Video Equipment

I use strictly digital equipment with a strong preference to Sony equipment.

Video Camera

My experience with the Sony PD-150 with Access Fort Wayne led me to select its newer cousin, the Sony PD-170, as my primary camera. I love its small size, its capability and its low light sensitivity. I also like its twin XLR microphone inputs. I also have a Sony 58mm telescopic lens. Everything for the camera is packed into a Kata CCC-3333 carrying case.


A good camera can provide only as good an image as the support it is resting on. I’ve seen too many videos (and edited more than a few) where the image looked good, but would look a lot better if it wasn’t so wobbly.

That’s why I use Bogen/Manfrotto tripods, specifically the 3221WN Wilderness Tripod Legs with 3460 (503) Pro Video Head. The pan and tilt action is very smooth, something I demand because I see jerky videos as a sign of a less-than-professional operation. I also added a Bogen 3502 Ball Leveller, because nothing annoys me more than off-center and off-balance videos. And because I love the way studio cameras allow the camera operator to control focus and zoom from with a remote control, I add a Bogen/Manfrotto 522 remote control handle to the tripod.


A video image is only as good as the light the image is painted with. Although I haven’t had much chance to use it, as I’ve mostly videotaped under natural light conditions, I have a Lowell DV55 Light kit. It has an assortment of lights and comes in a hard-shell case. Actually, it comes tightly packed in a hard shell case, which makes it very difficult to add any other items to it.

For close situations and also for the live action camera look, I have a Sony 30DW2 camera light.

Video Recorders

I started using the Sony VRD-MC5 DVD recorder when I got the Fort Wayne Mad Ants contract back in 2006. Part of the contract required that I give a copy of the game to both coaches and the officiating crew. Other teams were using three VHS decks but I went 21st Century and went with DVDs instead. I got one DVD recorder for the Mad Ants and then purchased a second for recording the Midwest Training Institute of Hypnosis classes: I record directly to DVD and rip the video later. Its a much cheaper way than using a couple of DSR-11 decks and tapes. Plus it has FireWire connections so I can connect it directly to the videocamera and still have access to the other video output.

I have a Sony DSR-11 DVCam VTR to save on camera wear and tear, and to have something that can handle both the miniDV and the larger DVCam tapes. I also use it on location as a backup to the MC5 DVD recorder.

Other Camera Equipment

I use a couple of pieces of equipment to make camera operation easier. For one, the Sony MDR-7506 Circumaural Closed-Back Professional Monitor Headphone is handy to hear what the microphones and camera are hearing, to monitor the camera sound levels. And since the Sony PD-170 monitor is a little small for convenient viewing at a small distance, I have a Century Optics LCD Magnifier, as otherwise I’d need reading glasses.

The short URL of the present article is: