Camera Equipment – Updated
I realized recently that this post about my camera equipment is really outdated, so here I am today to rectify that situation. I’ve upgraded my body (camera body, that is…if only we could just “upgrade” our stomach, hips and thighs!), purchased a couple new lenses and learned gobs of new techniques since that post.
My new camera body is this, the Canon 7D.
My old camera, the Rebel XSi, was an “entry level” DSLR. It’s perfect to use to start learning about photography, without investing thousands of buckaroos in fancy equipment before you even knew if it was something you want to stick with. Once I figured out that I most definitely do want to stick with photography, upgrading made a lot more sense. I went back and forth between this 7D and the 60D, but ultimately chose this because of the memory card (it takes the much more reliable and¬†desirable¬†Compact Flash cards) and the improved Autofocus system as compared to the 60D.
I’ve gotta admit – I’m still coveting the much more pricey, full frame 5D Mark II, and I probably always will!
Anyway, I sold my old XSi on Craigslist and put the money toward the 7D. Best. Investment. Ever. My favorite lens is still my 50mm f/1.8 (it’s a prime lens, meaning no zoom):
But it has some serious competition in this 35mm f/2 (also a prime)!
This Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 got a ton of use during our big home remodel (which is not even close to done yet, by the way) because it’s a “wide angle” lens (meaning you can stand in the doorway of a room and capture almost you’re entire view in the frame from there). There’s a good amount of distortion, so you can pretty much always tell the photos were taken with a wide-angle, but I don’t mind at all. In fact, I think wide-angle lenses have great creative potential, even for fun portraits. Overall, this lens gets a lot of use!
I still have the 55-250mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens:
It’s a pretty decent zoom lense for the price (about $200)! ¬†They were giving me a deal on it when I bought my first camera, the XSi, on Black Friday so I ended up with this in my bag from the get-go. ¬†I haven’t used it much, but it’s nice to know that if I need a “telephoto” lens, I’ve got this in my bag.
I typically don’t like to use flash at all in my portraiture. I’m one of those oft-ridiculed “natural light photographers” (although I do know how to use the flash if I need it). When I do need it, I’m sure glad to have the¬†Speedlight 580EX II in my bag! There’s no replacement for good lighting in photography…no amount of post processing can make up for poor lighting!
And then there’s the Lightscoop:
It’s an awesome tool to have in your camera bag. ¬†It works by slipping in the hotshoe on the top of your DSLR, you pop up your built-in flash, and BAM! ¬†The angled mirror bounces the flash off whatever you have the mirror pointed at (a ceiling under 12′ or a white wall works best) and evenly distributes the flash over whatever you’re shooting. ¬†It’s a freakin’¬†miracle¬†worker. ¬†Seriously. ¬†Take a look:
The reason, though, that the Light Scoop isn’t great for all situations is this: it is only as fast and powerful as your built-in flash is. ¬†When you’re doing a photoshoot that requires an extra light source, it can be frustrating to rely solely on the Lightscoop because your camera’s re-cycle time won’t be able to keep up with the shoot!¬† But, at $25 apeice (there’s the regular version – shown above – and a warming version with a brown tinted mirror), they’re so affordable that it’s silly not to get one or two. ¬†For the occasional pop-up flash use, it’s a lifesaver. Mine has saved many, many, many of my indoor photos.
That’s pretty much it for my DSLR stuff.
My point & shoot camera is a¬†Canon Powershot SD960 IS ($179 on Amazon). ¬†It’s totally awesome. ¬†The best point & shoot I’ve ever had (my old Kodak V1253 is a close second), in pretty much every situation.