Over the years, one of the most common questions I’ve been asked is “What camera or lens do you use?” That’s why I’ve decided to write a blog post breaking down all the gear that I carry with me in my camera bag. I’ve linked each item so that you can find out the exact prices, specs, etc. in case you are interested in learning further about it.
I want to point out that you don’t need all of this “fancy” gear to get started with photography. To be honest, I started out with my iPhone and then a Canon Rebel with a kit lens, which both allowed me to take photos that I thought were beautiful. I’ve worked extremely hard to get to the photography level I am at now and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to invest in such high quality gear.
Canon 1DX Mark II: This is the camera I shoot with mostly unless I am going hiking and need something more lightweight. The video quality on it is incredible, however I would warn that is is quite heavy compared to other cameras. With this camera I mainly use the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB CFast card. It’s fast and holds an incredible amount of photos. I also had a 128GB CFast Card by Lexar but it got stolen recently.
Canon 5D Mark iii: This is my backup camera and I still prefer to use it when I’m in cities or hiking since it’s much lighter than the 1DX. It still produces great images and I would highly recommend it to an intermediate/advanced photographer.
Canon AE-1 35mm: I haven’t shot film in awhile now, but loved using this camera during Uni when I was in a film class. My goal this year is to pick it back up again though.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera: Great for capturing little moments and just plain fun to use because it’s so simple!
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II: A great lens for shooting extremely far away subjects or creating a nice bokeh effect while compressing the background. I especially love this lens for commercial car shoots and the occasional portrait.
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II: A great wide angle lens option, especially if you are interested in shooting subjects such as stars or when you need to capture a lot into one image.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L: My go to lens! This is one of my favorites to use because of how flexible it is while still being sharp. If you want to invest in one lens, then I suggest going with this one.
Sigma 20mm f/1.4: I absolutely love this lens, especially considering how reasonable the price is. I’ve actually been using this lens more than the 24-70mm lately and it works great for video since it’s extra sharp while still being a wide angle.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4: This lens is great for portraits, however I’ve had a lot of issues lately with a black ring appearing in my images once I go past f/2.0 so I don’t use it as often. With further research I learned that this is an incompatibility issues with 1DX and the 5D MKIV. Other than that, this lens is incredibly sharp and also a cheaper alternative to the Canon version.
Essential electronics + accessories
Macbook Pro 15″ Retina (2017 Model): This is the laptop that I use for all my editing on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
Herschel Supply Co Network Pouch: I use this to hold all my loose cords and other small items so they don’t get lost in my bag. Herschel doesn’t sell the dark brown color anymore but they have many other great options to choose from.
Lexar CFast Thunderbolt Card Reader (Not The One Pictured): This is the main card reader I use, although it is not pictured because I had it recently stolen along with lots of other items in my bag.
B&O Play H8i Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation: These are a lifesaver, especially if you’re trying to sleep or work on a plane and there’s a crying baby next to you. Definitely worth the investment in my opinion.
LaCie 4TB USB-C Thunderbolt Hardrive: I’ve used a lot of hardrives (and destroyed a lot too), so far LaCie has been the only hardrive to withstand the amount of traveling and wear and tear that occurs when I put it in my bag. I use this one primarily to back up my content.
Satechi Slim Aluminum Type-C Multi-Port Adapter: I struggled with dongles way too long and finally got this port adapter and it’s changed my life. Now I don’t have to worry about losing them every trip.
Ipad Mini: I bought this when I was using a bigger drone, but now I use it primarily on longer flights to watch movies when there aren’t TV’s.
Additional camera accessories
Waterproof Memory Card Carrying Case: This is where I keep all of my SD cards organised. Once when I was in Hawaii, this case went all the way down a waterfall with all of my SD cards inside and somehow we were able to find it at the bottom. Thankfully it’s waterproof for accidents like this!
Spare Canon 1DX Battery: I have an extra 1DX battery in case I’m filming all day or forget to charge my camera at night.
ZoMei 82mm ND Filter: I use this filter for long exposures, especially on waterfalls. This fits my Canon 16-35mm lens.
Velo ShutterBoss II: I use this to take timelapses, especially for northern lights.
Underwater Photography Gear
Aquatech Delphin 1D Sport Housing: When I go to tropical locations or anywhere there’s clear water I love shooting underwater photography. It’s incredibly challenging but so much fun. I use this Aquatech housing which has been great for capturing moments underwater, and yes it even floats with the 1DX in it!
AquaTech PD-85 Dome Lens Port: This is the dome I use with my underwater housing to get those beautiful over-under style photos.
DJI Mavic Pro: Not only is this drone incredibly fun to fly, it’s also super lightweight which is a huge plus for when you’re out hiking. I love using it to get different perspectives that a camera just can’t capture.
Spare DJI Mavic Pro Batteries: I own three of these in case I’m out all day and don’t have time to charge my drone.
DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Gimbal (Not Pictured): This is in the states at my parents house right now, but the Ronin is a great way to make smooth and stable videos
SmallHD 502 On-Camera Monitor (Not Pictured): This monitor is also home with my Ronin. I like this monitor because it’s small and light and allows me to see what I’m filming since the 1DX doesn’t have a flip up screen.
Backpacks + Carrying Cases
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L: This is the camera backpack I use at the moment when I go on small hikes. It has great dividers and easy access to lenses. I still haven’t found a great camera backpack that looks good too, but for now this one works.
Manfrotto BeFree Tripod: This tripod is nice and lightweight, making it perfect for traveling. However, the compromise is that it can’t handle the weight of my 1DX Mark II.
Pelican 1510 Case: This case has been a lifesaver for transporting all my gear while still keeping it safe and undamaged during flights. This one is even small enough to take as a carry on.
If you have any other questions about what gear I use please leave me a comment below and I’ll be happy to answer it!
Great simplistic blog with all the details I needed. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to many more.
Thank you for reading it! I hope to share more with you soon xx
Got a question for you, let’s say a full day hiking around the Dolomites, what would be your go to set up bag?
Hey Peter, that’s a great question. I would most likely use my Canon 1DX (unless I need to limit my weight then I’ll take the 5d MlII) with my Canon 24-70mm 2.8 or my Sigma 20 mm. Depending on what I’m shooting I might also take the Canon 70-200mm with me. If I’m not camping then I’ll usually carry this all in my Peak Design backpack. I hope that helps answer your question.
Hi, loved the write up on your gear. Would you post/describe how you very packed your Pelican case? Thanks!
Thanks so much! Generally I keep my camera accessories (extra batteries, cords, etc.) in the zip pocket holders I have attached to the top of the case. I keep my 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 16-35mm, 35mm, and 20mm in here, as well as my two camera bodies so that they all stay safe while traveling. There are foam cut outs that I can change/move around to fit the shape of my lenses. I hope this answers your question.
Thanks so much for sharing this guide, it’s incredibly helpful. Two questions.
1. How do you take photos of yourself? Do you use a tripod and self-timer or do you have someone else take those?
2. I love your photography and editing style. Are you planning on releasing lightroom presets at any point, and/or blogging about your editing process? I love the colors in your photos and would love to learn how to achieve something close.
Thanks so much!
Really gLad you enjoyed it!
1. Usually I have someone else take them for me since I don’t normally travel alone. However, I have used a tripod and self timer in the past and that works well too.
2. Thanks so much! Yes, I actually really want to release my presets and share more about my editing process on the blog. Hopefully sometime in the next month or too.
I was wondering how often do you use your ND filter? and when do you use it? your photos are amazing!
Hi there, no I actually don’t usually use one but there are certain situations where you either want smoother reflections on a choppy lake, you want to do a long exposure of moving water, or when there are strong shadows/harsh light they make things look more balanced.