I’ve been taking photos for many years now, but held out on getting a DSLR until just a couple years ago. Since then I have gotten the chance to shoot on a regular basis and started keeping up with sites such as this one, and thus have added some much needed gear to my camera bag. That said, I don’t do any studio shooting so my list is still pretty basic. The majority of my photography work is carried out while traveling or photojournalistic in nature so I tend to prefer to pack light (although not light enough that I am missing something I wish I had brought along). So, what equipment have I managed to accumulate?
Lowepro Exchange Messenger Camera Bag: This bag has been with me to 12 countries and counting. It’s big enough to fit the things I need on a typical day while small enough to not weigh me down or get in the way. It has 2 pockets + a zipper pocket which helps keep things a bit more organized. I also like it because it doesn’t have the appearance of being a camera bag. My only wish is that it came with a rain guard since I’m outside a lot.
Canon Rebel XSi: Although this is a basic dSLR, it usually does the trick. It does considerably well in low-light and has a lot of options in terms of shooting modes and settings. However it is one of the older models and I’ll likely have to upgrade in the near future. Recently I’ve also had a couple of instances when shooting in cold weather where I get error messages and have to take out the battery to get it going again.
Opteka .45x wide angle: Since I’m on a budget I got this wide angle lens which attaches to a regular lens and is useful for capturing a slightly more expansive scene. It also comes with an adapter ring which doubles as a macro lens. At only $50 it was a great investment.
Vivitar DF-383: I’m not a big fan of using a flash, but sometimes it is necessary and this is the go to. It has bounce and swivel options which I like in order to adjust where the flash is aiming.
Flash diffuser: A must have when I’m using flash.
Vello Off-Camera TLL Flash Cord This is useful for even more flexibility in terms of lighting directions when using flash. However it can be a bit of a juggle to hold the flash and the camera separately and still shoot steadily.
Remote Shutter Release: I don’t use this very often, but it comes in handy every once in awhile. It takes up a small amount of space and is inexpensive.
Op/Tech 18″ SLR Rainsleeve: Gallon-sized Ziploc bags have been replaced and for the better.
Gepe Card Safe Mini: This is marketed as being waterproof and shock resistant and it’s been helpful in keeping all the memory cards organized and safe.
Three extra memory cards (Kingston 2gb, SanDisk Extreme III 4gb, Kingston 8gb): I’ve found I prefer the SanDisk. It’s slightly faster and 4gb seems to be the most manageable space – any less isn’t enough and any more and there’s too many images for my computer to have to go through and read when I’m uploading a new set (since I don’t erase any files until I’ve archived them which usually takes longer than it should).
Extra battery: Another must have, for obvious reasons. It’s not a good feeling to be out and have to worry about the battery charge (or memory card space).
iPhone: I keep this on hand for obvious reasons. Plus I can shoot video and post updates and pics to sites such as Twitter on the go.
Additional items I always keep with me include a pen, notebook, Sharpie, and business cards.
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