Andy’s Camera Gear

(Disclaimer: clicking certain links will take you to Amazon, who may pay me a commission when you make a purchase, either way you pay the same price)

First, thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my recent trip report and compliment the photography.  I put a lot of time into my images and it means a lot to hear that you enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed taking and processing them.  I’ve done a version of this post before but wanted to rehash it for all of those new to the blog.

Cameras

I travel usually with two camera bodies: a Sony a7rII and a Sony a7.  This is in addition to my iPhone 6.

Sony a7rII

Sony a7rII

I love the Sony alpha series mirrorless cameras.  They are small and light yet pack a powerful punch.  The a7rII, in particular, has a massive 42.4 megapixel sensor and also shoots 4K video!  These cameras are not without their flaws but they are perfect for me.  Very frequently when I’m on the road I’ll have one camera shooting a timelapse with the built-in intervalometer app while I’m using the other camera to shoot a particular scene.

Lenses

I own a variety of Sony lenses and usually travel with three of them at any given time.

16-35mm f4, super wide angle for dramatic landscapes or architectural photography

16-35mm f4, super wide angle for dramatic landscapes or architectural photography

My 16-35mm is my go to for landscapes and most of my in-plane shots.  It’s sharp when I need it to be yet provides some pleasing background blur when that’s what I’m looking for as well.

55mm f1.8, for a walkaround lens and whenever I'm shooting in low light

55mm f1.8, for a walkaround lens and whenever I’m shooting in low light

This is the sharpest lens I own (and one of the sharpest ever tested, according to DXOMark).  I use the 55mm for walking around, low light, and also use it for most of my panoramas, where I take a series of 5-10 shots and combine them together to make one enormous image.

70-200mm f4, for portraits, sports, and close-up detail shots

70-200mm f4, for portraits, sports, and close-up detail shots

My 70-200 is a versatile telephoto lens.  I’ve used it for portraits, sports, landscapes, wildlife, pretty much anything.  It takes up a lot of room in my bag so occasionally I’ll leave it at home in favor of my 90mm f2.8 macro lens, but for trips I think the 70-200 is worth the space it takes up.

Accessories

Yongnuo YN560III

Yongnuo YN560III

I usually travel with one or two of these speedlights.  I just never know when I might need to light something.  Most of my hotel shots involve me blending in some “flash pops” to light certain areas of the scene a little more.  This flash and the radio transmitter ran a total of about $110 on Amazon and I’ve been really happy with the quality.

Fstoppers FlashDisc

Fstoppers FlashDisc

This flash diffuser is perfect for my travel pack because it packs up so tightly and works so well.  If I ever need to take a picture of anything or anyone and don’t want to point a flash directly at it I’ll use this.  It unpacks and repacks in seconds and can make or break a picture.  They run about $50 apiece and are well worth it.

mefoto Globetrotter tripod

Mefoto Globetrotter tripod

This little tripod has been a workhorse for me.  It’s been on 5 continents and in almost any environment imaginable and just keeps going.  It’s lightweight, converts into a monopod, and the best part is it folds up to fit in my carry-on luggage with room to spare.

MacBook Air

MacBook Air

It’s exactly what it looks like, a MacBook Air.  I’m going to upgrade this to a MacBook Pro sometime soon but I’ve been amazed at how much I can do with the little Air.  I keep a 1TB USB hard drive with me so I don’t overload the poor thing with my pictures.  The MacBook is perfectly sufficient for Lightroom and even Photoshop work but I found as soon as I loaded Premiere onto it it kinda went “nuh-uh”, so back to just photos I guess 🙂

The Bag

Fastpack 350, closed

Fastpack 350, closed

All of the above (with the exception of the tripod) fits into this bag, a Lowepro Fastpack 350.  It’s a big bag, almost too big honestly.  There are things I like about it and things I don’t.  I wish it had a back-facing access panel, it’d make me feel more secure.  That said, it has room for quite a bit in addition to photography stuff, I can fit all of my travel things in the top part while my camera gear occupies the bottom section.  Here’s what it looks like opened.

Fastpack 350, camera department open

Fastpack 350, camera department open

Not Done Yet

I’m always looking for another piece of gear and have a few other items not mentioned here, including a new Westcott Flexmat that I use for video lighting.  But what I’ve covered here is my travel kit, not every piece of photography equipment I own.  This kit enables me to take almost any shot I could imagine when I’m running around the world while keeping everything nice and close to me.

Any questions or thoughts?  Please leave them in the comments below!

10 Comments

  1. Does the 350 have enough space for two bodies?

    Reply
    • Yes, but not with lenses on both

      Reply
  2. I’ve been looking for a ‘great’ mirrorless for quite some time. i have the 5DM3 and it’s very heavy. can you elaborate on the low light shots? and the timelapse feature (i use a third party to set mine up)?

    Reply
    • Hi Gino, I just mean the 55mm is my fastest lens at f1.8. The Sony has absolutely killer dynamic range and does very well at higher ISOs though.

      The Sony has an App Store and one of the things you can buy is their time lapse app, which is a built-in intervalometer. It automatically adjusts for things like sunsets as well. A big adjustment for you coming from a 5DIII is the battery life.

      Reply
      • I’m BIG on astrophotophay + astro timelapses. I wonder how battery will hold up at night when the shutter speed is ~25-30 seconds.

        Reply
        • Well the good news is the batteries are really cheap and it can also be charged by a portable USB charger while shooting

          Reply
  3. Andy, I’m curious why you travel with both the A77 & the A7. To the best of my knowledge they’re the same camera as far as technology & features, but the A7 has the APS sensor which essentially crops the image and adds 25% to the focal length. I’d trade my A7 for an A77 in a heartbeat.

    Reply
    • Hi Doug, I travel with an a7rII and an a7, not an a77. (Thanks Sony for making the naming convention not confusing or anything!)

      All of the a7 variations are full frame sensors. I travel with two bodies just to have the flexibility for time lapses and things like that, although I may trade my a7 for an a6000 one of these days

      Reply
  4. How do you handle traveling for work? That’s been my biggest “struggle” is trying to figure out how to pack my camera gear, but also my work laptop and all that junk.

    Do you just use the same bag and leave the camera stuff in the hotel while going into the office?

    Reply
    • I usually keep the camera stuff with me even when traveling for work (with the exception of the tripod). My laptop fits in a pocket in the back of the backpack so I just take it all with me to client offices.

      Reply

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