For any filmmaker, casual or professional, it’s important to have the right gear. But how often should you expect to replace your camera, stabilizer, lighting kit, or microphone? That depends on the type of equipment and how often you use it. Keep an eye out for any of these telltale signs it’s time to update your filming equipment.
Equipment Is Broken or Breaking
If your filming equipment is broken or unusable, that’s a clear sign that it needs to be updated. Perhaps you bought a cheap camera or tripod when you were first starting out in filming, and they no longer work. Even gear that was once of the highest caliber can still wear out and break when it gets old or is frequently used. Do yourself a favor and invest in some new, intact, and fully functional filming equipment instead.
The Manufacturer No Longer Supports Your Gear
When a product is old, it’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to drop support for that product in favor of another. A manufacturer that has dropped support for your equipment may no longer make replacement parts for the product. For computer programs or electronic devices like cameras, you may no longer receive the software updates necessary to keep your equipment running smoothly. If you own a product that has had support dropped, it’s likely that the product is outdated and needs to be replaced.
Your Gear Is Low Quality
Using low-quality gear is understandable for beginners or casual filmmakers, but once you gain a bit of experience and get serious about filming, you should consider investing in higher quality equipment. It’s especially important to have a good camera—if you notice that your camera only takes grainy shots or it just doesn’t have the features you need to be successful, upgrade to a higher quality model. If you only have basic lenses for your camera, consider purchasing a few extras that will help you to take different types of shots and improve the quality of your filmmaking. You may also have started out with basic versions of other equipment like microphones, tripods, or lights; try upgrading this equipment to record clearer audio, take shots from different angles, and light those shots even more professionally.
Technology Has Advanced
Like any other type of technology, filming technology advances quickly. That means that the perfectly good camera you bought ten years ago may now be technologically outdated. If that’s the case for you, upgrade your equipment to a newer, more advanced model. Most older technology costs more money to keep up, is more difficult to repair, and its use won’t result in as good a shot as newer technology would. While it’s certainly not necessary to update your equipment every time a new model comes out, if technology has advanced significantly and the quality of your filming is suffering due to your outdated equipment, it’s time to upgrade. You can save some money on your upgrades by purchasing slightly used gear or technology that is a generation older than the newest version.
You’ve Outgrown Your Equipment
Do you feel like your current filming equipment is holding you back? Your entry-level camera and handheld stabilizer may have been perfect for filming basic videos when you first picked up filmmaking as a hobby, but since then, you’ve learned and grown. With growth comes the need for better equipment that is more suited to your experience level and needs. Study some of the shots that your camera gear currently takes. Does any of your gear have noticeable shortcomings? Does it limit the types of shots you can take? Are you having difficulty taking shots that are as smooth and perfect as you want them to be?
Perhaps you want to try out a new style of filming, but your gear is not capable of that type of filmmaking. If your desired filming style no longer fits with the equipment you already have, either add a few new pieces to your collection to diversify your filmmaking or replace a few of the pieces you’ve completely outgrown and can no longer use.
You’re Looking for New Inspiration
Even if filmmaking is your passion, it can sometimes be difficult to find the inspiration you need to keep creating unique content. Feeling unmotivated or unsure of what project to take on next? Try purchasing yourself some new filming gear. Adding new pieces to your collection will open new doors—for example, an overhead camera rig gives you a convenient way to film from above, while a new camera lens with a different focal length will allow you to take focused shots from different distances. Perhaps the capabilities of one of your new pieces will spark your creativity, giving you the inspiration you need to create something beautiful and new.
You Want To Try a New Filming Style or Technique
To vary their work and keep things interesting, filmmakers, especially those gaining experience, will eventually want to try out new filming styles and techniques. This, however, is not always possible with inadequate equipment. Once you decide on a filming style you want to try, purchase the film equipment you need to make that happen, whether it’s a vest and arm stabilizer to capture steady moving shots, a tripod with an arm for filming from new angles, or accessories that will help you light your shots in new ways.
You’re Pursuing Professional Filmmaking
For those who have fully embraced filmmaking as a career, having access to the right equipment is of the utmost importance. As a professional filmmaker, it’s your responsibility to perform to the best of your ability by constantly improving your filmmaking methods. The way you’ll be able to do so is by upgrading your filmmaking equipment often enough and keeping it up to date.
Have you noticed any of these signs it’s time to update your filming equipment during your own filmmaking endeavors? If so, it may be time to invest in some new, upgraded gear. From overhead rigs to handheld stabilizers, Glide Gear has all the professional video gear you need to find and improve your filmmaking style. Check out our collection of rigs and other gear today.