In one of my last blog posts i mentioned that throughout the autumn i was making little purchases to my kit in preparation for the up and coming winter. Here’s another couple of things which made it onto my shopping list.

Rode Videomic

One of the great features of owning a Canon 5d Mark II is the cameras ability to shoot HD video. It opens up a new world to still photographers and was an area i’ve been interested in getting involved with. The camera is great but it does come with its limitations. The sound recording from the built in microphone just doesn’t cut it so in order to produce video with good enough sound quality you need to invest in some form of external microphone. There’s a number of microphones available but  I opted for a Rode Videomic. So far i’m happy with the mic but one thing that caught me out is its size – it’s really quite big! Trying to find space in an already pretty full camera bag could prove an annoyance which i guess i’ll find out as the months move on. I’ve recently finished shooting and editing a skiing short which i’ll be able to show you shortly. I’m looking forward to the future of video, thats for sure.

Yonguno 560 Flash

Ok, the jury is still out on this one. I’ve only recently obtained a copy of this flashgun as i was intrigued with the quality of such a cheap flashgun. It’s been talked about quite a bit over on the Strobist Website and i decided to get one for myself. I think i’ll grab one more before the month is out and this winter will be the decider on light quality and product lifespan. I can talk abou the build quality though, first impressions are its built like a tank. Hopefully this addition will work well with my Alienbees which i’ve used for the last year opening up yet bigger production flash images.

Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket

This may not be the biggest addition to a camera bag, but its one of my favourites. For people who carry around a stack of memory cards then this wallet is hard to beat. The ability to hold up to ten memory cards, fit your business card in for identification as well as securely strap it wherever you choose makes this product a no brainer. One of the best £10 i’ve spent this year.

A whole bunch of ND filters

When shooting video with the Canon 5d the shutter speed you film at is generally best to be kept at double the frame rate you’re shooting at. Say for example you shoot at 24 frames per second then the speed you need to keep your shutter speed at is 1/50 second. Keep the shutter speed at a constant speed largely eliminates this as a way of controlling exposure. Controlling exposure then comes down to your ISO settings and ND Filters. These filters come at various densities and reduce the exposure meaning you can shoot with your lenses wide open in broad daylight giving a shallow depth of field all day long. A must have in any camera bag.