction can be done in the “Group Pre-Clip” stage and everything in that group will have the preliminary correction applied. When you jump into the “Clip” stage (the stage you’re used to seeing if you’ve never before used groups) you now have a blank canvas for, say, copying a grade from another project.

Pre-clip > Clip > Post Clip

Versioning

Resolve has a powerful ability to test different grades and easily compare them via “versions”.

Cmd+Y adds a new version and cmd+b (before) and cmd+n (next) allow you to step through the versions.

The “Split Screen” feature can be activated via the grid-like icon in the upper left. This allows you to easily compare different versions side-by-side. You can also use the feature to compare multiple clips in a variety of ways. I used to use the ‘neighboring clips’ feature, but now rely more on the “Clips” grid view in the dual panel layout to compare neighboring clips and how well they match.

The highly-useful “Split Screen” toggle

Keyframing

Resolve lets you change pretty well any adjustment’s value over time by setting different values across “key frames”. I find the “Color” mode most useful for keyframing as it will auto-key only the selected node’s parameters.

Tracking & Stabilization

Resolve has one of the industry’s strongest trackers.

Cmd+T to track forward and Alt+T to track backward.

The “Frame” mode makes manual additions to your tracks much simpler.

Remember to disable any effects that slow down playback as they’ll massively (and often unnecessarily) slow down your track speed.

Change the mode in the upper left to invert the tracker for stabilization (there are alternative ways to stabilize post version 16)

Misc Useful Things

  • Having a mouse with a middle click button is imperative for speed in Resolve.
  • Right-click in the viewer to “Show Picker RGB” value. Similar to scopes, this can help you identify a color cast.
  • – and + keys allow for copying the previous clip’s grade or two clips back.
  • “Color Trace” is a useful tool for copying grades between projects, even where timecode and/or reel names do not match.
  • There’s a built-in color chart matching tool which is marginally useful.
  • ‘g’ adds a flag defaulting to color of flags on edit page but double click to change flag color.
  • Hamburger menu: Convert to bezier for making circular power window editable. From the same menu you can save windows as presets.
  • Put tape on BlackMagic controllers for quicker muscle memory. You’ll immediately feel the difference in the buttons.
  • Destructive clipping happens via LUTs, Soft Clipping and any Vs Curve operations. Also, you’ll see clipped highlights on anything cached to a non-HDR video format (this is a big problem).
  • Use the “prev memory” button on the BM mini panel or via keyboard shortcut to see the clip’s grade when you first navigated to it.
  • Hamburger Dots on the viewer window enable you to “gang” the relationship between the selected clip and the timeline reference wipe clip. This can be convenient when you’re frequently trying to compare to the previous clip.
  • Using Gamma 2.4 is fine for both broadcast work and web deliveries.
  • Changing clip color can also be useful, especially in tandem with clip filtering (accessible via the carrot next to “Clips”)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Use the interactive keyboard database below to learn my recommended set of keyboard shortcuts. Priority indicates how essential they are to know (1 being highest priority). The table will default to sort by 1st priority shortcuts, but feel free to use the search feature to find a specific shortcut or filter the table in any way you’d like. You can print the results (or save them to an eco-friendly PDF) as well.

βŒƒControl   ⇧Shift    βŒ₯Alt    ⌘Cmd   ⇕Scroll   MMB (Middle Mouse Button) *Fenn Custom Key
Category
Brand
Model
Gist
Field RecorderSound Devices633
Field RecorderSound Devices688
CameraSony*A7IIIBest hybrid photo/video camera of 2019 for the price, great AF, good lens options, proxy recording (though not while using face detection), full frame, S-log 2 (though only 8-bit)
LightingPilotfly*AtomCube Rx1Bluetooth mesh, 2500K–8500K, Effects, Color-accurate, good output. Serious contender to Boling P1 or Aputure MC.
TxRxHollyland*Hollyland Mars 300 Good budget system ($400) with similar latency (100ms) to Nyrius; has loop out on TX
AccessoryTilta*Nucleus NanoIncredibly value for under $200, decent motor strength (but test with cine lenses as you do get what you pay for) and just enough programmability
LightingBoling*P1$150 launch. Small, RGB LED, Bright, Mountable, Bi-Color, High CRI/TLCI, Color effects (police car, TV, fire), just under Aputure F7 output, 3AmpHr internal battery 2.5 hrs at 100% power is incredible; 1480Lux@.5M; - at low levels color can't be fine-tuned
Microphone (supercardiod) ShotgunRODE*VideoMic NTG+Good Sound
+Adapts to recording source (camera TRS, mobile TRRS etc.)
+USB mic option (built-in A>D) and you can then plug headphones into mic itself and monitor
+Safety track to reduced gain on Right channel (doesn't work with single channel TRRS to a phone obviously)
+ Included shock mount
+Allows gain from Mic to Line to Headphone level right within camera (will have to compare with external and camera pre-amps)
+Has physical power button so works with Atomos recorders that don't trigger the Deity to turn on
+$249 good value
+RF interference seems well controlled for a RODE mic (and aluminum body)
- lacks the option of balanced output for longer cable runs without interference (Deity D3 pro does have this)
WirelessRode*Wireless GoIncredible at $200. Performs best in line-of-sight scenarios, doesn't work with all external mics (excessive squeal due to what, RF? Plug-in Power? who knows?) but very easy to set up.
Cuts out around 200’ but MUST be line of site (talent can turn and have their body between mic and receiver)
CameraFujifilm*XT-30XT-30 is cheaper than XT-3at $700, still no IBIS,4k 30fps, 10-bit external only, 10 minute limit, APS-C, great AF, great color, good lens choices
CameraFujifilm*XT-4Articulating lcd
APS-C
4K60240fps though not great IQ
10bit HEVC 400mbps
IBIS (better than Sony, worse than Olympus)
headphone out requires USB-C adapter
LensPanasonic10-25mm f1.7Great performance, prime quality, MFT, pricey
LensSigma10–20mm 3.5
LensPanasonic100-300mm f5.6MFT
LensTokina11-16mm f2.8
LensTokina11-20mm f2.8
LightingAputure120DGood light quality (though tungsten version is superior), output is limited, dimmer and power bank a bit clumsy, pretty good value
LensLaowa 12mm f2.8Full frame
LensZeiss Touit12mm f2.8
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower135mm f2Full frame
LensTokina14-20mm f2
LensSigma14–24 f2.8Full frame
LensSigma14mm f1.8Full frame, Excellent lens
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower14mm f2.4Full frame
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower14mm f2.8Full frame
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower14mm f2.8Full frame, AF!
LensTamron15-30mm f2.8Full frame, Good lens, no filters
LensLaowa 15mm f2Full frame
LensIrix15mm f2.4Full frame, Affordable and awesome, just not quite as good as the Laowa 15mm f2
LensCanon16-35mm f2.8Full frame
LensSamsung16-50mm S f2–2.8
LensSony16–50 f2.8
LensSony16–50 pancake f3.5-5.6
LensHasselblad Vario-Tes E ZA16–70mm F4 f4
LensSigma16mm f1.4
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower16mm f2
LensSony16mm Pancake f2.8
LensSigma18-35 f1.8
LensTamron18–200mm 3.5-6.3
LensTamron18–400
LensZeiss Milvus18mm f2.8Full frame
LensSigma APS E19mm f2.8
CameraCanon1DX Mk IIIInternal 10 bit 4:2:2, 4k with no crop though 60fps does crop, 5k internal raw video but 128GB=5 minutes record time, electronic but no IBIS stabilization, no articulating screen, but finally better Canon pre-amps!, low light is good at 12,800 ISO both noise and AF, no raw on HDMI out, This camera would have been awesome several years ago, now we're all wondering why it's not an RF mirrorless version.
LensSigma20mm f1.4Full frame, Excellent lens but no filtration
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower20mm f1.8Full frame
LensSigma20mm f1.8
LensCanon 20mm f2.8Full frame
LensSony20mm Pancake 2.8
LensSigma24-35mm f2Full frame, Big and heavy, large filter thread
LensTamron24-70mm f2.8Full frame
LensTokina24-70mm f2.8Full frame
LensSony ZE24mm 1.8
LensSamyang/Rokinon/Bower24mm f1.4
LensSigma24mm f1.4Full frame, Excellent optically BUT for star and night stuff not ideal as coma performance at f1.4 and f2 is bad. Good at f2.8 in every aspect.
LensSony ZA24mm f1.8Full frame
LensCanon 24mm f2.8Full frame
LensZeiss25mm f2Full frame
LensTamron28-75mm f2.8Full frame
LensTamron28–75mm f2.8Full frame
LensSigma28mm f1.4Full frame
LensCanon28mm f1.8Full frame
LensSony28mm f2Full frame
LightingRayzr 7300 Daylight
LightingAputure300DGood value for output
LightingAputure300D IIIntegrated ballast and controller, $1k, 20% brighter than v1, 350 watts, good light quality, lighting effects and Sidus Link App Integration
LensSigma APS E30mm 2.8
LensSamsung30mm Pancake
LensZeiss Touit32mm f1.8
LensSony35mm f1.4Full frame, Excellent lens
LensSony35mm f1.8
LensSony ZA35mm f2.8Full frame
LensVazen40mm T2 Anamorphic1.8x, $3k so cheap in terms of anamorphics, MFT
LensSamsung45mm 1.8
LensTokina50-135mm t2.9V2 is a great upgrade, great value lens
LensSamsung50-200
LensSigma500–100 f1.8
LensSigma50mm f1.4Full frame
LensSony50mm f1.8
LensZeiss Touit50mm f2.8
LensSony ZA55mm f1.8Full frame
LensSony55mm f1.8 ZA f1.8Full frame
CameraCanon5D3
LensSigma APS E60mm f2.8
LensSamsung85mm f1.4NX mount depricated
Pre-ampWooden CameraA-Box PlusSmall size at last! Light weight, Canon LP-E6 battery,
Support (Tripod)BenroA2883FS4Very compact size of for maximum portability (legs fold back over center column)
CameraSonya6300One of the first 4k cameras with full pixel readout, overheating and rolling shutter issues, terrible battery life, no headphone jack
CameraSonya6400No internal stabilization; 425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points,
Intervalometer, S-log2, best LCD of a6300 and a6500 as it has a 180ΒΊ selfie mode,
CameraSonya6500Touchscreen, 5-axis IBIS, only 90ΒΊ LCD which is a downgrade from previous a6400, 11fps, face and eye tracking
CameraSonya6600Better battery life! Great AF, IBIS is mediocre, low light good, bad rolling shutter still, single SD slot, headphone jack. It's close to a73 in price so it can't sell all that well.
CameraSonyA7RII42MP, IBIS, 4k video, log, great AF, rolling shutter poor, fullframe less quality than the downscaled s35 crop mode
CameraSonyA7RIV61MP, IBIS, AI-powered eye AF, rolling shutter issues
CameraSonyA7SII12mp, IBIS, 100mbps XAVC-S, S-log2, everyone awaits an update
Support (Tripod)SachtlerAceVery poor quality
CameraArriAlexa
CameraArriAlexa 65Fantastic out-of-box image, pricey
CameraArriAlexa LFPrice, Focus is tougher
CameraArriAlexa Mini LFThis'll be popular since it's basically shrinking an Alexa while growing its sensor, but not worth the $50k+ for most non-professionals. It's even Netflix-approved.
Cine LensCooke Anamorphic/i Full Frame PlusAnamorphic/i FF+Full frame, Cine Lens, The image circle of the Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus lenses will cover a full 24 x 36 still size sensor (image diagonal of 43.27 mm), with a 1.8x squeeze.
SoftwareArtlist.ioArtlist.io$199/yr music subscription service
StudioAudio Technica
AT2035
ShotgunAudio TechnicaAT8987
Lav/PhoneAudio TechnicaATR3350
LightingAsteraAX1Tube LED with zones (similar to Digital Sputnik), 20-hr battery, phone control, easy to use,
Support (Gimbal)Beholder DS-1Beholder DS-1
Support (Gimbal)Beholder MS-1Beholder MS-1
CameraBlackmagicBlackmagic URSA Mini 4.6kPoor low light, big and heavy-ish (5lbs) too big for Ronin M, no proxy mode, poor internal color, color inconsistent with luma change.
CameraBlackmagicBlackmagic URSA Mini Pro
WirelessSaramonicBlink 500 B2A dual channel wireless mic for $250! 2.4 GHz | Mediocre quality sound
Competes with RODE Wireless GO for $50 more
- No LCD screen
- Larger than RODE (sticks out the back of hot shoe)
- When using two Tx it mixes the audio together πŸ™
- No iPhone lightning adapter
- Way worse in range tests (cuts out eat 50ft in some tests 300ft in others) Just don’t interrupt line of site (talent turns around)

+ Comes with 2 (see negative though)
+ Plugs into Android type C phones
+Built-in mic
LightingCameTVBoltzen 55W Fresnel
LightingCameTVBoltzen AndromedaTube-style with built-in battery, barn doors and mounting points, a bit pricey but worth it for RGB
CameraCanonC200ND, DualPixel AF, EVF, Battery Life, Audio Inputs, Proxies, Mediocre LCD, No Sensor Stabilization
CameraCanonC500mkIIAt $16k it's a more reasonably-priced C700, 6k, Built-in ND, Dual Pixel AF, decent choice
CameraCanonC700 Full FramePricey, Full frame at high frame rates to external recorder
SoftwareCadrageCadrageApp (like Artemis) that acts as director's viewfinder
Support (Gimbal)CAME TV ActionCAME TV Action
TxRxCAME TVCAME TV Crystal 800HDMI only, WiFi output to few devices
Support (Gimbal)CAME TV SingleCAME TV SingleEncoded motors! fast setup, joystick included, 1/4 20 monitor mount nice, larger space allows for up/down tilt. For $28 you get a wireless remote!
Cine LensSigma CineCineFull frame, Cine Lens, Look wonderful , Art quality sharp, but breath somewhat (Wolfcrowe says a lot, Matt Duclos says a little and mainly in 14mm). Electronic contacts for lens metadata! 14mm and 135mm at f2.0 are uncommonly fast for cine lenses.
Cine LensTokina CineCineS35, Cine Lens, Very nice! No breathing.
SoftwareCineGizmoCineControl, CineTakes for ARRIMetadata, camera control, rating, director's notes, all from an app.
TxRxCinegearsCinegears 2-in-1 2000MInsanely long range
TxRxCinegearsCinegears Ghost Eye 600M10 bit 4:2:2 transmission
Support (Tripod)MillerCiNXAwesome revamping of fluid head design for heavier cameras. Miller has always excelled at making light-weight tripods that perform well with heavier loads. These are professionally-priced as well however.
LensCanonCN7 17-120mm T2.9$20k+ lens amongst the few that represents one of the few options for fast 'affordable' S35 lens with a decent zoom range. But it's big and heavy.
LightingProfound/Blind SpotCrack LightExcellent CRI/TLCI; waterproof, South Korean manf. "Profound" distributing through "Blind Spot" company.
Pre-ampComicaCVM-AX3Fully featured, good performer, but a bit large.
LightingLupoDayled 2000
Field RecorderZaxcomDiva
Field RecorderTascamDR-10LLike Zoom F1 but only a lav mic recorder
Field RecorderTascamDR-40X
Field RecorderTascamDR05Inferior pre-amps to Zoom but omni internal mic is nice for field recording.
Field RecorderTascamDR100mkIII
Field RecorderTascamDR60dmkII
Field RecorderTascamDR701DNot as great now that we have better Zoom and Sound Device alternatives
Pre-ampBeachtekDSLR ProOld DXA-SLR PRO and new DXA-MICRO PRO differences: Size - the MICRO PRO is about half the size and weight (mounts above or below camera).
The MICRO PRO has one XLR input with phantom power and two mono plus one stereo TRS inputs with plug-in power so you can use virtually any microphones with it.
Preamps are very different: The MICRO PRO has between 3–6 times more gain so you can dramatically reduce the noisy camera gain to give you a much cleaner signal.
Pre-ampBeachtekDXA-MicroProSolid pre-amps, great choice for a few extra bucks, only one XLR input
CameraZ CamE2This would have been more exciting several years ago, but now, for the price, why not just get a camera with an EVF, LCD, stabilization, etc? Variable electronic ND in the mount is nice.
Support (Tripod)E-imageEK60AAM
Field RecorderZoomF1Size and 10-pin acessory port add great flexibility. Sadly, no phantom power (not even with capsules), RF interference prone (airplane mode); mid-range quality pre-amps; works as USB interface to PC
-Only 2-channel
Field RecorderZoomF4Cheap option for TC generation which H6 lacks, Great pre-amps with low noise, look-ahead limiters are good, F-control accessory, automix, screen inferior to F8, 8AA batteries cumbersome. No app integration for metadata input like F8 has. Battery life ppor.
Field RecorderZoomF6Dual analog A>D converter party trick means 'never clip' has come to Zoom.
LightingAputureF7Great all-purpose cheap light
Field RecorderZoomF8
Field RecorderZoomF8nUpdate makes headphone gain improvement,
LightingIntellytechFast Frame Scrim & Diffuser($350) This 6.5'x5' diffusion+grid is particularly easy to assemble and take down since you leave the diffusion and egg crate on
LightingNanliteForza 300
LightingNanliteForza 500One of the better options for high output COB lights available.
LightingNanliteForza 60
CameraSonyFS5Many awesome features (electronic variable ND especially), but in real life I didn't enjoy using it, clunky menu, slow to access critical controls, etc.
CameraSonyFX9$10k, Full frame, E-mount, Great Hybrid AF though it needs a touch screen, Metadata-gyro-based post stabilization but no IBIS, XAVC-I, XAVC-L, 16-bit raw 4K, Dual ISO, Electronic Variable ND is awesome, Venice "color science", S-cinetone
CameraPanasonicG7No IBIS, bigger (DSLR sized), has drive mode dial and focus switch, articulating LCD, mic input, no log but does have Cinelike D and V, great touch screen, no 4k internal and simultaneous HDMI ($500)
Support (Tripod)iFootageGazelle TA6Fenn likes the bowl because it allows for small leveling adjustments without adjusting leg height. He also loves center columns for height adjustment without messing with legs. The Benro Aero tripods and the iFootage Gazelle provide both.
CameraPanasonicGH4MFT 'small sensor', poor video AF and low light, great stabilization, great internal codecs and external 10-bit recording, comfortable to use, a very solid choice for a hybrid video/photo camera
CameraPanasonicGH5MFT 'small sensor', 5-axis IBIS with lens+in body stabilization, full width 4k video, internal 10 bit, internal LUT preview, vectorscope, waveform, auto ISO in Manual mode, full-size HDMI,
CameraPanasonicGX85Fantastic budget option ($400), IBIS, high IQ, great touch screen, no log, no mic input, only 90ΒΊ screen articulation,
CameraPanasonicGX9
Field RecorderZoomH1Best option for price if budget-limited. Gets you superior audio to in-camera mic for <$100 Works as a lav mic recorder for interviews too.
Field RecorderZoomH1nUpdated H1 with better build quality.
Field RecorderZoomH4n
Field RecorderZoomH4n ProHas a weak pre-amp so no good with Rode NTG2
Field RecorderZoomH5Self noise improved from H4n; accessory shoe adds versatility
Field RecorderZoomH6Self noise improved from H4n, 4 built-in inputs plus accessory shoe adds major versatility
CameraRedHelium 8k EpicDSMC2 body with internal WiFi means "FoolControl" focus and camera control and lighter weight. Still need a module just to power the camera and expensive accessories with long wait times to get a Raven or Scarlet (and camera has crazy-long boot-up times). Low light is finally here with Helium sensor. Windowed resolutions for lower res rather than scaling seems unfortunate but you can get ProRes 2k proxy and Fusion scales well.
CameraRedHelium 8k S35S35 sensor
TxRxHollylandHollyland Cosmo 2000
Lav/PhoneZoomiQ7
Lav/PhoneRodeiXyFor beginners, I'd suggest just spending $80 on a Zoom H1 and practice keeping it close to the sound source.
SoftwareLesspainKynoChecksum, frame.io support, popular movie codec support, metadata support, but works like bridge where metadata is in hidden sidecar files and has no database
LightingVILTROXL116TCheap and large-ish source
LightingGodoxLC 500Compare to YongNuo and Andromeda?
LightingLedgoLG-G260
CameraPanasonicLX100Excellent all-in-one compact, fantastic lens, 4k, No remote shutter control port, no headphone jack, no mic jack, no V-Log, no touch screen, no articulating screen, $600
CameraKinefinityMavo LFA great picture but at this price point I want a brand with a reliable track record. There are now other cameras near this price point that offer superior usability and reliability.
Field RecorderZaxcomMaxx
LightingAputureMC$90 launch. RGB LED; RGBWW; "Sidus Mesh Link" with other Aputure lights is cool; 100Lux@1M id s little low.
ShotgunSennheiserME66/K6
LightingIntellytechMEGA-LiteCloth3'x4.5' foldable LED mat for under $2k, makes for a simple large-but-portable light source
Pre-ampBeachtekMicro Pro PlusLike Micro Pro but adds a removable cheese plate to mount accessories and has a built-in LiPo battery for up to ten hours of run time.
Field RecorderSound DevicesMixPre10tSee new MixPre II Series with 32-bit float recording
Field RecorderSound DevicesMixPre3Don't get "M" versions for music; High quality, great analog limiters, 3rd part controller support, Android support,
Field RecorderSound DevicesMixPre6See new MixPre II Series with 32-bit float recording
LensFujinonMKMK series are great, s35 lenses, parfocal, and as fast as you can get (T2.9) without getting big and pricey. Much cheaper than Cabrio series.
MicrophoneOktavaMK-012 or MC012I love these litle mics and have for many years. Handling noise is an issue. Gut the electronics for even better performance.
ShotgunSennheiserMKH-416"Industry standard" shotgun mic but for $1k there are finally some really good alternatives so I don't recommend it.
CameraRedMonstro 8k VVVista Vision (close to full frame) sensor
Support (Gimbal)Nebula 4000 LiteNebula 4000 Lite
Support (Gimbal)Nebula 4200 3-axisNebula 4200 3-axis
Support (Gimbal)Nebula 4200 5-axisNebula 4200 5-axis
Support (Gimbal)Nebula 4200 LiteNebula 4200 Lite
Field RecorderZaxcomNomad
ShotgunRodeNTG2
RodeRodeNTG5+Great value, shorter/lighter than NTG3 and $500 is good for a true RF-bias mic (works in humid conditions though if you need it)
+Better self-noise performance than the budget mics
-$500 doesn't get you double the sound of the VideoMic NTG and you lose convenience
-Very natural response
- Requires phantom power. A mic without self power options may sound superior but is practically limiting
CameraSamsungNX1Amazing first-gen camera. Sad they nixed it. USB3, NFC,WiFi, BT, h.265, No log, no ND, Lenses are biggest deal, no Aputure DEC compatibility, no Sigma Art lenses, no true Log profile, no electronic Canon adapters even. Edelkrone shutter release cable? Look at the firmware updates.
Microphone (cardiod)SankenCS3-eVery popular mic for something like indoor dialog
Microphone (super cardioid)SchoepsCMC641Very popular mic for something like indoor dialog ($1600)
MicrophoneDPA4017b+Fantastic Sound
-High Price πŸ™‚
TxRxNyriusNyrius Aries ProBest bang for buck consumer system; no SMA antenna
Cine LensAtlas OrionOrionAnamorphic, Cine Lens,
LightingLume CubePanelCell-phone sized bi-color LED panel. 400Lux@1M; CRI 96+
Support (Gimbal)Pilotfly H1Pilotfly H1
Support (Gimbal)Pilotfly H1+Pilotfly H1+
Support (Gimbal)Pilotfly H2Pilotfly H2
CameraBlackmagicPocket Cinema Camera 4kNo EVF, Poor AF,
CameraBlackmagicPocket Cinema Camera 6kGreat codec, menues, picture quality, metadata input, No EVF, Poor AF, New Camera, Poor Battery
LensFujinonPremista 28-100mm t2.946mm image circle (full frame) but pro-priced. If you really want a full frame fast zoom lens here you go
LightingQuasarQ-LED T8No mounting options, requires AC, no RGB, dimmer sold separately
TxRxR2TeckR2Teck DVLM 100HDMI only, WiFi output
CameraCanonR5So unimpressed by 8k with no other mention of bit depth, compression, chroma subsampling, etc. They claim IBIS will be amazing but they're also extremely late to the game. This camera announcement does not impress me at all.
CameraRedRanger with Gemini 5K S35 SensorRental-only item that adds the most needed features to the standard brain
LightingQuasarRGB
MicrophoneRode | MOVO | ComicaRode Video Micro; Comica VM10IIA decent, small, camera-top microphone for ENG-style shooting. Great for the price.
Support (Gimbal)DJIRonin SBest bet for reliability, support, and features
CameraSonyRX100 V24–701.8–2.8 but on a 1" sensor that doesn't get you much depth. Built in ND. Phase detect AF. LCD tilts all the way up for reverse shots.
Super Cardiod Condenser with interference tube (shotgun)DeityS Mic 2Very popular for the price; Deity's flagship mic. Accentuates mid-lows a bit much.
Super Cardiod Condenser with interference tube (shotgun)DeityS Mic 2s ("short" shotgun)Shorter version of the S Mic 2.
+$319 is great value for the kit
- Accentuates mid-lows a bit much.
CameraPanasonicS1$2500, IBIS, L-mount, paid upgrade for 10 bit and log, mediocre AF
CameraPanasonicS1HUnprecedented video quality in a mirrorless ILC camera for $4000. 6k, full frame, great bit rates, 10-bit, log, 60p, IBIS, articulating screen, great EVF, L-mount
Cine LensCooke S7/iS7/iFull frame, Cine Lens,
Support (Tripod)BenroS8
LightingArriSC60-C
MicrophoneSenalSCI-3212+Pretty incredible for sub $100 (better than Samson C02)
+$150 for all three: omni, cardiod, and supercardioid capsules
- A bit harsh on the high end
Support (Slider)iFootageShark Mini
MicrophoneSureShure SM7B
Cine LensARRI Signature PrimesSignature PrimesFull frame, Cine Lens,
LightingGodoxSL 200Compare to Aputure 300D and Falcon Eyes BL-30TD; loud for video
AccessoryAutonomousSmartDesk 2Very cheap sit/stand desk Gerard Undone recommends but is supposedly the cheapest both in price and quality.
Lav/PhoneRodeSmartLav+
Pre-ampSaramonicSmartRigLower quality. I'd say don't go there unless your camera has really bad internal preamps
MicrophoneAzdenSMX 15Superior to Rode Video mic pro, inferior to Deity D3
USBBlueSnowball
Pre-ampSaramonic SR-PAX1
SliderRhinoArc III need to buy one of these and try it personally. I've never found a slider I really loved and others say this did it for them.
Pre-ampSaramonic SR-PAX2Great unit for price, good pre-amps, +48v, dual mono summing, detailed levels and battery display, comparable to Beachtek. 9v batteries are annoying but standard in these sort of pre-amps, no headphone volume adjustment, physically larger than the Beachtek Micro Pro
Cine LensCanon SumireSumireFull frame, Cine Lens, mount swappable EF/PL,
LightingHiveSuperhornet 575cο»Ώ
LightingLupoSuperpanel Dual Color 6070k lux at a meter (like an Arri M18 with 1200watt bulb) ! or 45k lux on battery power, draws 45 watts, $1790 is reasonable price for that type of output,
LightingLupoSuperpanel Full Color 60
Cine LensZeiss Supreme Primes FFSupreme Primes FFFull frame, Cine Lens, Zeiss Supreme Primes FF
AccessoryCoreSWX Nano-C98Canon battery with D-tap and USB out!
Pre-ampSonosaxSX-M2D2$1k but nice! Works as audio interface, plug a phone or computer in. Highest quality pre-amps
CameraCanonT7iUses Digic7 so no Magic Lantern (the only thing redeeming Canon in the modern era), 1080p video, 24MP APS-C sensor, Dual pixel AF (45 point), 3" fully articulating LCD with touch. It's decent for stills/video use, but has weak video features in comparison with alternative options. $600
LightingLuxliTaiko
TxRxTeradekTeradek Bolt 500 LT"Industry Standard" if you support Vitec
Cine LensLeica ThaliaThaliaFull frame, Cine Lens, $250k for the set but Fenn would really like to try these
ShotgunDeityV-Mic D3 ProRODE ousted this one with their newer NTG
Awesome set of features and quality for on-camera mic. Deity D3 Pro is one of the best all-purpose microphones. It has a TTRS plug for phone or camera use (with adapter)
Sounds awesome (for $200) and seems to work fine with Wireless GO (no squeal)Internal (50hrs) battery
Super Cardioid (no interference tube so not a shotgun)
+Charges USB C
+Stepless gain knob
CameraSonyVeniceInterchangeable sensor, 6 micron pixel pitch, updated color science, support for true 4-perf anamorphic lenses (cropped sensor), standard Bayer sensor, claimed 15 stop DR, 16-bit linear to AXS-R7 recorder and X-OCN for full frame raw 6k (2Gb/sec), native ISO 500, up to 8-stops built-in ND, cons: not a high speed king (only 60fps@Super35); anamorphic 4k and full frame are both paid firware upgrades
Cine LensTokinaVistaFull frame (larger than Vista Vision), sharp wide open, beautiful falloff
LightingDigital SputnikVoyagerCool zoned RGB LED but pricey.
Cine LensRokinon XEENXEENCine Lens, Best deal, strong coma in 24mm, bigger and heavier than need to be, not color consistent
CameraFujifilmXT-2At $900 it's a great value. Rather comparable to the XT-3, no BSI sensor, 1.18x crop in 4k video, no 10-bit, faster processing means much better AF on XT-3, HEVC recording on XT-3, rolling shutter better on XT-3, does shoot F-log, 1080 120fps,
CameraFujifilmXT-3APS-C, $1500 launch, no IBIS, 4k 60fps, 10-bit h.265, F-log, 4:2:2 over HDMI, dual SD slots, great EVF
LightingYongnuoYN360RGB Light Wand
LightingYongnuoYN360II ProBicolor light wand
LightingYN360II Pro RGBRGB Light Wand
LightingYongnuoYN360SBicolor light wand
CameraNikonZ6
CameraPanasonicZS10010x (25-250mm) LEICA 2.8–5.9, 4k HD (no log), timelapse
CameraPanasonicZS200Incredible 15x zoom for a 1" sensor (24mm–360mm). 5 axis stabilization is sensor or just lens though? No log. No phase detect AF. No ND.
LightingArri SkyPanel S60-CA pricey, well-built industry standard; 40lbs
SoftwareAudiioLifetime music subscription for $199?
LightingDigital Sputnik
Support (Slider)Edelkrone
LightingFalcon Eyes BL-30TDAputure 300D Alternative but bi-color
Field RecorderLectrosonicsThey're a big name but come with a big price. Not really up the alley of this site.
Lav/PhoneOscar TechI love these little lav mics. Affordable and great sounding for a lav.
Lens
Lens
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