All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Depending on how much you need, stocking up on camera gear can get expensive, which is why it’s nice to cut corners when you can. To help you pinch a few pennies, we searched the web to find the best camera gear that you can buy for less than $100. From tripods to lighting kits and lenses for filmmakers and photographers, see below for our list of affordable must-haves to buy online. For additional money-saving recommendations, check out our list of the best tech deals on Amazon.
Compatible with most iPhones, the ShiftCam Anamorphic Pro Lens helps you create cinematic content from your smartphone. The lens features a built-in cold shoe mount for further expansion, and each lens is tested to ensure optimum image quality, no distortion, and edge-to-edge clarity. The full package includes a lens and lens cap, a microfiber cleaning cloth, and a universal mount to attach the lens to your phone. If you’re an Android user, try the Xenvo Pro Lens.
A stable camera is essential to landing a great shot. This DSLR/mirrorless camera stabilizer features a two-hand holder design that allows you to carry a heavy camera and shoot more stably. Use it for outdoor/indoor photography, video, and activities such as skiing, auto racing, motocross, and surfing. The device has an anti-slip cell phone clamp mount for holding your iPhone or Android phone (it’s compatible with iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR 8 plus, iPhone X, and Samsung). You can also attach your GoPro or other action cameras to the stabilizer.
Bags are one of the more affordable necessities for your camera. You can typically find a wide variety of camera bags and backpacks for under $100, like this Sports Camera Bag from Madewell. Designed for travel, this update to the brand’s bestselling bag is soft and sturdy with a snap pocket in front. The Sports Camera Bag is picture-perfectly sized to hold your keys, wallet, phone, and of course, a camera. Looking for more variety? See our list of best camera bags.
Filmmakers have to pay special attention to visual aspects. The Feelworld 7″ camera monitor is a specially designed portable LCD monitor for professionals for HDV and HDSLR. It’s slim (17mm) with a 7” IPS screen that gives you the freedom to shoot just about anywhere. The monitor features a wide-viewing angle in Ultra HD (1280 x 800), and a professional peaking filter to see your picture accurately, consistently, and clearly, regardless of your position.
It’s always good to invest in a tripod. Perfect for shooting on location, the Magnus TR-13 Travel Tripod with Dual-Action Ball Head includes an Arca-type-compatible quick release plate, and a head that has a separate locking knob for the ball, and one for the 360-degree pan. There’s also a cut notch on the side of the ball head that allows you to place a camera at a 90-degree angle. The tripod has foldable legs and supports DSLR, mirrorless, and point-and-shoot cameras weighing up to 13.2 pounds.
The Geekoto tripod is great for landscape shooting, indoor/outdoor shots, night shots, and macro shooting. It features a 360-degree panoramic ball head, and weighs just over three pounds. Plus, it’s only 19” and you can use it as a tripod or a mono pod.
Whether you’re a photographer, filmmaker, or avid live streamer, lighting is extremely important. This multi-functional video lighting kit from Neewer includes two LED lights with adjustable tripods, and eight filters in red, white, blue, and yellow. The video lights, which connect through USB, are designed with 66pcs energy-efficient SMD LED bulbs. Photographers might also want to pick up this pack of collapsible light reflectors on sale for $37.
Headphones are essential to filmmaking, and Sony’s MDR-7506 headphones are among the best, budget-friendly options. Engineered for a combination of strength, comfort and practicality, the MDR-7506 professional headphones come complete with protective carry pouch and gold-plated UnimatchTM 3.5mm/6.3mm adaptor. These headphones are used daily on everything from film sets to broadcast and recording studios.