I like taking lots of photos, and I get a lot of questions on the gear I use – both for everyday photos for the blog, as well as on trips. So here’s the complete rundown.
First up are the cameras I use. By and large, I use two cameras. A little point and shoot for everyday stuff, and then a digital SLR (DSLR) camera for prettier photography.
Normal everyday shots:
The little pocket sized Lumix is the camera I take running, cycling and swimming. It’s waterproof down to 4 meters, which is basically all I need for everyday use (or beach use). While the shutter speed isn’t the fastest out there, it works well for virtually everything. I noticed the TS-4 is out now, and a bit cheaper than the TS-3, plus there’s also some even cheaper variants within the same product line, so you may want to check that out instead. All my images taken with this camera start with ‘P####’, if you’re curious which are which (I use the original name in all photos on the blog).
Travel & Trips and/or Really Nice Looking shots:
This is my new best friend. I’ve been using DSLR cameras for years now, and this one came out this past October. It does both still photography, as well as HD video (1080p & 720p). I find it great for quickly swapping back and forth between taking short videos and taking incredibly clear photos. If you’re looking for a cheaper option (at less than half the price), my girlfriend has the Canon T1i camera, which includes 720p HD video as well as all the usual photography stuffs.
All my images taken with the 7D (or other DSLR’s I use) start with ‘IMG_####’. I also have an older Canon XTi as well that sorta floats around the house.
I originally had the Canon Digital Rebel (300D), which uses any EOS SLR lens. Over time I upgraded the camera body to the XTi, and now the 7D. The lenses are compatible with all of these. Here’s what I use the, in order of using it the most, to least:
50mm F1.8 – This is my favorite lens. Virtually all of my cooking photos are taken using this. It’s got incredible depth of field for less than $100. There’s a F1.2 and F1.4 version that are great…but again, the F1.8 is only $90ish and awesome.
Canon 10-22 EF-S F3.5-4.5 – I got this at the same time as the 7D, and it’s quickly become a great travel lens. It’s a wide angle, but it works really well in low light, and produces very sharp shots.
Canon 17-40 F/4L – While this overlaps a bit with the 10-22, it’s a great walkaround lens, and similar in zoom to the 18-55 included stock on many Canon’s – though with incredible optics. Of primary importance to me is that it works in my underwater case (noted below).
Canon 75-300 Image Stabilized – This is my primary lens for any long range shots. I mostly use this overseas, especially in Africa. While the 75-300 is no longer made, the 70-300 is still made – so I linked to that instead. Also note that there is the image stabilized version (IS) and one without IS. For shooting on the 300-side of things, I can’t recommend the IS enough, it really helps to make super crisp pictures.
Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX DG II – This lens is great for sports photography, and is very comparable in many ways to the L-series 70-200 offered, but without the expense. I also use it in Africa a bit, but because of it’s weight and girth, don’t generally take it on international trips (except Africa).
Sigma Fisheye 15mm 2.8EX – I got this back a number of years ago because I thought it would be fun. And it is fun. But it’s also not very sharp, and honestly a bit of a waste of money. Get the Canon 10-22 instead. But…it’s fun…occasionally.
Other Camera Equipment
There’s a lot of other random things I use, but here are the big ones:
‘Timelapse machine’ (aka Intervolometer) – I use this to create time-lapse sequences, like the one below. The model I linked to is the official Canon model. But for about a 1/3rd of the price you can get a generic one, I have one of those for the XTi, and it works just fine and dandy.
Gorilla Pods (Tripods) – I take this EVERYWHERE in my backpack. I originally had a smaller non-DSLR model (and still do), but it just won’t hold the weight of the DSLR in all conditions, so I picked up the DSLR model and it’s been awesome.
Ikelite Underwater Case – For any underwater photography I do, I use this camera case. It sucks it’s so expensive – and sucks even more than if you try and rent one, it almost will cost just as much as the case itself. Kinda stupid. I use a DS-51 substrobe with it. But I do love the case…
Finally…feel free to post any questions below, and I’ll try and answer them as soon as possible.