Equipment loans are granted under the assumption that Brandeis community members will return all components in good working condition. Fees for replacement or repair of components may be assessed if items are lost or damaged.

For detailed information on our equipment loan and usage policies, please see this page.

For advice about suitable gear, feel free to schedule a consultation in the lab to describe your project needs.

Standard Equipment

This equipment circulates routinely on a first-come first-served basis--no advance notice is needed and training is provided upon request.


Canon Vixia HD Camcorder (above)

Our most commonly-used camcorder, designed for quick-and-simple video shoots. Suitable for recording class presentations, video interviews, promos and skits, foreign-language projects, and many other scenarios.


  • Shoot video at resolutions of up to 1920x1080, and still photos at 2 MP
  • Select bitrates up to 35 mbps, in MP4 or AVCHD format
  • Records to SD card, with internal memory option on some models
  • Built-in microphone
  • External microphone input works with our mic kit for improved sound

Canon PowerShot

Canon PowerShot Camera (above)

This point-and-shoot still photo camera is easy to use and shoots high-resolution still images. Great for basic photography projects, and also capable of recording HD video at 720P.


  • Shoots 16 megapixel photos
  • 35mm equivalent focal length: 28-140mm
  • Shoots HD video at 720P

Zoom H2N

Zoom H2 Recorder (above)

This audio recorder is simple to use and is great for recording both voice and music.


  • Built-in condenser microphones offer different pickup patterns
  • Can record from two directions simultaneously (ideal for an interview)
  • Headphone jack and stereo-mini microphone input (allows use of external microphones)
  • Capable of recording phone conversations if paired with an audio splitter
  • Records to SD card

Mic Kit

Microphone Kit (above)

The microphones in this kit are a step up from the built-in microphones on our VIXIA camcorders and DSLR cameras. Use this kit for better control over your sound recording.


  • Stereo-mini Shotgun microphone for directional sound recording (two modes: wide and narrow)
  • Stereo-mini wired lavalier contact microphone (great for interviews)
  • Use included bracket mount with Canon Vixia, or attach shotgun mount to DSLR shoe


Tripod (above)

A tripod is a must for any extended video shoot.


  • Opteka 7000 light-duty pan-and-tilt tripod
  • Manfrotto 190XDB medium-duty tripod with 494RC2 ball head
  • Manfrotto 055XB heavy-duty tripod with 502HD fluid head

High-End Equipment

This equipment requires a training session and a reservation of at least 24 hours in advance.

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100 DSLR (above)

This DSLR camera provides extensive manual control over focus and exposure.  It is better-suited for still images than video.


  • Includes 18-55mm kit lens
  • Additional lenses available by request

Canon EOS

Canon EOS DSLR (above)

This DSLR camera is great for recording HD video on high-speed SD cards. It also shoots excellent still images, offering the same degree of manual control as our Nikon DSLRs.


  • Includes 18-135mm kit lens
  • Additional lenses available by request
  • Internal microphone for audio recording
  • Stereo-mini microphone input allows use of our microphone kit

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition (above)

A high-resolution camera, versatile because of its portability and available accessories.


  • Video resolutions up to 4K
  • 12MP photos up to 30 frames per second
  • Mounting kit allows for creative action-cam placement


Lumix Panasonic GH4 (above)

All of the features of a pro video camera bundled in a mirrorless form factor, with resolutions up to 4K.  A great choice for narrative film production.


  • Micro 4/3 video sensor for great low-light performance and depth-of-field control
  • Includes 14-140mm kit lens (additional lenses available by request)
  • Offers focus peaking and exposure meters
  • Captures 4K cinematic video (4096x2160), plus 4K UHD video (3840x2160)
  • Moire suppression and 16.05 MP Digital Love MOS sensor for high-quality, high sensitivity image recording


Lenses (above)

Though we provide a kit lens with all of our professional cameras, we offer a variety of additional lenses for various purposes.


  • Most of our lenses are Nikon (F) mount, but can be mounted to our Panasonic and Canon cameras with our provided adapters.
  • Available prime lenses (F mount): 15mm, 20mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm
  • Available zoom lenses (Micro 4/3 mount): 12-35mm. 35-100mm, 100mm-300mm

Lowel Blender 3-Light LED Kit

3-Light LED Science Kit (above)

Lightweight, compact 3 LED light kit with adjustable color temperature control.


  • Comes with 3-Uni stands, one for each LED
  • Adjustable color temperatures, between 3000K (indoor lighting) and 5000K (outdoor lighting)
  • Loaned in an easily totable slim lightbag with shoulder strap

500W Softbox Light

500W Softbox Light (above)

The Lowel Rifa-lite EX uses a simple design approach as old as the umbrella to achieve its quick and easy setup and strike capabilities.


  • 500W halogen bulb
  • Diffusion filter for soft lighting effects
  • Ideal for portraiture photos or scenarios where hard shadows are undesirable

Specialty Audio Kit

Boom Mic Kit (above)

Our boom mic kit includes a high-end audio recorder for dual-system sound.  We provide training on best practices for recording high-quality sync sound on film shoots.  You may also request a microphone stand instead of a boom pole.


  • Zoom H4 or H5 audio recorder accepts dual-channel XLR inputs
  • Boom pole allows for better placement of microphones (either manually or with tripod)
  • Rode and Sennheiser professional shotgun microphones record high quality directional sound
  • Windscreens available for outdoor recording
  • Includes studio-quality headphones and XLR cable(s)

Wired Lavalier

Professional Wired Lavalier Microphone Kit (above)

These contact mics are great for interviews.  Attach the transmitter to your talent's belt, and run an XLR cable into one of our professional camcorders or Zoom H4/H5 audio recorders.

Lav Kit

Wireless Lavalier Microphone Kit (above)

Our wireless kits transmit an audio signal over radio frequencies--tricky to set up, but great for situations when your talent is distanced from your camera and sound crew.  Each kit includes a transmitter and receiver, which can be paired with our Zoom H4/H5 audio recorders or the XLR audio ports on our professional video cameras.


  • Lectrosonics and Sennheiser models available
  • Each system uses a different radio frequency
  • Two systems may used with a single camera or audio recorder, in order to record two different voices

HD Field Monitors

HD Field Monitors (above)

These monitors connect to our cameras via an HDMI cable.  They can be run on battery power and provide a variety of video scopes to help you achieve optimal focus and exposure in the field.


  • 8-inch and 17-inch monitors available
  • Tripod-mountable
  • Can be color calibrated
  • Scopes include: Focus peaking, false color, and clip guides

Shoulder Mount

Camera Stablizers (Red Rock Shoulder Mount shown above)

We have a variety of stablizers for scenarios where a moving camera is desirable.  Our Red Rock Shoulder Mount (shown above) is the easiest to use.  We also offer the iKan Beholder and GlideCam--these require longer training sessions and more practice in order to operate effectively.


  • Shoulder Mount is quick to set-up and easy to use with a variety of cameras
  • GlideCam has counterweighted gimbal system which can be balanced to work with a variety of cameras
  • ikan Beholder Pilot has a 3-axis motorized gimbal and supports DSLR or mirrorless cameras.


Slider (above)

Learning to operate our GlideTrack slider is the easiest way to add smooth tracking shots to your videos.


  • Available in 1-meter or 2-meter lengths
  • Can be setup on a floor or table, or elevated with two tripods.
  • Supports fluid-head tripod mount for combining track movements with pans and tilts


Dolly (IndieDolly Singleman Dolly pictured above)

Learn to operate one of our dollies in order to incorporate long, smooth tracking shots into your videos.


  • Wooden 3-wheeled dolly provides easiest setup
  • IndieDolly Singleman Dolly runs on straight or curved track
  • Matthews Doorway Dolly runs on heavy-duty wheels

backdrop kit

Backdrop Kit (above)

Set up our backdrop to create a studio look for your video or for green screening.


  • Reversible stone blue/nickel muslin fabric available as 10' x 24' or 10' x 12' backdrop
  • Green screen fabric also available