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Best equipment for working from home

In this buying guide we explore the best equipment buys for working from home in the UK with a focus on video and video conferencing or vlogging. We thought we would share ideas as much of the camera gear and accessories that we stock have proven invaluable for customers home working set-ups. You will find some great gear ideas irrespective of the industry in which you work for printers, vlogging cameras, lighting as well as tripods and mounts. We link to useful articles and include video reviews, which give a better idea of some of the cameras we recommend for video conferencing and vlogging.

Best buys for working from home equipment

Table of contents

Why buy extra equipment for working from home?

With the 2020 Covid pandemic many people are finding themselves working from home here in the UK. Whilst we hope life will return to ‘normal’ in the near future, many professionals and self-employed people are responding well to home working and the benefits it can provide. Investing in new camera equipment can make a big difference to productivity as well as the quality of product promotions and live streams. Our recent article here explains How to use a camera for live streaming has been popular as many people now need to conduct meetings and sales pitches remotely.

The rise in popularity of self employment and Youtube has also opened the door to entire new industries being more active online, including of course photographers. Many popular channels are photography based and most YouTubers agree that having high quality equipment raises the production value as well as amount of viewers for their channels.

Video conferencing from home

Best all in one printers for home workers

As photographers ourselves we love printing out our images however when working from home it helps to have not only a high quality photo printer, but a model which can also scan and perform other work related functions. Here are some of our choices for the most versatile and highest quality models we currently stock.

  1. Epson Expression Photo XP-8600. One of the downsides of many all-in-one printers is the lack of multiple ink cartridges for high quality photos. Epson addressed this with a six tank model in the A4 sized XP-8600, which means it can print beautiful photographs as well as providing 3-in-1 functionality with print, scan and copy.
  2. EPSON ET-7750 Printer. The E-7750 a big step up from the XP mentioned above. It is an A3 printer which also offers 3-in-1 functionality and uses Epson EcoTank inks which provides an ultra-low-cost solution for high-quality photo printing. Being A3 size, photographers can print larger images in extremely high quality thanks to four dyes and a pigment ink.
  3. Canon PIXMA TS5150 printer. This model is an affordable 3-in-one which also provides photo prints along with simple work from home functionality. Scanning and copying might not be required everyday but these options are available for when needed.

All three of these models offer wifi connectivity which means the printer can be used by anyone in the household remotely.

Sony vlog camera

Best vlogging kits to use for videos and promotions

A vlogging kit will include everything required to start making videos straight away and we have included a choice from each camera manufacturer. Youtubers, small businesses and self employed will find these of particular interest. All options are all highly capable cameras which can be used for all other photography needs as well as for making movies, including product shots, social media images and of course leisure or travel photography. Using high quality imagery its a must for any business operating in 2020 and these models will ensure you get the quality required for any task.

  • Canon PowerShot G7X III premium vlogging kit This is an excellent choice from Canon for anyone interested in easy to use, high quality 4K video production from home. The camera produces high resolution 20.1 megapixel images and the kit has everything needed to get videos online quickly and easily including a tripod stand.
  • Fujifilm X-T200 + 15-45mm Vlogger kit We have bundled everything needed to produce beautiful videos and images into one handy vlogging kit, including the accomplished X-T200 camera. the kit includes Includes a Rode VideoMic Go which is an industry staple for high quality, affordable audio as well as the popular Joby GorillaPod Kit 1K. 
  • Nikon Z50 16-50mm Vlogger Kit. Whilst Nikon has been busy producing the latest Z7 II and Z6 II full frame cameras, their crop sensor mirrorless model actually produces fabulous quality movies and images. The kit here comes with high quality third party Manfrotto and Rode accessories for a high end solution to vlogging production and much more.
  • Panasonic Lumix S5 Camera With S 20-60mm Lens And Tripod Grip Kit. The latest full frame offering from Panasonic comes in the form of the Lumix S5 camera, which is a giant leap ahead in technology and capabilities. Adding in the S Series 20-60mm lens takes this kit to a whole other level, intended for video productions of the very highest quality.
  • Sony a6400 With E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens Kit. Together these combine as a formidable vlogging kit from Sony. With decent resolution and image quality as well as 4K video the camera and lens have everything needed for any requirements. Add the new GP-VPT2BT shooting grip which provides a versatile mini tripod and vlogging grip all in one.
  • Rotolight Ultimate Vlogging Kit. The best budget buy on this list comes in the form of the ultimate smart phone vlogging kit from Rotolight. Most of us already have a phone which is capable of HD or 4K video recording so this kit capitalises on that by providing what is needed for making high quality vlogs. Lighting and a mini tripod ensure stable, well lit productions are within easy grasp of anyone. 

Look out for some of these kits during our Black Friday sale this year as we are sure manufacturers will be extending excellent one-off deals for vloggers working in 2020.

 

Vlogging camera video reviews 

Gareth has produced a number of review videos where he looks closer at some of the cameras on our list so why not take a few minutes to see which one of these is most suitable for your business working from home?

  1.  A very useful Sony ZV-1 camera review, all done as a vlog too.
  2.  Panasonic S5 with some stunning videography to show what this camera is capable of.
  3.  An in depth review of the Sony a6400.

Lighting kit for home vlogging and video

Best lighting for vlogs, conferencing and videos

Aside from the Rotolight kit mentioned above, none of the kits come with lighting. Lights are essential as we will often be in slightly darker rooms when making videos or Zooming with a remote team. With this in mind we’ve collated a list of the top easy to use, low energy lighting solutions for the home office.

The Nanlite LumiPad25 LED Pad is a high end continuous light which can have the colour temperature adjusted. It spreads soft light evenly and uses low energy LED’s, helping to keep bills lower. Versatility is ensured with the Nanlight as it can also operate from batteries or mains power and is suitable for video and stills.

A more cost effective option comes in the form of the Godox LED170 LED video light, which can also be powered by batteries. Similarly this runs on LED’s and is most suitable for video productions from home or a small studio.

Another excellent solution from Rotolight is their Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit. With a desktop light stand, moveable head and filters this will provide perfect lighting for streams, conferencing and lighting vlogs or products.

Joby clamp and mini tripod

Clamps and tripods

This category may not sound like the ideal add-on accessory for working from home, but when recording videos or joining a meeting it can provide an easy way to stabilise lights or a camera, or both. This leaves hands free for typing and taking notes or of course gripping that essential cup of coffee.

A Sony GP-VPT2BT shooting grip with wireless remote commander is an excellent stand and camera controller for Sony users. Featuring innovative controls on the grip itself as well as being convertible into a mini tripod, we really recommend this clever bit of kit.

An option for smartphone users is the excellent Joby Griptight Gorillapod Stand Pro For Smartphones. As the name suggests this will securely hold a smartphone leaving the user free to chat on a conference. the mini tripod is extremely stable, versatile and strong enough to support an expensive phone at virtually any angle.

A Manfrotto Pixi Evo 2 Section Mini Tripod will support cameras or lights up to 2.5kg making it ideal for any of the items mentioned in this blog. the mini tripod is extremely light and stable and able to stand in a number of positions.

From legendary mini tripod manufacturer Joby is their Gorillapod 5K Video Pro Flexible Tripod With Fluid Head. This pairing has everything needed to mount a camera and smoothly pan around if you need to change angles whilst filming or attending a meeting or conference.

Fun vlogging outside home

As part of this buyers guide series readers might also be interested in our best buys for portrait photographers and best gifts for wildlife and bird photographers posts here. If you have any questions regarding any of the items mentioned here please contact our helpful staff and they will be happy to help assist.

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By Nick Dautlich on 17/11/2020