The 6 Best Cases To Protect Your Video Gear
Protect your video gear with this round-up of the six best cases on the market.
Top image via Shutterstock.
Filmmaking equipment is expensive. Choosing the right gear for your shoot requires careful consideration. After all, the right gear can make or break a shoot.
However, you can quickly render your gear useless if you don’t also take measures to protect it. Cases and bags to transport equipment are just as critical as the equipment itself. Because there are so many variations and different types of protective gear, deciding which pieces are right for you can get confusing quickly. Below are a variety of protective bags and cases that you can buy on the market at a relatively good price. Remember: protection is more important than style.
This bag is a stellar all-in-one choice for a one-man crew. It can accommodate two DSLRs with battery grips, or a single professional video camera. With a DSLR set up, it can house 8-10 lenses and a host of accessories. The best selling point for this case is that you can change it from a hard-shell roller into a compact backpack.
In roller mode, it can also accommodate a lightweight tripod or monopod.
While the Pro Roller offers robust protection for your equipment, it is not as durable as a solid hard case. The Vanguard Supreme 53F is compact and light enough for a lone wolf, but it also offers sufficient space for a standard gear set up. In the words of the brand itself, this case is “virtually indestructible.”
The roller comes with customizable foam, or you can buy a divider bag. If you need a case for a variety of different jobs and will likely be swapping out your gear for each one, I would recommend buying the divider bag. I have a Pelican Case 1550 that was cut specifically to house a RED ONE. I now use a different camera, and my protective case doesn’t house it very well.
This case is built to withstand extreme conditions. Waterproof up to five meters, it can withstand temperatures from 40°F/-40°C to 203°F/95°C.
Perhaps you want a dedicated case just for your camera or another piece of isolated equipment — for security or insurance purposes, for example. I mentioned that I used the Pelican 1550 to carry a RED ONE, and I kept it after parting with the camera. The reason is that it’s a solid case — one of the best, in fact. It’s waterproof, crushproof, dustproof, and corrosion-proof. I felt at ease carrying an expensive camera in this case. For extra security, it also offers two areas you can padlock. As one Amazon reviewer put it, “Pelican Cases are like portable bank vaults.”
My 1550 is large enough to store a RED ONE, a 5.6-inch RED monitor, a battery, a battery plate, and wires for those accessories. It’s not large enough for a full cinema camera kit, but it offers enough space to keep the core equipment safe.
The Pelican Protector 1300 is, essentially, a mini 1550 — perfect for gear you want to protect individually. This case is 9.87″ x 7″ x 6.12,” so it’s a lot smaller. In fact, it’s one of the smallest cases that can house a DSLR and still offer the same durability as a larger case. I use one of these to store my audio recorder and pre-amp.
Storing lights can be a pain if you don’t have sufficient storage facilities at home. I purchased the ARRI 571197 primarily so I could store my Fresnel kit in a secure location. It has a hard plastic shell and weighs thirty pounds by itself. It is a robust case, but it’s heavy. It does, however, have built-in wheels, which makes moving the lights a much easier experience.
Unfortunately, it’s not large enough for any lights bigger than a 1k. I use it to transport two 650w, one 300w, and one 150w. There’s even enough room for a few rolled up gels and gobos.
I use the 0350 to store my LED lights and everything else. It’s waterproof, dustproof, crushproof, chemical resistant, and unbreakable. It’s also stackable with other cube cases, which makes it perfect for storage at home or in a vehicle. (You’ll find images of the military using this case because it’s so large and robust.) The case itself is quite wide and will often require two people to carry it. As such, there are two handles on either side. Or you can purchase wheels separately and install them yourself.
This case offers four steel-reinforced padlock compartments. Like all pelican products, there are a variety of foam options available, but since this case is so large, you can also buy layer dividers to maximize its space. You could essentially have four layers of lenses.
The only con for this case is that you need to replace the wheels every so often. The standard wheels you can purchase aren’t the best quality; I would recommend third-party rubber wheels.
Here’s a bonus shout-out for the 0945 Memory Card Case. If you’re going to protect your equipment, why not go the extra mile and keep your media safe too? You can find options for compact flash and SD cards.
Do you have other tips for protecting gear? Let us know in the comments.