What’s In My Bag

It is my pleasure to share with you what is in my camera bag. With much trial and error, I finally managed to get a camera kit together that I’m happy with. I’ve learned that quality of the equipment does make a difference and the sharpness of my photos now demonstrate this.

Beginning with a Canon 60D, I quickly upgraded to a Canon 7D. My best workhorse has been the Canon 5D Mark III which has been superb, but now they have upgraded it to the Canon 5D Mark IV. This newer version is incredible, lighter, faster, quieter larger files for better image quality, what’s not to love?

Long gone is the Canon 7D which was replaced with the newer version of the Canon 7D Mark II. While I loved the 10 frames per second, lighter body, and super quiet shutter, the image quality isn’t what I’m accustomed to. Finding it a little soft, and noise becomes evident with ISO’s over 800, I broke the piggy bank and bought an used Canon 1DX. It’s heavy, it’s noisy, but the image quality and 10 frames per second is great.

As I’m moving more towards nature and wildlife photography, I thought I would miss having a crop sensor, but the image quality out of the full frame cameras (Mark III / Mark IV and 1DX) is so much better than the 7D and 7D Mark II, that the images hold up well to heavy cropping with little image degradation.

My lens lineup now reflect the “L” series of Canon, that cover all focal ranges.

Please feel free to ask me any equipment questions you may have. I’d be happy to share what I know.

For prices and more technical information on this equipment, please click through to my favorite on-line website for camera equipment.

B&H Photo and Video is a superb company, and I love the on-line services that they provide. You can keep a wish list, as well as go back quite some time to review orders you have placed with them. If you call them, the technical advisers are meant to be just that, advisers. They are not product pushers, but rather spend time with you to determine what your needs are, then make recommendations on what would work best for you.



PRIMARY EQUIPMENT:

Canon 5D Mark IV / Canon 1DX

Secondary Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 7D Mark II

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L USM Autofocus Wide-Angle

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Autofocus Macro

Canon EF 24 – 105mm f/4 L IS USM Autofocus Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Autofocus Zoom Telephoto

Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS II USM Autofocus Super Telephoto

Canon 1.4x EF Extender III Teleconverter

Wimberley Gimbal Tripod Head II

Induro GIT 304 Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod

Mongoose 3.6 Gimbal Head (for travel)

Really Right Stuff Tripod TVC-23 (great for travel)

Really Right Stuff BH-25 Ball head (small for travel)

Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash

Sony DSC-RX100 Point and Shoot

77mm filters which fit the most used lenses. 

B&W 77mm #110 Neutral Density 3.0

B&W 77mm #106 Neutral Density 0 .6

Formatt 77mm Graduated Neutral Density 0.9 soft edge

Hoya HRT 77mm Circular Polarizer UV

Singh-Ray Galen Rowell Graduated Neutral Density 3-stop Filter Rectangular

NiSi Filter Holder System with embedded Polarizer Filter

Accessories

Canon Remote Switch RS-80N3

Hoodman Eyecup

PixelFlash USB 3.0 CF Card Reader

Toshiba Canvio Connect 2.0TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0

Pearstone Microfiber cleaning cloth

Black Rapid RS-W1 Shoulder Strap (women’s)

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag

Clik Elite CE509E Camera Capsule Pro Body

Gura Gear Bag Kiboko 22L + backpack (fits all my camera gear including the 500mm lens)

Editing Software

Creative Cloud with Adobe including: Lightroom 6.0 & Photoshop

Nik Collection Software by Google

Topaz Impressions

OnOne Collection

Other Play Toys

Delorme PN-40 & PN-60 GPS (the 40 version is no longer made) **

Asus Ultrabook UX305F  for travel photo backup

iPhone 6 64gb

————————-

There are times when there is a piece of camera equipment that I’m dying to play with, but there is NO WAY I could afford. Also, there are times when I have camera withdrawal when I have to send mine into Canon to be serviced. My favorite place to rent camera equipment is Borrow Lenses. Here is where I got my hands on a fantastic Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS Autofocus lens for my shoot during the winter of bald eagles. This $13,000 lens was mine for the weekend and I had so much fun playing with it.

Please click through to see the wide range of products they offer for rent for that special photo field trip you’ve got your heart set on.

25 thoughts on “What’s In My Bag

  1. Hi Emily

    Hope all is well with you. I am linking to you in tomorrow’s post from soulsnet to your “In My Bag” page. I hope you wil visit and enjoy the post. I could never understand the passion for photography before I started blogging. Now I have visited some wonderful photography blogs, including yours, and it’s even inspired me!! I think you said to me that photography gives you a chance to see the world in a different way. And you were right!!

    With love

    Corinne

    • This is amazing news Corinne ! You are too very kind and I appreciate your interest in wanting to share my blog with your readers. I was just speaking with my horse riding coach today about how I seem to have so many interests, but the riding and photography have helped me to slow down and find focus.

      When I first started shooting last year, I’d come home with 300-500 pics from an outing. Now it’s just about 100 as I really think through what it is I’m wanting to capture. What is it? Why did it catch my attention? How is the best way to showcase it? How can I tell a story with it? And that’s all before I get to the technical part of the shot.

      It’s wonderful to slow down and smell the roses. Have a wonderful evening.

      Much affection,
      Emily aka Bella Remy

  2. Hi Emily

    Slowing down and smelliing the roses, that’s definitely something I need to do.

    Writing my blog has probably helped actually. I aim to post daily so that puts a time pressure on me, but I’ve structured the blog so that I focus on one theme. Today’s theme is about “Pushing Buttons” (people pushing that is) and photography then seemed to be a natural part of the theme.

    I hope it will help me to be a bit less scattered and a bit more focused (there you are another photography term)!!

    Have a great day.
    Love Corinne

  3. Pingback: Who’s pushing your buttons? | soulsnet

  4. Hi Emily, We are avid photographers, travelers and writers in the process of researching upgrades to our equipment. Our experience thus far is with Nikons: D60, D70 and D90. We recently sold the D60 and D70 in anticipation of the upgrade. We are open to anything–including changing over to Canon. Our favorite type of photography is landscape & wildlife. We’re not looking to stop a cheetah in it’s tracks (so a sport/action set-up is not necessary for us), but we do enjoy photographing birds, animals large and small, plants, landscapes, and so forth. We have published a bit, and hope to publish more. We also do a lot of food photography.
    So, given all the trade-offs and compromises involved, what would you recommend as far as a camera? We are hoping that the next camera we get will be our primary camera for many years to come – a camera that will accompany us to the four corners of the globe and, given the right lenses, help us create quality images of wildlife, landscapes and more. We would value your insights.
    Thank you,
    Jack and Barbra Donachy

    • Dear Jack and Barbar,
      Thank you for considering me worthy enough to be able to answer your question. As an photo enthusiast, I’m still very much in the learning process.
      The battle between Nikon and Canon is continual. Nikon users love Nikon, Canon users love Canon. You truly can’t go wrong going with either one, especially if you’re willing to invest in their higher quality equipment.

      As a Canon user, the quality of the “L” lens is unsurpassed, and keeps me a Canon devotee.

      For what you would like to do with your photography, two camera bodies would suit you best.
      For Landscape and Food Photography – having a full-frame format is best. There is a new entry level full-frame Canon EOS 6D
      For the birds, wildlife photography – having a APS-C format camera is best as there is a crop in the camera that gets you closer to the subject. The current 7D will fit this bill, although there are rumors to be released in February of a new 7D Mark II APS-C that may be worth the wait.

      For the lenses, don’t skimp on the glass. Here is where the difference really comes out.
      Standard “Travel” lens – Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM
      Macro Lens (plants/flowers – Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM
      Telephoto Lens (birding/animals) – Canon 100-400mm f/4.0 L IS USM
      Wide Angle Lens (landscapes) – Canon 10-22mm f/3.5 (for APS-C format) For full format Canon 16-33mm f/2.8 L

      My photo coach always tries to get me to switch to Nikon, but the Canon bodies tend to be lighter. If you dig around Leanne Cole Photography’s website, she has received compared a Nikon with a Canon with photo examples. http://leannecolephotography.com/

      I’m not sure if I helped or confused things more. I really enjoy my Canon line up and have no desire to switch in search of higher quality. The true quality comes from the photographer and great post-processing.
      Good luck and feel free to ask more questions!
      Emily

      • Thanks for your thoughts, Emily. Regarding full frame v. cropped frame, your observations sync with what I’ve been able to discern from reading – so I think we definitely want to add an FX format camera. But which one? That’s where we’re still stuck. Barbra is very good with technology and complexities in general, (and I’m educable enough), so making the jump to a more sophisticated camera doesn’t intimidate us. And certainly your note about investing in good (excellent) lenses is well taken. We don’t want to overspend on a camera body and end up with less to spend on lenses.
        A dilemma we’re up against is that we really like MOST of what we have read about the Nikon D800. But there seems to be a significant quality control issue in the production of these cameras – focal points off kilter being at the top of the list. We live in a remote part of the world, and routine dealings with customer service is a dicey proposition under the best of circumstances.
        The Cannon EOS 6D looks like a reliable, entry-level full-frame body.We’re leaning toward a camera we can really grow into and that will serve us for a long time (that’s the hope, anyway), so the Canon 5D Mark III certainly has our attention. Either camera – the Nikon 800 or the Canon 5D Mark III would leave us with enough to seriously upgrade our lenses – which is something we will do concurrently with acquiring new cameras.
        And finally, it does sound like we would be happiest with two cameras, a full-frame and a cropped frame.
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Piece by piece, I’m getting closer to figuring this out.
        Maybe acquiring a camera will prove to be like acquiring a boat. There are lots of really good ones, but they all represent compromises of one sort or another… And so the best one is the one you actually have. If you have any additional thoughts, I would love to read them!
        Cheers, Jack

        • Hi Jack !
          You’d be surprised as to the production quality in general as I purchased two new lenses this year and both of them needed focusing calibration/repairs nearly immediately. Within a year, these repairs are included with purchase and it’s easy to ship to a service center from your home.

          The next consideration is weight. The Nikon D800 is heavier than the Canon 6D, and perhaps even the Canon 5D Mark II. I’ve heard that the Mark III is not the preferred body. When you look at pro photos, many quote having the Mark II body. When you start adding the larger lenses to the body, you can be heaving quite a bit of weight, which can become quickly uncomfortable.

          Don’t forget the Frames per Second count. You want as high as possible for your wildlife shots. The 7D is great for this.

          That being said, there is something to be said in using the same company with equipment upgrades. You’re more familiar with the camera settings and technology. Switching to another company will include a learning curve. I love Canon and know you’d enjoy using their products, but you are to choose what works best for you.

          You should have two cameras – after all, what will the other person do when they don’t have their hands on the camera? Looks like there may be some custody battles. 🙂
          Good luck and feel free to comment back.
          Emily

  5. Oh my goodness, that’s a load of $$$ and you carry it with you all the time. I suppose if that’s what it takes to have good pictures, one must invest. I do appreciate all your pictures, Ms. Bella.

    • I was looking at the Mark II, but then heard they’re coming out with a Mark II 7D at the end of the summer. Then I looked at the Mark III. It’s my next upgrade. I also have the 60D, and within a year upgraded. So soft!

  6. Hi Bella,

    Visiting from wordpress.com’s recommended blogs. You sure have some heavy duty equipment! Are you a professional photographer? I invite you to visit me at jriddlephotography.wordpress.com. Thanks.

    Judy

  7. Hi Bella,

    I’m a first time poster here. Your work is incredible! My wife and I are still in the earlier stages of upgrading to such a dynamic set up as yours (I’m sure you understand the feeling). To be brief, we’re shooting;

    Canon 5Dii, 7D, & 60D
    Canon 17-40L, 35L, 85L ii, and 70-200 2.8L ii
    Canon 600EX-RT & 430EX ii

    Primarily trying to focus on weddings, we have most areas covered, however, coming into the year end discounts, I was considering;

    Canon 5Diii
    Canon 16-35L ii upgrade, 24-70L ii, or the 100L Macro

    I noticed that you have everything on my ‘wish list’ except for the 24-70L ii. Is there a reason you have opted out of purchasing this lens to date? I know several wedding photogs seem to think they couldn’t make it without this lens, but I seem to have done fine, and you’ve been doing exceptionally well.

    If you have 2c that you wouldn’t mind sharing, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you very much, and keep up the good work!

    -Tabor

    • Dear Tabor,

      I apologize for the delay in responding to you. I appreciate you taking the time and commenting on my work.

      The reason why I don’t include the 24-70L in my line up is because..well..I’ve got enough lenses to work with. I do know that portrait photographers LOVE that lens for their images.

      I recently did some portrait shots with horses with the 24-105mm and the 100-400mm lenses and did just fine with the images. I have also done a couple of small events with the 24-105mm lens and have been perfectly happy with the results.

      I believe the 24-70mm is just a bit sharper than the 24-105mm. so it all depends on what you’re interested in having in your kit.The 100L Macro is a rocking lens and a portrait photog I know just tried that lens for portraits and was happy with its results.

      In looking at your line up, are you happy with your two primes? You may be able to reduce # of lenses in your kit by getting that 24-70mm.

      You won’t regret putting the $$$ in the Mark III body, and the other lenses can wait. I’d probably put the wide angle on the end of the list. I rarely use that lens when I consider myself a landscape photographer.

      Hope this helps and feel free to ask me any other questions.
      Emily

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