The 2019 ProductionHUB Gift Guide

Tis’ the Season for Giving!

Published on in Equipment / Tech Reviews

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is in full swing, but here we are! There are always so many great gift ideas every year, but this list was really tough. I wanted to be somewhat practical, but where is the fun in that? So, I tried as hard I could to narrow the list down to a few items that will fit nicely into your loved one's shoot bag and, for the most part, into your budget. 

Gifts under $100

The Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool $59.95

 

This bad boy has been sitting on my hip for more years than I can count. I would not go out on any location shoot without it. Location strong and reliable, it has been a grip favorite on all kinds of shoots the world over. 

The Leatherman Sidekick Multi-Tool features stainless steel construction and 14 tools including two 2.6" 420HC blades—straight and serrated; three screwdrivers; two sets of spring-action pliers/wire cutters; and a wire stripper. My favorite features include the outside-accessible blades and feature one-handed operation. This is one of the tools you don’t know you need until you need it! 

 

Aputure Amaran H198C On-Camera LED Light $39.00

 

What a great find! Haven’t you been on a shoot where you need some solid lighting, but don’t have the time or the energy? Great looking light right up on the hot shoe or handheld but not harsh at all. If I am on the run, I want this light. I've even seen these lights used as a key, a fill and both. Here are a few tech specs:

  • 198 LEDs with a CRI of 95+ to deliver bi-color illumination with high color accuracy. 

  • The light produces a 60° beam angle with a brightness of 420 - 435 lux at a distance of 3.3'. 

  • A step-less dimming dial is provided on the back of the unit for adjusting light output, and you can adjust the color temperature precisely by turning the kelvin wheel. 

  • The light can be powered by either six AA batteries or an optional Sony type battery, with four LED indicator lights on the back of the unit displaying the remaining battery life.

Audio-Technica ATH-M40x Monitor Headphones $99.00

 

For starters, I beat the heck out of headphones. Sit on them, drop them, and subject them to all kinds of harsh and unfriendly weather. So much so I refuse to spend an arm and a leg on any headphones. That’s why I love these ATs! They have good sound reproduction and reliable in the field. They conveniently fold down for travel. They sound great and I trust them to give me what I recorded. These headphones fit my style and my price point. I always keep an extra set with me on the road. Did I mention they have great sound quality?

 

Joby GorillaPod 3K  $49.95

 

This may be the coolest little tripod around. Don’t let the size fool you. The GorillaPod 3K is a beast! It can hold up to 3kg or 6.6lbs. It can bend about a thousand ways to Sunday to fit the position you want, as well as wrap around fences or poles. The included head also lets you make adjustments to the position as well as shoot in landscape or portrait mode. 

 

GIFTS UNDER $1,000

 

AJA U-TAP HDMI and U-TAP SDI $345 each
 
If you know someone who wants to capture high quality video from their laptop or workstation without any headache, AJA U-TAP HDMI and U-TAP SDI may just be the perfect gift. The USB 3.0 capture devices make it easy to bring in video across SDI and HDMI for use within a wide range of software without any drivers to install, as they’re supported directly in macOS X®, Windows® and Linux®. From video conferencing to streaming, social media, gaming and more, AJA U-TAP delivers incredibly powerful functionality in compact device.

 

Vanguard Supreme 53D Hard Case $125

Sometimes, just sometimes you need a little bit more than a camera bag to protect your most valuable asset. I know that there are those who will swear by their camera bags, but why take chances? I’ve seen bags dropped and it was sad. The Vanguard Supreme 53D is going to take good care of your camera gear.

Durable and weatherproof are words I like to hear going out to location for an extended period. The Vanguard Supreme 53D Hard Case also has an automatic pressure release valve to cope with changes in air pressure and altitude when it's taken on board an aircraft. It'll stand being submerged in depths of up to 5 meters, and on the inside, it has a removable padded insert for ensuring your gear is kept safe and snug. 

 

ProductionHUB Featured Profile  Plans starting at $275

Give the gift that keeps on giving. Buy your loved one or friend a Featured Profile for an entire year for just $699 or a 4-month TRIAL Featured profile for only $275! You'll be giving them top placement in ProductionHUB's crew and vendor listings, as well as first access to the best project leads. Call us at 877.629.4122 to gift a Featured Profile to your favorite production pro.

 

DJI Mavic Mini $399

 

The Mavic Mini goes right into the fun but still practical category. How many times have you wanted to get that drone shot but money wise it just wasn’t going to happen. The Mavic Mini from DJI is a compact drone that offers quality results with no restrictions.

Thanks to its small size, the Mavic Mini can fly where larger drones are legally not permitted, or where a drone license is required. This freedom of flight is combined with a stabilized 3-axis gimbal and sophisticated flight modes, which can achieve up to 12MP images, 2.7K Quad HD videos, and complex cinematic shots. The Mini drone features up to 30 minutes of flight time on a full battery charge. The included controller is designed to work with Android and iOS smartphones, letting you fly the drone while maintaining a low-latency HD video feed from the gimbal from up to 2.5 miles away.

 

JBL Reflect Flow $149.95

 

There are a lot of True Wireless buds out there, and—spoiler alert—none work as well as you’d like to believe. Truly wireless Bluetooth is still riddled with glitchy, unreliable audio and pairing nightmares. But somehow, the JBL Reflect Flow buds severely cut down on how often you have to deal with all these harsh realities, and that’s coupled with their deep, full sound quality and comfortable design. The best part is you get all of this for about $100 less than the rest of the high-end sport headphone options. In true JBL fashion, the Reflect Flow come in four colorways, from neon yellow to plain black, a small detail but still a customization not seen in the true wireless field quite yet.

 

Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini $295

 

Who doesn’t want a small switcher to bring along with you on shoots? The ATEM Mini from Blackmagic Design is a live production switcher designed to allow live streaming to YouTube and business presentations via Skype. Connect the ATEM Mini and switch live between four video camera inputs. With a built-in Fairlight audio mixer, the ATEM Mini makes it possible to also do live sound mixing. The internal mixer features a total of 12 channels so you get the ability to mix audio from all sources. If I have to do this stuff for a living, one of these is always going on the truck.

 

Atomos Shinobi SDI 5" 3G-SDI & 4K HDMI Pro Monitor $429

 

Double your video input options with the Shinobi SDI 5" 3G-SDI & 4K HDMI Pro Monitor from Atomos. The flexible Shinobi SDI is on-camera monitor with both 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs, supporting up to DCI 2K via SDI or up to DCI 4K via its HDMI input. It features a 10-bit (8+2 FRC) IPS screen with a brightness of 1000 cd/m², suiting it for use in both exterior and interior conditions.

 

GoPro MAX $499.99

 

Packing Max HyperSmooth, Max TimeWarp, Max SuperView—plus a single-lens HERO and dual-lens 360 camera there is no question I want one. Shooting in 6K is here. I mean I thought 4K would stick around a while but hey that's progress. If you are looking for versatility then I think you just found the best holiday present ever. Shoot single-lens HERO-style video with stabilization or capture 360 footage in 6K.

 

The dream-Big gift

RED DSMC2 BRAIN $14,950 - $54,500

 

If you could ask and get anything, I mean anything what would it be? Come on, be honest! If you could get a Porsche or a 2020 Corvette you would do it right?. So why not?  If it was getting the Red Digital Cinema DSMC2 BRAIN 35.4MP Carbon Fiber Camera with MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor you would do it without missing a beat. Why not? Check out this awesome set up.

A DSMC2 BRAIN is capable of data write speeds of 300 MB/s, can simultaneously record in REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR/HD and is offered with three sensor options. MONSTRO 8K VV RED's premier sensor provides cinematic Full Frame lens coverage and delivers 17+ stops of dynamic range. Now isn’t that better than a pony?


It’s a Holiday Wrap

So that's just a few gift ideas that I think would be mostly practical. Of course, there are lots of others too! Did you get a great nerd geek gift? I want to hear about it. Send me an email at mfoley@productionhub.com. Have a great holiday season.

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About the Author

Mark Foley
Mark Foley
Mark J. Foley, MBA BA is an award-winning producer and director and the Technology Editor for ProductionHUB.com. He is on a mission to provide the best in new equipment reviews, along with exclusive analysis and interviews with the best, the brightest and most creative minds in the entertainment and production business. Have a suggestion for a review? Email Mark at mfoley@productionhub.com.

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