Hello! Rife Magazine ceased publishing new work in July 2022.

We've kept the magazine online as an archive and hope you'll still continue to enjoy all of its contributions from the last 8 years.

The Rife Team

Camera Equipment with £500 Budget


Little Ryan’s Film School 2: Camera Equipment with £500 Budget

In the second part of his film school, Little Ryan tells you how to make a film with a budget of  £500.

If you’re making a film and you have a small budget, these are some of the things I would consider buying. You don’t have to take my word for it, but in the long run, you will begin to realise these things are essential.

I truly believe that buying quality goods over cheap ones is the way forward. Well-made expensive equipment will benefit you way more in the future because they will last longer and the quality will be amazing. Some of the products I have mentioned are industry-standard products and are used by professionals. You can buy cheaper lesser-known equipment, but they can break easily or you will realise you need to upgrade your equipment sooner than expected. So you might as well invest in quality products as soon as possible.

Rode Shotgun Mic: £74.99, Amazon

This microphone is sound!…See what I did there?


This is a very good microphone. Once you buy this, you won’t need to upgrade it for years and it will still be in your equipment bag as one of the most-used things. I have the older model of this microphone and I won’t upgrade it because of how good it is. So imagine what this upgrade is like.

Polaroid Light – 320 LEDs: £79.99, Amazon

This light is so bright, you’d think Jesus is near.


There are cheaper lights than this, sixty quid cheaper… but I chose this light because it has 320 LEDs, which will make what you’re shooting much brighter than the cheaper options. It has a powerpack, so no batteries are required. It is built well and has lighting controls. Which is why it’s in my equipment bag.

Here is a cheaper light option falling at just: £17.68, Amazon

You will probably need to buy batteries every 30 seconds… which will eventually cost you more than just buying the one with the powerpack.

Vanguard Tripod: £69, Amazon

Sometimes, your hands just isn’t steady enough.

shaky hands

Manfrotto is one of best tripod makers on the market, but Vanguard are good tripods as well. I recommend this one because it has a long handle so you can do pan shots. Most cheap Manfrotto tripods don’t have a handle. If they do, it’s not very big. My first ever tripod was a Vanguard tripod.

Canon 550D (with kit lens 18-55): £300

 You ain’t going to get much done without a camera.


If you go with this camera, make sure you get the Canon 550D not the Rebel T2i. The Rebel T2i is the American version of the 550D. This camera is capable to shoot 1080p at 25 fps (frames per second). This is a camera, so let’s not forget that it’s a 18mp shooter.

Definitely check out Gumtree. The prices vary on this website and who knows, the person may live near you so you can test it out before you buy it.

Or you can buy the body only on Amazon for £250 brand new and buy the 18-55 lens separately secondhand.

Equipment bag: £79, Amazon

Unless you’re the Pokemon Machamp and have 4 arms, you don’t want to carry everything separately.


You may think this bag is expensive, but I’d invest in a good bag in order to keep your expensive equipment safe. One of the best things I ever bought.

The Nifty Fifty (50mm lens): £82.50

You can’t even pick this lens up, it’s that sharp.

This is a must-have lens. Pretty much everyone who has a Canon camera has a 50mm in their equipment bag. It’s the cheapest best lens you’ll ever buy. This is what’s known as a fixed lens. This means it cannot zoom but it is EXTRA sharp. This lens is used mainly for close ups and over-the-shoulder shots as it can get insanely detailed footage/images.

Cheaper option: Digital rev £75

Finally, a 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro memory card SD: £44.99 

The best SD card you’ll get.


You won’t get very far with filming if your camera hasn’t got a memory card in it. This is the best memory stick hands down. It’s the fastest SD card you can buy and it will help boost the quality of your videos. If you bought a cheaper SD card, it might fail or it might compress the file. What I mean is, if you had your camera set to 1920 x 1080 25 fps, the cheaper memory card will not be able to handle that footage. This Sandisk card can handle it with ease.

Don’t take my word for it, but definitely check them out. Please note, if you do go ahead and trust my judgment with these items, all of these things do NOT add up to £500 as a total. You will have to pick your own combo to make it add up to £500. My choices would be: 550D, Bag, Tripod & SD card, this falls at £497.99.

The reason I would pick this combo is because, you need a camera and a SD card in order to film, you need a tripod for steady shots and you need a bag to keep your equipment in one place and safe. That’s not to say the microphone, light and 50mm lens is a bad idea, but you can buy those at a later time. All of the above are quality products, so you won’t have to upgrade for while.  If you do have spare change, definitely buy that Rode mic!

Another tip, when you do expand on items individually, invest in your glass (lenses) – you will be upgrading you camera more than your lenses, so invest in the lenses before you upgrade.

Have I missed anything off? Let me know @rifemag