Much of the quality of a video comes from the quality of the gear used (along with the technique to shoot the video, of course). So, to give you an idea of what quality to expect, here is my gear list:
1. Canon 60d
My main piece of gear is my DSLR body, the Canon 60D. The flip-out screen has been really useful when shooting high, low, or awkward-angle shots, so I can still see the image I’m shooting with my camera. Besides that, I use the Magic Lantern firmware on the 60D to specialize the camera for video recording. This camera also has pretty decent battery life, which is very important when shooting video all day long. The weight and feel of the 60D over the rebel series of Canon EOS cameras just feels all-around sturdier. It feels less plastic, and there is a good weight to it.
2. Canon 35mm f/2 lens
This is my first lens that I purchased and currently is my primary lens that I shoot with. The fast aperture allows for lower-light shooting, and the focal length is about the perspective of the human eye (since it is 35mm on a 1.6x crop-sensor camera, it is the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera). Also, the relatively small focus distance is very handy to achieve interesting shots with depth-of-field up close.
3. Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG OS lens
This lens is definitely for getting those longer-range shots, where I can’t get as close to the action or need to be further away while capturing footage of people of live situations. This lens includes Image Stabilization (IS), which is very important for me as a video guy. With IS turned off, 300mm is almost unusable except for on a very sturdy tripod. With IS turned on, I can zoom into 300mm while holding a monopod for some natural motion. Handheld stabilization is also possible at the wider 70mm range.
4. Manfrotto MVT502AM Tripod with 701HDV fluid video head
Any good videographer knows that a good tripod is crucial to getting good video. This tripod combines a lot of features that I look for in a tripod together. The legs are lightweight and have multi-stage double tube telescoping legs, simple lever clamps, and mid-level spreader. For me, this allows a good balance of stability and quick, easy setup. The fluid video head allows for very smooth panning and tilting with a DSLR camera, and the ball head allows for quick leveling without readjusting leg lengths.
5. Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Monopod
When recording run-and-gun style (little to no setup), my go-to choice is this monopod. It gives the fluidity of tripod, but with super-easy portability and the ability to add some natural motion to shots. This makes it compact enough for travel, but versatile enough to get the majority of This monopod is very tall, which allows for some interesting high-angle shots and helps get above a crowd during wedding receptions and similar situations. The three mini-feet at the bottom provide stability, but the gimbal head allows for slider-esque shots, and some arcing shots using the full length of the monopod.
6. Zoom H4n Audio Recorder
This audio recorder allows for two XLR or 1/4 inch inputs, which allows either shotgun or lav mics, or a stereo feed off a mixer board to be recorded to an SD card. The recorder also has stereo microphones built-in, useful for recording ambient noise or emergency backup audio. It is either battery or AC powered, which is useful for longer recording times, such as wedding ceremonies or live events. This external audio recorder is essential to recording professional-quality audio, as feeding audio straight into the camera would provide less-than-stellar results.
7. Rode NTG-2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone
I primarily use the microphone for booming, and it provides great audio at a decent price point. It can run off of phantom power (fed by the Zoom H4N) or battery power (two AA batteries). The primary advantage of a shotgun microphone is its directionality combined with the ability to hold it out of frame (either above or below with a boompole).