I still remember the awesome gear I brought to my first CES. It was an off-brand flip camera with adjustable screen. It could do 108p 30fps, and I modded it to accept a external microphone.
It wasn’t the prettiest mod I’ve ever done, but it worked.
From there, I was a big fan of the Kodak handhelds, but all of our main content was on big cameras. For some reason, you weren’t taken too seriously if you were recording from a smaller device. Yet, 3 of my handheld camera interviews got more views than from the big 3 CCD camera – and it was heavy to haul around that show floor.
Earlier this year, I found gear that was not only smaller, it was also better than those cameras of the past. And with the right software, I can do more with these smaller cameras than with the handheld, or even iPhone.
Don’t get me wrong – The Sony Handicam will be with me in some capacity. But it will be out sparingly as I am opting for the smaller cameras. But let’s start with that one…
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Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder
This is a great camera to have. It does 4K 30fps, and can adjust to any situation. The biggest advantage over any other camera in my arsenal is it’s optical zoom, and fully manual focus (iris, shutterspeed).
Last year, I was out on the auto track, and it did a great job getting some of the car details that my other cameras just wouldn’t be able to get.
It does have a bigger price tag, but it’s a durable device. It even got knocked over, and the steel cage protected it from smashing into pieces.
DJI Osmo Pocket
I saw this camera last year at CES, and had to have it. It was problematic at first, so I only used it for select B-Roll, and timelapse video.
With firmware updates, it became a lot better. The most recent one helps with face tracking and focus, making this a lot more useable for interviews.
I can attach the 3.5 mm adapter onto the bottom, and connect my wireless microphones, or a boom mic to get more focused sound.
But the coup de grace is the Osmo Pocket Extension Rod holder. This allows me to walk around while recording. It holds the microphone, or a light to make the shot even better. It also has the controls at my thumb so I can move the camera around easily.
Only downfall is that it doesn’t have a replaceable battery. I have to make sure this device is charging when I’m not recording.
Insta360 One X Action Camera
Even though I am not happy with the support from this company, I can’t deny this is one of the best 360 cameras for my need. The Insta360 OneX is amazing for getting up to 5.7K video in ways no other camera can.
The Flowstate stabilization does a great job in keeping the video shake-free. But the best part is the software allows me to make a 4K 16:9 video and change the tracking. I can use it to follow me around, get a birds-eye view, or make it look like I have a drone flying around me.
This is one of the best B-roll cameras I have. And with the invisible selfie stick, I can get shots that look like they are floating in air.
Litra Pro On-Camera Bi-Color LED Light
When I got my first Litra LED, I was hooked. The Litra Pro is so amazing for the content that I create. It’s small, can stay on for hours on a charge, and can go from 3000K to 6000K with up to 1200 Lumens.
It is also Bluetooth controlled, so if I have it wedged up in the rafters, I can make adjustments. There are several adapters that will soften the light, but a simple diffuser is all I need to keep people from squinting.
Sony P03D Dual Wireless Lavaliere Microphone
A good wireless allows me to step away from the camera. A dual lavaliere wireless allows both myself and the guest to be hands-free. If you are looking at product, a hands-free approach will keep you from bumbling around adjusting product.
On the Sony AX700, the shoe feeds the audio right into the camera – therefore, no wires. On the DJI Osmo Pocket, this device will allow me to walk around the show without a wire going from the selfie stick.
The P03D allows for not only 2 wireless Lav signals, but I can plug my boom mic in for more sound capture. I have put mics on both sides of a room, and the boom to capture the center for a truely binaural sound.
Sennheiser MKE400 Boom Microphone
When I left my Rode at home, I had to find the nearest camera store in South Korea to get a replacement. The Sennheiser MKE400 is what I ended up with, and I was really happy with the results.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m also happy with the Rode Video Mic Pro, but the Sennheiser is half the size – and the sound is comparable.
It will work on both the Sony and DJI cameras, and like I said before, allows me to get a full sound.
I always use my phone as a last resort for recording video, streaming, and more. It will definitely have a roll in photo collection, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media collection.
If I do any streaming, it will be from my Webcaster X2. I can connect up media from the Sony or computer, and send out the interviews to Facebook, YouTube, or other services.
GL.Inet Slate Travel Router
One of my favorite travel items, the GL.iNet Slate allows me to connect 2-3 devices together. In Korea, I did some live streams using an old iPhone 7 into my computer via wireless. I could move around the area wirelessly because of it.
I can also have all my hotel WiFi traffic come through this, adding another level of security to my computers. It can be programmed for VPN, and Cloudflare DNS.
It can also be connected to the same power bank for remote usage.
It was a CES 2019 Innovation award winner.
It Looks Like A Lot, However….
This gear will allow me to be the one-man show I’ve always been since 2014. Believe it or not, with all the extra cables, and my Sirui Monopod, it’s still smaller than the gear we took back in 2009.
I will also be picking and choosing as I go, so I’ll never have all my gear on me at once.
What gear will you be using for your CES 2020 coverage? Please subscribe to keep updated on new videos, and definitely comment and like so I can continue to create content for you!