If you’re anything like me, then you absolutely love capturing life’s moments through the lens of a camera. But have you ever found yourself stumped on what gear and lenses to use in order to achieve that picture-perfect shot?
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing an inside look at my camera bag essentials – from my trusty DSLR to my go-to lenses and other accessories that help enhance my photography skills. So whether you’re a professional photographer or just starting out, keep reading to find inspiration on how to improve your own photography kit.
A Quick Camera History
A Nikon D3000D was given to each of us students when I began my journalism education. There was no choice or comparison. Unfortunately, we were not actually taught how to take a good photo.
Instead of focusing on the creative process, the classes were built around art history and press agency knowledge. Years later, I rediscovered my genuine passion for photography and began shooting in manual mode again.
When Should You Start Investing In Camera Gear?
CHOOSING YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNEY
Before we investigate any further, please remember that your equipment will not determine your creativity or potential. Let it not be a source of discouragement. I took some amazing shots and even recorded a safari with my oldest camera – which wasn’t even full frame.
I got some odd looks from other photographers about my old gear but that didn’t ruin the experience for me. You need to practice and be truly devoted to build confidence and skills, but you just have to get started somewhere. Now, take a peek at my camera bag essentials.
PS: None of the listed items were gifted! I purchased (and loved) everything myself.
What Camera Body To Pick?
EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT DSLR Cameras
There are a few things to consider when picking out a camera body – sensor size, image quality, and price. Sensor size is important because it dictates the amount of light that can be gathered by the sensor. A larger sensor will result in better image quality, but it will also be more expensive. Image quality is determined by the number of pixels on the sensor.
More pixels means a higher resolution, which is important for printing large photos or cropping them without losing detail. However, more pixels also means a larger file size, so you’ll need a faster memory card and computer to process all those images.
Price is always a consideration when buying anything, but especially when it comes to something as expensive as a camera body. You can find good quality cameras at all price points these days, so it’s important to figure out what features are most important to you and find a camera that fits your budget.
There are many great camera brands out there, so it really comes down to personal preference and camera features you prioritize. Once you’ve considered these factors, you can start narrowing down your choices. For example, if you want a great low-light camera body but don’t want to spend too much money, then the Canon 6D Mark II or the Sony A7 III would be great choices.
If you’re looking for a high-end camera body that can do just about anything, then the Nikon D850 or the Canon 1DX Mark II are worth considering. And if you’re simply looking for a good all-around camera body that won’t break the bank, then the Canon EOS 80D or the Nikon D750 would be great options.
My camera brand of choice
I’m a Canon girl and I chose this brand for its ease of workflow, durability and ability to provide soft colors! I’m a creature of habit so it suits me well. With that said, there are some really great cameras from other brands available and I like to recommend renting them out in order to experiment with different pieces of gear and decide which one works the best for you. That’s how I ended up sticking with Canon – two camera bodies to be precise: EOS 5D Mark IV + 60D.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is my camera body of choice for a number of reasons. Firstly, the image quality is stunning. The 30.4 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor produces images that are sharp and detailed, with beautiful colours. Secondly, the autofocus system is excellent, with 61 points that cover the entire frame.
This makes it easy to keep track of moving subjects and get precise focus. Thirdly, the camera has built-in WiFi and GPS, which makes it easy to transfer images to my computer or smartphone, and geotag them. Finally, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a versatile camera that can be used for a wide range of photography genres, from landscape to portraiture.
The Lenses That Made It Into My Camera bag Essentials
MY TOP FIVE Interchangeable LENSES
- 50mm f/1.8 STM: I use my prime lens all the time. They do come in handy when shooting details, portraits or products, but also landscapes. They are inexpensive, light to carry along. Trust me, they are called nifty fifties for a damn good reason.
- EF 16- 35mm f/2.8L II USM: Every traveler needs a wide angle, and this one is amazing. I got it secondhand off a retired photographer who never used it. The perfect for landscapes, astrophotography and sun flares.
- EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM: My favorite lens of all time, definitely not for its weight (it’s SO heavy) but for its impeccable quality.
Now keep in mind that most camera bodies when purchased brand new, come with a starter’s pack or some sort of deal. With my old body I got the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, which was a fantastic lens to start off with. It’s basically all I had in the beginning. I got the other lenses (except for the 50mm) all secondhand.
A Tripod That Could Save You Camera
WHY A STEADY TRIPOD MATTERS
There are plenty of options to get the job done, and I’ve got the perfect one in mind – the Peak Design Travel Tripod in Carbon! Whether you’re a frequent traveler like me or someone who needs stability for their photographs, this tripod is up to any challenge.
It reliably stands at 60″ (150 cm) while carrying up to 20 lbs (9 kg). Impressive! Even more impressive – it even endured Iceland’s winds!
Let’s just say it quickly became my favorite friend, and we aren’t going anywhere soon! I would choose peak design every day.
Camera Bag: How to transport your gear
There are also different types of camera bags, such as shoulder bags, messenger bags, backpack-style bags, and more. So again, it really depends on your needs as to which type of bag is best for you.
Choose a bag that matches your shooting style. For example, if you do a lot of landscape photography, then you might want a backpack-style bag so you can easily access your gear.
Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW II Camera Backpack. This backpack is comfortable to carry a lot of gear, and it has a lot of compartments and side pockets for organizing everything, even your water bottle. I use this one the most.
Another great option is the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L. This backpack is great for everyday use or travel. It’s comfortable to wear and has plenty of room for your camera and all your essentials. Plus, it comes with a rain cover which makes it party water resistant.
Batteries, Flash & Other Extras
- Canon Camera Grip
- 6 AA batteries
- 2 x CANON LP-E6NH batteries
- Canon Speedlight 600EX II-RT
- Canon EF 2.0x Extender II
- Canon Self-released remote
- SD Cards: SanDisk Extreme Pro & Transcend
The Film Camera
I don’t use them as often as I should, but I have a couple vintage film cameras and lenses around. Some of them are for decoration.
- Canon AE-1 Pro (50mm + 28-210mm lens)
- Minolta X-300
- Canon AE-1
- Jem Jr 120
- Frauka Solida Record
Underwater + Aerial Photography
When it comes to capturing content on the go, I always make sure to have my GoPro 11 Black with me. This little camera has been a game-changer for me when it comes to getting shots that would otherwise be impossible to get. The image quality is fantastic, and the 4K video capabilities are incredible. Plus, with the built-in stabilization, I can get smooth footage even when I’m moving around a lot.
I’ve been using the DJI mini 3 for a few months now and absolutely love it! It’s by far the best drone I’ve ever used and takes amazing photos and videos. The image quality is incredible and it’s so easy to use.
It also comes with a bunch of cool features like object tracking, ActiveTrack, Gesture Mode, etc. If you’re looking for an amazing drone that takes great photos and videos, then I would highly recommend the DJI mini 3!
Gaining knowledge first
Having an understanding of manual shooting and a grasp of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture will give you more of an advantage than buying better equipment. In my opinion, it’s wise to focus on gaining knowledge before advancing to more complex gadgets. As your learning increases, your gear will naturally follow!
Having the right camera gear and lenses for photography can make all the difference between a good photo and an amazing one. With that in mind, I have crafted my camera bag to perfectly suit my needs as a photographer.
From long-range lenses to wide-angle ones, from flashes to filters – there’s something here for everyone, regardless of their level of experience with photography. I hope this article has helped showcase what is inside my camera bag and inspired you to create your own camera bag essentials!