It’s not the camera that makes a great picture, it’s the person behind the camera.
As an photographic educator, I’m often asked what gear I use or recommend. Cameras have a job to do – capture what I see and reproduce it accurately. I rely on my gear to accurately reproduce what I am trying to capture and not need to be babied. Many of my students often become frustrated they don’t have the same equipment that I do. When this occurs, I simply remind them that I’ve been shooting pictures for over 30 years and have amassed a lot of equipment in that time.
Items listed below will link to a full product description on the Roberts Camera web site or the product manufacturer. For the best prices make sure you call and ask for Jody Grober at Roberts (800) 726-5544. Jody is a good friend and he will take good care of you. I buy almost all of my gear from them. They are competitively priced, quick and efficient.
Camera bodies and lenses – from start to today
I have one bag I carry everyday (EDC) – to work, shopping, traveling, etc. The other sets are the equipment I use to shoot assignments.
I have always used Canon gear as my primary equipment. I learned photography with a WWII vintage Canon rangefinder and from there I was hooked on Canon. That’s not to say that other camera manufacturers are not just as good, it’s simply that I’ve grown up using Canon cameras. About 20 years ago, I began using Leica M4P rangefinders and a couple of Leica lens for street shooting and some projects. Leica is known for their small size and extremely sharp lenses. As I got older, I had problems with my eyesight and couldn’t focus as fast manually, and began my search for an autofocus rangefinder-like camera system. I have considered the newer Leica M9 digitals, but simply couldn’t justify the cost of a Leica body.
About two years ago, Fujifilm introduced the X-Pro1. I bought one and the three lenses that were available at the time. I added several bodies and prime lenses to my collection for my everyday assignments. However, I was missing the ability to also shoot video with the same camera body. The Fuji X-series of cameras produce excellent still images, but the video functions are not the quality I needed for multimedia story-telling. Several months ago, I was talking with one of my students about her choice in cameras. She mentioned the Fuji system but asked why I was still carrying my Canon equipment to shoot video. It was at that moment I realized I needed to examine what I was practicing with my equipment choices versus what I taught. I needed to find a small system that could shoot excellent stills and video. And so my evaluations began …
A camera system I never thought I’d own
A year ago if you had told me I would be shooting Sony as my camera system, I’d have told you you were crazy. Enter the Sony a6000 body. A close friend of mine Patrick Murphy-Racey had been using the Sony system and suggested that I consider trying their cameras and lens. I got hold of an a6000 and the the 16-50mm kit lens. I was amazed at the quick autofocus and I Knew the video ability was excellent. I ordered a Zeiss Touit 32/1.8 and a Sony 50/1.8 and have been amazed at the images it captures, the focusing speed and the quality of the images. Add all those to the ability to shoot better than 10 frames a second and I was sold. I have since added a Sony A7 body to the mix along with several other lenses.
The Sony a6000 and Touit 32/1.8 have become my everyday carry (EDC) camera in my Tenba Messenger Mini bag
I like to work quick when I’m on assignment, so I utilize two pieces of equipment depending upon the assignment. I love the Tenba Shootout 14L ActionPack. Although it’s marketed as a bag for GoPros, I’ve modified it for Mirrorless cameras. I’ve added a Tenba BYOB 10 and BYOB 7 to the mix which protect my lenses and extra bodies. Tenba makes a great bag and I love modifying them for my different uses.
My roller bag is the Tenba Roadie Universal rolling bag loaded with Sony gear in the Tenba BYOBs. After I get to an assignment, I can load the BYOB into the Packlite Travel Bag and have a shoulder bag to work out of for assignments.
Sony a6000 body (APS-C 1.5 crop)
Sony A7 body (full frame)
Zeiss 24/1.8 E Mount
Sony 70-200/4G FE Mount (full frame)
Sony 28-70/3.5-5.6 FE Mount (full frame)
Sony 18-105/4G E Mount
Sony 10-18/4 E Mount
Sony 50/1.8 E Mount
Sigma 19/2.8 E Mount
Sony HVL-F60M Flash
I’ve recently gotten into using a Phantom 2 Vision drone for some of my work. It’s a great way yo get some interesting shots from overhead and is a lot of fun to fly. Here is my Tenba Roadie HDSLR/Video Backpack which I use to transport my kit.