[*Disclosure: Yes, some of the links are affiliate links and I am paid a small commission by the seller (at no cost to you) if you happened to purchase something from one of those links*].
Over the years I have amassed a fair bit of gear. I’ve also sold a TON of gear over the past few years. If I buy something and I don’t like it after a few months I sell it and move on.
This page breaks down some of the gear I use (or have used) along with the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Thanks for visiting, and let me know if you have any questions! I am always adding, selling and swapping gear, so this list changes frequently!
Canon 7D Mark II: This has been my second body (in addition to my 5D series) for the past few years. It is a crop sensor, but high ISO performance has much improved over the past generations, and the high burst rate is great for wildlife photography. I also like to use the [easyazon_link identifier=”B00NEWZDRG” locale=”US” nw=”y” tag=”lv123-20″]7D Mark II[/easyazon_link] for my handheld macro work, as the burst rate significantly helps with the “keeper rate” of macro photos (I go into this a little deeper in my macro post)
Canon 5D Mark 4: My main camera body. I just recently upgraded from the Canon 5D Mark3 and really like the bump in resolution without losing any of the low light performance. Although heavily debated on forums, I still feel that a full frame sensor with bigger pixels gives a much nicer color more consistently than a crop frame.
I also really like that it now has a built in intervalometer, as I enjoy compiling the occasional timelapse. The external intervalometer I used on my 5D Mark 3 worked well, but it is nice to be able to leave this behind when going on hikes etc.
Canon 24-70 F2.8L: Hands down my favorite lens. Not it does not have a ton of reach or a fancy image stabilizer, but the colors that come out of this lens are simply fantastic. If you could only ever buy one lens I would say this is the one. Coupled with an extender it would give you a fair bit of reach, and the sharpness and colors are out of this world. If you don’t need the very low light performance of the 2.8 the new Canon 24-70 F4L IS also has an image stabilizer built in. I have had the chance to use both, and both are great lenses. STRONGLY recommended.
Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS II: A close second to my favorite lens. Great image stabilizer, built like a tank, nice and sharp. I actually dropped this lens not long after I initially purchased it from about 8 feet up. Dusted it off and it was good to go. I am typically pretty hard on my gear, but this thing looks like it will take a beating and keep on going. Very nice all around lens.
Canon 65mm MPE: I have a love/hate relationship with this lens. Crazy sharp, makes some great photos, but a bit of a pain in the butt to use. It allows for up to 5x magnification but does not have autofocus, image stabilization or even a focus ring! Focussing is simply done by moving the lens closer or farther from your macro subject. Once you have your lighting figured out (you will need to use some very high shutter speeds if handheld) it is capable of producing some incredibly sharp and detailed images.
I originally was using the Canon 100mm F2.8 for my macro work but just found it did not get the magnifications I was interested in. If you are doing flowers, small animals etc the 100mm may be more suited to your needs. Myself I was always interested in the higher magnification subjects (think compound eyes on a dragon fly, the jaws of an ant, eyes of a spider etc) and the 100mm just did not cut it for me.
Canon 600mm F4 IS2 Lens: The grandaddy of them all, this is my go-to wildlife lens. An absolute monster of a lens, but the images you can produce with it are incredible. Almost all of my best wildlife images were taken with the 600mm.
I do find the 5DMark4 struggles a little bit with the big 600mm lens, especially when focussing on small, fast moving animals, but I expect to upgrade to the 1DXMark2 soon anyways which should take care of that issue…
DJI Mavic: If you have even the slightest interest in drones you have no doubt come across the DJI Mavic. Small, portable, great range and a decent camera make for a well rounded package.
Although I do not use it as much as my DJI Phantom 4 Pro, the Mavic makes up for the image quality that the P4P offers by being extremely portable. Both are great tools, but the P4P just has that great resolution and low light performance that I love.
Phantom 4 Pro: The Phantom 4 Pro has a vastly better camera sensor than the DJI Mavic. 20MP, 1″ in size make for a great low light performer. I use this drone for the vast majority of aerial work that I do. The clamshell design also makes it quite robust and it can take a little more abuse than the frail-ish Mavic.
Inspire 2: The Ferrari of drones, the Inspire 2 is tough to beat in terms of image quality. It is a bit of an ordeal to tote this thing around, but when you pop an X7 camera on this thing it is unbeatable. For any of my clients that require the best in image quality or for doing large wall prints this UAV is unmatched. I probably only fly it a few times a month (simply because it is not nearly as portable as the Mavic or Phantom) but it is always a treat when I do.
I’ve had some of the bigger drones such as the DJI M600 Pro or the older Spreading Wings series but they just sat on a shelf after getting the Inspire 2. Yes you can carry a full size DSLR but they are huge machines and require a fair bit of setup to operate them properly.
Some of the drones I use are fairly pricey when purchased new. If you are just getting into the field of aerial photography there are often great deals to be had on sites that sell used UAV equipment such as DroneTrader.com.
Make sure to do your research when buying used drone gear, but if you are comfortable with the idea there are some great deals to be had!
One of the questions I am asked almost more than “What camera do you use” is “What software do you edit your photos in?”.
The answer is simple: 80% Adobe Lightroom, 20% Adobe Photoshop. If you are looking for image editing software there are dozens of them available (some even free) however none seem to come close to the ease of use and functionality of the Adobe Creative Cloud twins.
If you were on the fence because of the monthly cost, don’t be. I promise you it is worth it!