Stewart & Alina
Hey! Stewart Carroll here. My wife and I run a filmmaking and photography YouTube channel called Stewart and Alina.
Starting back in 2017, we launched to show tips on how to get the most out of your gear, how to edit your footage, and of course, product reviews.
Where possible, we like to feature stunning locations. Luckily having the Scottish Highlands in fairly close proximity provides our work playground plus some serious travel and adventure vibes as well.
Confession, we are not that interested in the gear! It’s what you can do with it that really counts.
However, it’s certainly been a lot of fun looking at what it takes to create our content. Maybe one day we’ll upgrade to one of those lovely Sony A7 something cameras but in the meantime, check out our shot kit below.
Panasonic Lumix GH5 – this has to be the most dependable piece of kit we have ever had, and my love for this camera cannot be overstated.
- fantastic battery life
- zero overheating issues
- ultra-sharp 4K footage
- in-camera rack focus between user-selected A and B points
- an extended telephoto mode that takes a 4K crop of the sensor, giving you a lossless forty percent zoom (takes a 30mm prime lens to a 50mm equivalent)
- astonishing build quality (we’ve drop-tested it many times)
- MFT lenses that are light and small
- a reliable wifi connection to your phone for remote monitoring
- good OIS for handheld shooting
- the list goes on!
For shooting video, it’s fair to say that other cameras have better continuous autofocus for video, but the Panasonic GH5’s continuous AF is quite acceptable, and we don’t really use it anyway.
It is nice to have subjects pass through a plane of focus or come into and out of focus, but these are cinematic filmmaking techniques that you’ll see all the time in high-quality film or TV, so the AF limitation I mentioned has been a key factor in defining our own cinematic filmmaking style.
Panasonic Leica Summilux 15mm f/1.7 – this is a tiny lens that is pretty much the only one we use these days. On a full frame equivalent basis, we’re looking here at a 30mm focal length that’s capable of f/3.4 if we’re talking about shallow depth of field and blurry backgrounds.
This setup is perfect for filming:
- talking head YouTube videos in our studio and
- for filming close-up product shots (minimum focusing distance is 20cm)
- filming mid-shot and wide-angle on-location YouTube videos in the wilderness
- vlogging as it’s just wide enough with an outstretched arm to get a nice headshot with a shallow depth of field
Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm f/1.7 – if we are looking to make someone look awesome, this is the lens of choice! If our arms were long enough, we would vlog with this lens. This classic 85mm equivalent FOV portrait lens looks unbelievable on a gimbal.
Think hero shot parallax with swooshing rotating backgrounds that look epically cinematic. In fact, we pretty much built an entire wedding film business on this shot. Keeping focus isn’t easy, but when you get the knack for it, you’ll be making films like no other.
DJI Mini 3 Pro – DJI has exceeded all expectations with the Mini 3 Pro. How is it possible that a 4K, 10-bit flying camera can weigh two hundred and forty-nine grams and only cost this much? We have access to bigger and more expensive drones, but this is our go-to drone eighty percent of the time.
It all comes down to size and weight for us. Our drone adventures are almost always filmed in the wilderness, so they are not close to the car. This means carrying gear, and when you’re already lugging all your YouTube filming kit, less is better.
The one downfall of the Mini 3 Pro is its ability to handle extreme wind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s astonishing for its size, but the DJI Mavic 3 is much more powerful and more stable in high winds.
On a recent trip to Iceland, I was going to take the Mini 3 Pro, but thank goodness Alina convinced me to take the Mavic 3 as well. Given the winds, I wouldn’t have dared launch the Mini 3 Pro.
DJI Mic – this has to be one of the best products of 2022. Taking direct aim at the wildly successful and popular Rode Wireless Go II, the DJI Mic is absolute design perfection. For traveling, everything is housed in a rock-solid charging case.
When you open it up, the receiver’s gorgeous touch-screen display informs you how much battery life and storage is left on the two microphone transmitters.
The key feature for us is the internal recording on the transmitters. The little wireless units that you clip to your jacket to send the audio back to your camera also record a backup audio track.
The sound quality is really nice, and the fact it’s a really forgiving configuration that doesn’t clip too easily is a plus.
Insta360 X3 – the ‘shoot first, re-frame later’ capabilities of 360 cameras continue to tickle my fancy, and to be honest, I don’t know if the novelty of this will ever wear off.
I genuinely think that once technology catches up and we can have a much higher resolution and higher quality re-framed image, then this will be the future.
We are picture quality purists, so blending in action camera footage with our lovely GH5 footage can be difficult, but we need to remind ourselves that at least fifty percent of our content is consumed on a smartphone.
When it comes to filming our adventures, we love attaching a 360 camera to the bodywork of our car with a suction cup and creating epic road trip hyper lapses that are silky smooth thanks to the 6-axis stabilisation built into these cameras.
DJI Osmo Action 3 – this replaced the GoPro Hero 8 as our new favourite action camera. I have a soft spot for the Hero 8 because it was so small and reliable, introducing us to the astonishing Hypersmooth electronic image stabilisation.
With the Hero 9, 10, and 11, we have seen improvements, but the camera is now much larger, and it’s fair to say progress has been slow.
DJI did something interesting with Action 3 as rather than try and reinvent the wheel (like they did with Action 2), they’ve created the best possible action camera at the best possible price.
With 4K at 120 fps, good image quality, and guaranteed reliability, this is our current action camera of choice.
Yes, folks, we own a lot more kit than what’s listed above, but in addition to some power banks, memory cards, and other accessories, this is the core ShotKit we use to create our content!
It’s been a pleasure chatting with you.
Stewart and Alina
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