Staying current on gear is hard; so we work together. Many industry professionals contribute to the creation and curation of these lists. The rating system is a subjective evaluation of products considering value for feature provided. Any piece of high-end gear comes with professional features at a professional price. Because of this, most of our highest-rated (rating=1) products are “prosumer” products. Our rating is subject to our opinion, but check out our reasoning in the linked posts for the top item in each category. Please purchase gear through the affiliate links to support this ongoing effort.

Cameras

Rating
Brand
Model
Gist
Price
Date Available
Resolution
Internal Stabilization
ISO
Framerates
Connectivity
Codec
Log Profile
Rolling Shutter
ND
AF Photo (1–10)
AF Video (1–10)
Phone App (1–10)
Media
≈Price (USD 2019)
2CanonC200$7,500
3SonyA7RII$3,0001080 60AVSC-SS-log2NoSDXC ONLY!
3SonyA7SII$3,0001080 120AVSC-SS-log3No
3Canon5D3$1,000
4SamsungNX1$1,000USB3, NFC,WiFi, BTh.265NoBadNoSD
2PanasonicLX100$400
2PanasonicGX85
4SonyFS51080 240
5RedHelium 8k Epic$30,000RED MAG
4BlackmagicBlackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k$6,000CFAST
5BlackmagicBlackmagic URSA Mini Pro
1PanasonicGH5MFT 'small sensor', poor video AF and low light, great stabilization
3SonyRX100 V$900
3PanasonicZS100$450
3PanasonicZS200$800
3PanasonicGX9
3Sonya6400No internal stabilization; 425 Phase- & Contrast-Detect AF Points
,180º LCD, Intervalometer
1SonyA73Best hybrid photo/video camera
2BlackmagicPocket Cinema Camera 4kNo EVF, Poor AF,
2FujiXT-3
3NikonZ6

Lenses

Order
Rank
Manufacturer
Focal Length
Aperture
Coverage
Mounts
AF
Price USD
VR/VC/OSS
IR compatible?
Aperture Blades
Sharpness 1-5
Coma 1-5
Quality 1-5
Age
Filter
Weight
Size
Notes
Competition
18Canon16-35mm2.8FullCanon$1,500635g3.48 x 4.39"
21Canon28mm1.8$450
19Canon 20mm2.8FullCanonYes$40032Old72mm405g3x2.8"
Canon Sumire
20Canon 24mm2.8Full$600280g
46Hasselblad Vario-Tes E ZA16–70mm F44APS-CEYes630Yes55mm
Irix15mm2.4FullCanon NikonNo$400
Laowa 15mm2FullSony E850
Laowa 12mm2.8
17Panasonic100-300mm5.6MFTMFT$500Yes
23Samsung16-50mm S2–2.8APS-CNX$900 UsedYes
25Samsung30mm PancakeAPS-CNX
26Samsung45mm 1.8APS-CNX
24Samsung50-200APS-CNX
22Samsung85mm1.4APS-CNX$800 UsedYes
1Samyang/Rokinon/Bower135mm2FullNo$550
Samyang/Rokinon/Bower14mm2.4FullNo$800
9Samyang/Rokinon/Bower14mm2.8FullNo$279
Samyang/Rokinon/Bower16mm2
2Samyang/Rokinon/Bower20mm1.4FullNo$5002016
Sigma10–20mm3.5APS
Sigma14mm1.8FullCanon Nikon Sony EYes$1,6002017
2Sigma500–1001.8APS-C
81Sigma18-351.8APS-C$8005577mm811g3.07 x 4.76"
3Sigma20mm1.4FullCanon Nikon Sony EYes$9004Medium52015?NO950g5x3.6x3.6 inches
Sigma20mm1.8
6Sigma24-35mm2$800
4Sigma24mm1.4FullCanon Nikon$85052201477mm665g3.4"x3.6"Zeis 25mm f2
5Sigma50mm1.4FullCanon Nikon$80052014
Sigma28mm1.4Full2018
40Sigma APS E19mm2.8APS-CE199No
41Sigma APS E30mm2.8APS-CE199No
42Sigma APS E60mm2.8APS-CE200No4446mm
49Sony16–502.8APS-CAlphaYes800
47Sony16–50 pancake3.5-5.6APS-CEYes3452
34Sony16mm Pancake2.8APS-CE$250No
35Sony20mm Pancake2.8APS-CE$350No49mm
33Sony28mm2FullE$45049mm
31Sony35mm1.8APS-CE$400Yes4.549mm
32Sony35mm1.4$1,600
30Sony50mm1.8APS-CE$230Yes49mm
27Sony55mm f1.8 ZA1.8FullE$1,0005
28SonyFullE
29SonyFullE
38Sony ZA24mm 1.8FullA$1,0004
37Sony ZA35mm2.8FullE$800
39Sony ZA55mm1.8FullE$1,00049mm
36Sony ZE24mm1.8APS-CE$900No44
11Tamron15-30mm2.8FullCanon Nikon$1,200
48Tamron18–200mm3.5-6.3APS-CEYes739Yes
Tamron18–400APS-C$650
16Tamron24-70mm2.8FullCanon NikonYes
1Tamron28–75mm2.8FullSonyYes$8002018
15Tamron28-75mm2.8FullCanon Nikon$5002010
13Tokina11-16mm2.8APS-CCanon NikonYes$600
12Tokina11-20mm2.8APSCanon Nikon$3502015
14Tokina14-20mm2APS-CCanon Nikon$65082mm
7Tokina24-70mm2.8Full2015 (June-ish)
10Zeiss25mm2FullCanon Nikon$1,3005
43Zeiss Touit12mm2.8APS-CEYes800No267mm
44Zeiss Touit32mm1.8APS-CEYes720No52mm
45Zeiss Touit50mm2.8APS-CEYes1000No52mm

Lighting

Rating
Brand
Model
Gist
Date Available
Output
Power
CCT
TLCI
CRI
≈Price (USD 2019)
2Profound/Blind SpotCrack LightExcellent CRI/TLCI; waterproof, South Korean manf. "Profound" distributing through "Blind Spot" company. 2019 July104Lux@1mUSB 5v5400K9997 (extended)$40
1CameTVBoltzen 55W Fresnel$2,016$300
1CameTVBoltzen AndromedaTube-style with built-in battery, barn doors and mounting points, a bit pricey but worth it for RGB$288 (3')
1YongnuoYN360RGB Light Wand$75
2YongnuoYN360II ProBicolor light wand126
1Falcon Eyes BL-30TDAputure 300D Alternative but bi-color12,000Lux@1M w/reflector3000K–8000K800
YongnuoCompetition to Westcott Ice Light
3QuasarQ-LED T8No mounting options, requires AC, no RGB95$75
4QuasarRGB
1BolingP1Small, 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,1480 Lux@.5 Meters2500K–8500K9796$159
5LedgoLG-G260
2LupoSuperpanel Dual Color 6070k lux at a meter...69,000 Lux@1m9694 (extended)$1,800
5ArriSC60-C11,000 Lux@1m$5,800
3VILTROXL116TCheap and large-ish source$31
2Aputure 120D5250 Lux@1m
2Aputure 300D1000 Lux@1M w/reflector1100
2GodoxLC 500Compare to YongNuo and Andromeda?189
2GodoxSL 200Compare to Aputure 300D and Falcon Eyes BL-30TD; loud for video360
4Digital SputnikVoyagerCool zoned RGB LED but pricey.
4AsteraAX1Tube LED with zones (similar to Digital Sputnik)9595
3AputureF7Great all-purpose cheap light3200K–9500K100

Audio Recorders

Rating (1=best)
Brand
Model
Gist
Bracket
Inputs
Channels
Built-in Mic?
Output to Camera
PC Interface
Pickup Pattern
TC Generator
≈ Price (USD 2019)
4TascamDR05Inferior pre-amps to Zoom but omni internal mic is nice for field recording.EntryYOmni80
1ZoomH1Best 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.EntryY80
9ZoomH1nUpdated H1 with better build quality.EntryYCardiod120
2ZoomF1Size and 10-pin acessory port add great flexibility. Sadly, no phantom power (not even with capsules), RF interference prone (airplane mode); mid-range quality preamps; works as USB interface to PCMid2YYY170
1ZoomF6Dual analog A>D converter party trick means 'never clip' has come to Zoom. Mid6NYY?Y?
5TascamDR60dmkIIMidYY (and works well)N200
5TascamDR-40XMidYY200
4ZoomH5Self noise improved from H4n; accessory shoe adds versatilityMid2YYYN279
3ZoomH6Self noise improved from H4n, 4 built-in inputs plus accessory shoe adds major versatilityMid4YYYN330
1ZoomF4Cheap 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 cumbersomeProNYYY450
6ZoomF8nUpdate makes headphone gain improvement,ProNYYY1000
5Sound DevicesMixPre3Don't get "M" versions for music; High quality, great analog limiters, 3rd part controller support, Android support, ProNYN650
5Sound Devices633ProN3000
9ZaxcomMaxxProN3000
10ZoomH4nMidYY
10ZoomH4n ProHas a weak pre-amp so no good with Rode NTG2MidYYY
10ZoomF8ProYYY
10ZaxcomNomadPro
10ZaxcomDivaPro
10Sound Devices688Pro
10TascamDR701DNot as great now that we have better Zoom and Sound Device alternativesMidY
10TascamDR-10LLike Zoom F1 but only a lav mic recorderMidN180
10Sound DevicesMixPre6MidYN
10Sound DevicesMixPre10tMidYY
10Juiced LinkOut of business?
10Lectrosonics
10TascamDR100mkIIIMidYY400

Microphones

Rating (1=best)
Brand
Model
Type
Gist
Channels
Pickup Pattern
≈ Price (USD 2019)
BlueSnowballUSB
1Oscar TechLav/Phone
Audio TechnicaATR3350Lav/Phone
RodeSmartLav+Lav/Phone
RodeiXyLav/PhoneFor beginners, I'd suggest just spending $80 on a Zoom H1 and practice keeping it close to the sound source.
1ZoomiQ7Lav/Phone
SennheiserME66/K6Shotgun
DeityS Mic 2ShotgunVery popular for the price
RodeNTG2Shotgun
Audio TechnicaAT8987Shotgun
1DeityD3 ProShotgunAwesome set of features and quality. Deity D3 Pro is one of the best all-purpose microphones. It has a TTRS plug for phone or camera use (with adapter)
Azden SMX-15 is superior and cheaper to Rode VideoMic Pro
Rode | MOVO | ComicaRode Video Micro; Comica VM10IIA decent, small, camera-top microphone for ENG-style shooting. Great for the price.
Audio Technica
AT2035Studio
SureShure SM7B
RodeWireless Go

Tripods

Flip-lock legs are generally faster to set up, but after a while you’ll have to tighten the flip-lock mechanism to avoid slippage, so you may want to tape the required Allen wrench discreetly to the tripod. Twist-lock legs may take a bit longer to deploy but they’re self-adjusting for wear. Fenn prefers the speed-deployment of flip-locks.

Fenn likes the single-leg tripods better than the more traditional double-leg (multiple tubes per leg section) tripods with spreaders (which are more common in video). Cameras are much lighter than they used to be and the ability to get low and to have the legs be at different heights is much more valuable. Deployment is a bit slower though and “torsional” strength is higher on the dual leg setups. Sachtler FlowTech is a cool new idea but pricey ($1k+ for legs alone).

Rating (1=best)
Brand
Model
Gist
Bracket
Inputs
Channels
Built-in Mic?
Output to Camera
PC Interface
Pickup Pattern
TC Generator
≈ Price (USD 2019)
2iFootageGazelleFenn 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.
2E-imageEK60AAM
1BenroS8
1BenroA2883FS4Very compact size of for maximum portability (legs fold back over center column)
5SachtlerAceVery poor quality

Stabilizers

Item
Price
Bit Depth
Axes
Max Weight (Kg)
Tool-less
Battery Life
Invert Mode?
LCD Visible?
Joystick?
Pros
Cons
Gist
Nebula 4000 Lite$60083N1st gen
CAME TV Single$1,0003231.2Y20 hrsNY-2 axis
CAME TV ActionGreat
Beholder MS-13
Beholder DS-1$750323High
Nebula 4200 3-axis$8993
Nebula 4200 5-axis$99951.6
Nebula 4200 Lite$79932
Pilotfly H1$711831
Pilotfly H1+$791323YNoY-1 axis
Pilotfly H2$1k

Misc

Gist
Desktop Notifications
SMS
MMS
BCC Group Text
Photo Transfer
Contact Lists
≈Price (USD 2019)
MightyTextNoNo
MightyText Pro25 peopleYesYes
Pushbullet
AirDroid
Deity Connect
Easy, quality, GUI full screen playbackVersioning for one editOptical FlowQuality built-in colorProject Management
Resolvexxxx
Premierexxx
PortKeys BM5 MonitorFocus control with Tilta Nucleus!? like Teradek$400