My Guide to Camera Equipment

I've have been asked a few times lately what gear I use to shoot photo and video with so I thought the blog would be a great place to share! While there is always better equipment to purchase and newer gadgets, this equipment below has proven to work for my line of work. I do mostly freelance video work for small businesses and non-profits and do a variety of photo projects including social media product photos for companies, general product photos, events and work for other small to mid-size clients. Where I work we are provided with larger budgets and high-end equipment to shoot with, but below is what I shoot with personally (obviously on a more limited budget!).

Camera body: Canon 6D

I personally use the 6D due to its price point and versatility. I have used higher-end Canon models and also used lower-range models including the Canon T2i. If you are making the jump from a lower-end Rebel but don't want to shell out to the Mark III, the 6D sits in a perfect bracket that gives you a lot of features for a much lower price. For $1099 you can buy a refurbished Canon 6D body directly from Canon with a 1-Year Warranty included. It has a full-frame sensor and shoots very well in low-light conditions. It feels solid and has other features including 60 fps at 1280x720 plus 24 and 30 fps at 1920x1080. The shutter is quiet and the controls are easy to navigate with the light up LED screen. One feature that I love with the 6D that even the high-end Mark III model does not contain is Wifi. I can view and download photos to my phone through the stand-alone wifi network the camera can create. This enables me to easily share the photos with friends and family. The app that pairs with it also acts as a camera remote and settings can be adjusted from inside the app itself.

Go to lens: Canon 24mm-70mm f2.8 & Canon 50mm f1.4

If you have the cash, the 24-70 will pay off. It is one of the most versatile lens I have used and is very sharp for photo and video. It gives me close personal shots and wide angle shooting abilities. I have the older generation but it still get my heavy lifting done and is my all purpose lens. This is my "everyday lens" that I take when shooting personal media but also stands up against my needs when shooting professionally. It is built like a tank and has some weight to it, making it feel quality. Look into refurbished options from trusted retailers to help bring the price down. Don't buy this as your "first lens" but if you are wanting to upgrade, look into this option for sure! 

The Canon 50mm f1.4 is great for interviews or more "intimate" photography and video. It has a serious amount of depth to the photos and the colors look rich. This one costs $349.99 but if on a budget I suggest the trusty "nifty fifty" (Canon 50mm 1.8).  It is one of the best deals on the market and one that is priced unbelievably low but its quality is un-matched at the price point.

Best quick and compact tripod: Manfrotto

Anything Manfrotto is a good pick in my book. I really have enjoyed the Manfrotto BeFree due to its size and portability. It is also lightweight. One drawback is it is not super sturdy and lacks height when fully extended. Overall, it is a good fit for on the go, quick shooting sessions. Manfrotto makes a wide variety of tripods to fit all needs.

Best bag for gear: Think Tank

I swear by these bags. They not only keep my gear safe and dry, but are packed with features while remaining comfortable to wear. They hold up to travel well, and I have done over 20+ international trips with Think Tank bags and they barely have any wear and tear on them. My gear has stayed 100% protected and still have room for items such as a laptop and iPad. They are not the cheapest on the market, but they are worth it to protect my gear. 

My shooting style: Keep the picture/video as natural as possible

One thing I try to maintain is natural looking photos and videos. I barely, if ever, apply a pre-set application filter on my photos and videos. I do tweak the color and such but only to the point that I feel I can enhance the photos to make it more life like. I try to keep my whites true to white and blacks true to black. Adding a quick pre-made filter is easy, but fine-tuning shots to make them more life-like is something I strive after! I adjust temperature, exposure, contrast and shadows on almost every photo but just ever so slightly! 

That is just a few of my basic items that I use and look forward to sharing more in the future. If you have any questions about certain types of gear or more equipment I use, don't hesitate to reach out to me! Hope this helps!

- Jon