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What's in your Run and Gun Documentary Videography Kit?

Mako Sports

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I shoot sports (really just Lacrosse) and here's whats in my Kit!


Camera - Sony PXW Z90

Audio - Audio Technica AT875R with an Auray deadcat for my on camera shotgun mic, Sony UWP D11 for my wireless Lav System, and a pair of Senal SMH 1000's for my headphones.

Peripherals - SmallHD Focus SDI and a pink Blue Star EVF cover

Stabilization - Tripod (Manfrotto 502 on the Benro A373T Legs) 

Misc: 1 Foot SDI cable, 1 Foot XLR cable, SDs cards

Bags/Case - Pelican 1510 Case and the Sony LCS BP3 Backpack


Overall I've been loving this setup (Focus SDI is a very recent addition though) With the Z90 I getreally good video autofocus, XLRs, Built in NDs, 4K, 120FPS slow motion, 10 bit 422 in HD, and I don't have to fiddle around with lenses. The audio quality is good enough for someone that doesn't have a dedicated sound guy. Everything packs down nicely and the overall Kit isn't huge. I plan to upgrade the Manfrotto 502 because IMHO I don't think its a good head..

In the Coming future I would like to add an FS5 or even a FS7 if I can get it for a REALLY good price so I can get that super 35 goodness ?


So what do you guys shoot Documentary wise and whats in your kit? Please add picture like I did below.




Z90 (1 of 1).jpg




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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Yeah the whole line of Sony PXW stuff is still a pretty good way to go for a all in one solution. They have become the ENG cameras of choice now with TV, Newspaper stuff, at least around where I live. Nice kit you have.

The Only way I am going to Run is if there is a Gun pointing at me. So that is my Run N Gun. ?

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My old company used to shoot with 2 Sony PXW-X70. While I'm not a big fan of Sony's colors, those cameras are fantastic for sports, especially because of the SDI that we'd hook up to the switcher for live streaming. 

My current set up for run and gun:

GH5 with Sigma 18-35 w/ Viltrox focal reducer. 

G85 with Sigma 18-35 w/ Viltrox focal reducer when I need a second camera. 


Saramonic MixMic with Azden SGM-250CX. I got a really, really good deal on the MixMic and even though I have other XLR adapters / mixers, I appreciate the form factor on my GH5. 

Azden PRO-XD Digital Wireless Microphone System but only if I absolutely need it; even though I haven't experienced any interference when using it yet I still prefer wired mics. 

Polsen OLM-10 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone sometimes going into a Zoom H1 but usually into the camera if possible. They're very affordable but I've been pleased with the sound, especially with a few tweaks in post. 


Magnus VT-350 tripod. It's a lower budget tripod, I wish it had a better head, but it goes up to 82" giving it considerably more height than other tripods in the same price range, and can hold a pretty heavy load. 

Moza Air. Got this on sale from B & H, worth every penny. 

Cases: got a couple of decent ones that were sold at Sam's Club that were a steal for $20.

I tend to go with budget gear as long as it gets the job done. This year I've done a lot less run and gun shooting, so I've been investing that money into other stuff.

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15 minutes ago, Matthew Capowski said:

Is there a 4K ENG camera that has good stabilization (in 4K), good low light, and good AF?

Z90 is decent in lowlight, not as good as my A6300 though. If your okay with a larger form factor the Panasonic AG-UX90 might be good.

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45 minutes ago, Matthew Capowski said:

Is there a 4K ENG camera that has good stabilization (in 4K), good low light, and good AF?

The Sony PXW line goes from like 1000 bucks to 6500 bucks, depends on the models. Panasonic, JVC, all have ENG type models.

I am not too sure for the average person they are a great choice anymore. Sure TV reporter, sports people like them because they are really compact and light. A all in one, grab and go package. A lot of them are 1" sensors and the top Sony PXW 280 is now has 3  1/2" sensors in it. They have their place no doubt. That new guy on here that was going to go to Africa Should have bought one of them, not a GH5 LoL! For certain jobs they do make sense, a lot of sense.

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The Sony camcorders generally have better low light and auto focus so they're popular with sports shooters, however most ENG shooters I know still shoot with JVC and Panasonic. The Panny AG-DVX200 is very popular with my friends that shoot for the local CBS and NBC affiliates and does pretty good in low light because it has a four thirds sensor. Colors are much better than Sony's too. 

Sony though is probably the best for sports. It's why we used them for sports live streaming and events. 

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Heres my set up:

Camera - Sony a6300 with small rig cage

Lens - 18-105mm f/4 and the 35mm 1.8

Audio - Rode Video Mic Go (I don't recommend this rode) and two Tascam DR-10L.

Stabilization - $40 amazon monopod and my hands

Bag - I use the Zak Noyle camera bag by RVCA. It's water resistant and pretty durable. The guy who designed it is a surf photographer, so its great for me cause i live right by the beach and will get into surf photography soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/26/2018 at 3:12 PM, Mako Sports said:

Audio - Audio Technica AT875R with an Auray deadcat for my on camera shotgun mic, Sony UWP D11 for my wireless Lav System, and a pair of Senal SMH 1000's for my headphones.


As you're using Sony wireless on a Sony camera, you might like to look into using their smart shoe adapter. 

It might open up access to other channels of audio? It does for the Sony FS7, dunno about your lower end camera, but it is worth checking.


On 8/26/2018 at 6:25 PM, Micahproductions said:

Audio - Rode Video Mic Go (I don't recommend this rode) and two Tascam DR-10L.


Is self noise too bad on the Rode Video Mic Go? Or some other reason?

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My kit always seems to fluctuate as I shoot a lot of stills. But for now...

A-cam: Sony a73, B-cam: a6300

Lenses: 16-35/4, 28-75/2.8 (main lens, with clear image zoom I can go 1.5x magnification for a little more reach), 70-200/4, 28/2

Audio: Rode Video Micro for in cam nat sound, Sennheiser G3 wireless lav and handheld mic for interviews and off cam sound (will be adding the Sony XLR module and a shotgun at some point)

Stabilization: Manfrotto Video Monopod, Moza Air Gimbal when traveling by air, Benro S8 Carbon tripod when driving

Monitor: 5" Lilliput HDMI monitor - though I haven't integrated this into my travel workflow yet

Backpack: Lowepro Flipside Trek 450 AW, all the above fits inside with the monopod strapped to the pack, minus the Benro

If I need to shoot any wildlife or sport and I'm not flying, I also have a Sigma 150-600/MC11 combo to adapt to Sony bodies for some extra reach



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6 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Is self noise too bad on the Rode Video Mic Go? Or some other reason?

Can't speak for him, obviously, but the micro actually sounds significantly better than the Go for less money, and the Go is kinda flimsy. The Go still has decent sound but there are much better options for less at this point. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

Can't speak for him, obviously, but the micro actually sounds significantly better than the Go for less money, and the Go is kinda flimsy. The Go still has decent sound but there are much better options for less at this point. 

I have the videomicro which I use sometimes with the A6300 and its pretty good, nowhere near as good as my Senny MKE 600 but it does the trick.

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I recently used my Sony A6500 with a 35mm 1.8 (sony) for run and gun style interviews. Kit consisted of the following:

Sony A6500 w/ 35mm 1.8

Tascam DR07 MKII with clip on cheap $20 lav for main audio. Takstar (Rode Video Mic Pro copy) hooked to camera for really decent scratch audio. If this was on a boom near the subject run into cam it would be perfectly fine.

Lighting Kit consisted of availible light and Aputure 528S/198 panels. Quick and easy to get good quality.

I was very happy with how all of it turned out.

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15 hours ago, manueldomes said:

Hi @Mako Sports

What are you thinking to replace the Manfrotto 502 with and why are you unhappy with it? Need to replace my ancient video head soon and the 502 was on my list... Thanks!

Its to do with the counter balance - (its balanced for a fixed weight of 4 kilos (8.8 lbs) which means its rather jerky for tilts. Its marketed for lightweight cameras like dslrs and small camcorders but its definitely made for larger cameras like a DVX200 or a Sony PXW-Z190 not my A6300/Z90 combo. 

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I hesitated to reply to this thread because what I do isn't really Run and Gun but I figure some others may benefit.

I shoot family videos, travel videos, my kids sports games, and the odd party video.  I video what is happening as it happens, rather than making things happen for the camera, so my setups have to be able to get the shot very quickly with basically no warning.  I also film completely without permission anywhere so they need to blend in and not attract attention.

I currently have 4 setups, none of which I'm that happy with TBH!!  However, I've had some successes which are worth sharing.

My first setup is my XC10, Rode VideoMic Pro Plus, Tiffen 4-stop ND, and Gorillapod 5K (the largest one).  
I sometimes use the gorillapod but I don't take it everywhere as it's heavy and for some reason the tourist attractions that don't let tripods in also have a problem with this.  I can hand-hold and get steady shots with the IS up to about 100-150mm but getting stable shots at 240mm (the limit of the fixed zoom) or getting smooth pans requires the gorillapod.  The XC10 is a cinema camera and so has a limited range of ISO and shutter speed so I use the 4-stop ND in combination with the built-in 3-stop ND to be able to shoot in full-sun, and the combination allows me to have the sun in frame and still not blow out much of the sky.  The Rode VMP+ is great, it charges over USB, has a battery life that lasts for days and the mode where one channel has heaps less gain as a safety track has saved me more than once.
The XC10 is a wonderful camera to use, but I'm probably going to replace it as I want a shallower DoF to get a bit more depth in my shots, the AF is slow and MF ring is awful, and the high ISO performance isn't anything to write home about.

My second setup is my Canon 700D (running ML), Rode VideoMicro, also with the Gorillapod.
I only use this setup for my kids sports because the crop mode in ML makes the long kit zoom into a ~260mm-1200mm equivalent lens.  Unfortunately I've found ML RAW, and even ML 3X quality mode to be unreliable, even though the card hack is well developed for this camera and I have a semi-fast card.  I own a 50mm 1.8 and the Sigma 18-35 1.8 both of which are lovely lenses, and even if ML RAW worked reliably neither of them have IS and I work handheld but don't like the traditional hand-held look with the sharp camera shake.  It's unfortunate because ML RAW gives wonderful looking footage the combination of 18-35 and crop mode make this setup a complete walk-around setup.  

My third setup is my iPhone 8, VideoMic Me, and DJI Osmo Mobile 2.  I had the Rode VideoMic Me for previous setups which worked well and I think I'll have to look at the VideoMic Me-L which has the lightening connector, although I'm not sure if it will fit the case I have on the phone.
This setup is great, it's unassuming, does 4K60, 1080p240, both of which look great with enough light, has loads of battery life, charges over USB, has IS, phase-detect face-recognition AF, a large bright screen, and doesn't crash or have other fiddly aspects.
This is my A-cam (A for Always-with-me) and when I take a real camera (ha ha) it's my second camera.  iPhones are hugely underrated in terms of how useful they are.  When my kid got his award for playing his 50th game my wife and I both filmed on our phones giving me two angles to cut up in the edit, and at my wife's 40th my daughter filmed a lot of cool footage with her phone that also made it to the edit.
The Osmo Mobile is very new and I got it to add a gimbal into my arsenal, thinking that I'd only want gimbal shots that are wide-angle with deep DoF, so the phone would be fine.  This is for things like slow pans or tilts at scenic lookouts, the "house tour" style videos, getting time lapses from moving vehicles (useful to show a change of location), time lapses that pan/tilt, or "wow this stuff is all so beautiful".  The reality is that it's cumbersome to carry around and flops about when turned off, isn't quick to setup despite being already balanced, and loses the horizon quite a bit.  It's also a bit much considering this is mostly for my second setup.

My fourth setup is my GoPro Hero 3, either paired with waterproof housing and "bobber" mount (a handle that floats) or an open cage potentially with the Rode VideoMicro and a handle.  This is my underwater camera, and my main party camera, which makes sense because all the design challenges of filming action also apply to filming parties.

I really tried to like the 700D + ML setup because if I did then I would have replaced it with the Pocket4K which would have been better in almost every way, but I just don't think I can do that shake for every video.  I have my eye on the A7III to replace the XC10 and 700D because I can get the shallower DoF I want without compromising much else, but I'll wait until the dust settles with all the recent camera announcements and rumours.  The XC10 is a very hard act to follow in terms of ease of use and ergonomics, and if I have any doubts about upgrading I'll just keep it and wait for another year or two.  
I'd also consider getting a gimbal for my main camera instead of for the phone.

The iPhone needs an external mic to get directional sound, so it's a good setup.  The GoPro doesn't shoot 4K and doesn't have OIS, and ideally an action camera would have both but if I had to choose I'd go with IS first because you can't stabilise the blur on an individual frame in post.  4K is useful in that you can stabilise and crop in post, but I've got my eye on the Sony X3000 which seems like it will fit the bill nicely, despite being a bit older now and still a premium price.  I'll wait and see what this xmas season brings.

I hope this helps someone :)

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