Five essential gadgets to shoot like a proAbin Bho shares his favourite gadgets he uses for filmmaking
Abin Bho started making short films with his friends as soon as he graduated high school in 2014. After dabbling in visual storytelling as a hobby for two years, while also pursuing his A Levels, he decided it was time to try his hand at the craft seriously.
So, in 2016, instead of pursuing further studies like most of his friends, he took a break from his academics and decided to follow his documentary- filmmaker father’s footsteps.
“I think I inherited my passion for filmmaking from my father,” he says.
He used his father’s Canon 5D Mark II to film Aura of the Valley—a five-minute long ‘portraiture of Kathmandu Valley’ as a part of the travel-tech startup HoneyGuide’s filmmaking competition in 2017, which he subsequently won.
That triumph made him determined to take on a career of filmmaking.
During the early days of his career, Bho borrowed 3 lakhs rupees from his friend to buy gear, then started working as a full-time freelance filmmaker. He first shot wedding videos and photographs until he was offered work with Buddha Air, to collaborate and create their advertisements. Since collaborating with the airline, Bho started receiving more projects.
While Aura of the Valley encouraged him to pursue filmmaking as a career, it was creating the introduction video for Miss Nepal 2018 Shrinkhala Khatiwada that pushed him into the limelight of the Nepali videography scene. The 20-year-old filmmaker has come a long way from experimenting with short videos on YouTube with his friends. Now, he spontaneously creates content that fulfils his clients’ desires with his own artistic style.
Bho shares a few of his favourite gadgets with the Post, some of which helped his films garner admiration across Nepal.
- Insta360 ONE X
This pocketable design 360 camera is currently Bho’s favourite gadget. It takes 360-degree pictures and videos in one shot. It depends on the user to rotate the camera at the right position to achieve the desired result, but the device provides a stunning resolution of up to 5.7K for video and 18 megapixels for photo with its dual 200 degrees ultrawide fisheye lenses of F2.0 aperture.
For Bho, the device expands a camera’s possibilities and he loves it so far.
“It enables me to view a perspective I would never get to see otherwise,” says Bho, taking the camera out of its pouch. He bought it for Rs 50,000 at Oliz Store, Kathmandu.
- Small HD Focus 1080p
Bho believes “a camera’s display is never enough.” He says only when he views his frame on a larger monitor while shooting can he can get a picture of the final product. To address such needs while shooting, Bho has employed this small HD monitor for the past year. Its touch screen comes in handy and also lets Bho apply Look Up Tables—more commonly known by its abbreviation LUTs, an algorithm used to create and save colour grading settings to apply it later—to his footages on the go.
He ordered the gadget from the US through his friend for Rs 55,000, and has been using it for the past year.
- Sony a7S II
Sony’s a7S II was Bho’s first camera, which he purchased 18 months ago for 2 lakhs 45 thousand from Hong Kong. He appreciates it for its lightweight design and low-light proficiency.
Although Bho prefers the camera for its portability and better visual performance, the battery life, he says, is a drag. Due to its low battery life, Bho owns five batteries, which approximately lasts 90 minutes each.
“Especially when I travel to cold places, it drains even more,” says Bho.
For young photographers, Bho recommends the use of Sony cameras—especially for videos—rather than other brands, for their compact yet powerful visual performance. One key piece of advice from Bho is to always “check the battery and SD card.”
- Giant Zhiyun Crane 2
Bho has owned this handheld stabiliser for a year now after purchasing it for Rs 65,000 in New Road, Kathmandu. It’s light and travel-friendly, and Bho admires it for its durability and longer battery life.
“During my many trips, I have dropped it multiple times,” says Bho. “Yet it is in good shape so far and works well.”
Sometimes Bho feels it’s an “invincible” piece kit, but he also realises he should be more careful with it.
- Sigma 24mm and 35mm F1.4
When Bho bought his 24mm Sigma lens a year ago and his 35mm Sigma lens five months ago—both for Rs 85,000—he found them to be “the sharpest lenses” he has ever used.
However, it took him some time to find lenses that suited his taste. He suggests people spend some time and experiment with whatever lens they have—it’s as necessary for shooters to connect with the lens as it is with the camera, he says.
Another lens Bho recommends is Canon's 50mm with F1.8 aperture which he bought for Rs 12,000 in New Road, Kathmandu. It’s comparatively cheaper than other lenses and provides beautiful shots.