My Gear Bag // 2019


One of the most common questions I get is what camera/lenses do you use? I outlined my feelings about reliance on gear in one of my previous photography posts (TL;DR: Don’t buy world’s best gear and expect to be the world’s best photographer), but once you’ve established a baseline workflow, gear does become one of your largest assets in photography.


Anyway, let’s get started. For context - My first ever camera I started shooting with was my trusty Canon 650D, I then switched to team Sony with the little powerhouse that is the A6500. Eventually I made the jump to full frame, which is where we stand today.

Disclaimer: I’m only promoting gear I believe in and have worked well for me. Anything that doesn’t met that criteria may be in my kit but doesn’t get any love here.



My Gear Kit 2019


My Gear List:


Camera Body


Sony A7iii - The A7iii is a total powerhouse from its incredible autofocus capabilities to its lightweight body. For the price of it ($2900 NZD at time of writing), I personally believe it’s uncontested in the current market and a no brainer to those after a full frame mirrorless camera. What I like: Amazing AF, Sony’s range of e-mount lenses is increasing (albeit their rather high price point), it’s video capabilities (4K/30, 1080/120), it’s lightweight body, dual memory card slots and the selective focus joystick. Winner. I personally think Sony are massively ahead in the camera body game at the moment.



Sony A7III

Lenses


Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. Awesome lens, amazingly versatile and delivers a lot more value given it’s price compared to it’s rival, the 24-70 G Master. Autofocus is sometimes a little slow and struggles a bit in low light, but you’d have to be in a testing environment to get to this point. Bokeh is nice and smooth as you’d expect from a f/2.8 lens.


Sony 16-35mm 2.8 G Master. Wow. This thing is a machine. Autofocus is rapid and amazingly sharp. Being a sucker for landscapes, this will always be on my camera whenever I'm exploring. Takes some amazing astro shots too! If I’m being harsh, you’d possibly expect the build quality to be a little higher based on the reputation and price of the G Master line, but apparently the material used is to mitigate weight from the lens.


Sony 70-200mm 2.8 G Master. Hands down best piece of glass I’ve ever put my hands on. This thing is amazing. You can point this thing at anyone’s face and you’d have a borderline professional headshot on the spot (ok maybe not but you get the idea). The bokeh is superb (the extreme aspherical element in the lens is to thank here), and autofocus is rapid. The zoom is awesome, especially with the Sony A7iii’s APS-C mode, allowing a 1.6x crop which enables a 320mm lens when zoomed at 200mm. Downside: This thing is HEAVY. For a mirrorless system, you’d like to boast that you’ve got a lightweight kit. Nope. This thing will weigh you down big time. Me and Mrs argue over who carries the kit bag on hikes when this thing is involved. The build quality could also be a little better, it doesn’t scream “this is a $4000 NZD lens right here” when you look at it, but boy the results from it does.



Tamron 28-75, Sony 16-35 GM, Sony 70-200 GM

Drone:


DJI Mavic Air: Awesome little drone which is extremely versatile and a perfect fit for my kit bag. This dude can slip into your pocket if you’re keen enough and that’s what I want from my drone. The best piece of camera equipment is the piece you’ve got with you - something my previous 2 drones haven’t provided (the Phantom series drones are far too big). The Mavic Air is obviously limited by its sensor size (1/2.3”), but for it’s price point and size, that’s plenty ok with me.


DJI Mavic 2 Pro: Pretty much the Mavic Air on steroids, the Mavic 2 Pro is an amazing drone which gives an amazing output from a form factor only marginally bigger than the Air. The 1 inch sensor and the variable aperture were game changers for me. The drone feels far more premium and produces far nicer images & video when compared to its little brother. Still trying to figure out how to fit this into my bag with all the rest of my stuff but for now I'm using the Fly More kit bag it comes with. When going light, I'll take the Mavic Air.



Mavic 2 Pro

Gimbal:

DJI Ronin S. The Ronin is a solid piece of equipment that will do it’s job very well. Like amazingly. It’s easy to use and will do what you tell it to. It has user friendly ‘mode’ systems allowing me to preset the type of footage I wish to capture, as well a Sport mode which is incredibly handy when filming at a fast pace. Downside: This boi is a heavy one. When shooting weddings I generally look like an olympic weight lifter on one arm, contrasting my other arm which resembles that of an underdeveloped caucasian male. In summer temperatures this isn’t fun to use. On the flip side, a majority of this weight is derived from it’s hefty motors which allow a decent payload (not really something I benefit from being mirrorless) and its amazing battery which has never let me down from a full days usage (I believe it’s a 14 hour capacity).


DJI Ronin SC. My everyday driver when it comes to gimbals. DJI’s release of this gimbal was a game changer and make quality of life when trying to do video much better than its older brother, the Ronin S. The ability to lock the motors in place allowing you to not balance the gimbal before each use and being able to assemble it all together in 30 seconds it massively impressive. It’s MUCH lighter than the Ronin S and you could easily use this thing for long time periods. A shortcoming would be due to it’s decreased size and increased portability, the motors don’t allow me to use my 16-35mm GM in flashlight mode from not clearing the rear motor. Not really a biggie but enough to be slightly annoying. This thing could easily become my main gimbal once I’m confident it is able to replace the Ronin S on commercial jobs.



The Ronin SC in the field

Editing:


Desktop: Editing Rig, built by me: When I was doing more video intensive work, I built this thing to help me edit 4K seamlessly. It provided. Rocking a GTX 1060 GPU, I7-8700K CPU, a couple of SSD's and hooked up to a LG 4K 28" monitor. It does the job. Like, really well.


Laptop: Macbook Pro 2018 Touch Bar: Working in IT where owning Apple is a sin, I was skeptical about making the leap to get a MacBook. But the retina screen and the optimisation for Adobe products sold me. I have no regrets. Looking as sleek as the sleek thing and being as responsive as my editing desktop, it's a bit of a no brainer for this one. The battery lasts forever and the touch bar will always be a cool novelty.




Action Camera:


GoPro Hero 6 Black. I’m not a big action camera user but the Hero 6 has done a good job for me. Useful for conditions in which I’m too scared to take my A7iii due to water damage or impact damage. Takes a decent photo and has pretty good stabilisation (not at 4K however). Does the job but as it’s not something I use all that much I wouldn’t justify an upgrade unless it died.



Memory:


Often a product skipped over by most. What’s the point of having all this expensive equipment to capture the moment if you capture it only for it to be lost/corrupted? Prioritise memory.


Sony TOUGH 64 GB card - great read/write speeds and have the security of knowing it’s dust/water resistence as well as shock resistance will protect your precious images.

Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB - I use the SanDisk cards as redundant cards (dual slot memory cards allows writing to both) so have it there in case something happens to my Sony card. Great read/write speeds and have never had an issue with SanDisk losing my images with around 2 years of using them.



So that's it! That's the bulk of what I haul around with me all the time to get the job done. Whilst it's not everything, it would be forever to go through each and every piece of equipment I use. This should cover the FAQ's I get on a daily basis surrounding the gear I use & love.

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