I’ve been passionate about landscape, lifestyle and travel photography for several years now. In the course of my photography life, I’ve used, or come across hundreds of equipment, be it cameras, drones, lenses and lights. Naturally, I’m quite knowledgeable about different photography equipment, and as a consequence, there are lots of people – both in my personal and professional life – who come to me for advice on various things.
One common question is, whenever I’m on the move, what’s in my camera bag? Of course, most of the people who ask are beginners and are not much into the fancy, expensive stuff, but just want to know the basics. Fortunately, today, I will provide a sneak peek into my camera bag.
But even before we get there, I must mention that if you’re not a pro, some of the featured equipment may sound alien to you. However, I’m sure the accompanying explanations will at least make sense to you. You also don’t need to spend a fortune, as most of the equipment are budget-friendly.
Well, let’s get started!
As you would expect, the first thing that goes into my camera bag is a camera. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, with its 20M Live MOS Sensor and anti-flicker shooting, is arguably one of the most advanced outdoor camera.
The camera supports high-definition, high-speed sequential shooting (up to 60 fps) which, coupled with a high-speed viewfinder, makes it especially apt for capturing outdoor scenes in motion. Other notable features include a Zuiko Lens, Truepic VIII Image Processor, and 4K video quality.
Being a (mostly) outdoor photographer, I find the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro quite useful in many situations. It features excellent zoom capabilities. Moreover, the 12-40mm Pro is dustproof and splash-proof, making it ideal for extreme weather conditions.
I also carry the Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro telephoto lens. With a bright F2. 8 aperture, you don’t have to worry much about lighting when using this lens. It’s a very sharp lens and the quality of images is superb. You can obtain an excellent bokeh with it and the autofocus is impeccable.
The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro stays in my camera bag for those moments I want to shoot very wide-angled scenes. The zoom lens also provides an angled view between 75 -115, which you will rarely find, unless you are using a fisheye lens. This lens is suitable for outdoor use and landscapes, and as the other Olympus Pro lenses it is weatherproof and has a metallic body. Built like a tank.
The Olympus Teleconverter 1.4x was aptly released together with the 40-150mm F2.8 Pro lens mentioned above. Considering it weighs only one ounce, it’s a great fit for my small camera bag.
For holding my cameras, I carry an aluminum Manfrotto Tripod BeFree, which, despite the make, is quite lightweight and fits perfectly in my camera bag, courtesy of the inverted-leg folding mechanism. It has a ball head equipped with a single-wing knob controller that allows you to control panning when shooting.
Since I often find myself snapping pictures with my iPhone, I bring my Mini Manfrotto Tripod with me at all times, to provide stability. The tripod has a maximum height of 24.7cm, and has a stable and universal smartphone clamp. The rubber coating on the handle provides a comfortable and stable grip, and it also features a locking mechanism which facilitates an easy set-up. Honestly I’ve also used it to hold my camera at times.
The NiSi 100mm V5 Pro filter holder system is a must-have if you constantly use filters in your photography. Its dynamic clip design ensures that inserting filters is a seamless process, and the component parts are also easy to set up. It also comes with a 86mm polarising filter out of the box, and supports lenses between 52mm and 82mm.
My portable Dji Mavic Pro drone comes through for me whenever I need to take breathtaking aerial shots. Its features include a 7km range, a stabilize 4k camera and produces very low noise levels. The drone doesn’t need GPS or satellite to hoover indoors and can also sense, and avoid, objects up to 50ft away.
GoPro Hero 5 is undoubtedly one of the best and most effective cameras for action scenes. The camera is very small, and has a GPS, color touchscreen, and voice control function. It’s also waterproof, and provides exceptional audio quality.
The Remote Shutter Release RM-UCI cable comes in handy when you need to release the shutter without compromising the stability of the camera. The device encompasses a lock release button, and is compatible with DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
I always bring three BLH-1 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries (1720mAh) for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. When appropriately charged, it provides up to 24 hours of service, which is quite awesome. If you plan on buying the battery, don’t forget to also purchase the recommended BCH-1 Rapid Lithium-Ion Battery Charger if you want it to last longer.
I love carrying my Manfrotto Street Backpack whenever I’m going on an extensive photography trip. The backpack offers strength, durability, and protection for all equipment. Talking of equipment, the Manfrotto backpack has multiple compartments and exterior pockets that can collectively hold a DSLR or mirrorless, tripod, all sorts of lenses and a 15″ laptop. It’s also designed to provide comfort when walking with a padded back panel, and adjustable shoulder straps.
Now, here is the deal…
As a photographer, whether you are experienced or just starting out, you need to invest in various gadgets in order to succeed in this highly competitive industry. The trick is to identify your niche, and thereafter, choose tools that will complement your work, depending on the available resources. Also, remember, you don’t have to buy all the equipment at once. Step by step.
It is as simple as that!
Stefano Caioni is the founder of Pixinfocus. His passion for photography helps him discover new places and live new adventures.