I have been loving your feedback on past photography posts, thank you! I’m keeping tally of all your questions for the upcoming Reader Q+A (keep ’em coming!), where I’ll be doing a deeper dive into your more specific questions. For now, I’m aiming to keeping the text within these posts on the lighter side, in an effort to make good photography within reach. It doesn’t have to be a mystery, and I’ll say it again – when you know how your camera works, magic happens.
Many of your messages let me know that you were looking forward to seeing what was in my camera bag, so today, we’re taking a peek inside! I pack pretty light, because I take my DSLR with me ev-er-y-where (seriously), and I don’t like a lot of excess. On a daily basis, you’ll find my camera body, favorite lens and Powershot in my tote bag, but here’s a rundown of all the supplies I’m reaching for. Tip: Did you know you can rent cameras, lenses and supplies from your local camera shop? It’s a great way to try before you buy.
Body + Lenses
1. Nikon D850 DSLR: I actually own the D800, but I’m sharing the newer model here! The D800 has been my trusty camera for more than 4 years, and I initially chose it for its low digital noise capabilities, full frame and video. I’ve been really happy with it, but will probably upgrade to the D850 soon!
2. 24-70 mm f/2.8 zoom lens: Hands down, this is my favorite lens. I use it for interiors, portraits, pets, landscapes – literally everything. I almost never take it off my camera, unless I’m trying to relieve myself of some bulk (the downside is its weight), in which case, I’ll swap it out for my nifty 50 mm.
3. 50 mm f/1.8 prime lens: This is a great, affordable lens, and the large aperture is great at capturing the bokeh effect I talked about in this post! I’ll sometimes use only this lens when we’re traveling, because it’s nice and light. It’s great for portraits and vignettes.
4. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: I purchased this camera specifically for vlogging, and it’s been perfect for that application! I like that I can flip the screen up, so that I can talk into the camera and see what’s within the frame. It also takes great photos in a pinch, although if you’re not as particular as me, it would be an awesome photo and video camera all around.
5. Fujifilm Instax Mini: This instant camera is just plain fun! We use it to commemorate everything from our travels, to Lucy’s weekly/monthly photos or just a memorable evening with friends. Psst: Here’s an easy way to display your favorites!
Tip: I’ve purchased many lenses and camera bodies over the years from eBay, where I can find them refurbished from reputable sellers.
6. Memory cards: Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t like to use memory cards larger than 128GB. It’s sort of like, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I’ve had great success using Lexar cards, and I continue to use them in 64GB and 128GB. Never once have I ever needed anything larger!
7. Spare batteries + charger: I always keep a spare charged battery on hand, just in case. I’d recommend having at least one battery backup for all of your cameras.
8. Lens cleaner: I used to tote around liquid cleaner and soft cloths, but after switching to the LensPen – an all-in-one compact lens cleaner – I’ve never looked back.
9. K&F Concept lightweight tripod with ball: This is my go-to. Although it’s pricier than a beginner’s tripod, it’s very affordable for what it has to offer. I use this tripod with my DSLR and PowerShot every day!
10. ROXANT Pro gimbel: A gimbel is a nifty video camera stabilizer that helps keep your shot looking smooth while you’re walking. The small investment was a no-brainer for us as we started vlogging more, but keep in mind that this one is specifically made for a smaller camera, like our PowerShot.
A Good Bag (or Insert)
11. Bellbrook backpack: The Bellbrook got us through our entire 2-week Route 66 road trip (memories!), and it served us incredibly well. It’s specifically a camera backpack, and inside, we were able to fit my DSLR, extra lens, Instax, laptop and the accessories listed here!
12. Herschel Pop Quiz backpack: If you’re looking for more flexibility, consider any backpack! We love our Herschel backpack for toting back and forth between Chicago and Tree House, and I stuff it full of all the same things I’d put in the Bellbrook. There’s a padded pocket for my laptop, and in the front pocket, I also stash my wallet, phone and chapstick.
13. Fjallraven Kanken backpack (wish list): I’m a backpack junkie, and this one is on my wish list. I like being able to reach into a pack to grab my camera, but also having the convenience of extra pockets for stashing ‘purse’ things.
14. Camera bag insert: Here’s a hot tip – turn any bag into a camera bag with an affordable insert! I just ordered this guy, and I’ll be throwing it into my tote bag for our family vacation.
15. Fjallraven camera insert: And here’s another great option if you need a bit more protection. (Both Fjallraven bags are my wish list items, but I couldn’t resist adding them here in case it helps you!)
What Questions Do You Have for the Reader Q+A?
I hope this was helpful! There is, however, an item that I’ve been meaning to get but haven’t yet purchased: Can anyone recommend a good smart phone tripod?