Here we are, the holiday season is already upon us, which means that it's time for the 2021 ProductionHUB Gift Guide. The Gift Guide is one of our favorite traditions, mixing in some practicality along with those awesome gifts that you (and I) really want and deserve right?
There are always a lot of new and exciting things for us production types to check out. Let's get into them!
Gifts Under $150
Sennheiser XS Lav, $49.95
Designed for vloggers and content creators on the move, the XS Lav is an omni-directional, clip-on lavalier mic that delivers a clear, natural sound for interviews, vlogs, podcasts and more. This omni-directional lavalier microphone provides clear, natural sound. It's ideal for podcast, video and voice-over recordings that require a simple, high-quality set-up.
I really need to hear great audio and sometimes even the best earbuds just don’t cut it. For a truly timeless gift, how about a set of monitoring headphones with a legendary status? Capable of handling very high sound pressure levels and of extremely robust construction, the closed-back HD 25s perform exceptionally well in loud environments where they offer high attenuation of background noise.
Leatherman Surge, $129.95
It wouldn’t be our gift guide without a Leatherman, and this year is no exception. I have carried a Leatherman for years and I know from experience a Leatherman MultiTool is THE must have on location. But don’t loan it out cause you might not get it back! Check it out.
The Leatherman Surge is a real powerhouse, built with the largest pliers, longest multi-tool blades and easy-to-use locks. A unique blade exchanger, replaceable premium wire cutters and four outside-opening blades give you quick access to the tools you use most. The Surge was built for tough jobs and the hands that do them.
Gifts between $150-$500
I love this “new” generation of on-camera lighting options. You can get such a great amount of light and color control for relatively little money. It's a must-have in any production go bag when you are unsure of your lighting situation (or lack thereof).
The Aputure Amaran AL-MX Bi-Color LED Mini Light has an adjustable color temperature output from 2800 to 6500K in five steps. It features a metal chassis, an integrated lithium polymer battery, and can fit in your pocket. In addition to the stepped color temperature adjustment, the light also features stepped dimming. Included with the fixture is a magnetically-attached diffusion filter.
The integrated Li-Po battery charges via a USB Type-C port, and can be charged at 5 VDC drawing 0.5, 1, or 2 amps. The fixture has a built-in on/off switch and LED indicators that show you the charge status of the internal battery. The fixture also has a "boost mode" which increases the light's output by 30% for 60 seconds at a time.
GoPro HERO10 BLACK, $599.97 (Save $200 on HERO10 Black with 1-year GoPro Subscription)
I can’t tell you how many shoots I have been on that were “saved” when a GoPro was pressed into action. Some of the best “wild shots” I have ever seen could not have been accomplished without a GoPro. The latest GoPro, the GoPro HERO10 BLACK 23MP sensor and a new G2 chip design for enhanced functionality, adds more speed, performance, touch control responsiveness, and higher frame rates, rounding out this full-featured action camera. This newest model provides high-detail 5.3K60, 4K120, and 2.7K240 video and 23MP photos with updated professional settings.
I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the ATEM Mini Pro. If you or someone you know is trying to up their production capacity and look, the ATEM Mini Pro is a great choice. The ATEM Mini Pro includes all the features found in ATEM Mini, plus more! You get recording direct to USB flash disks in H.264 plus direct streaming via the Ethernet to YouTube Live and more. There's also a multiview with four cameras, media, preview and program plus status of recording, streaming and audio.
Gifts $650 and Up
You know you've been good this year if one of these “gifts” shows up on your holiday doorstep. No, I’m not hinting, but anything on this list would be so cool. Why not go big, right?
Don’t you love function AND form? The perennial award-winning Atomos Ninja V might be one of the most versatile pieces of gear you pick up as a gift for someone—maybe even yourself. The multi-award winning Atomos Ninja V 4K Recording Monitor features a bright 5.2” 10-bit HDR display with 1000 nits of output. The aluminium body is crafted for maximum durability, weighing in at just 360g and measuring only 25mm thick and easily attaches to any camera rig.
Ninja V records directly from your cameras sensor to a wide range of codecs: Apple ProRes, ProRes RAW, Avid DNx and H.265 (HEVC).This provides wide compatibility across camera types and edit software, giving you a new degree of creative control long before you press record.
Check out this list:
- 10+ Stops Dynamic Range
- Rec 709/Log SDR
- PQ/HLG HDR
- 3D LUTs .cube
Panasonic LUMIX GH5 ll, $1,699.99
I had the awesome opportunity to review the Panasonic LUMIX GH ll earlier this year and I think you will want one. I do too! Easy to use and makes some fantastic images, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 II provides a professional-quality imaging platform for shooters who demand versatile video and stills capabilities in a single compact camera. Featuring a 20.3MP Live MOS Sensor with AR Coating, the camera records DCI and UHD 4K with the full sensor area and can output 10-bit 4:2:0 internally up to 60p, or 4:2:2 at 30p. For the money? A no brainer for sure.
Nikon Z9, $5,799.95
The latest Nikon flagship camera features a Nikon-developed 45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and next generation EXPEED processing engine. The camera is also capable to record in-camera 8K video recordings for extended periods along with a future promise that upcoming Nikon Z9 firmware updates will allow this camera to record 12-bit Raw 8K/60 capture. It's been the world’s longest record time at 8K UHD 30p for more than 2 hours.
Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Pro or M1 Pro X, $Prices Vary
Like a kid looking in the Macy’s windows, I have been waiting a long time for Apple to deliver on the next generation of MacBook Pros. I have the Mac Mini M1 but am itching to get back on the road. So why the MacBook Pro?
If you look at the prior Nikon listing, the Z9 can record 8K UHD 30p for over two hours! That is a LOT of data to crunch. Depending on which version of the MacBook Pro you get, you will be a happy camper crunching away if you need to do some of the higher functions required in post. A few of my favorite features? Lots of ports are back—including a full size SD slot, along with no space bar just keys, better webcam, and lots of battery power. Great for the road warrior on your gift list!
It’s a Gift Wrap
People don’t believe me when I tell them how hard this list is to put together. From the Sennheiser headphones to the MacBook Pro, I have tried to get something for everyone onto the list. Whether it is the newcomer or seasoned professional there is bound to be something on here for you, errrr I mean the person you are buying for.
Good luck and happy gift giving!