2017 Film and Video Production Gift Guide: Hardware

Nikon D850

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

It’s that time of year! The Holidays have arrived along with the greatest shopping day, Black Friday! And with that, comes our annual Holiday Gift Guide, with which you can get your favorite filmmaker something special. So what’s the best hardware to add to your, er, your film and video professional’s toolbox? Let’s take a look …


sony a6000
Sony A6000

Cameras. If you’re your looking get your budding Riann Johnson a camera to craft his own epic with, then there’s a lot out there to choose from. For beginners who are just looking to cut their teeth on YouTube, I suggest the Sony a6000. Not only does it have that pull up articulating screen for video logging, but it’s also extremely compact and lightweight.  With a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, it can shoot 1080p HD at 60 fps. There’s a great deal at B&H for under $700 which comes with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens, and a 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens. Great deal.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850

Moving into the 4K realm, I gotta go with the Nikon D850. If you’re going to go all out for your gift this year, Nikon’s new flagship DSLR is truly the way to go. Nikon invented DSLR video and they are back in a huge way with this camera, which not only shoots 4K at 30 fps, but is capable of 8K time lapse, and a 10 frame per second burst in either shutter or silent modes! And you can’t beat Nikkor lenses for image quality. B&H has it for a hair under $3600.


If you’re shooter is more of an action hero, then the GoPro HERO6 is a definite step up from last year’s recommendation. With a newly designed GP1 image sensor, the HERO6 shoot 4K at 60fps with remarkable dynamic range and HDR color gamut, making it a must have for any filmmaker on the go. There’s a deal right now over at B&H, where the HERO6 is just $499 with a bonus $75 gift card.

GoPro Fusion
GoPro Fusion

Or if you’re the experimental type, I’d have to suggest the GoPro Fusion 360 degree action camera. Capable of capturing 5K in the round, this brand new model from GoPro will soon be able to do “angel view,” where the camera’s selfie stick disappears in the image, and Overcapture, punching out a 1080p 2D video clip in what could be the true advantage of shooting 360. $699 with free shipping at GoPro.

RED HELIUM (image: Jarred Land via Facebook)

Lastly in cameras, if you’re going all the way, there’s the RED HELIUM 8K Cinema camera. With a 35.4MP Super35mm CMOS sensor capable of capturing 8K RedCode Raw the Helium has the highest score from DxoMark ever. $29,500 at B&H, Brain only.

iPhone X
iPhone X

Stocking stuffers, you have to look at that new iPhone X with its gorgeous, bezeless OLED screen, it has scored the second highest video rating ever, and can capture 4K at 60fps. For a mobile filmmaker, you’d be hard pressed to find a better option, especially when paired with the excellent FiLMiC Pro app [link to buy]. But if you don’t really want to spend $1000-plus for a phone, the iPhone 8 Plus has the same camera features, minus the optical image stabilization. So you get just about the same thing for a few hundred dollars less (depending on the option), and a more rugged design.

DJI Mavic Pro

Lastly, Drones. And there’s really only two choices here. The DJI Mavic Pro and the GoPro Karma for around $1,000. Both are outstanding offerings, with foldable boom motors and smart features. B&H has the Mavic in a bundle for under $905. You can get the Karma with a GoPro HERO6 for $999, or, bring your own GoPro to the party and only pay $799.

DJI Spark
DJI Spark

And for the Selfie set, you can’t go wrong with the smaller DJI Spark, which could conceivably fit into that stocking we were talking about! What a great gift from Santa at under $500. Want to practice without crashing a $1,000 drone? Then I suggest a $50 Syma X5SW. It looks like a baby DJI Phantom, but without all the auto smart features, but you can control it with your iOS or Android device, plus it comes with a 720p camera. Crash that, save your Mavic!

In our next Gift Guide, we’ll talk about some great software gifts!

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About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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