As a photographer, I’m always getting asked what’s my camera gear for photography. I’ve put together this guide of my camera gear and the equipment I use for my photos! To start off, my criteria for everything I choose has to do with being lightweight and budget-friendly. For one, traveling with photography gear, in any location, is not a graceful look, unfortunately. Believe me, I’ve tried. I always look like I’m getting ready for school, or like my gear will overwhelm me. Also, budgets are relative. I am not at a point in my career yet where I feel comfortable dropping $6k on a camera body or $2k on a lens, but I can comfortably afford around the $1k price point.
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My go-to camera is the Sony a6400 for when I travel and for my day-to-day. Since it’s an APS-C, it’s a cropped sensor which makes it lighter than a full-frame. The very first camera that I purchased for myself was a Sony a6000 and then I upgraded to the a6300 to now the a6400.
While I prefer to operate on the a6400, I’d be lying if I said APS-C and full-frame cameras were the same. A simple comparison of both camera bodies side by side instantly shows the difference in size between the two sensors. For client work, I always use the Sony a7iii. Additionally, because Sony is famous for its low-light capabilities, I use this over the a6400 for astrophotography, and when indoors so that I don’t have to pump the ISO high.
If you’re trying to do photography as more than an occasional point and shoot, I don’t recommend getting the bundle with the kit lens. Instead, buy the body and then buy a 50mm, f/1.8 (known as the “nifty fifty). The equivalent for an APS-C is around a 35mm (depending on camera crop factor).
Camera lenses, otherwise known as “glass”, is actually the most important variable out of everything. Of all my camera gear decisions, this one gets me the most excited!
For my APS-C, my favorite lens is the 16-55mm, f/2.8 G-master. Its focal length covers both wide-angle and portrait, and the sharpness it produces is fantastic. It’s one of the more expensive lenses in Sony’s APS-C lineup because of the fact it’s a fixed aperture lens. It’s worth every penny and lives up to the G-master label.
Going third party for camera lenses is also a great option. I always encourage anyone just starting out in photography to use a prime lens first, and third party tends to be cheaper. For the longest time, my camera gear only consisted of a camera body and a prime lens. My go-to for years was the Sigma 30mm F1.4 Contemporary DC DN Lens. It’s as budget-friendly as you can get, and opens to f/1.4 for some extra creamy bokeh!
For my full-frame, my lens is the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 for Sony. I always research reviews on Youtube and blogs before making a big purchasing decision. While many will say it’s better to buy the native lens, there’s an extra $1000 between the Tamron vs. the Sony 24-70mm, f/2.8. From what I gathered they’re essentially the same, so save the difference and spend it on something else.
The biggest investment you can make if you’re serious about photography is with the tripod. An aluminum tripod is enough for most people, but a carbon fibre one is actually lighter and sturdier. When I say investment, this is the one thing I’m thinking about to last me for 5-10 years. I chose to go with 3 Legged Thing Leo Travel Tripod because the size and weight were more manageable for carrying around and traveling. Also, the price point is lower than competitors. An added plus is 3 Legged Thing’s color choice to stand out in the market!
Another feature I like about 3 Legged Thing is their components system which has definitely made me brand loyal. The Ellie Short Universal L-Bracket is completely optional, but if you post on any social media platform, vertical is the norm. Instead of re-configuring your scene between landscape and portrait every time, simply switch the orientation of your camera with the ball-head lock. Get horizontal and vertical images easily without the hassle.
Sandisk is the genericization of memory cards, but I’ve been using Lexar Professional instead because the minimum storage size I get is 128GB. Working on client gigs such as events means my finger is essentially pressing on the shutter-release button the whole time. I’ve been in situations where my second shooter ran out of space on their SD card in the middle of a gig! Always bring backups, obviously, but having both large storage and fast read/write capabilities ensures no hiccups during the moment. SD cards are like tic tacs for photographers, so constantly buying at this level is costly.
Since I started doing more content creation I also use this phone tripod and hotshoe to get behind-the-scenes. They’re lightweight to travel with and are perfect for taking standstill photos and videos with your phone. The hotshoe in particular is versatile and can be paired with gimbals and microphones as well.
This is for those of you who know how to use artificial light. The Godox FV150 kills two birds with one stone because it’s a hybrid of continuous light and strobe. Talk about efficiency! However, in order to use the strobe, you’ll also have to get a transmitter like the Godox X2T-S TTL Wireless Flash Trigger.
Savage Seamless is the GOAT for backdrop paper. They come in different sizes and the best part? They’re matte, which is crucial to avoid reflection from the light. You’ll thank yourself when editing in post-production.
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