Our favorite small camera setup

When traveling, a small camera setup is often necessary to get shots quickly and to avoid causing too much attention.

Our favorite setup for travel filmmaking is this small camera and this medium seized stabilizer to capture smooth tracking shots. The point-and-shoot camera is the Panasonic LX10 also known as LX15 which is very similar to the LX100 and can shoot 50 frames per second in Full HD and up to 30 fps in Ultra HD. The main reason to choose the LX10 over the older LX100 is the tiltable screen as well as the aperture of F/1.4 instead of F/1.7. Although the aperture is not fixed. It starts at F/1.4 at the wide end and when zooming in goes up to F/2.8 which is pretty great for such a compact camera and also good when filming at night or in low light.

The 3-axis camera gimbal is the Zhiyun Crane-M which is pretty small compared to most gimbals on the market right now. We’ve used it for over a year, dropped it a couple of times, filmed with it in humid and dry surroundings and never had any issues. The battery also lasts for a whole day so it’s a great fit for a small camera like the LX10.

You can watch our video about this small camera setup below in Ultra HD featuring lots of sample footage:

You can buy the camera from B&H by using this link!

Find out more about the small gimbal in our blog post with video review here!

Even though this is our favorite setup the Lumix LX10 is not perfect for everything and there are lots of reasons not to chose this camera. For example it doesn’t have a flat picture profile, it has a fixed lens which means you can’t put other lenses on the camera. It also doesn’t have an input for an external microphone and there’s also no way to mount an ND filter. Even though all these points seem to make it unusable for professional work it’s definitely a good choice as a B or C camera and when it comes to capturing shots quickly, this setup is pretty unbeatable. So if time and space is an issue this setup might be for you but if you have a lot of time and you like carrying heavy backpacks full of gear then you’re probably better off with a GH5. But don’t forget it also takes time to change lenses which often can results in missing a great shot so a camera with just one lens is sometimes the only way to go.

You can watch the whole video we shot in Bali with this setup in Ultra HD below:

Even though it’s missing a lot of features the video quality is definitely useable for professional work. We had a couple of commercial shoots were we used the GH4 and the Fuji X-T2 as our main camera and the Panasonic LX10 for gimbal shots and as long as the colors are matched in the edit the difference is not really visible.
Overall it’s amazing what small cameras can do these days and if you combine it with a good gimbal, most people couldn’t tell the difference between this and a 5.000 Dollar setup if you would just show them the result. So if your main focus is to capture great visuals quickly this compact setup is definitely something worth trying.

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