Run and gun can be tough when you’re also trying to be cinematic. Here’s a kit I’ve been using for the last few months that allows me to be agile, creative, and low-profile. Plus, it fits in a single medium-sized SLR bag. This kit may get revised after Photokina.
Panasonic GH2 with 14-140mm kit lens (this lens offers awesome autofocus, which can be a lifesaver in fast-action environments)
I hack the firmware. Higher bitrate = more color grading options and clearer reproduction of fast motion. It’s safe and easy. This camera rocks with the hack. CAMERA HACK INSTRUCTIONS
Generic Batteries (Plan on 1-2 hrs recording time per battery. These are a good deal cheaper than the Panny batteries, but you lose the ability to monitor battery level. If the battery runs out during a shot, you lose the clip. For me, this has never been an issue because I shoot short takes, but it is something to note.)
Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (my normal lens for low light and near subjects)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (my portrait lens)
Nikon to Micro 4/3 adapter (for the Nikon lens)
Variable ND filter (for Nikon 50mm and Panasonic 14-140mm)
Variable ND filter (for Panasonic 20mm)
Step-adapter ring set (for attaching Lightcraft variable ND to Nikon and Panasonic14-140mm)
Varible ND filters allow you to decrease the incoming light and keep a wide aperture in bright light. To use the Variable ND filters: set the lens aperture to wide open, shutter at 1/50, and rotate the filter so the highlights are exposed properly.
SanDisk 64gb SDXC card (recording times will vary depending on which bitrate you use, but 2 of these babies should be enough)
On-camera LED light (dimmable and variable color temperature for indoor and outdoor environments)
Dual hot shoe adapter (for using mic and light at the same time)
Gorillapod for video (can replace a tripod for interview scenarios – just attach it to a chair and seat your subject in a chair of the same height)
Velbon Ultrastick Monopod (ultra-light, ultra-compactible, extends to 61″)
Quick release and tilt adapter for monopod (adds tilt capability)
Sennheiser MKE-400 on-camera mic (Small, fairly cheap, decent shotgun isolation)
Adapter to plug mic into GH2 (go to Radio Shack – I don’t know of a good online source)
Lav mics (2) (see instructions in the link)
NOTE: A lot of people use matte boxes, shoulder mounts, and rails. I find such things cumbersome and unnecessary for my style of shooting, but they can be essential for lens flare control and critical focus.