Since we’ve been getting more questions lately on what photography gear we use, we figured it’s about time to write this blog post. We used to run a wedding photography business just shy of a decade, so a lot of our gear is catered towards photography professionals (hence the steeper prices), but we also wrote out some great options for those of you starting out that want to improve your images for your blog.
VLOG CAMERA / POINT AND SHOOT
Canon G7X – This has been our new favorite addition to our camera family. For our hikes, we’ve been trying to leave our heavy DSLR behind and use the G7X instead. It’s been amazing especially for vlogging! Mariah Carey’s debut in Las Vegas was entirely taken with the G7x and so was our Gold Strike Hot Springs outing. Here’s our vlog footage from the hike:
The Canon Rebel T5i and the Nikon D5300 are great entry level DSLRs that we recommend if you’re hoping to get your feet wet with photography. We currently use a Canon Mark III for most of our photos on the blog and for unboxing videos, but we only recommend it if you’re generating income from photography or a significant income from blogging. My personal preference has always been Canon over Nikon. They both have their pros and cons and are very comparable.
CAMERA LENS GUIDE
Invest in lenses over camera bodies. Lenses don’t depreciate in value like camera bodies do, and investing the same amount of money in nicer glass will make more of a difference in photo quality than upgrading to a nicer body. We recommend starting off with the first two lenses listed here which covers most types of photography you would use for your blog. After you get a good handle on these two, the others are for more specialized photos.
Although our eyes work differently than lenses do, this is pretty much the equivalent focal length of what we see (if on a full frame camera). This is the prime lens that every beginner photographer starts out with that gives you the pretty blurry background when shooting at 1.8. I started out with this lens and eventually upgraded a few years later to the 1.2L.
These are great versatile lenses great for lifestyle or travel photos. We used the 24-105 as our sole lens while hiking Machu Picchu a few years back, and having the ability to zoom is great if you can’t be as mobile. The 24-70 is the better lens, but both are great depending on your budget.
This has become our main lens the past few years. We now go on some trips with only this lens.
When we went to the Galapagos, 90% of our photos were taken with a 70-200. This is great for zoo trips or anytime you’re shooting anything from farther away, like wildlife. It’s quite heavy, so I don’t recommend taking it on a hike unless you’re dedicated to taking wildlife photography.
We use this lens for macro photography. This is great for shooting jewelry or smaller products. As far as macro lenses go, I’ve had a much better experience using this than our 50 mm macro.
We have a carbon fiber Manfrotto tripod with this ball head for photography and this one for video that does smooth pans. We also have the more affordable Ravelli tripod that we take on day hikes, but we still use the Manfrotto ball head. I like to be mobile with just my camera, so most of the time I’m not using a tripod. However, when we do hikes to waterfalls or astrophotography, we bring one along so that we can get our slow shutter shots like the one below.
SHUTTER RELEASE REMOTE
Needed for long exposure photography (for example the one above) so that you don’t move the camera with your finger on the shutter. We use this one with a cable. We heard reviews that wireless remotes sometimes don’t fire, so we’re in no rush, but we’ll eventually have to find out for ourselves. Do you use one that you absolutely love? (P.S. Also pick yourself up an ND filter for long exposure shots, so you don’t have to shoot at high aperture in the day).
STUDIO PHOTOS WITH A SEAMLESS WHITE BACKGROUND
This is for all those bloggers out there that do product reviews. We bought this professional tabletop studio kit to shoot products for reviews, since technically it’s not legal to be pulling images from google. So far it does everything we need. The quality is pretty good for the price. See our full review here.
- Adobe Lightroom – does all my color correcting and 99% of my edits.
- Adobe Photoshop – We rarely use PS on our travel photos. If you’re shooting more products / lifestyle / portraits on your blog, it’s great to have if you want to remove blemishes on faces or take out a piece of trash in a landscape, etc. Content Aware is amazing!
- iMovie – When Jacob was starting out in editing video, he used mainly iMovie to edit. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but can do most simple video edits. Even our friend Ryan, who happens to be one of the biggest youtubers, used iMovie until he hired his team to shoot and edit his videos.
- Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut – these two are the industry standard for video editing, and Premiere is what we currently use. Premiere is great if you need a more in depth editing process with precision in cutting, ability to color correct, and manipulate footage.
- WP My Cloud EX4100 – Backs up our photos at home. Click though to see full review.
- Crashplan – We use this service to backup all our photos and video to make sure we have it if our hard drives crash or gets stolen.
CAMERA BAGS & ACCESSORIES
They say the best camera is the one you have with you. It’s not always fun lugging around a giant camera. Most of our instagrams are taken from an iPhone6. We also took only our iPhone on our kayaking adventure in Monterey and loved how our photos turned out.
You can also buy external lenses for your iPhone. We have the Pixter Pro Lenses Pack (set of 4). It gives us the option to add a Fisheye, Wide-Angle, Macro, or Telephoto (60mm) lens! The clip on system that makes it really easy to use and change. These are some tiny flowers. To the left, you can see how close you can get with the iPhone alone. To the right, it’s with the macro lens.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend film for bloggers, since the turnaround time is not nearly fast enough, but I included it on the list in case you are looking to get back into film like I am. Jacob recently got me the Canon AE-1, and it’s a great camera to start out with if you’re wanting to shoot film. :) I’ll have to do a post when I finally develop my film.
What type of photos do you like to shoot most?
What camera do you currently use?