What equipment does a presenter need on the red carpet

TV Presenter to buy guide – when on the red carpet

We’ve put together a basic kit list for low-budget presenters, filmmakers, documentary makers and citizen journalists. It includes a camera, tripod, microphones, headphones and audio recorder, plus accessories. I’ve based it on mirrorless cameras, as they give plenty of creative control and you can use different lenses.

Most importany, you need to know how to use the equipment and test it works! if there is more than one of you, eg a camereman…even well known presenters know how to set-up and use a camera.


For Red Carpet Interviews The ablity to shoot full-quality HD footage is important, with 2x slow motion, and record Ultra HD 4K. Use the eye-level viewfinder while you’re filming. You can use the tilt-and-swivel touchscreen for high or low angle shots and for setting focus.

Image stabilisation and protection from the weather is also paramount when working in the media industry.


Which lenses should you choose? It depends on your style of filmmaking, and whether you’re happy changing lenses during a celebrity photoshoot. The cheapest option for creative filmmaking is to stick with the basic kit zoom and add a medium telephoto ‘prime’ (non-zooming) lens. On a tight budget, you can get good results with used manual focus primes with an adapter.

If you just want to use one lens, you could buy the camera body and add the (expensive) 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom lens. It has a constant aperture so you won’t need to adjust exposure when you zoom. It’s fast for a zoom lens, so it’s good in low light, and allows you to get creative shallow focus effects.


A tripod is essential, even with the G80 which has excellent image stabilisation for shooting handheld.


A separate microphone will make a big difference to sound quality. Your choice of microphone will depend on what kind of situations you’ll be filming. You could use a lavalier microphone clipped onto clothing, a directional microphone on the camera, or a wireless system.

On-camera microphone

If you’re shooting news and events singlehanded, you probably need an on-camera microphone. We use the directional Rode VideoMic Pro when on the red carpet at London film premieres.

Wireless kits

If you can afford it, a wireless lavalier setup is worth getting as it gives presenters and actors freedom to move around.

Audio recorder

If you’re recording live sound, you really need to be using a separate microphone and listening on headphones as you film. But the G7 and G80 don’t have headphone sockets. You can easily get around this by using an affordable audio recorder such as the Zoom H1n. Use splitter/adapters to send audio to the camera and your headphones. If the camera fails to record the audio, you’ll have a backup on the recorder which you can sync up when you edit.

The H1n has a built-in high-quality stereo microphone so you can also use it for collecting extra sounds for your production.

Other things you’ll need

Memory cards

You need fast, reliable memory cards: I buy SanDisk Extreme. I think it’s better to use several smaller cards (16Gb) rather than one big card.

Spare battery

You’ll need at least one spare battery. It’s safer to use Panasonic’s own batteries as damage caused by other copies will void your warranty, though I’ve used ExPro with no problems.

The essential kit for any red carpet to award shows to London film premieres would include a camera/video camera with tripods, lighting, a microphone and spare battery packs.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer

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