Let's face it - photography and videography are becoming more and more intertwined with every passing year.
Years ago, I would've needed to carry a still camera and a video camera to get photos and video. Now, my Nikon D850 and my Sony a6300 fit the bill for photography and videography just fine.
So that got me thinking...
If a photographer wants to dive deeper into videography, what accessories would they need?
Here's my list of video accessories that are a must-have.
Editor's Tip: In addition to the physical accessories outlined below, if you're going to create the highest-quality videos, you need killer audio to go along with it. For that, we recommend Epidemic Sound as your source of the best tracks, albums, and sound effects. The breadth and depth of their audio selection is unparalleled and their prices are budget-friendly. Do a quick web search for "Epidemic Sound" to see what kind of deals they have going on right now!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Acratech Video Ballhead
This sturdy, lightweight tripod head from Acratech offers both pan and tilt action for video.
It has a wide range of motion that makes getting long, panning shots a breeze while providing your camera the stability it needs to get clear, sharp still photos as well.
It's a lightweight setup so you don't have to worry about lugging around a big, heavy ballhead. It can even be used as a long lens head or a panoramic head too, so it'll save you weight, space, and money!
Additionally, this rig has fully adjustable ball tension control, which means it will not shift once its tightened.
You can use this head with any standard 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 tripod, and it's compatible with Arca-Swiss type quick release plates.
The ball has no oil or grease, either, so it won't attract dirt and debris that can negatively impact lesser ballheads.
Add in a 10-year warranty, and you'll be all set with this made-in-the-USA Acratech ballhead!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Kenko Variable ND Filter
When you're shooting video on a bright, sunny day, you may well find that you have to close down the aperture - perhaps as small as it will go - to manage the exposure.
Of course, that means that the depth of field will be increased, which isn't the end of the world, but depending on the type of video you're shooting, you might want a beautifully blurred background that is best achieved by opening up the aperture.
To do so, you need a variable ND filter.
Not only does a variable ND filter block out light, thereby allowing you to open up the aperture, but it also allows you to slow down the shutter speed if need be. See what I mean in the video above by Jared Polin.
The beauty of a variable ND filter is that it's like having an entire ND filter kit in one nice, tidy little package.
The Kenko NDX Variable ND filter is an excellent choice because it is affordable compared to many other variable ND filters, yet doesn't skimp on quality.
It offers a brightness range of ND 2.5 to ND 1000, and since it's got a digital multicoating, it controls ghosting and flare.
What's more, where many variable ND filters produce the dreaded "X-effect," this one doesn't, so you get clean, crisp video footage with a beautifully blurred background.
In other words, if you want the best video, you need a variable ND filter like this one on the end of your lens!
Editor's Tip: Get Kenko’s latest updates and access to promos for discounted gear. Click here to sign up.
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Insta360 One X
Breaking away from the more tradtional video gear for a moment, I want to extoll the virtues of my new favorite toy, the Insta360 One X.
I tried the Samsung 360-degree camera when it came out (I don't even remember what it was called). But what I certainly do remember is that it was terrible.
You can imagine my trepidation with investing in another 360-degree camera, but this time, there's not a shred of disappointment. This camera is absolutely awesome!
For starters, it's so incredibly easy to use because it's tiny, fits in your hand, and has a standard tripod mount so you can slap it on a tripod, monopod, or grip.
Secondly, its dual f/2 200-degree lenses overlap to give you a true 360-degree product. In both stills and video, it gives you resolute, crisp, and sharp results.
The 1/2.3-inch sensor captures 14-megapixel stills and records 4K video at 50fps and 5.7K at 30fps. Paired with its crazy-good image stabilization system called "FlowState," this camera can produce silky smooth videos, even if you're riding a rugged trail on your bike, have it strapped to your dog as he's running around, or partaking in another activity in which the camera is bouncing around.
This camera also has a handy smartphone app that allows you to control everything from starting and stopping recording to editing to watching what you're recording in live view.
You can take HDR footage, shoot time-lapses, and even recreate the famous "Bullet Time" look from The Matrix. See how it's done in the video above by Shanil Kawol.
In other words, this camera is not only functional and fun to use, but its innovative features allow you to create some truly magical video.
Get an Insta360 One X and take your videos to the next level!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Fusion Photo Gear FPG-1005 L-Bracket
I always have an L-bracket on my camera because it makes switching from landscape to portrait oriented shots so quick and easy.
The problem with so many L-brackets is that they obstruct your ability to access the ports on your camera.
That's not the case with the Fusion Photo Gear FPG-1005...
This rig fits my Sony and Nikon cameras and has a patent-pending Tilting Bracket that affords me unfettered access to the ports on my camera by tilting away from the camera body.
It's also got a deployable attachment loop on the bottom of the bracket which flips out so you can attach a camera strap. That's just not something you see on other L-brackets.
Speaking of which, Fusion Photo Gear tests their products like no other company I know of.
Take the deployable attachment loop for example. This thing was opened and closed on a special testing machine over 100,000 times, and after all that, there was no damage or deformation to it at all.
If that doesn't speak to the quality of this L-bracket, I don't know what will!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Rode VideoMic Pro +
A great video needs great audio, and you get just that with the Rode VideoMic Pro+.
This true shotgun mic is specifically designed for use on DSLRs as a primary mic and for reference audio.
It's got a Rycote Lyre-based shock mounting system that helps dampen unwanted vibrations that can negatively affect the audio.
It also has a 1/2-inch condenser capsule that results in broadcast-quality audio. In my usage of it, I've found that its digital switching is a Godsend because it helps this little mic capture the audio signal at the source, which reduces my post-production time.
What's not to like about that?!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Motion VFX Visual Effects
Adding visual effects to your videos elevates the production quality and gives viewers a richer experience when watching your video.
I use Motion VFX for my videos because they have a huge selection of programs with a wide-range of effects for just about any scene I can dream up.
What's more, Motion VFX is easy to use, even if you aren't yet a videography master!
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Lens Distortions Sound Effects
You can't have awesome video footage, excellent audio, and cool video effects and not have equally good sound clips, right?
Lens Distortions has an incredible library of sound effects that will take your videos to the next level.
From bright and optimistic sound effects to melodic underscores to rhythmic beats, these guys have just about any type of sound effect you could possibly want.
And, like the visual effects I mentioned earlier, Lens Distortions makes it easy to get what you need and implement the effects into your video.
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Andycine a6 Lite Field Monitor
When you're out shooting video, you need to be able to clearly see what you're doing, and you can do that with the Andycine A6 Lite Field Monitor.
It's got a big, beautiful 5-inch screen that offers ultra-wide viewing angles. The screen has a polarizer film screen that results in 30 percent improvement of brightness sensitivity and 10ms quicker response time, giving you the most colorful neutral performance.
This little guy also has 4K HDMI input and output and can transfer the signal to a secondary monitor or wireless video transmission system too.
It's got a histogram and zebra exposure built-in, as well as an earphone jack, a multi-function signal input and output, and the ability to draw power from your camera, which means less cords in the way.
The arm tilts and rotates 360-degrees so you can get the best view of the monitor as well.
In other words, this little gadget is easy to use, full of features, and will help you get the best video footage.
Video Accessories That Are a Must-Have: LitraTorch 2.0
Just like you need high-quality lighting to capture a good photograph, you need high-quality lighting to get the best video footage.
Fortunately, you don't need a bunch of big, heavy, and expensive lighting gear to get that high-quality light that's so crucial for your videos.
I've been kicking the tires on the LitraTorch 2.0 - a tiny 1.5-inch square light that fits in your pocket - and I have to say that I'm uber impressed thus far.
This little light might be short on size and weight, but it's light output is an incredible 800 lumens.
Better still, its light is flicker-free and is cast in an ultra-wide angle so everything that needs to be illuminated is covered.
The LitraTorch 2.0 is as rugged as they come, too - it's completely waterproof and it's made to 810G military spec, so it's not like it's a delicate flower that you'll destroy with normal use.
This light is versatile, too.
There's multiple mounting options (magnet, standard 1/4"-20 mounts, or cold-shoe mount), it can be used for stills or videos, it can be used with GoPros and other action cameras, and it has a four-hour battery life.
This kind of light - and this quality of light - in a small, indestructible package is not a bad deal at all! See what I mean in my full LitraTorch 2.0 review.
Video Accessories That are a Must-Have: Kizoa
Of course, all this video gear is pretty meaningless if you don't have a way to put all those video clips, audio clips, video effects, and sound effects together...
That's where Kizoa comes in.
Kizoa is a cloud-based platform that gives you access to a wealth of video editing tools.
You can get the process started by using one of their professionally-designed video templates, or you can start from scratch.
Kizoa has all kinds of texts, transitions, and special effects so you can add visual appeal to your videos.
They even have a free iOS app so you can edit your videos right from your phone.
Sharing your work is easy as well, with options to email your videos, upload to social media, or download to your computer.
Best of all, it's less than $30 for a premium plan that gets you access for life. That means no monthly fees to pay over and over again.
When it comes to making quality videos, having gear like this is a must.
Just like with photography, it's not all about the gear, but being outfitted with the proper tools will only help you create awesome videos.