The Best Gear List

bullseyeIt’s difficult to decide what piece of equipment to buy, because there’s usually more than one good choice. I created this post to make your decision painless. Below you’ll find a list of equipment that I’ve determined are the very best choices in their categories. The only decision you have to make is if you should get the low-budget or high-budget option.


I will do my best to update this list any time a better option becomes available. Let’s go:

Photography and Video

The Best Hybrid Video and Still Camerasgh3_smallish
Low budget – Panasonic GH4
High budget – Sony a7R II

The Best Prime Lenses for Micro Four Thirds for Stills + Video (for use on a tripod)
Low budget – Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C. (adapter required)
High budget – Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 Nokton

The Best Lenses for Micro Four Thirds (for use on shoulder-mounts for shooting video)
Low budget – Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 with Power O.I.S.
High budget – Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 with Power O.I.S.

The Best Lenses for Nikon Full Frame DLSRs
Low budget – Nikon 50mm f/1.8D
High budget – Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED

The Best Lenses for Canon DLSRs
Low budget – Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
High budget – Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L

The Best Action Cameras
Low budget – GoPro HERO5 Session
High budget – GoPro HERO5 Black

The Best Compact Cameras
Low budget – Canon G7X
High budget – Sony RX100 V

The Best 3.5mm Mini-Plug Shotgun Mics for Camera
Low budget – Sennheiser MKE 400
High budget – Ambient TinyMic

The Best Variable ND Filter
Low budget – Light Craft Workshop Fader ND
High budget – Singh-Ray Vari-ND (read my hands-on review here)


The Best Portable Digital RecordersTascam DR-70D camera in out jacks
Low budget – Tascam DR-70D (read my hands-on review here)
High budget – Sound Devices 633

The Best Wireless Lavalier Mic Systems for Video
“Low” budget –Sennheiser G3 ew 112-p
High budget – Lectrosonics UCR411

The Best XLR Shotgun Mics for Camera and Boompolerode_ntg2_on_5d
Low budget – Rode NTG-2 (but I recommend saving up for a Rode NTG-3)
High budget – Sanken CS-3E

The Best Hyper Mics for Booming Interior Dialog
Low budget – Audix SCX1/HC
High budget – Schoeps Colette MK41


The Best Computer Audio Interfaces
Low budget – PreSonus AudioBox USB
High budget – Universal Audio Apollo

The Best Over-the-Ear Headphones
Low budget – Sony MDR7506
High budget – Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro

The Best In-Ear Headphones
Low budget – Thinksound
High budget – Shure SE535

Computers & Mobile

The Best Laptops
“Low” budget – 13″ MacBook Pro Retina (2015)
High budget – 15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The Best Hard Drives
Low budget – G-Technology G-Drive
“High” budget – Glyph GPT50

The Best Tablets
Low budget – iPad Mini 4 32GB Wi-FiiPhone 6
High budget – 9.7″ iPad Pro 128GB

The Best Smartphones
Low budget – iPhone SE 64GB
High budget – iPhone 7 256GB …seriously, pay extra for the 256GB. It’s worth it just to avoid the hassle of running out of space, and needing to delete photos, apps, etc. 


The Best Coffee Makers
Low budget – AeroPress
“High” budget – Cuisineart EM-100

Okay, so a coffee maker isn’t a piece of creative production gear, but good coffee is vital to the process. Life is far too short to drink crappy coffee.

 NOTE: Last updated on December 4th, 2016.

Published by


Writer, musician, photo taker and video maker. When not writing somewhat longish articles for this blog, I write incredibly short things on Twitter: @SamMallery

4 thoughts on “The Best Gear List”

  1. What do you recommend for an iphone 6 gear list? I am looking for a nice setup that i can use for sit downs, interviews and cool little vine and instagram videos. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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