There’s the Canon R5, the Sony a7s3, the Panasonic S1, the Nikon Z8, and then there’s the smartphone. Don’t think the cameras on today’s mobile devices can hang with the big boys for cinematic mirrorless video quality?
Before I jump into this list of essential gear, I’d love to address the phrase “gear doesn’t matter.” It’s a phrase I have said myself over and over and I truly believe it.
For many photographers, nothing matches the excitement of heading off to a far-flung destination rich in photographic potential. The gear you choose to take will have a big impact on what images make the return journey home.
If you have seen me speak on business topics, you have heard me say, “Try it. Test it. Use it or leave it behind.” The same thing holds true with gear. My first SLR was a Canon AE1 Program that my wife and I purchased over 40 years ago.
Tamron’s E-mount lens series is designed to maximize the potential of full-frame mirrorless cameras and provides magnificent image quality without compromise despite being very fast and very compact.
When production models of the Canon EOS R5 hit the streets, the internet was littered with videos about the camera overheating. I even contributed to the fury. But in this article, like in the video I posted, I will focus on what the camera can do rather than what it can’t do.
The production value and quality still remains, but at a cheaper cost to my body and my wallet. I used to lose gear all the time on weddings. We would move from place to place so quickly that often times equipment would get left behind. We now rely on the built-in electronic viewfinders of our Panasonic Lumix mirrorless cameras for focus and exposure accuracy outside and for greater stabilization, rather than having to use an external monitor or hood loupe attached to the back of the camera. Today’s technology and improvements to these camera features make this possible. Hood loupes would always fall off and get lost. I don’t even use external mics on my cameras anymore. I simply rely on the built-in camera microphone to capture reference sound and ambient voices.
It’s true: Gear doesn’t make the photographer. But it’s also true that the right gear can make your job a heckuva lot easier—and more fun! So after more than a decade amassing an arsenal of expensive DSLR cameras and lenses, our studio finally made the switch to an entirely new system. Mirrorless.
After one long travel month in 2017, my wife Eileen and I felt utterly pooped. Where was the old thrill we’d experienced as destination photographers? It was buried under a mountain of luggage and stress. We had to find a new packing system that brought joy back into our on-the-go lifestyle.Let’s look at our five essential categories we use to save space, the gear we bring and, finally, Peak Design’s new Travel Backpack that lets us access everything in one bag.
Photographers are well known for investing money in their toys. In fact, I would be willing to bet that many of us got started on this career path after realizing the cost of their new toys, and that we needed to charge people for pictures in order to just afford them. I am no exception to that. I love cameras, lights and new technology. We have so many options to choose from, but many that we crave are unnecessary. How do you choose the best tools to purchase? In this article, I break down my recommendations.