Kodak Zi8: High-def video in a pocketable form-factor, and surprisingly expandable.
Azden SGM-X: It’s a little clunky for quick videos around the zoo, but for anything where sound matters, this mic is a must.
Wide-angle lens: This is a brand new addition to the bag, and I’m already psyched about the options it gives me. I had listed the narrow view of the Zi8 as a downside in a previous post, but this lens eliminates that issue. In situations where I would need to pan around to get everything in the scene, now I can stay close and still keep my fast-moving son in the shot. The lens is tiny without feeling cheap, and it attaches quickly with a magnetic ring. (Thanks, Donna!)
Fisheye lens: Similar to the lens above, this lens is more of an effects lens for exaggerating anything in the center of the frame. The trade-off is significant distortion around the edges of the frame. It replaces an old fisheye lens that I used for skate videos when I had my old camera, but this one doesn’t vignette the scene. If you have a Zi8, make sure to order the FE-12 model, NOT the FE-50. (Thanks again, Donna!)
Dynex accessory bracket: It’s got two shoes, but I only need one to mount my mic. It also serves as a handle for two-handed shooting, which is great for keeping the camera steady through lots of motion. Someday, I’d like to hack together a simple handle for low angle shots.
Joby GorillaPod: It’s lightweight and packs easily, and it’s quick to set up. There’s a saying in photography that the world is your tripod, and with the GorillaPod, it’s actually true. (Thanks, Donna!)
I guess I should mention the bag that holds all this stuff. Several years ago I bought a Burton laptop backpack with a detachable fanny pack. That fanny pack is my camera bag. It almost looks like a purse when I take it places.