Simon Cade of YouTube channel DSLRguide decided that he should challenge himself to film using only inexpensive gear and things that he could find around his house. His resulting footage is surprisingly good.

He uses a Canon T3i that he received six years prior that you can purchase for a low price now. He pairs that with a 24mm f/2.8. He feels that this lens is the ideal first lens because “it’s not too zoomed in and can shoot at f/2.8, meaning it’s decent in low-light.” He then found some string and put it on the bottom of his camera. He then makes a triangle with the string attached to his feet. The tension of the string is supposed to stabilize the footage. He uses a Rode VideoMicro for the audio, attaching it to a Tascam DR-05 and to a broom pole. Finally, he lights the scene with a $12 light fixture fitted with a $3 bulb.

He blocks out all of the light in the room that he is shooting in to completely test his kit. Since the bulb he is using isn’t very powerful, Cade says the trick to get the best possible lighting is to get the light as close to the subject as possible without it being visible. However, Cade isn’t happy with the end result, believing it looks cheap, though he does note that might be the perfect look for some productions. He says that it is probably better to just invest in a more powerful light that you can bounce and diffuse, or you could use natural sunlight.

For the audio, Cade says that he’s used this boom mic broom stick setup before and that he’s always impressed with its quality, just make sure that “the microphone is fairly close to whoever is speaking and that the environment you’re recording in doesn’t have, like, cars going past or, like, noisy air-conditioning units.” He also used a drying rack with a towel hung over it to absorb some of the room’s echo.

What Cade set out to prove with this video is that using what is already around you could be a faster and cheaper way to go. “Duct tape and a bit of ingenuity can go a long way,” Cade says.

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Sean Berry
Sean Berry is a blogger and Videomaker Contributing Editor.