Personal camera kit as of 2017
(I say personal because I also have a military issued Nikon camera kit)
I receive dozens of messages asking what kind of camera I use or what I would recommend for a new camera buyer.
First things first, the camera is a tool. The camera does what you tell it to do. The more expensive the camera, typically the more control you will have. Investing in a solid camera is very important and often times, a big decision.
I am not writing a "camera buying guide" here, I would just like to share with y'all what is in my camera bag and why I like it. This is very subjective and personal, and tailored to my needs as an artist.
This is my camera bag emptied out (besides my Mac Book Pro and chapstick).
Not to get too technical too quick, but this is important information. I shoot with mirrorless camera bodies with a Micro Four Third sensor. If that sounds like a foreign language, a quick google or youtube search of those terms will catch you up.
If you've followed my work over the years, it is clear that I travel a lot and my gear is always with me. I often shoot in sketchy neighborhoods, or places where a large camera is not welcomed with open arms.
For my line of work, it is simple. Travel and shoot light. The smaller the better.
The Panasonic GH4 has been a work horse for me. This camera is small, light, and affordable. This body was designed by Panasonic for heavy video shooters. Every video I have created was shot with this guy. It has been well worth the money, and I can't recommend it enough, especially if you are looking to shoot videos and still.
Olympus OMD EM-5 mark ii
This Olympus body is my favorite camera for still photography. I take this thing everywhere. I love this body because it is again, very small, discreet, and affordable. Not only is this camera beautiful looking, it is very functional. For the line of work I do it is great because it does not look like the modern photojournalists camera. It allows me to photograph dangerous or restricted areas without much notice.
The main reason I shoot with both Olympus and Panasonic for my personal kit is because you can interchange their glass. Both brands make amazing and affordable lenses, and they work between brands with no adapters needed. Panasonic tends to tailor their goods toward the video world, and Olympus aims to please the still photographer.
Being that I shoot on micro four third camera bodies, it is important to remember the focal length of these lenses double. A 50mm turns into a 100mm. I only have three lenses in my kit, covering from 24mm-300mm, all 2.8f or faster.
Panasonic Lumix G, 12-35mm, 2.8f
This lens typically stays on my GH4. The focal length doubles to 24-70mm. It is a good all purpose lens especially for a videographer. It is fast, silent, and tough. As you can see it is slightly damaged, as it has taken a lot of abuse, yet still shoots like gold.
Olympus M. Zuiko Pro, 40-150mm, 2.8f
This is an all time favorite lens for me. I shoot a lot of work with this glass. It is very fast and compact. It doubles to a 300mm, making a great telephoto at a compact size, yet still a pro level lens. This lens is the best for capturing moments and scenes without getting in the way, or being noticed.
Olympus M. Zuiko, 45mm, 1.8f
I love this little lens. This is a great portrait lens. It is a prime and it is quick. Tack sharp, light, and affordable. This is the perfect lens for street photos, low light and portraits. The lens is no bigger than a K-cup.
Just like the rest of my gear, I want everything small, light and affordable. My flashes are an off brand, which helps save money. I don't use flash often, but when I do, these speed lights get the job done without taking up much space.
Honestly I don't use these a lot. They are alright. If I did a lot of studio or commercial work, I would probably upgrade to better speed lights. For what I do, these get the job done at a good price.
Amazon LED Light
This isn't revolutionary gear here. Just a cheap Amazon LED light. It is battery powered and pretty small. This thing produces a good amount of light for its size and is a must for lowlight videography.
Manfrotto Travel Tripod
This little tripod has been a great investment. I use it almost every time I pull my cameras out. This tripod is light and easy to pack. I keep some rope tied around the leg to string up if I need to get a crazy shot or secure it to something.
Zoom H1 voice recorder
This is new to my kit and honestly I wish I invested in one sooner. This is great for videography recording, podcasting, and street journalism. Get one.
Last but not least. I would be doing a disservice if I left this out. Although I dislike our smartphone culture, this is an extremely important tool in my kit. The main reason being I can control both of my cameras from Apps on my phone. Both Panasonic and Olympus have apps which allow you to control your cameras from a distance. I use this all of the time, being that I travel alone it helps me take pictures and video of myself. I like to document my life and experiences.
Also I use this thing for GPS to get to my locations, the alarm to wake me up for sunrise, and to keep in contact with clients.
I cannot express enough how subjective my gear list is. This is the best gear for what I DO. If I shot mostly studio work, my kit would look entirely different. I hope this helps you understand the equipment behind my art. If you have any questions drop a comment.
Oh yeah, money. I did not include prices due differences depending on where you shop, and if you buy new or used. All of this equipment is a couple years old now. If you were to buy everything on my list from Amazon right now your price tag would remain under $5,000.
@coldsworld | www.cold-studio.com | Corban Lundborg