It’s that time of year again! Christmas is right around the corner, and whether you’re filmmaker or just looking for a gift for one, Aputure has you covered. With lights and mics in all shapes, sizes, and prices, there’s bound to be a surefire gift for your favorite filmmaker. Here are 7 Aputure stocking stuffers under $100.
*Prices are listed as of December 2017, during the Aputure Holiday Sale. Prices are subject to change.*
Light is an important aspect of every filmmaker’s vision, and while big, bright lights help to produce gorgeous images, sometimes you just need an extra portable kick to liven up your scene. The Amaran M9 was built specifically to be credit card-sized, so you can tuck it away somewhere and pull it out whenever you need it. It’s fantastic for small spaces, like car dashboards, and is fantastic for creating an eye light to breathe life into the eyes of your subject. The M9 is something that’s always handy to carry with you.
Stepping up, we have the Amaran AL-H198 and H198c which are another set of great LEDs for small setups. They come in two variants, daylight (H198) and bi-color (H198c). These panels have a lot more output than the M9s and can even be stacked side-by-side to make a larger, brighter light panel. Their small size still allows them to be tucked away in hard to reach locations or even mounted straight onto your camera for a quick, compact lighting solution. The daylight variant packs a lot more punch by using all daylight color LEDs, while the flexibility of the bi-color (H198c) variant makes it so you can match most of the common light sources you’ll find, from tungsten to daylight. You can use this from everything from an eye light to a quick fill or key light.
Another product that can step up your lighting game is a ring light like the AL-H100. This light can be mounted on top of your camera, or in front of your lens. Both give your subject an even illumination with minimal shadows, and a stunning circular eye light, giving all your photos and videos a unique look. The H100 is also good for macro photography when getting proper lighting up close and next to the lens is usually very difficult. You can choose to flash the whole ring, or just the right or left sides to add dimension to your shots.
Audio is usually an afterthought for most filmmakers, even though it makes up 50% of the video watching experience. People have shown time and time again that they are willing to deal with worse picture quality if the audio quality is still clean. The A.Lav Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone clips on to your subject’s shirt or lapel, ensuring your microphone is capturing rich sound directly from the audio source. It’s great for interviews, talking heads, vlogging, or even video conferencing. With its ability to connect to your audio recorder, camera, computer, phone, or tablet directly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a situation where you won’t be able to use it.
The A.lav ez, in comparison to the A.Lav Omnidirectional mic, is meant for people who are looking to get better audio quality right into their phones. The A.lav EZ’s TRRS connector makes it compatible with any mobile device, making it perfect for run-and-gun vlogging, films, podcasts, or even voiceovers. Its design makes it compact, portable, and very easy to use. You could use this to mic up a bride or groom at a wedding, or pretty much anyone giving a speech, and tuck the phone in their pocket to make for a lightweight audio setup that will help you get clear audio while you focus on your camera angles.
An articulating (or friction) arm is an essential piece of gear that many people often forget or don’t think about when putting together their filmmaking kit, but they’re incredibly useful. These are useful for tasks like attaching them to various clamps and use them to mount lights or microphones in otherwise difficult positions. This friction arm even comes with a cold shoe mount for the top of your camera so you can mount a monitor, light, or any other filmmaking accessory with a ¼-20 screw mount to it. It’s perfect for someone too focused on gear like lighting and lenses to remember to get the essentials.
With this assortment of camera accessories, lighting, and audio gear, there’s sure to be something to suit anyone’s needs. The holidays are just around the corner, so be sure to pick up these gifts for your favorite filmmaker while you still can!