- A Small But Mighty Filter Set
- A Top-Shelf Gimbal for Video Work
- A Next-Generation Camera Cover
- A Durable (and Budget-Friendly) Camera Strap
- A Pocket-Sized LED Light
- Mirrorless Camera Upgrades Equal Upgraded Use
- How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro
- The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques
Your mirrorless camera is an incredible photography and videography tool. The capabilities of many of the current mirrorless cameras seem virtually boundless. In reality, though, they can’t do it all, not by themselves anyways. Adding some basic accessories can unlock more or your new camera’s potential.
There are several formats of mirrorless cameras: MFT, such as cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, and Blackmagic. APS-C, with cameras from Fujifilm, Nikon, Sony, Canon, and others. Full-Frame, including Panasonic, Leica, Nikon, Sony, Canon, and Sigma. And several medium format sizes from Fujifilm, Hasselblad, and others.
These accessories will fit and function on most of the mirrorless cameras. They will also fit, function, and enhance your DSLRs, too. Here are my top five picks for gadgets to upgrade your mirrorless camera.
Table of Contents:
A Small But Mighty Filter Set
The Haida M7 Filter Holder and Drop-In CPL filter is first on the list.
The Haida M7 filter system is an excellent way to have high-quality filters of several types to use on all of your different lenses regardless of the filter diameter of each lens.
A kit would include the holder itself, whatever filters you choose such as a circular polarizer (CPL) and neutral density (ND) or graduated neutral density (GND), and the lens adapters for each size needed.
Instead of buying separate screw-in filters of each type for each lens size, you can get just one each of these high-quality filters and use them on each lens.
A circular polarizer is one of the most useful items in our gear for improving our photos. Polarizers remove reflections from water, glass, plant leaves, and water vapor and dust in the sky. This results in darker skies with good contrast between sky and clouds, and it gives great color saturation and detail in landscape scenes with lots of foliage or water in the view.
There are many reasons for using Haida ND and GND filters, too. Anytime you need to reduce the exposure value of a scene or balance the light and dark areas of a scene with a huge dynamic range, a neutral density filter will come in very handy.
A Top-Shelf Gimbal for Video Work
Ikan EC1 Beholder 3-Axis Gimbal is our next item. Our new mirrorless camera likely has a superb video mode, the only thing holding us back from truly outstanding video is probably our technique.
High up on our technique concerns is camera stability. When shooting video, unnecessary camera movement during scenes can lower the appeal of our finished video. There’s not much you can do to fix that after shooting either, getting in right while filming is the best procedure.
While you likely already have a good video tripod, it’s when trying to film handheld that the issue is of greatest concern. One of the best options available for filmmakers is a gimbal stabilizer.
Ikan’s EC1 is a powered 3-axis gyro stabilizer that can hold a camera rig weighing up to 4.5 pounds. Much better than the friction type inexpensive stabilizers, the next step up from this gimbal is a SteadyCam type of stabilizer which costs more than my wife’s car.
The difference in using this gimbal than not is apparent right from the very start. Your videos will be so much smoother than simply holding it by hand could ever be. The cost is a bit more than you might have expected for a good-quality video tripod, but the payback is huge in terms of freedom of movement capturing usable footage.
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A Next-Generation Camera Cover
Camera Canopy for mirrorless cameras is such a fantastic idea, I wonder why I didn’t invent it myself! Traditional rain covers can be a little bit fiddly to work with. What makes this rain cover so good is that it isn’t a big plastic bag you stuff the camera in. It’s more like an umbrella for your camera.
Since your camera is not stuffed in a bag, you actually have clear access to all the regular controls, even a clear view of the viewscreen. My camera is water resistant, for the most part, but I’m still not comfortable with holding it under a running faucet, which is what rainstorms around here can be like.
But for a typical downpour type of rain, this canopy works great!
A Durable (and Budget-Friendly) Camera Strap
The Holdfast HF Classic Strap is one pretty strap. It comes in two widths - a wide width that distributes the weight better and a slim width that some find more fashionable.
One of the nice features of these straps is a leather shroud that fits over the stainless steel clasp. This keeps the metal away from your camera body while also adding an extra layer of security concerning the quick release.
Holdfast also makes a sling strap and a series of classic style camera bags. Most of their bags and straps are made from full-grain leather, some are made from synthetic material, depending on intended usage and style choices.
Whatever accessories you choose to buy from Holdfast, you’ll get a premium product that was hand-made in the U.S.A. And when you shoot with a small mirrorless camera, one of their hand-made HF Classic Straps is a must!
A Pocket-Sized LED Light
The LitraTorch 2.0 is a compact, battery-powered continuous LED light that is necessary for video recording since the built-in flash on your camera is not useful for video, only for still imaging.
The charge can last up to 7 hours in low power mode, about a couple of hours on high. It recharges via a USB cable. LED lights are the choice for most videographers needing portable lighting. They operate much cooler than quartz or incandescent bulbs and have a steady color balance.
The LitraTorch is also very compact. If needed, you could mount this on the camera itself by means of the accessory/hot shoe. A small bracket is another option that videographers can use to hold the light in line with the camera. Since it runs cool, you could hold the light yourself in a pinch.
As an added bonus, you can also pair this tiny light with a GoPro style action cam on a multi mount or a grip. I guess the GoPro counts as mirrorless, doesn’t it?!
Mirrorless Camera Upgrades Equal Upgraded Use
Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash
The primary reason to implement any of these upgrades is to better your ability to gather excellent video and superb still images.
Many mirrorless cameras have superior video capabilities compared to the DSLRs of the same brand. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been using your mirrorless camera, improvement is always available. Same thing applies to our still photography.
Some of these gadgets are a virtual necessity for certain styles of videography and photography. Others make using an existing capability easier to accomplish. Try them out!