Five Tips for Finding Free or Cheap Video Equipment

3CCD Professional Camcorder


interesting read

did a short film ealrier in shanghai china, and thought it was difficult to get cheap stuff for creative personal project, surprised me people actually love to work on it for free sometimes, but it's all based on network and word of mouth.



Clark Wang

video production shanghai

Free equipment

For those who live in communities that support public access TV, check with the cable TV stations about the equipment or services they provide.  Ventura's CAPS TV provides cameras, mics, editing bays, studio time, and training to local producers for a small membership fee.  This is a non-profit organization, most cities however only have the cable TV provider to support public access.

Free equipment

Absolutly! go to your local community media center (public access TV) not only do you get a plethora of equipment to use, you get to be part of a community of videoghraphers, With new HD video cameras starting at around $150 and editing software for free, used is not always such a good deal, especially if you are not sure of what condition the stuff is in.

Don't Overlook eBay

Ed Merritt's picture

eBay is a good source of used equipment, but you will need time to research what you're after and keep checking the site.


I've purchased a Canon XH-A1, two Panasonic AG-HMC150s and a Canon 5D MKII, all at good prices. It took a few weeks of watching the autions to get a feel for the pricing, but I eventually found what I wanted. The XH-A1 looked like it just came from the store. Both of the Panasonics were like new and sold for less than one-third the new price. The 5D has over 100,000 shutter activations according to the seller, but I want it for its video capability and to try one out before commiting to DSLR videography.


Patience is needed, but it can be a good source if you know what you're bidding on.