I skip 99% of the gear gabbing you’ll find on other photography sites, primarily because I’m more interested in the creative side but also because so many other sites already do it really well. I make the occasional exception, like when a new toy falls into my hands before anyone else, or when I feel some industry hype building around an imminent release that needs to be tempered with some realistic expectations.
I did this popular review of my entire kit and how to pack it for travel…um…but that was 6 YEARS AGO. So as you might imagine, a lot has changed. Between that older video post and the number of times I get asked to highlight my fav gear — I figured it was high time for an update in one single vid. Therefore, I present you dear friends & readers a complete breakdown of my essential “working” photo kit AND the kit that we use to make all our behind-the-scenes videos, plus a few extras. Hope you dig – questions / comments encouraged. I’ll be all over it like white on rice.
In this video, I broke my kit into four sections: Still photo gear, [behind-the-scenes] video gear, data management gear and gear extras. For both the still kit and the video kit, I always roll with two of each body (Nikon D4 and Canon 5D Mark III) and 8 additional batteries for each. This basically gives me enough juice to last a week.
On the data management side, you’ll notice we also double up on our drives, both for the road kit and back at HQ. [Side note: if you're traveling with two drives on the road, keep them separate -- separate vehicles, separate hotel rooms, etc. That way if one crashes and burns, you've got back up.]
For gear extras, we have a few supports to choose from (always carbon fiber), some choice audio gear and a real sexy slider from Rhino Camera Gear that’s affordable and quite portable.
REMINDER and to be extra clear…in both photo & video scenarios what we’ve shared is the BASE kit – the kit that goes everywhere without exception. This is gear I think is worth investing in if you are a working pro. It’s NOT my complete gear list and it’s not the complete solution for every gig –we almost always add speciality pieces for particular assignments– but I thought we’d get too deep into the woods and it woulda made a video that was an hour long if we reviewed all that non-essential, non-”core” stuff. So we kept it focused as we could. Here it is. The camera kit I have with me on 99% of the commercial shoots I do:
Nikon D4 – My go-to for stills since it first made its appearance in early 2012. (http://bit.ly/1iARGhY)
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S Zoom Nikkor Lens
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S Nikkor Lens
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S VR II Nikkor ED-IF Lens
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G AF-S FX Nikkor Lens
Nikon SB-910 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight Flash
Canon EOS-5D Mark III
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens (http://bit.ly/N6Uxop)
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AutoFocus Wide Angle Telephoto Zoom Lens (http://bit.ly/1cyf9BY)
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Autofocus Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM AutoFocus Wide Angle Lens
Promise Technology Pegasus J2 512GB SSD Thunderbolt Storage
Solution, Up to 750 MBps Read Speed
Promise Technology Pegasus J4 2.5″ 2TB Thunderbolt Hard / Solid State Drive Enclosure
Zacuto Z-Finder EVF Pro 3.2″ High Resolution Monitor
Tiffen 77mm Variable Neutral Density ND Filter
Manfrotto MVH500AH Professional Fluid Video System, Carbon Legs
Manfrotto Kit with 190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod and MH054MO-Q2 Head (http://bit.ly/1oMKaSN)
Manfrotto 057 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with Rapid Column
Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro On-Camera Microphone
Zoom H4n Handy Mobile 4-Track Recorder
Sennheiser EW122PG3A Wireless Kit
So that’s it. If you look through my BTS posts and videos, there’s a damn good chance you will see some combo of this gear in use. Time-tested; Jarvis-approved.
Special thanks to Adorama for helping me assemble my kit.
The gear vids are my favorite to watch. The very first video of yours that I saw was your storage series, where you introduced us to the type of storage you use, and the redundancy involved. That sank the hook in deep my friend. I have been watching ever since.
You should never hesitate to make a how to, or rather how we video. You and your team have so much to offer, and believe it or not, you are a great on camera host.
Keep up the fantastic work Buddy!
Lee in Newport.
seattle + nyc
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