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WHAT’S IN MY BAG?

I get this question all of the time — “So, what kind of gear do you use?”  After having to answer that question over and over, I finally took the time to compile this list of the gear that I use most often.  It’s not a complete list of all the gear I own, but rather the things that I typically carry with me and can recommend to you guys.

My setup isn’t too crazy, and as you’ll notice, I don’t use a lot of expensive equipment.  I believe in using only the gear you NEED to get the job done, and so far, this gear has been enough.  I have recently had a couple of shoots that would have been much easier if I had some more advanced equipment, so if any more projects like that come up, I might just upgrade a little bit.

My best advice for gear is to really assess what you’ll be using it for and get whatever is in your budget to accomplish that.  Nothing more and nothing less.

So before you comment on my Instagram feed or shoot me an email asking what kind of camera or lenses I use, take a look at this list to find your answer.  If you are in the market for new gear and want to support this site and what I’m doing, you can use the links on this page to help me earn a little extra cash to expand this gear list!

CAMERAS

Nikon D5200

So this camera has been my workhorse for the past couple of years.  If you follow me on Instagram, probably about 90% of the photos on there were taken with this camera.  It is extremely affordable and has almost all of the features that I’ve needed.  I only just recently reached the point in my photography work where I need to upgrade to get a few more advanced features like AF microadjustments, a higher shutter speed, and better lowlight performance.  If you are just starting out in photography or only shoot as a hobbyist, I highly recommend the D5xxx cameras like the D5300 or D5600 to do the trick.

Sony RX100IV

Due to its size, I have to admit that I was a little scared to purchase this camera.  However, I have had ZERO regrets since taking the plunge.  I am getting more into filming these days, so I wanted a solid camera that would deliver professional looking results.  It may look small, but this camera packs an incredible punch.  The 4k is gorgeous and the possibilities of using high frame rates is insane.  The lens isn’t interchangeable, but the range is pretty decent for most scenarios.  The updated RX100V gives you 30fps when taking photos and has an increased buffer for high frame rates, so if you have the extra dough, I’d go for that!

gopro

GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition

I think I bought this the first week it was out during a trip to NYC and was so addicted to using it.  While I don’t use it as often anymore, it’s a valuable tool to have in my bag just in case I need it.  It weighs so little and doesn’t take up much space in my bag, so I really see no reason to get rid of it.  As I get more into creating video content and possibly vlogging, I’m sure this will come in handy almost daily.  GoPro has come out with a lot of upgrades since this model, so check out the Hero 5 Black or Hero 5 Session if you are in the market for an action cam.

LENSES

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR

This lens covers such a wide variety of shooting situations.  I originally had both an 18-55mm lens and a 55-200mm lens, but hated having to switch back and forth when shooting event photography.  I bought this lens so I could keep the same focal range of the other two lenses without needing to switch.  It’s not an incredibly sharp lens, but it gets usable results. The vibration reduction is great to have for the longer focal lengths when you’re shooting handheld.  I recommend this lens for those that shoot a variety of stuff and hate carrying/changing lenses all of the time.

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G

I use this lens primarily for portraits or close up detail shots that need larger amounts of depth-of-field.  Over time, shooting with this lens wide open has become a challenge on my D5200 because I can’t fine-tune the AF and it is slightly back-focusing.  However, when I manually focus or shoot at a higher f-stop, this lens delivers great results.  It’s very affordable and I’ve seen others recommend that this is the first lens you should buy for a Nikon DX.  I actually prefer 50mm lenses to 35mm, but I am glad I purchased this one to at least test it out.

Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye (with AE Chip)

I love the look of fisheye lenses, so I just had to ask for this one when it came time for my birthday last year and my girlfriend asked me what I wanted.  This lens has a 180 degree field of view, allowing me to capture some of the insane lookups, streets, and interiors you’ve seen on my Instagram.  I love this lens so much that I often have to limit myself to using it or else my feed would be filled with crazy fisheye shots.  It’s the only manual lens in my lineup, but the AE chip actually helps me get a good idea of when I’m in focus by showing me a green dot in the viewfinder.  If you love the results you get with your GoPro, try getting one of these and taking the look to the next level.

FLASH & ACCESSORIES

Nikon SB-800

I don’t use flash all that often, but I used to do a lot of event photography which required me to have one available.  After making the switch to Nikon, this was the flash I decided to purchase and it has been great.  It’s powerful, the recycle times are pretty quick and it has a ton of settings to mess around with.  My D5200 doesn’t have the built in flash trigger, so I have to use the camera’s pop-up flash to trigger this one in slave mode if I need to use it off of the camera.  If you do buy this, definitely look into buying some high quality rechargeable AA batteries — they will save you a lot of money in the long run.

BAGS & CAMERA ACCESSORIES

Incase DSLR Pro Pack

I’ve got a nice, in-depth review on this bag here, but if you’re looking for my brief thoughts — here goes.  I have tried several bags and have never been completely happy with any of them.  There were always several issues that ruined the product for me and had me hunting for alternatives.  This pack from Incase is the closest I’ve come to being 100% happy.  Aside from trying to get the bag on while wearing winter jackets and fitting things into the tripod straps on the side, I love every aspect of this bag.  There’s plenty of space, it has easy access to my camera, and it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.  Read my full review…

Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod

I carry this mini tripod with me everywhere! It’s so small that it can fit in my pocket, so I can set up a balanced, sturdy shot within seconds no matter where I am. You will need a flat surface in most cases for this to stand up properly, but in a pinch you can get creative. It’s solid enough to support my camera and heaviest lens without issue. Highly recommend this for everyone to own.

Incase Lens Cap Slip

I can’t tell you exactly how many lens caps I’ve lost over the years, but it has been way too many.  While my jeans pocket served me well, it isn’t very comfortable to sit down on a lens cap you forgot was there.  Not to mention, the caps somehow find there way out of the pocket and lost forever.  This lens cap slip attaches directly to the shoulder strap of my bag, allowing me to quickly place my lens cap safely away.  It fits every lens cap I have, so unless you are working with some major glass, you should be fine.

Xiaomi Power Bank 20000mAh Dual USB Port External Battery Charger

Having enough power for all of my devices during a shoot or just an average day is an ongoing issue.  I bought one of the largest capacity power banks I could find and this thing rocks!  Lucky for me, my Sony RX100IV can charge itself on USB power, so this external battery comes in handy often.  I can also use it to charge my phone, portable wifi, or vape at the same time.  If you constantly find yourself searching for an outlet, make the investment in a large capacity power bank like this 20,000 mAh one from Xiaomi.  However, it is rather large, so don’t expect to be walking around with this thing in your pocket.

Incase Capture Collection Neck Strap

I prefer to use wrist straps when shooting with one camera, but when I’m out shooting with both my D5200 and RX100IV, I keep this neck strap on my RX100IV to keep it safe and accessible.  The memory foam cushion on it is insanely comfortable and I especially love the quick release buckles that allow me to quickly detach the strap if I want to go back to using the wrist strap for a few shots.  This strap is a little on the expensive side, but you get what you pay for when it comes to quality.  It’s well constructed, comfortable, and adapts to any type of shooting I’m doing.

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