It’s that time of year again — our annual ProductionHUB Holiday Gift Guide! This is absolutely one of my favorite lists to put together and I always try to include something for almost every budget, for your favorite professional or even yourself!
It seems like every year there is always something new to add along with some familiar favorites that I am sure you (and I) will want to find under that tree or wherever you find your holiday cheer.
An absolute must for the cinematographer on your list, or maybe even for yourself!
Containing entirely new chapters and substantial rewrites of entries from the previous edition, this hardback book designed for on-set use is a must-have for cinematographers and other motion-imaging professionals. Here is a sneak peak of just some of the amazing content:
- Evaluating digital cameras.
- Take ownership of your sensor
- Measuring light
- Virtual production/emissive screens
- Imax/large-format cinematography
- ASC Color-Decision List (ASC CDL)
- Academy Color Encoding System (ACES)
As they say in a certain legendary movie, I feel the need for speed. Right? In today’s increasingly dynamic and competitive production space, that is truer than ever. You and me? We have to get stuff out the door! Frame.io is one central hub that lets you share media, track feedback, and streamline your workflow so you and your team can work anywhere in the world. Its integration with Premiere Pro offers Creative Cloud users the ability to collaborate, deliver dailies, and send approvals all in one place.
Adobe Camera to Cloud, powered by Frame.io, is a cloud-based workflow that lets video creators instantly upload content from on-set cameras to creative post-production teams anywhere in the world. Instead of having to send footage on hard drives to editors for the next phase of work or physically be on set to provide feedback, C2C creates an instant direct link between all key stakeholders of a project.
Adobe also recently announced the world's first in-camera to cloud workflow with new C2C integrations with RED Digital Cinema and FUJIFILM. If I can move 8K files around at speed? I’m all in.
These headphones provide fantastic sound without crushing your eardrums or your holiday cash flow. These bad boys are solid in the studio or on location with a great low end. Listen, l own several pairs of both wired and wireless headsets, but if I am either in an edit session in the legacy suite or on location, I want and need the wired set up.
The beyerdynamic DT 770s are a great value. In my opinion, they are very sturdy and well made, and sound pretty darn good. Made in Germany, they do live up to that reputation for quality and faithful reproduction. For the price point, these are a no brainer.
Matthews C-stands have been a mainstay on sets for over 50 years. Now there’s one that literally fits in your pocket. Matthews 5” Pocket C-Stand™ offers familiar features in a super-compact form, including a rugged steel build with a double riser, sliding leg and 2 fully functional aluminum grip heads with 3/16 holes.
Tiffen has the first professional light control filter kit made just for the DJI Avata drone. These lightweight filters are designed to help manage the camera aperture for ideal exposure without color shift. By offering a choice of three neutral density filters, creators can reduce light passing through the lens, resulting in more pleasing images.
The Tiffen Avata Kit comes with neutral density filters in ND8, ND16 and ND32. The ND8 yields 3-stop reduction, the ND16 a 4-stop reduction, and the ND32 cuts the light by 5 stops.
Tiffen Drone filters are made from optical glass with waterproof and scratch-proof multi-coating, which reduces reflections while maintaining clarity and color fidelity. Their filter rings are built of lightweight and durable aluminum. They simply and securely snap on and off the drone lens.
The most repeated request for the list? The Leatherman Free P4 is a real powerhouse. It's a more robust version of the P2, the P4 also includes a saw and 420HC serrated knife so you’re prepared for every job. Even with 21 tools, it weighs in at just 8.6 ounces and has a closed length of just 4.25 inches. If you work a lot on location or need an extra hand on that rare day off to go camping, the Free P4 is a definite must have. You might not want to loan it out though, because you might not get it back!
Tiffen's new DOMKE Backpack is designed to safely carry all your photography gear without slowing you down. You can take a look at some of the stats here:
- Backpack Dimensions: 19"H x 13"W x 9"D
- Insert Dimensions: 10"H x 13"W x 5"D
- External tripod holder with two buckle straps + pocket
- External mesh pocket for water bottle
- Chest strap for additional support
- A laptop sleeve that fits up to a 17" laptop
- Top divider to store quick access gear
- Gear block with a divider that can fit 1 body + 2-3 lenses
- Available in 3 Colors - Black, Brown, and Camouflage
Here is another product with a huge outdoor following. People insist I put it on the list every year, and I can see why! Can you believe GoPro has been around something like 20 years? That is simply amazing. And they keep getting even more amazing. Now you can send highlight videos sent to your phone automatically with the HERO11 Black. Its new, larger image sensor captures more of the scene with higher image quality, letting you instantly share vertical shots to social media. HyperSmooth 5.0 features Auto Boost and Horizon Lock built-in, ensuring for some very cool shots. Hero11 Black also has Night Effects let you get creative after dark, and 10-bit color. brings all your videos to life. All this and more make HERO11 Black the most powerful GoPro yet.
There are a lot of great switchers out there, but sometimes you want to dip your toes in the water before you jump into the proverbial deep end. If you have ever wanted to switch a multicamera show of you've simply outgrown your two cameras and edit like crazy set up, I think I found your nicely gift-wrapped solution right here!
The Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro HDMI Live Stream Switcher is a four-input live production switcher with an integrated control panel designed for multicamera live streaming up to HD video to the internet or broadcast applications from gaming consoles, corporate computer streams, or HD cameras. encoder. As with most Blackmagic Design products, set up of the ATEM Mini Pro HDMI Live Stream Switcher is a pretty straight-ahead deal. So, go ahead and break out those extra cameras! Time to take your productions live and up a notch.
Alright, true confession time. I have always wanted a slider and this one looks like the one I hope to find December 25th! The convincer for to give myself a slider? For me it was watching a beautiful set up and show being produced by Bloomberg on the floor at NAB NY.
Two cameras on tripods, and the third on a remote-controlled slider adding a killer shot and some really nice aesthetic movement. The slider I found from GVM lets you manage and control the motorized motion via an iOS/Android app from your smartphone or tablet. Set A to B travel points and keyframed time-lapse sessions over a wireless Bluetooth connection and capture smooth and professional-looking video and images. This belt-driven slider can be used in horizontal as well as tripod-mount inclined setups, with up to 11 lb. cameras supported horizontally. Pretty sure I’ll be getting myself an early gift.
Litepanels' Astra 6X LED Panel is a lightweight and compact fixture that delivers the brightest and most color-accurate white light in your studio or on location. Astra panels provide industry-leading reliability with automatic flicker-free performance at any frame rate or shutter angle, and at any intensity level. Astra 6X has a maximum output intensity equal to a 200W HMI fixture while drawing only 105W. With a CRI/TLCI of 95, Astra 6X's color rendition is perfect for flattering skin tones, and wrapping your subjects with unrivaled, beautiful light.
$1500 and Up
LiveU Solo PRO portable bonding encoder for live coverage, combines professional grade 4K and HEVC video quality and reliability. The Solo PRO provides a smooth streaming experience, combining up to six IP connections – four 4G/5G cellular modems, WiFi, and LAN. Easy to set up, LiveU Solo PRO can be used for any type of live event coverage, both indoors and outdoors. Solo PRO will work is the perfect tool for content creators on multiple live platforms, including Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and TikTok.
LiveU is also introducing an optional add-on streaming tools package, Solo Stream Tools, for faster go-to-live streaming productions. This cloud-based package offers a production toolbox, which includes multi-destination, simultaneously going live to multiple social platforms at the click of a button, stream fallback, allowing the switch to a predefined message, and the addition of a logo watermark.
Ok, I want to be spoiled. It IS the holidays! The Fujifilm X-H2 mirrorless digital camera (X-H2). X-H2 features the new, back-illuminated 40.2MP “X-Trans CMOS 5 HR” sensor and the high-speed “X-Processor 5”, becoming the highest resolution in the X Series lineup in both stills and videos, and an 1 APS-C camera to enable 8K/30P Apple ProRes internal recording. With the new sensor, 8K can be recorded internally at 30P in 4:2:2 10-bit color. X-H2 has a heat-dissipating design -- same as the X-H2S -- to enable recording of 8K/30P video for up to 30 minutes. X-H2 is also capable of producing high-quality 4K (4K HQ) video, which is oversampled from 8K as it is being recorded internally.
X-H2 supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT, with the option to also record ProRes 422 Proxy3 to help streamline post-production workflows when editing in 8K.
The Bonus Round
As you can see from my list above, it was darn near impossible to cull the gift guide down into something almost manageable. That said, here are a few other items I had to stuff in here. I DID say wish list, right?
Bring your checkbook…
- The Cine Lens Manual
- ShotDeck - ShotDeck is the world’s largest library of high-definition cinematic images. With their new subscription packages they’re also the perfect holiday gift for any filmmaker! https://shotdeck.com/welcome/gift
- MasterClass Gift Certificate (an absolute must)
- ARRI ALEXA 35
- ZEISS Supreme 15mm Lens
- SONY VENICE 2
- Anchor Nebula Capsule Laser 3
Hope you were able to find something on the list either for you or that special person you're giving gifts to. I'm pretty sure whatever you pick out will be a welcome surprise! All of us here at ProductionHUB want to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and joyous holiday season. See you on the set!