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: