My Photography Gear
My Professional Photography Equipment
Seven years ago, I picked up my first camera, the Canon T2I. Wow, writing that last sentence really took me back. I paused for a bit just to think about the journey I’ve been on for the past couple of years and I can’t help but feel blessed and grateful to God for the growth that I’ve experience both personally and professionally. So upgrading from the T2I, I purchased the Canon 6D, my very first full frame body. HOOKED, the moment I played around and experienced the full frame sensor, I was hooked so soon after came the Canon 5D MK III, next was the Canon 5D MK IV and now the EOS R. Can you see the trend here? I am a canon shooter. I fell in love with the color science and natural skin tones ever since the 6D and I haven’t looked away since and believe you me, my preorder for the EOS R5 and the EOS R6 are already in the books. So with what said, I currently shoot all my engagement and portraits on two EOS R bodies. Here are some pros and cons.
- Mirrorless has made all my previous EF mount lenses tack sharp.
- Autofocus and autofocus speed, eye af
- Weight saving when compared to a DSLR
- Articulating screen, perfect for different angles
- RF glass
- Great low light performance
- Works very well with EF glass with native adapter
- No need to micro adjust lenses
- Battery doesn’t last as long compared to DSLR
- One card slot*
- RF glass is expensive
- Still can’t get used to the EVF, although it’s very useful in bright sunlight
OK I’m not sure if you noticed it but there is an asterix on the one card slot, and that’s because of this simple reason. As mentioned above, my very first full frame was the Canon 6D, on which there were only one card slot, the SD card slot. So even after upgrading to the 5D series, which housed two card slots, I kept using only the SD cards I had on hand. See, I had developed a backup system for shooting weddings on the 6D and I kept using that system even after upgrading. Naturally, a few years and modifications later, I’m still using that system. Which brings me to this say this, while the upcoming EOS R6 is only 20 megapixels, it does have two SD card slots, very appealing for someone in my position to say the least.
More Important than the camera bodies are the lenses you attach to your camera. Think of it like this, ask anyone who uses glasses or contacts lenses, if they had a choice to keep using glasses or have 20/20 vision, what would that choice be? I’m sure most of them would say they’d choose to have better vision. What I’m trying to say is this, the glass you put in front of the camera sensor is matters. In most cases, whether it’s focus speed, build quality/weather sealing, sharpness or optical quality, paying the red ring tax is very well worth it for canon’s professional lens lineup.
In my camera bag, wait sorry I meant my pelican case, you should find the Tokina 16-28mm, Canon’s 24mm, 35mm, 45mm TSE, 50mm, 70-200mm, 85mm, Tokina 100mm, and the 135mm. There are a few other lenses that I have my eyes on like the Sigma’s 105mm f1.4, and some of Canon’s new RF mount glass like the new 50mm f1.2 and 85mm f1.2.
A lifestyle photographer can get away with just a camera, a lens and maybe a reflector, however wedding photographers like myself are required to have a bit more in arsenal. I currently use the Orlit flash system from adorama as they are directly compatible Canon’s own rt radio frequency. Sadly, The orlit brand no longer offer speedlights like they once did but what’s awesome is if I do need a replacement, I can pick up the canon’s own 600EX RT and know that it will work will all my existing speedlights and strobes. The orlit RT 600C where the best third party speedlight I’ve ever used on my canon systems and even had a faster recycle time too. Fear not, if you didn’t invest in a previous flash system, The Flashpoint/Godox is one I do recommend.
For bigger projects, portraits and other things, I use strobes and this is my favorite. The orlit 601 is a 600ws high speed sync capable, battery operated strobe that gets me about 450 shots at full power and oh did I mention battery. So no cords and since it communicates with my speedlight triggers, no extra receivers are needed when using this strobe on location. The quality of light is awesome, clean and consistent.
There a lot of other things I use for shoots, like prism bars, small copper pipes and even my collection in of CPL filters, and while these are very useful creatively, they are not required to take beautiful portraits and work as a freelance photographer. Truth is, as you learn, you will grow and so will your repertoire and gear and in some cases even your pocket, that’s if you don’t end up suffering from gear acquisition syndrome like I do. The best thing you can do as of this moment if you are interested in photography is get yourself a camera, learn it then go out and shoot. if there’s one thing I can tell you is learning to be a photographer is more about learning the tools and not so much the craft because you will eventually learn the craft as you learn the tools.
Quick disclaimer: the links above are affiliate links so I do get a small kick back if you purchase any of the items listed above from said links. With that said, for the sake of me sleeping at night, my recommendations are base on my own experience with every product I have mentioned and I use them in a professional setting. I would love to hear your thoughts and any of the items I mentioned above and if there is a product you’d like me to try, feel free to right it down below.
There are quite a few of other things that I haven’t talked about in this post such as the editing softwares, the computers necessary to edit the images, storage and storage space for backups and redundancy, other tools such as client management and delivery and not for forget light stand and light modifiers. So stay tuned because there will absolutely be a part 2 to this.