After months of hard work, I was finally able to gather up enough financial resources to buy additional equipment for my lonesome camera. And what better place to go to than the camera central of the Philippines, Hidalgo St. in Quiapo! Everyone should already know this, but when going there to buy expensive equipment, take extra caution since the place is also known for le snatchers.
Ever since I became interested in video production, I’ve always dreamed to have my own high-tier equipment, hoping that I would be more inspired when doing projects. Problem was, our family was barely keeping up even with its basic monthly expenses, so we really couldn’t afford such gadgets.
In 2009, I saved up cash and bought a 2nd hand Panasonic DVD-camcorder via Sulit, which I used whenever I had student clients doing a school project. That was the start of my campaign.
Next upgrade would be mid-2011, when a good friend sold to me his Canon 550D via post-dated check (so I had time to save up), bundled up with an 85mm 1.8 and camera bag, at a very ridiculously low price. This was my ticket to also explore photography. What I got weren’t really high-tier when compared to those from the professional category, but it is for me since it’s good enough to take 24p cinematic videos in 1080p resolution. “With just that you could already start doing wedding and corporate videos!” is what I said to myself.
After those initial investments, I thought it’s time to upgrade a little more so I can improve the quality of service I can provide for my clients. Like what a Mr. Francis Kong said in his talk “If you don’t treat yourself well, you don’t grow, you don’t improve, how can you treat your customers well?” With that line I was able to stray away from spending for luxuries and short-term pleasures. I was burning up to expand my venture!
Anyway, here’s a list of what I’ve bought and their quick reviews! :3
CANON 50mm 1.8
Store & Price: Mayer Photo, 4000 PHP
Use: Portrait lens that’s very sharp and works wonders in low light conditions. Not to mention affordable!
18-55mm 3.5-5.6 vs 50mm 1.8
Store & Price: PinoyVideomaker Site via Sol Galang, 6500 PHP
Use: Camera-mounted shotgun microphone with integrated shock mount, outputs studio-quality audio via 3.5mm jack and operates on 9V battery. Works better if Auto-Gain Control function of the camera is turned off via 3rd party software Magic Lantern.
BENRO VIDEO TRIPOD KH-25
Store & Price: Mayer Photo, 5000 PHP
Use: Fluid head metal tripod perfect for video panning and tilting, has quick-release plate, height ranges from 712mm to 1515mm, can carry up to 5kg, and weighs 3.3kg.
YSEN LED VIDEO LIGHT KH-105S
Store & Price: Mayer Photo, 3000 PHP
Use: If the lens can’t keep up with poor lighting situation when shooting either photo or video, use this strong LED light. Also good for making your subjects cast shadows.
MERLIN BK-2 BRACKET
Store & Price: Avenue Photo Equipment, 950 PHP
Use: Grip for DSLR camera with three hotshoe mounts (LED light, microphone, etc.)
REPLACEMENT BATTERY FOR CANON 550D
Store & Price: Tayhua Trading Corp., 500 PHP
.45x WIDE ANGLE ADAPTER FOR 58mm FILTER DIAMETER LENS
Store & Price: Watson Photo Shop, 1800 PHP
Use: Emulates the function of a wide angle lens and expands the perspective the lens is attached to can usually capture, mostly used in landscape and scenery photography. On the bad side, since it’s just an adapter, your pictures will be prone to flare and ghosting.
MACRO LENS FROM WIDE ANGLE ADAPTER
Use: Also comes with the .45x wide angle adapter, you can remove the wide lens but keep the macro lens attached, to focus subjects with your current lens that you usually can’t when too close. Sample is below.
TRANSCEND 16GB CLASS 10 SD CARD
Store & Price: CDR-King, 1200 PHP
Use: Class 10 SD cards are needed to prevent buffer overruns when recording high-definition video.
CDR-KING MICRO FIBER CLOTH
Store & Price: CDR-King, 100 PHP
Use: Cleaning cloth for sensitive parts of the lens.
REPLACEMENT LENS HOOD FOR 18-55mm
Store & Price: Tayhua Trading Corp., 400 PHP
Use: Prevent flare from external light sources which can seriously degrade the image quality of photographic lenses.
Anyway, that’s everything. My next goal would be getting a camera stabilizer, slider, wide angle/fish-eye and zoom lens. But I guess that’ll be after a long while. I still have my monthly bills and everyday expenses to cover >.<
Thanks for listening to my rants! Minsan lang naman :D