Equipment Guide

Table of Contents:

How to rent Equipment

Safety Tutorial for Advanced Equipment

Using Editing Facilities


A list of the equipment the Film Board has available is at bottom of this page, broken down by category. The most updated list of available equipment can be found on the Equipment Request Form.

How to Rent Equipment

Congratulations on becoming a member of the Film Board! You can now book and borrow our equipment. Some equipment requires a Safety Tutorial on safe and proper usage. These tutorials are different from the workshops, in that the workshops show you how to use the gear to achieve the results you want, while the Safety Tutorial simply tells you how to use the gear without hurting it or yourself. A workshop on lighting, audio or the panasonic dvx100 camera is considered a Safety Tutorial. You can learn more about workshops on the workshops page.

Requesting an equipment booking: On this website, go to the Equipment tab and select the “Current Bookings” link.  Note down what gear is available for the periods you would like. Equipment is then requested by clicking on the link Equipment Request Form link either at the top of the Current Bookings page or under the Equipment tab on the main website. Wait for an email confirmation and you can come pick up the gear during office hours on the day of your pickup. You can also borrow gear that has not been previously requested if it is available on the day of pickup.

Equipment loans and returns are done exclusively through the curators during the weekly office hours.Film Board equipment is NOT to be returned to the Hub and is NOT to be passed directly to other members. Gear also cannot be left in the edit suite.

Borrowing Periods: Equipment is borrowed for half-week periods, Monday to Thursday and Friday to Monday. Members must provide a working local telephone number if they wish to take out the equipment. A cell phone is preferred but a landline will do. Members without a working local phone number will be denied their equipment booking.

Late Policy: Members who return equipment late will be charged a late fee of $10 per item per day it is late and may have their borrowing and equipment use privileges suspended at the discretion of the technical coordinator. Use of equipment includes the editing stations. If a late return causes another member who had booked the equipment to rent equipment elsewhere, the late member will be responsible for reimbursing the affected members’ rental fees for the same item(s). This reimbursement can include the cost of a car or taxi or car rental to pick up the equipment, including parking and gas, to a reasonable amount. Reimbursement will be made through the Film Board after proper receipts have been turned in to the Technical Coordinator, and then in turn, forwarded to the affected member.

Members are responsible for ensuring equipment is returned on time. This means you must time your equipment return and pickup around issues of traffic, TTC delays, weather etc. Emails and phone messages to the curators are answered during office hours.

Loss/Damage Policy: Members who lose or damage equipment are liable for up to $2,500 in repair/replacement costs, subject to any changes in the University of Toronto insurance policy. They may also have their borrowing privileges suspended at the discretion of the technical coordinator. Members must maintain proper supervision and handling of the equipment in their care, ensuring it’s secured properly when not in use. DO NOT LEAVE THE EQUIPMENT UNATTENDED IN AN UNSECURE ROOM, VEHICLE, OR AREA.It is a very, very bad idea and you are expected to know better.

Equipment Charges: 16mm film cameras, advanced digital video cameras, and lighting kits carry a small rental charge. Visit the web site or the Film Board office for the current price list. All fees are to be paid at the time of the loan by cash, credit card, or debit.


Production equipment is normally reserved in advance through our on-line booking system. Members may borrow equipment on a “drop in” basis during office hours if equipment is available.

To reserve equipment in advance you must submit a request at the Equipment Loan Request Form”.

Members are only allowed two advanced bookings per equipment area per month. (e.g. each member can book two video cameras each month). Exceptions can be made in exchange for a reduced quota on the following month. (e.g. a member can book a video camera three times in October but then only once in November.) Advanced Reservations are possible no more than two months in advance. Reservations sheets are posted on the 1st day each month for the second forthcoming month.


Members must cancel bookings no less than 48 hours before the date of the booking in order to give other members a chance to book the equipment. Failure to cancel with 48 hours notice may result in loss of advance reservation privileges. Members who book equipment but fail to pick it up may have their advance booking privileges suspended at the discretion of the technical coordinator. Equipment reservations will be held until 10 minutes before closing unless arrangements have been made with the curators by phone. After this time, the equipment will be available on a first come, first serve basis.


A Safety Tutorial is required to use the advanced production equipment. The equipment that requires them is noted in the equipment list below. Private Safety Tutorials can be arranged at other times at a cost of $20 per tutorial. Speak to the curators several weeks in advance. Safety Tutorials for 16mm Film cameras are different from the normal Safety Tutorial and are arranged upon request and cost $20. Speak to the curators several weeks in advance.


Video editing stations are in the Film Board office.

The room key is available at the Hub. You must have your valid membership card with you in order to sign out the edit room key. You MUST NOT leave the building with the key. Any time you leave the room for more than a few minutes, even if you are still working on project, you must return the key to the Hub. Other members may need to access the room.

Room Etiquette: Members are permitted to guests in the edit suite but if other members are also trying to use the room the guests may be asked to leave. Please keep a reasonable sound level if other members are using the room.

To access the computers you need an account with a password. Speak to the curators during office hours to have an account created. Curators may not be able to create the account immediately.

Booking limits: Editing stations may be booked for a maximum 6 hours per day and a maximum of 12 hours in one week. You can use the facilities more often, on a drop-in basis, subject to availability.

Late Policy: If you are 15 minutes late for editing time you may forfeit if another member wants to use it.

Super 8 & 16mm Film Editing: Splicers, viewers, and projectors can be borrowed. Contact the Curators for details.

Editing Software Tutorials on Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere can be arranged with the Curators at a cost of $20 per hour.

Editing station use policies: Members are required to keep their editing files in their own home folders and not save them to other discs or folders. Members are encouraged to bring in their own storage hard drives if their projects are going to take up a large amount of space. The technical coordinator and curators reserve the right to remove unlabeled files that are saved outside of a member’s folder. If you must save a file outside of your folder you have to label it with your name and the date it was saved and then move it to your folder or your own hard drive within 7 days. If stray files are left too long they may be deleted at the discretion of the technical coordinator or curators. Members who are using unreasonably large amounts of space may be asked to move their files to their own portable hard drive. Members who fail to comply may have their files deleted.

Members who use the computers and/or film and video equipment for unlawful purposes in any way will have their membership immediately suspended and the situation will be passed on to police if necessary.

You can learn how to capture tapes through this video.


Video Camera & Grip

Audio Equipment

Lights, Grip & Flags

Super 8 Film Cameras & Accessories

16mm Film Cameras & Accessories

Video Camera & Grip

Editing Laptop with Adobe Premiere CS6

Rental cost: $10

The Lenovo Y580 has 16GB of RAM (so you can edit faster and larger projects), 128GB SSD (so Windows and programs load faster), 500GB of harddrive space (plenty for most projects) and a 2GB video card (to help with rendering and smoothly editing large files). It’s really useful on set to review your footage and for editing small projects quickly without having to come into the Film Board Edit Suite. Larger projects, and effects-heavy projects will still render and move faster on the big Mac Pros so you may choose to do your editing on the laptop but come into the Film Board Edit Suite for the renders.

Note: The computer is wiped after each booking. So we suggest editing your footage using a USB3 external harddrive.

Panasonic AC130 HD Camera

Safety Tutorial Required – Please watch the DVX100 video

Rental cost: $20

The AC130 is the spiritual successor to the popular DVX150 and the bigger cousin of the HMC40. A light sensitive camera with an amazing zoom lens, it records onto SD cards. One thing to watch out for is the autofocus isn’t very good so if you’re in run and gun situations, get familiar with the various tools to help the autofocus along. Just google it.

You can find out more information about the camera here.

Panasonic DVX100 Camera

Rental cost: $20

Quantity: 3

Safety Tutorial Required

User Manual

Guide video to setting up properly


The famous DVX100 fits right in the sweet spot between consumer handicams and professional monsters. A favourite of indie filmmakers, as well as many famous names, this little camera contains a lot of features not even found on more expensive cameras. This camera is standard definition (not HD), can shoot in 24P and 24PA and records onto MiniDV tapes which are available at the Film Board for $5 each in cash.

Batteries are never charged completely for sure, so be sure to put aside some time to charge them. It is recommended you reset the camera to factory settings by opening up the LCD screen and find the depressed “Reset” and press it with a bent paperclip or a pen. Be careful not to use something sharp, though. Then make notes of the settings you use for your camera so you can set the camera to them later if re-shoots are needed. After your Safety Tutorial, you might want to borrow the camera for a period and just play around with it and get comfortable with it.

To capture the footage onto a computer so you can edit it, you can use our DV Deck in the edit suite. It is sort of like a VCR. Come in during office hours to setup an account on the computers and get a quick run through of how to use it properly.

Here’s some information on white balancing properly: Article. Video. Video. Article.

A great on-camera light is the Comer Camera Light.

Note: This item cannot be used with the Velbon Light-Weight tripods.

Accessories available: wide-angle lens, macro, remote, on-camera mic holder.


Each case contains approximately these items:

  • Camera with lens cap, mattebox and viewfinder eyecup
  • 2 batteries
  • DC Cable for running camera off the wall
  • Battery charger
  • Battery charger power cord for the wall
  • Headphones

Panasonic HMC40 HD Camera

Quatity: 1

Recording onto SD cards, this is a good quality HD camera that forms the bridge between the advanced DVX100 and HMC150 and the consumer-level hard-drive cameras.

To get your data off, it’s recommended you use Adobe Premiere because it can work with the files directly without having to convert them to enormous ProRes files like Final Cut Pro. Make sure the camera is off and plug it into the USB port of the computer. It’s recommended you copy the entire contents of the drive as-is into a folder that’s appropriately titled. Format your SD card through the camera, not through the computer.

Panasonic Hard-drive Handicam

Quantity: 3


This little camera records onto a hard drive giving you hours and hours of recording time without having to change tapes. It’s a cheap consumer handicam, so it doesn’t give you anywhere near the gorgeous depth you’d expect from a better camera, but in a pinch this can be really useful such as for recording auditions, long speeches, etc.

To get your data off this camera, download MPEG Streamclip to convert the files the camera records into usable files such as “.mov” or “.avi”s or come in to our edit suite. Plug the camera into the computer using the USB cable. Plug the camera into the wall and turn it on in VCR or “View Clips” mode. Then select PC Connect on the screen. The camera should show up like a USB stick in Finder or My Computer. Open it and find the video files. You can drag them into MPEG Streamclip one at a time and then go to File>Export to (x). There’s a number of options there, so pick the one that you’re working with. Export to QuickTime or Export to DV is good for Macs and Export to DV or Export to AVI is good for PCs. You can watch this video and other related videos to get a sense of how to do this. You can also drop in during office hours or ask for help when you’re returning the camera.


Each case contains approximately these items:

  • Camera
  • 2 batteries
  • Battery charger
  • Battery charger power cord
  • DC cable for running off the wall
  • RCA cord for connecting to TV

Panasonic HD Handicam

Model: Panasonic HDC-SD80

An HD handicam that shoots onto a 64GB SD card. Amazing image stablization and manual control for iris, shutter and focus which you don’t normally find on a handicam. Touch screen setup similar to the HMC40.

Manfrotto Monopod


A monopod is great for dynamic situations. It offers greater stability than going completely handheld because added weight underneath the camera helps reduce shakiness. A monopod can also be deployed faster and more easily than a tripod, and redeployed just as fast. I’ve had situations where I’ve used it to stabilize some hand held shots and then ran somewhere else, dropped the leg and got way more stable shots than hand held could give me.

Velbon Light-Weight Tripod


Light-weight tripod that will only work for the Panasonic Harddrive handicams or the Canon Still camera. Do not use this with the Panasonic DVX100s.

Sachtler II Tripod


Great light, medium duty tripod. We’ve had many Sachtlers over the years and we’ve loved them all. Comes in great carry case.

Manfrotto Medium Weight Tripod

Quantity: 2


Reasonably light, medium duty tripod. Manfrotto is one of the top tripod manufacturers in the world and we’ve loved their tripods.

Manfrotto Heavy Duty Tripod


Ask how to get the plate off when you pick up.

This thing is the titan of our tripods. It goes really low (2 feet) and really high (over 7 feet). With a camera weight rating of 10KG (25lbs) this can handle most cameras you can throw at it.

Audio Equipment

Shotgun Mic

Quantity: 3

Safety Tutorial Required


Shotgun mics offer a great upgrade over the built in microphones on the camera. Even plugging a shotgun mic straight into the camera is a major upgrade. Check out this video for how much superior a boom is over the built-in microphone. More advanced filmmakers use a “dual-system” or “two-system” recording, where audio and video are recorded separately and then put together in post-production (editing phase). That is what those clappers or slates are for–to give a clear, sharp visual and audio cue to sync up video and audio for later.

Shotgun mics are great for recording audio in a variety of situations. They are best for outdoor recording. They come in a blimp (or zepplin) to reduce wind noise, with a fuzzy (or windsock or dead rat or windscreen or dead cat) that covers the blimp that cuts out even more of the wind noise. Check out this video for how much wind noise a blimp with a fuzzy can cut out.

For best results you want to be within at least 5 feet of the subject speaking. Shotgun mics are directional so they only pick up sounds that the mic is pointed at, similar to a camera only picking up what the lens is pointed at, however, shotgun mics cannot “zoom” and you should be around 3 feet away ideally. There are three ways to accomplish this: have someone hold the zepplin by the pistol grip and move it between the speakers (or if its just one speaker then the shotgun mic can be laid down on a desk that no one comes near but not on the floor–the vibrations will come through on the recording and damage is more easily possible to the mic), have someone using a boom pole to hang the mic over the speakers/actors and moving it as different actors speak and move, the third is if there is one stationary speaker to use our optional Mic Stand for zepplins to hold the mic in one position. Check out this video for tips on booming.

If you want to learn more about advanced audio (such as the different kinds of mics and what to use in what situations), check out the videos uploaded by this person and this video on which mics to choose when.

How to set up a single mic with the Panasonic DVX100:

  1. If you are just using one mic: plug the shotgun mic into Input 2 on the right side of the camera. Plug in headphones under the cover to the right of the battery on the back of the camera. This is to ensure you’re getting good sound. I can’t even tell you how many members didn’t do this and their audio was all unusable.
  2. Look at the front of the camera (where the lens is) and make sure Input 2 is set to “Mic” not “Line”.
  3. Open up the LCD on the left side of the camera and you’ll notice a few switches. Turn the Mic Power +48V switch for Input 2 On, this will likely be the right-most switch. This gives the mic phantom power, which is just electricity that certain mics need to work.
  4. The two switches to the left of the Mic Power are to assign different inputs to different channels (cause it records in stereo). Make sure both CH1 and CH2 are set to Input 2. This will mean that both the right and left channels will record in the same mic.
  5. Make sure that on the left side of the LCD screen it doesn’t say “ALC”. If it does you want to turn it off by pressing the Menu button, navigating down to Recording Setup and changing the Mic ALC setting to Off.
  6. With your headphones on, get a mic check from the actor/speaker. There should be a level meter on the bottom left of the LCD screen. When there is sound coming into the mic, the levels change. You want to set it so that CH1 is just behind becoming red bars in normal conversation and CH2 is about 1.5-2 short bars behind that.
  7. To do that, you must change the channel volume. Underneath the LCD screen area are two knobs for volume for each channel. Get the actor/speaker to keep talking or making noises and adjust the volume knobs so that CH1 is behind the red (so it will be loud enough without breaking up) and CH2 is lower in volume than CH1 (so that if an actor or speaker gets too loud and CH1 goes into the red meaning the audio is breaking up/distorting/clipping, you can have more options in post-production to use CH2 audio for those areas). You should be able to hear a small difference between your the two channels in your right and left ear through the headphones.
  8. All set! Feel free to ask the Curators to show you how to do this properly if you’re still confused.


All kits contain approximately these items:

  • Shotgun mic inside a zepplin with short XLR attached.
  • 2 XLRs
  • Windsock or fuzzy
  • Comb for Fuzzy
  • Headphones

Sennheiser Wireless Lapel Mics

Quantity: 2 mics in one kit


Check out this video for tips on how to setup these mics. You can also check out this video for tips.

  • 2 Transmitters w/ antenna and lav mic attached.
  • 2 Receivers w/ antenna and mini-to-XLR attached.

Wired Lapel Mic – audio-technica AT899 w/ Power module w/ XLR out

No more worrying about running out of batteries or wireless interference. Get the reliability of wires! Power module contains a battery so you don’t need phantom power or mic power.


Zoom H4n Audio Recorder

Model: Zoom H4n (for next)

Accessories available upon request: Windscreen, wired remote (with extension), mic stand adapter, hard case. This recorder can be used with a tripod (such as our Velbon Light-weight tripods) for hands-free operation using the remote.

Requires 2 AA batteries (not always included or untrustworthy) or can be wall operated.

User Manual w/ Quick Start Guide on Page 11

Software for converting 4 channel wav to standard surround sound formats & drivers to use the H4N as a mic/mixer

A wonderful little audio recorder. Great for recording a concert, an interview or audio for a dual system video/film shoot. Easy to use and comes with an 8 GB card that lasts forever. Can plug in XLR, 1/4, mini and provides phantom power. Great balance between price and performance, as well as durability.

To use with a boom mic:

  1. Turn the power on.
  2. Plug in the boom mic.
  3. Confirm stereo mode by making sure the Stereo light along the top is on.
  4. There are three bottoms on the bottom left arranged in a column. They say “Mic”, “1”, “2”. Press either 1 or 2 button.
  5. Press the menu button on the right side of the Zoom.
  6. Use the dial above the menu button to navigate to the “Input” menu. Press the dial in to select this option.
  7. Scroll down to “PHANTOM” and press the dial. Scroll to “48V” and press in the dial. The mic may work with 24V if you would like to save power, so you can try them both.
  8. Scroll to “MONO MIX” and press in the dial. Select “YES”. When plugging in a single input into the Zoom, you want that input to be available on both channels (called a mono mix) and this step makes it so.
  9. ???
  10. Profit!
  11. Remember to use headphones and record and playback to make sure you’re recording correctly.

2-Channel Field Mixer


You can use a mixer for various purposes. On a basic level, this can be used to plug 3-4 mics into the Panasonic or Marantz. A good sound recordist, though, can mix the various inputsto give you the best sounding mix of sound.

3-Channel Field Mixer


You can use a mixer for various purposes. On a basic level, this can be used to plug 3-4 mics into the Panasonic or Marantz. A good sound recordist, though, can mix the various inputs to give you the best sounding mix of sound.

Lights, Grip & Flags

Note: All lights require a Safety Tutorial to use.

Some basics on common three-point lighting, check out this and related videos. Here’s how to light an over-the-shoulder two-person interview. Another video and part 2. A list of kinds of lights and when to use them. Quick description of “light throw“.

Kinoflo Diva 400

Safety Tutorial Required


This fluorescent lamp fixture has four bulbs and provides a great soft, fill light without getting hot or using lots of electricity. Sometimes this and some reflectors are all you need for lighting a one person interview. The bulbs can be swapped from daylight colour balance to tungsten colour balance without using a filter or gel.

Kinoflo Diva 200

Safety Tutorial Required


This fluorescent lamp fixture has two bulbs and provides a great soft, fill light without getting hot or using lots of electricity. Sometimes this and some reflectors are all you need for lighting a one person interview. The bulbs can be swapped from daylight colour balance to tungsten colour balance without using a filter or gel.

Dedo Kit

Safety Tutorial Required

Models: 4 Dedo lights (100W ea.)

Arri Kit

Safety Tutorial Required

Models: Three fresnels rated 650W, 300W & 150W

Has a softbox. This video will explain more:

Lowell Kit

Safety Tutorial Required

Models: 2 Lowell Omni (500W) & 1 Lowell Tota (750W) per kit.

This video will explain more:

Assorted Light Kit

Safety Tutorial Required

Models: Big Blue (1000W) light and Big Red (650W) light

Comer Camera Light

Quantity: 1

Model: Comer CM-LBPS1800

Comer Camera Light is a light-weight camera light (doesn’t need the battery belt!) that can mounted on top of a hot shoe mount such as the DVX100 camera we have, or on the desktop stand, as well as a tripod mount. When doing run-and-gun style shoots or even doing an interview in a small space, this light can sometimes be all you need. Very powerful for what it is.

Colour Temperature: 4500K and 3200K selectable
There is also a spot/fill selectable filter.

Battery life: 2-3 hours with big battery. 1.5-2 with small battery. Wall power is also possible.

More info here.

Camera Light

Quantity: 2

Models: 150W light

Requires Arri Battery Belt found under 16mm Film Cameras & Accessories.

Dimmer Switch

RoadRags Flag Kit

Model: Matthews RoadRags Kit – 18 x 24″

Road rags are flags that are super easy to put together. You snap the frame into place and then slide your choice of cloth (flag, silk, net) onto the frame. Here’s a video or two teaching you how to do it.

Flag/Silk/Scrim Kit



You can make your own cheap reflectors by finding some tinfoil or aluminum foil and crinkling it up.

Bounce Board

A home-made number with gold foil. The gold foil reflects a warmer light on people’s faces which is great for shooting in direct sunlight where the too-intense light can wash out colours in faces. Another way to get a similar effect is to white balance to a light blue card/whatever, so the camera shifts everything it sees to a slightly warmer range (or to a light orange colour to shift everything to be a bit cooler or bluer). You can make your own bounce board by finding some white bristol board and using the matte (not shiny) side to reflect light. You can also use some aluminum foil, crinkle it up and stick it on a board.


Quantity: 4

C-Stands are one of the most versatile pieces of gear on a film set. They can be used to mount lights, reflectors, signs, flags, silks, scrims, nets, mics and sometimes even cameras (though we don’t recommend using a C-stand for cameras, lights or mics–the damage potential is too high and you’re liable for it). Remember, always use with a sandbag! Orient one of the legs to be in line with the gobo arm so that the weight of the mounted item is on the leg making the C-stand less likely to fall.

Videos on when and how to use one or more: First one. Second one.


Bags full of dirt. Pretty simple but pretty damn handy on set. A must for c-stand usage, but also recommended for the heavier lights such as the Arri or Kino Flos. Sandbags help prevent lights from being knocked over by people or simple weight distribution.

Apple Box

Quantity: Full – 3, Half – 1

Apple Boxes are used to raise actors or things off the ground, such as to make two actors of different heights match up (such as if a 6’4″ man and 5’2″ woman need to kiss). Tom Cruise loves these things.

Super 8 Film Cameras & Accessories

Super 8 Film is sold at the Film Board during office hours.

Minolta D12

Minolta D10

Minolta XLS 42

Canon 814E

Canon 310 XL

Elmo 350 SL

Elmo 311 XL

Chinon Pocket 8

Bolex 563 XL

Nizo S480

Sankyo XL 255

Argus Cosina 706

Chinon 506 SM XL

Gaf S/86 “Special”

Guillotine Splicer

Quantity: 2

Fuji Splicer

Quantity: 2


16mm Film Cameras & Accessories

16mm Film is sold at the Film Board during office hours.

Arriflex 16 BL

Safety Tutorial required. However, this is the different from the normal Safety Tutorial and must be setup in person with our 16mm expert. Email to setup a time.

Weight of Camera: 19.35 lbs (8.78 kg)

Arri Battery Belt

Bolex H16

Safety Tutorial required. However, this is the different from the normal Safety Tutorial and must be setup in person with our 16mm expert. Email to setup a time.

Manual 1
Manual 2
Quick Reference
Bolex controls quick reference

Bell & Howell

Safety Tutorial required. However, this is the different from the normal Safety Tutorial and must be setup in person with our 16mm expert. Email to setup a time.

O’Connor Fluid Head and Legs

Safety Tutorial required. However, this is the different from the normal Safety Tutorial and must be setup in person with our 16mm expert. Email to setup a time.

Change Bag

Light Meter


Gray Card

Edit Suite

How to capture tapes onto the computers video.

Mac Pro

Quantity: 2

Station 3 – G5

DV Deck

Model: Sony HVR-M25Au HDV/miniDV/DVCam deck


  • Panasonic MiniDV Tapes for 5 dolllars each (inc tax).
  • Super 8 and 16mm film. Prices are below.

Questions or comments regarding equipment? E-mail: