What Camera Equipment I use
One of the most common questions I get is “What camera equipment do you use?.”
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you may have caught my post “What Camera and Lens to Get” that I wrote a few years back. Fast forward to the present and I now have a couple of new things in the mix that I want to share with you. Today I am sharing all the camera equipment I currently use and why I love every piece. Also included at the bottom of this post is a special downloadable PDF with super helpful information you might want to check out (especially if you are a beginner learning about photography)!
Keep on reading to see what camera bodies, lenses and other equipment I use on the regular.
I currently have two bodies, but that is definitely not necessary. Keep in mind that these are both excellent choices! If you are just learning how to use a professional camera and not sure what you really need just yet (or even how to use one), I highly recommend the Canon Rebel. Read why here. The other thing I would recommend is renting! I often rent from LensRentals.com when I want to test new bodies or lenses out. This company is amazing! The prices are pretty good, the equipment is top notch and they make the shipping back situation super easy. This way you can test everything out before committing. I currently use two different bodies which are both equally amazing, but just have different features. Heres what I currently use:
Canon EOS 5D Mark iii
The Canon 5D Mark iii is an amazing camera and my first big upgrade. Its full-frame which means basically it will have a better dynamic range and the quality is much higher than a cropped sensor (especially when shooting in low light). You will get the best use out of your camera lens. I love this camera because it has amazing Auto Focus, the shutter is super fast, it has a lot of amazing features, shoots video and you can put two cards into it so you can make sure you have a backup in case one of your memory cards fails. The quality is excellent! If you are thinking of going professional. This one is amazing and I highly recommended. I have had it for years and love this baby. My photos instantly looked cleaner and more professional when I started using this camera.
Canon EOS 6D Mark ii
The 6D Mark ii was my second camera body. This has become my current favorite body. I ended up buying this camera because of the built-in wifi and video aspects. With the built-in wifi, I can use an app on my phone to shoot myself using the camera. When I travel for brands, sometimes I don’t have anyone to shoot me and need to be as self-sufficient as possible. This is my secret weapon. I downloaded the Canon app to my phone and now I can see what the photo looks like from my phone whenever I use the app. I can also adjust the settings, ISO, Aperture and even the focus point. Then just snap a photo from my phone– the ultimate selfie cam! Another amazing thing about this body is that it has a touch screen and the screen can be moved around to get different angles. The video on this one is also way better than the 5D Mark iii for various reasons. It has great autofocus, tracking, and amazing color (which was a plus for me since I wanted to do more videos for my YouTube channel!)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens
The Canon 50 mm is an amazing lens for close up detail shots, street- style and portraits. It gives that beautiful signature Bokeh effect (blurred background) that so many people love. I use this one when I want to just hyper-focus on the details and flatten out the background. Bring this one to 1.2 or 1.4 and the bokeh is especially dreamy! This is really a good all around lens, but I feel it can be limiting at times (especially at close distances).
Canon EF 35 mm f/ 1.4 L
The Canon 35 mm is one of my favorite lenses. This one gives a beautiful semi-wide angle look. It’s incredibly sharp but gives a soft dreamier look. I love this one because it’s a great “story-teller” lens. I use it a lot for traveling, for full-bodied street style shots, and when I want to show off the whole landscape or background as well. It’s truly a very versatile lens! While I do enjoy shooting some portraits with this lens, it actually isn’t ideal for that. It will warp the subject a bit and look a bit off if you do not know how to use it properly. I would stick to a different lens for that task (especially if you are a beginner). The good news is that it will make you appear taller if you are shooting a full body look!. The sigma 35 is also a great lens for a fraction of the price. I don’t have this one but I tested it out through LensRentals.com. It’s a perfectly good 35 mm lens, but I personally think the Canon is definitely worth the splurge! The look is crisp and very dreamy.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II
I really really really (one more really?) adore this Canon 24-70 mm lens because it has so much range! You can shoot it at 24mm and get a really wide-angle shot (great for that wide-angle travel photo) or shoot it from 50-70mm and get that amazing portrait bokeh background look (perfect for details). The only downfall is that it is bigger and heavier than both the 50mm and the 35mm. Lugging this around can be a pain (which is why I mostly stick to the 35 when traveling). It also only goes down to 2.8 f, but it still looks super sharp! Either way, this lens is just great if you want more variety out of one lens.
I take this tripod with me when I travel. I love it because it’s small and can grip on to anything. If I am traveling and need to do a self-timer shot of myself I can wrap this guy around a tree branch or chair for example. Pair this with the canon mark ii 6D and you can survive pretty well on your own shooting your own photos. Also great if you want to get shots of you and your sig other but don’t have anyone to shoot it. I also use this when shooting vide of myself for YouTube.
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
A flash is so necessary sometimes. It’s great for when the sun is directly behind you during sunset and you need a pop of light to smooth out those shadows or anytime its too dark and you need a pop of light. This one has been a lifesaver when I’ve had to shoot indoors at nighttime events as well. While the 600EX Speedlite is a more expensive one, I recommend it because it is very fast and you can shoot with a fast shutter. It also reads the color beautifully.
Compact Flash memory card
I know this is a HUGE size, but I often use my 256gb SanDisk memory card. Yeah, it’s WAY more than anyone needs really. It’s also expensive (pro tip: buy all your memory cards during Black Friday, the sales are insanely good). I love this size because I shoot in RAW so my photos take up more space and I shoot many photos per shoot. We also shoot very quickly. This card, in particular, is fast enough to keep up with our shutter and image size that I shoot at. I also shoot a lot of videos so this way I don’t have to keep emptying out my card every day. I can shoot many photos in one week and still have room. This baby will fit up to 7,000 photos sometimes. Otherwise, I would suggest a 64 gb which is more reasonably priced and still fits a lot of images. Make sure to get the fastest memory card no matter what size you get.
I had to include this in my list because my iPhone XS camera quality really does blow me away. Sometimes (in certain conditions) it even looks better than my DSLR. The video quality on this one is also amazing. The stabilization is incredible and the look is so crisp! There is no need for buying a vlogging camera (in my opinion). If you want to just shoot everything on your iPhone why not? I personally love a good DSLR so I can do a lot of different types of shots but that’s just my preference.
BONUS : FREE PDF
I put together a free PDF that I thought could be helpful for some of you! This “Frank Vinyl Cheat Sheet” shows all the settings and lenses I used for specific photos we shot. You will also find a list of my go-to rules I always live by when shooting. Last but not least, I included a graphic that helped me so much when I was first learning how to use my camera in manual mode.
Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment below!
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