I really hate when I see what I read in your post..."learning" from television shows. Remember this...would you want someone to operate on your brain after watching a brain surgery done on a medical show? Of course not. YOU CAN"T LEARN FROM ENTERTAINMENT. Sorry don't want to come off as brash at all but want to drive the point home.
Equipment you NEED to start:
full size cassette tape recorder with remote mic.
Sony Hi-8 video tape camera
I/R security cameras and tripods that record to a VCR
There ya go, the best of the best equipment that actually collects evidence. If it isn't in this list above you cannot collect evidence with it and you are wasting your time.
I know, people will get mad but that is just how it is.