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 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.
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 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.
These are basically just stencil cutouts that let us draw a mask around the area we want to affect.
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 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.
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.
“Stills” are comprised of two components:
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).
“Powergrades” 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.
“Memories” 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
⌃Control ⇧Shift ⌥Alt ⌘Cmd ⇕Scroll MMB (Middle Mouse Button) *Fenn Custom Key
Launch Price USD
|Lighting||Aputure||Nova P300c||RGBWW Aputure SkyPanel S30 equivalent at $1700.||$1,700|
|Lighting||Aputure||600d||Pulls 720 watts for "600 Watt Output"; Aputure claims is the brightest single point light source on the market. Weatherproof. Near a 5k tungsten (1.2k HMI). Control box acts as a battery charger.|
|Lighting||Aputure||120D||Good light quality (though tungsten version is superior), output is limited, dimmer and power bank a bit clumsy, pretty good value|
|Lighting||Aputure||300D||Good value for output|
|Lighting||Aputure||300D II||Integrated ballast and controller, $1k, 20% brighter than v1, 350 watts, good light quality, lighting effects and Sidus Link App Integration||$1,000|
|Lighting||Aputure||300X||Bi-color version of 300D. Good color rendition and more versatile if you can take the output loss.|
|Lighting||Aputure||F7||Great all-purpose cheap light|
|Lighting||Aputure||MC||$90 launch. RGB LED; RGBWW; "Sidus Mesh Link" with other Aputure lights is cool; 100Lux@1M id s little low.||$90|
|Camera||Arri||Alexa 65||Fantastic out-of-box image, pricey|
|Camera||Arri||Alexa LF||Price, Focus is tougher|
|Camera||Arri||Alexa Mini LF||This'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.||$50,000|
|Cine Lens||ARRI Signature Primes||Signature Primes||Full frame, Cine Lens,|
|Lighting||Arri SkyPanel S60-C||A pricey, well-built industry standard; 40lbs|
|Software||Artlist.io||Artlist.io||$199/yr music subscription service||199/yr|
|Lighting||Astera||NYX||Edison-style bulb, 14W E26 (like Aputure MC7), but at $130 seems way overpriced|
|Lighting||Astera||AX1||Tube LED with zones (similar to Digital Sputnik), 20-hr battery, phone control, easy to use,|
|Cine Lens||Atlas Orion||Orion||Anamorphic, Cine Lens,|
|Software||Audiio||Lifetime music subscription for $199?|
|Accessory||Autonomous||SmartDesk 2||Very cheap sit/stand desk Gerard Undone recommends but is supposedly the cheapest both in price and quality.|
|Microphone||Azden||SMX 15||Superior to Rode Video mic pro, inferior to Deity D3|
|Pre-amp||Beachtek||DSLR Pro||Old 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-amp||Beachtek||DXA-MicroPro||Solid pre-amps, great choice for a few extra bucks, only one XLR input|
|Pre-amp||Beachtek||Micro Pro Plus||Like 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.|
|Support (Gimbal)||Beholder DS-1||Beholder DS-1|
|Support (Gimbal)||Beholder MS-1||Beholder MS-1|
|Support (Tripod)||Benro||A2883FS4||Very compact size of for maximum portability (legs fold back over center column)|
|Camera||Blackmagic||Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k||Poor low light, big and heavy-ish (5lbs) too big for Ronin M, no proxy mode, poor internal color, color inconsistent with luma change.|
|Camera||Blackmagic||Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro|
|Camera||Blackmagic||Pocket Cinema Camera 4k||No EVF, Poor AF,|
|Camera||Blackmagic||Pocket Cinema Camera 6k||Great codec, menues, picture quality, metadata input, No EVF, Poor AF, New Camera, Poor Battery|
|Lighting||Boling||*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||$150|
|Software||Cadrage||Cadrage||App (like Artemis) that acts as director's viewfinder|
|TxRx||CAME TV||CAME TV Crystal 800||HDMI only, WiFi output to few devices|
|Support (Gimbal)||CAME TV Action||CAME TV Action|
|Support (Gimbal)||CAME TV Single||CAME TV Single||Encoded 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!|
|Lighting||CameTV||Boltzen 55W Fresnel|
|Lighting||CameTV||Boltzen Andromeda||Tube-style with built-in battery, barn doors and mounting points, a bit pricey but worth it for RGB|
|Lens||Canon||16-35mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Camera||Canon||1DX Mk III||Internal 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.|
|Lens||Canon||28mm f1.8||Full frame|
|Camera||Canon||C200||ND, DualPixel AF, EVF, Battery Life, Audio Inputs, Proxies, Mediocre LCD, No Sensor Stabilization|
|Camera||Canon||C500mkII||`+ At $16k it's a more reasonably-priced C700, 6k, Built-in ND, Dual Pixel AF, |
+ decent choice, great touch screen AF and smaller body than FX9
- EF mount; no RF
|Camera||Canon||C700 Full Frame||Pricey, Full frame at high frame rates to external recorder|
|Lens||Canon||CN7 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.||20000+|
+IBIS (8-stops to boot and works well in video mode)
+120fps in 4k, no sensor crop, AF works too
+"Good" codecs (raw not so much but decent h.265 options). A first for a Canon "DSLR" 🙂
+ Looks like you can shoot "simultaneous movie recording (4K DCI) as 10-bit MP4
- Don't care about 8k
- Overheating issues (back to Sony's early days)
- I'm tired of "announcements" instead of cameras, and this one had a long and disgusting baiting period
- The raw recording is simply impractical. Makes 0 sense. Expensive cards and ridiculous data rates. Just go Magic Lantern.
- Poor battery life
- No dual gain sensor
- Only does raw recording in 8k where it's less-than-useful
- "EF-S cropping not supported"-shucks, what lens would I use with this?
- The R6 is looking to be the superior alternative. That said, I'd consider this camera for its 4k All-I log and Sony doesn't best it within a month 🙂
|Camera||Canon||R6||+ Canon's most interesting thing in a decade. 20MP sensor is right where I want it for low-light but high-enough-resolution-for-stills compromise. |
+ Well-performing IBIS.
+ 5K sensor for 4k video (I'd not mind a nice 2.5K but I suppose I can live with this)
+ 4k 60fps and HD 120fps (that'll do)
+ Canon log at 10-bit (this is the one we've been waiting for)
+ SD UHS-II
+ Articulating touch LCD
+ $2400 launch price. Now that's a good deal. Unless Sony comes out with matching/superior specs (e.g. built-in variable ND) then this is tough to top. I prefer lower resolution for video (even 4k is often too high). I don't love the cost of new card formats like CFExpress nor can I imagine how painful 8K video edits would be. And for no noticeable benefit. SD cards work with my built-in SD card reader (one less accessory), I may (fingers crossed) even get a proxy mode with the R6. Nope. 10-bit log is the sweet spot in terms of quality and usability.
- Codecs aren't what I'd hoped for, despite 10-bit video appeal. No All-I option. Will 10-bit 4:2:2 long-GOP even edit decently? 120p data rates are low.
- Battery life not looking good
- Micro HDMI is fragile and they seem to have sufficient space
- No dual SD recording or proxy mode
- I'm nervous for rolling shutter
- No dual gain sensor
-When adapting EF lenses the lens stabilization doesn't work in tandem with sensor; they both work, but independently 🙁
|Camera||Canon||T7i||Uses 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|
|Lens||Canon||20mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Canon||24mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Cine Lens||Canon Sumire||Sumire||Full frame, Cine Lens, mount swappable EF/PL,|
|TxRx||Cinegears||Cinegears 2-in-1 2000M||Insanely long range|
|TxRx||Cinegears||Cinegears Ghost Eye 600M||10 bit 4:2:2 transmission|
|Software||CineGizmo||CineControl, CineTakes for ARRI||Metadata, camera control, rating, director's notes, all from an app.|
|Pre-amp||Comica||CVM-AX3||Fully featured, good performer, but a bit large.|
|Cine Lens||Cooke Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus||Anamorphic/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.|
|Cine Lens||Cooke S7/i||S7/i||Full frame, Cine Lens,|
|Accessory||Core||SWX Nano-C98||Canon battery with D-tap and USB out!|
|Super Cardiod Condenser with interference tube (shotgun)||Deity||S Mic 2||Very popular for the price; Deity's flagship mic. Accentuates mid-lows a bit much.|
|Super Cardiod Condenser with interference tube (shotgun)||Deity||S Mic 2s ("short" shotgun)||Shorter version of the S Mic 2.|
+$319 is great value for the kit
- Accentuates mid-lows a bit much.
|Shotgun||Deity||V-Mic D3 Pro||RODE 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
|TxRx||Deity||*BP-TRX||A real Swiss-army knife. It's small and a transceiver (can both transmit and receive single channel of audio) but it's also an accurate timecode box, USB-C audio interface, and a recorder. BUT you can't transmit and record at the same time UNLESS you buy outside the USA 🙁 (Zaxcom patent?) |
+ It can transmit to up to 4 Rx units in STEREO
+ Camera Hop mode can output timecode to the camera along with audio
-No 32-bit recording
|TxRx||Deity||Connect||Excellent range, great UI, 2.4GHz but smart, mixable output, great value, link Rx together to receive up to 4 Tx, set Tx from Rx, powers 60–70 ohm headphones, $650 US,|
Better than RODE Link or than Sennheiser
|Sound||Tentacle||Track E||Like the Sync E, but it RECEIVES timecode and acts as a mini 32-bit recorder. I wish they would have made it act as a sync-outputting device as well|
-"The Track E will be able to be jammed from an external timecode source, but it won't be able to send out timecode.
the headphone out if active while recording, BUT everywhere except the US."
|Lighting||Digital Sputnik||Voyager||Cool zoned RGB LED but pricey.|
|TxRx||Inkee||BenBox||INKEE Benbox is a $109 5.8GHz WiFi Video Tx for 3 mobile devicews||$109|
|Support (Gimbal)||DJI||Ronin S||Best bet for reliability, support, and features|
|Support (Gimbal)||DJI||Ronin RSC 2||- It's heavier than the original (2.65lbs vs 2.43 lbs) and no carbon fiber 🙁|
More compact and foldable (7"x7" footprint)
+ Built-in OLED for settings and active track control
+ Supports 6.6lbs vs 4.85 lbs of original
+- New 14 hr battery but you'll have to buy new batteries
|Support (Gimbal)||DJI||Ronin RS 2||"RavenEye" Image Tx optional accessory to mobile devices using Ronin app with 60ms latency (Hollyland Mars 400s Pro is 80ms or .08s for comparison). (1080 30fps up to 600')|
TOF (IR) dual sensors for AF with manual lenses
$849 USD at launch ($999 w/case Focus motor, Tx, but no TOF system?)
+2.86 lbs with 10-lb payload
+3 USB-C connectors for multiple devices
+12 hour battery with 15-minute quick charge (for +2 hours)
+Dual handle available
|Support (Gimbal)||DJI||Ronin SC||40% lighter than Ronin S, smaller Ronin S. 11 hour battery life.|
+Has USB C port in arm for powering accessories
- Maximum 4lb payload isn't realistically met with some setups because you can't pull the camera far enough back without it hitting the arm.
-High Price 🙂
|Lighting||Falcon Eyes BL-30TD||Aputure 300D Alternative but bi-color|
|Camera||Fujifilm||*XT-30||XT-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|
4K60240fps though not great IQ
10bit HEVC 400mbps
IBIS (better than Sony, worse than Olympus)
headphone out requires USB-C adapter
|Camera||Fujifilm||XT-2||At $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,|
|Camera||Fujifilm||XT-3||APS-C, $1500 launch, no IBIS, 4k 60fps, 10-bit h.265, F-log, 4:2:2 over HDMI, dual SD slots, great EVF|
|Lens||Fujinon||MK||MK 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.|
|Lens||Fujinon||Premista 28-100mm t2.9||46mm image circle (full frame) but pro-priced. If you really want a full frame fast zoom lens here you go|
|FV150||Godox||This is the most excited I've been about a light in awhile. It's a combo photo flash and continuous LED for video unit. Instead of a flash tube it basically 'overcharges' the COB LED 400% or two stops brighter than it is in video mode. That said, it feels very first generation and I think the next wave of these will be worth buying. It just doesn't do either the photo or video job great and that reduces its value to me.|
- Does NOT freeze motion well; its minimum duration sucks 🙁
Modeling light while shooting photos though there's a bit of a pause after each shot so you're in the dark a bit. How loud is fan? It's not quite there with remote and flash Tx controlling everything so you have to pull it down and mess with knobs on the back still. A v2 of this will be awesome.
- No TTL
- Power equivalent to AD200 at 1/16 or around 1/4 power of a regular old speedlight. That's just not quite enough for me, even for indoor studio use.
+ None of the HSS disadvantages because no reduction in output
+You have a killer modeling lamp built in
+ Comes with remote and phone app
+Comes with umbrella holder.
+ We're getting close with LED in color to a real flash!
|FV200||Godox||About what you'd expect. A brighter version of FV150. Fan noise seems comparable?|
|VL300||Godox||Great value and quality! Finally! The first Godox lights kinda sucked but I would actually use this for video now and at $750 it's closer to where Aputure started with their lights, just that this is similar to current Aputure quality. @1M 11,300 Lux||$750|
|Lighting||Godox||LC 500||Compare to YongNuo and Andromeda?|
|Lighting||Godox||SL 200||Compare to Aputure 300D and Falcon Eyes BL-30TD; loud for video|
|Lighting||Godox||SL 150W Mark II||Fan noise fixed! Same brightness, color accuracy etc.|
|Lens||Hasselblad Vario-Tes E ZA||16–70mm F4 f4|
|TxRx||Accsoon||CineEye Air||125g 2 devices No built-in battery but has USB-C Does NOT transmit AUDIO <50ms latency, uses 3.5mm barrel jack from 6–18V.||$150|
|TxRx||Accsoon||CineEye||Does not transmit audio, app is buggy and it'll drive you mad if you try connecting in WiFi-congested areas.||$250|
|TxRx||Hollyland||Hollyland Mars 300||Good budget system ($400) with similar latency (100ms) to Nyrius; has loop out on TX||$400|
|TxRx||Hollyland||*Hollyland Mars 300 Pro||.08 Seconds latency (similar to non-pro, but hybrid camera's latency is the bigger issue), 300' range, 136 grams (sans battery), HDMI loopout and dual output on receiver. Comes in Standard $449 (built-in internal antenna), Enhanced $469 (better build quality and external antenna and Transmitter only $199 (for phones/tablets); Sony NPF battery or USB-C power inputs|
- Does NOT accept 4k input
- 2.4GHz only
- No audio transmission
|TxRx||Hollyland||Hollyland Mars 400S||400' range, SDI and HDMI inputs, better OLED screen, .1 second latency|
|TxRx||Hollyland||Hollyland Cosmo 2000||2000' pro solution (Teradek competition) 5GHz|
|TxRx||Hollyland||Hollyland Cosmo 600||$1700 (though I've seen it as low as $1.1k which is an awesome deal), Why is it pro? SDI input, uncompressed transmission, signal encryption, timecode transfer. 5GHz|
-1080 input only
|TxRx||Hollyland||Mars X||$179 launch, AccSoon CineEye competition, an HDMI-only Tx which transmits to mobile devices only.||$179|
|Support (Tripod)||iFootage||Gazelle TA6||Fenn 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.|
|Support (Slider)||iFootage||Shark Mini|
|Lighting||Intellytech||Fast 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||$350|
|Lighting||Intellytech||MEGA-LiteCloth||3'x4.5' foldable LED mat for under $2k, makes for a simple large-but-portable light source|
|Lens||Irix||15mm f2.4||Full frame, Affordable and awesome, just not quite as good as the Laowa 15mm f2|
|Camera||Kinefinity||Mavo LF||A 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.|
|Lens||Laowa||12mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Laowa||15mm f2||Full frame|
|Field Recorder||Lectrosonics||They're a big name but come with a big price. Not really up the alley of this site.|
|Cine Lens||Leica Thalia||Thalia||Full frame, Cine Lens, $250k for the set but Fenn would really like to try these|
|Software||Lesspain||Kyno||Checksum, frame.io support, popular movie codec support, metadata support, but works like bridge where metadata is in hidden sidecar files and has no database|
|Lighting||Lume Cube||Panel||Cell-phone sized bi-color LED panel. 400Lux@1M; CRI 96+|
|Lighting||Lupo||Superpanel Dual Color 60||70k 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,|
|Lighting||Lupo||Superpanel Full Color 60|
|Support (Tripod)||Miller||CiNX||Awesome 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.|
|Lighting||Nanlite||Forza 500||One of the better options for high output COB lights available.|
|Support (Gimbal)||Nebula 4000 Lite||Nebula 4000 Lite|
|Support (Gimbal)||Nebula 4200 3-axis||Nebula 4200 3-axis|
|Support (Gimbal)||Nebula 4200 5-axis||Nebula 4200 5-axis|
|Support (Gimbal)||Nebula 4200 Lite||Nebula 4200 Lite|
|TxRx||Nyrius||Nyrius Aries Pro||Best bang for buck consumer system; no SMA antenna|
|Microphone||Oktava||MK-012 or MC012||I love these litle mics and have for many years. Handling noise is an issue. Gut the electronics for even better performance.|
|Lav/Phone||Oscar Tech||I love these little lav mics. Affordable and great sounding for a lav.|
|Lens||Panasonic||10-25mm f1.7||Great performance, prime quality, MFT, pricey|
|Camera||Panasonic||G7||No 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)|
|Camera||Panasonic||GH4||MFT '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|
|Camera||Panasonic||GH5||MFT '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,|
|Camera||Panasonic||GX85||Fantastic budget option ($400), IBIS, high IQ, great touch screen, no log, no mic input, only 90º screen articulation, no cine profiles|
|Camera||Panasonic||G85||Bigger than G85 adds mic jack, updated IBIS and flash, also adds "cine" profiles but NO log||$900|
|Camera||Panasonic||GX9||Small camera but pretty big 4k video crop|
|Camera||Panasonic||LX100||Excellent 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|
|Camera||Panasonic||S1||$2500, IBIS, L-mount, paid upgrade for 10 bit and log, mediocre AF|
|Camera||Panasonic||S1H||Unprecedented 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|
|Camera||Panasonic||ZS100||10x (25-250mm) LEICA 2.8–5.9, 4k HD (no log), timelapse|
|Camera||Panasonic||ZS200||Incredible 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.|
|Lighting||Pilotfly||*AtomCube Rx1||Bluetooth mesh, 2500K–8500K, Effects, Color-accurate, good output. Serious contender to Boling P1 or Aputure MC.|
|Support (Gimbal)||Pilotfly H1||Pilotfly H1|
|Support (Gimbal)||Pilotfly H1+||Pilotfly H1+|
|Support (Gimbal)||Pilotfly H2||Pilotfly H2|
|Accessory||PolarPro||Peter McKinnon Variable ND||+Philip Bloom is impressed by performance (sharpness) with telephoto lenses|
|Lighting||Profound/Blind Spot||Crack Light||Excellent CRI/TLCI; waterproof, South Korean manf. "Profound" distributing through "Blind Spot" company.|
|Lighting||Quasar||Q-LED T8||No mounting options, requires AC, no RGB, dimmer sold separately|
|TxRx||R2Teck||R2Teck DVLM 100||HDMI only, WiFi output|
|Lighting||Rayzr 7||300 Daylight|
|Camera||Red||Helium 8k Epic||DSMC2 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.|
|Camera||Red||Helium 8k S35||S35 sensor|
|Camera||Red||Monstro 8k VV||Vista Vision (close to full frame) sensor|
|Camera||Red||Ranger with Gemini 5K S35 Sensor||Rental-only item that adds the most needed features to the standard brain|
|Slider||Rhino||Arc II||I 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.|
|Microphone (supercardiod) Shotgun||RODE||*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)
|TxRx||Feidu||FM50||RODE Wireless go competition for ~$100, comes with low quality lav, |
|Wireless||Rode||*Wireless Go||Incredible 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)
|Lav/Phone||Rode||iXy||For beginners, I'd suggest just spending $80 on a Zoom H1 and practice keeping it close to the sound source.|
|Rode||Rode||NTG5||+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
|Microphone||Rode | MOVO | Comica||Rode Video Micro; Comica VM10II||A decent, small, camera-top microphone for ENG-style shooting. Great for the price.|
|Cine Lens||Rokinon XEEN||XEEN||Cine Lens, Best deal, strong coma in 24mm, bigger and heavier than need to be, not color consistent|
|Support (Tripod)||Sachtler||Ace||Very poor quality|
|Lens||Samsung||16-50mm S f2–2.8|
|Lens||Samsung||85mm f1.4||NX mount depricated|
|Camera||Samsung||NX1||Amazing 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.|
|Lens||Samyang/Rokinon/Bower||135mm f2||Full frame|
|Lens||Samyang/Rokinon/Bower||14mm f2.4||Full frame|
|Lens||Samyang/Rokinon/Bower||14mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Samyang/Rokinon/Bower||14mm f2.8||Full frame, AF!|
|Lens||Samyang/Rokinon/Bower||20mm f1.8||Full frame|
|Microphone (cardiod)||Sanken||CS3-e||Very popular mic for something like indoor dialog|
|Wireless||Saramonic||Blink 500 B2||A cheap dual channel wireless mic. 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 🙁
- 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
|Wireless||Saramonic||Blink 500 Pro||Comes as a single or dual Tx. General improvement in battery, range and durability. Similar to initial 2.4GHz offering. |
+If it's range is truly decent then it's better than the Wirelss GO
+Two dedicated 3.5mm outputs for monitoring and camera at the same time
+Truly two channel (the first summed into one channel...rather useless)
|Pre-amp||Saramonic||SmartRig||Lower quality. I'd say don't go there unless your camera has really bad internal preamps|
|Pre-amp||Saramonic||SR-PAX2||Great 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|
|Microphone (super cardioid)||Schoeps||CMC641||Very popular mic for something like indoor dialog ($1600)|
|Microphone||Senal||SCI-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
|Shotgun||Sennheiser||MKH-416||"Industry standard" shotgun mic but for $1k there are finally some really good alternatives so I don't recommend it.|
|Lens||Sigma||14–24 f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Sigma||14mm f1.8||Full frame, Excellent lens|
|Lens||Sigma||20mm f1.4||Full frame, Excellent lens but no filtration|
|Lens||Sigma||24-35mm f2||Full frame, Big and heavy, large filter thread|
|Lens||Sigma||24mm f1.4||Full 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.|
|Lens||Sigma||28mm f1.4||Full frame|
|Lens||Sigma||50mm f1.4||Full frame|
|Lens||Sigma APS E||19mm f2.8|
|Lens||Sigma APS E||30mm 2.8|
|Lens||Sigma APS E||60mm f2.8|
|Cine Lens||Sigma Cine||Cine||Full 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.|
|Lens||Sirui||50mm f1.8 Anamorphic||1.33x is a mild anamorphic lens (not an adapter) Designed for S35 use, not full-frame|
+well made, suprisingly sharp even at f.18 (for anamorphic which is a low sharpness standard)
- Only Sony E, Fuji X and MFT Mounts
|Pre-amp||Sonosax||SX-M2D2||$1k but nice! Works as audio interface, plug a phone or computer in. Highest quality pre-amps|
|Camera||Sony||Z-V1||+ USB power works to power camera|
+ At around $800 you get a lot of a6600 plus a nice lens for little money
+ Stabilization works well
- Still has that annoying 1/4" thread-covered-by-QR plate issue
- Minor crop in 4k
- Loses f1.8 at all but widest zoom
|Camera||Sony||*A7III||Best 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)|
|Lens||Sony||16–50 pancake f3.5-5.6|
|Lens||Sony||16mm Pancake f2.8|
|Lens||Sony||20mm Pancake 2.8|
|Lens||Sony||28mm f2||Full frame|
|Lens||Sony||35mm f1.4||Full frame, Excellent lens|
|Lens||Sony||55mm f1.8 ZA f1.8||Full frame|
|Camera||Sony||a6300||One of the first 4k cameras with full pixel readout, overheating and rolling shutter issues, terrible battery life, no headphone jack|
|Camera||Sony||a6400||No internal stabilization; 425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points,|
Intervalometer, S-log2, best LCD of a6300 and a6500 as it has a 180º selfie mode,
|Camera||Sony||a6500||Touchscreen, 5-axis IBIS, only 90º LCD which is a downgrade from previous a6400, 11fps, face and eye tracking|
|Camera||Sony||a6600||Better 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.|
|Camera||Sony||A7RII||42MP, IBIS, 4k video, log, great AF, rolling shutter poor, fullframe less quality than the downscaled s35 crop mode|
|Camera||Sony||A7RIV||61MP, IBIS, AI-powered eye AF, rolling shutter issues|
|Camera||Sony||A7SII||12mp, IBIS, 100mbps XAVC-S, S-log2, everyone awaits an update|
|Camera||Sony||A7SIII||`-12MP sensor still is just too low for photos in 2020|
- IBIS isn't quite up to competition
- HEVC is oddly missing 4k30
+Menus and touch screen are much better
+ 10 bit interal
+ High grame rates
+ High quality in every mode: HD (oversampled not line skipped), and all frame rates
+ 4:2:0 10-bit HEVC edits easily 🙂
+- All-I 4k120 is the only mode that needs the pricey card
+ S-log 3 base ISO is now 160.
|Camera||Canon||C70||I actually really like that Canon made this camera.|
- No EVF. Whyever not?
+ Built-in ND
+WiFi app is great
+Stabilization claims to be good?
+DGO dual gain sensor
+Excellent enhanced PDAF
|Camera||Sony||FS5||Many awesome features (electronic variable ND especially), but in real life I didn't enjoy using it, clunky menu, slow to access critical controls, etc.|
|Camera||Sony||FX6||`+ Variable ND rules as always|
+ Official dual native ISO at 800 and 12800
- Why buy this over the A7s3? No IBIS, fiddly touch focus, limited codecs, bigger body, no audio inputs except on top handle, weird camera restart requirements...
|Camera||Sony||FX9||`+ $10k, Full frame, E-mount, Great Hybrid AF (though it needs a touch screen), |
- Metadata-gyro-based post stabilization (no IBIS)
- IBIS, XAVC-I, XAVC-L, 16-bit raw 4K, Dual ISO, Electronic Variable ND is awesome, Venice "color science", S-cinetone
|Camera||Sony||RX100 V||24–701.8–2.8 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.|
|Camera||Sony||Venice||Interchangeable 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|
|Lens||Sony ZA||24mm f1.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Sony ZA||35mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Sony ZA||55mm f1.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Sony ZE||24mm 1.8|
|Accessory||Timecode Systems||UltraSync Blue||`+AtomX SYNC with Atomos Ninja V is only $150 and this gets you BT sync just like the Blue? This is awesome as it's essentially a way to sync MovieSlate to NinjaV recordings sans cable, but it would be better if more apps other than Mavis (i.e. Filmic Pro) would support the protocol. That way I could have iPhone camera in sync without cables via nothing but the BT connection.|
HDMI devices have a lag which throws off timecode, necessitating the "calibrate" button (2-9 frames)
Ultra Sync One is the similarly-priced Timecode System's Tentacle (Tentacle E is around $290 and UltraSync1 is $299)
UltraSync Blue is $179, uses BlueTooth to sync up to four devices within 33' (RF system goes 650'). There is no LTC on this system! But it does sync with MovieSlate.
+Now that the Zoom F2 is out this option looks rather fun.
You could jam from the BLUE: the iPhone (FilmicPro? NOPE. Mavis only.) a Zoom F2 (or other with BlueTooth module) and MovieSlate. Works with Apogee MetaRecorder app for iOS. Then you could Tentacle Jam from MovieSlate.
|Accessory||Atomos||AtomX Sync||This thing, paired with a Zoom F2, gets you wireless bluetooth timecode sync! No need to buy an Ultrasync Blue.|
|Field Recorder||Sound Devices||633|
|Field Recorder||Sound Devices||688|
|Field Recorder||Sound Devices||MixPre10t||See new MixPre II Series with 32-bit float recording|
|Field Recorder||Sound Devices||MixPre3||Don't get "M" versions for music; High quality, great analog limiters, 3rd part controller support, Android support,|
|Field Recorder||Sound Devices||MixPre6||See new MixPre II Series with 32-bit float recording|
|Lens||Tamron||15-30mm f2.8||Full frame, Good lens, no filters|
|Lens||Tamron||24-70mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Tamron||28-75mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Tamron||28–75mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||F2||- Only has BT sync? No ability to jam via LTC so it's tough with mirrorless cameras unless you use something like Movieslate as a 'trasnlator' between the BT timecode and LTC.|
- No headphone out while recording in US? Thanks Zax.
+ 32-bit means set and forget recording. Though I'd suppose you have to adjust headphone levels.
+14 hours of battery life would be MUCH better than I've experienced on Tascam DR10L
|Field Recorder||Tascam||DR-10L||Like Zoom F1 but only a lav mic recorder. Supposedly the 10L is the US version without headphone out while recording but it worked for me.|
|Field Recorder||Tascam||DR05||Inferior pre-amps to Zoom but omni internal mic is nice for field recording.|
|Field Recorder||Tascam||DR701D||Not as great now that we have better Zoom and Sound Device alternatives|
|TxRx||Teradek||Teradek Bolt 500 LT||"Industry Standard" if you support Vitec|
|Accessory||Tilta||*Nucleus Nano||Incredibly value for under $200, decent motor strength (but test with cine lenses as you do get what you pay for) and just enough programmability|
|Lens||Tokina||24-70mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Lens||Tokina||50-135mm t2.9||V2 is a great upgrade, great value lens|
|Cine Lens||Tokina||Vista||Full frame (larger than Vista Vision), sharp wide open, beautiful falloff|
|Cine Lens||Tokina Cine||Cine||S35, Cine Lens, Very nice! No breathing.|
|TxRx||Vaxis||*Atom 500||500' transmission, 1080p60, Mobile App Transmission (3–4 devices); built-in antenna, NPF batteries and USB-C power, 158 grams, they claim encryption and uncompressed transmission–at this price point? Summer 2020 for $299 which is dirt cheap. |
+ Excellent range results ~1000' (well-beyond manufacture claims)
+ Transmits Audio!
+ USB-C power
- App is iOS only as of 2020
- App is limited (no LUT capability)
- Can't monitor multiple camera streams at once in app
|Lens||Vazen||40mm T2 Anamorphic||1.8x, $3k so cheap in terms of anamorphics, MFT|
|Lighting||VILTROX||L116T||Cheap and large-ish source|
|Pre-amp||Wooden Camera||A-Box Plus||Small size at last! Light weight, Canon LP-E6 battery,|
|Lighting||Yongnuo||YN360||RGB Light Wand|
|Lighting||Yongnuo||YN360II Pro||Bicolor light wand|
|Lighting||Yongnuo||YN360S||Bicolor light wand|
|Camera||Z Cam||E2||This 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.|
|Camera||ZCam||E2||Awesome features for price. ProRes raw, 10bit h265, control via ninja V, phone app. Same MFT sensor as BMPCC? 160 fps h.265 4k; ProRes 4K 60p|
|Lens||Zeiss||25mm f2||Full frame|
|Lens||Zeiss Milvus||18mm f2.8||Full frame|
|Cine Lens||Zeiss Supreme Primes FF||Supreme Primes FF||Full frame, Cine Lens, Zeiss Supreme Primes FF|
|Lens||Zeiss Touit||12mm f2.8|
|Lens||Zeiss Touit||32mm f1.8|
|Lens||Zeiss Touit||50mm f2.8|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||F1||Size 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|
- Can you monitor via headphone jack while recording?
|Field Recorder||Zoom||F4||Cheap 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 Recorder||Zoom||F6||+Dual analog A>D converter party trick means 'never clip' has come to Zoom. |
+ Works with app using $30 bluetooth accessory (great to enter metadata on set)
-Headphone out is subpar
-No balanced output (only 3.5mm)
-No instrument in capability for guitar
|Field Recorder||Zoom||F8n||Update makes headphone gain improvement,|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||H1||Best 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 Recorder||Zoom||H1n||Updated H1 with better build quality.|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||H4n Pro||Has a weak pre-amp so no good with Rode NTG2|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||H5||Self noise improved from H4n; accessory shoe adds versatility|
|Field Recorder||Zoom||H6||Self noise improved from H4n, 4 built-in inputs plus accessory shoe adds major versatility|
|Lighting||YN360II Pro RGB||RGB Light Wand|