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What is in my Photography Bag?
Buying the right camera the first time can be tricky. From point-and-shoot to mirrorless and full-frame, the options are very overwhelming. I used to only use a Go-Pro and iPhone for years because I loved the compact size. However, these cameras are not great for zooming in or portraits. I recently wanted to step up my photography game and switched to a Leica Camera after trying many other brands (Sony, Nikon, Canon, Fuji) for a few years.
You do not have to invest in an expensive camera system right off the bat, after all, it’s really the person behind the lens that matters, not the camera itself. Below are my most used cameras, lenses, and accessories that work perfectly for the kind of photographer I am.
Sony A 6000 or 6100
After upgrading from a GoPro, I bought this mirrorless Sony camera. It took me a few weeks to decide on what camera brand to go with, and the sale price at Walmart on this camera played a significant role in my decision. Besides the discounted price, It had everything I thought I needed. I loved the movable screen and how lightweight the body is, and the compact size it has while still giving me the option to change the lens. In addition, Sony has a great app to download photos from your camera to your phone effortlessly. Sony cameras are also able to connect to a variety of remote shutters. The only thing I wish it had was a built-in interval timer, so if my remote or phone connection malfunctions, I can still take a selfie.
Lecia V-Lux 5
I am now a huge fan of this German camera brand. Leica’s are notoriously more expensive than other professional cameras. Still, you will find few people that have regrets when switching to a Leica system, plus they have a great resale value. The V-Lux 5 is a mirrorless bridge camera with a fixed 25-400mm zoom lens. It is a great all-around camera for portraits, landscapes, and wildlife and is lightweight making it a great hiking buddy. It has a built-in interval/timelapse timer that makes taking selfies a breeze. I love the touch screen and the ability to rate photos right on the camera screen to help with culling. You can even mass delete photos from the memory card without deleting rated pictures. I love this option so I don’t have to upload so many photos to edit. I have no regrets about my investment! Lecia also has a pretty good smartphone app that will allow you to use your phone as a remote and transfer camera files to your phone for easy social media posting as well.
This camera is top-of-the-line with many features such as weatherproofing, a full-frame sensor, and an interchangeable lens. My go-to camera for travel is still the Lecia V-Lux 5 because it is a lot lighter and more compact but this camera will allow me to have more shooting options, higher quality photos for printing, and is more durable. I love the Lecia brand because after testing Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Sony for over a year I kept coming back to the Lecia being the most user-friendly.
The Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens (L mount) is my go-to lens. It is a bit heavy but I love the zoom length for every day.
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art Lens (L mount) is now my favorite lens to take hiking. The wide angle really allows me to get a lot of scenery in one shot which I love.
Panasonic Lumix S 50mm f/1.8 Lens– This is my go-to portrait lens. It is really lite weight which makes it great for traveling.
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG DN OS Sports Lens for Leica L– This is the lens I bought for wildlife photography. I have not used it yet because my safari trip got canceled but it has amazing reviews.
A Go-Pro was the first camera I traveled with, but now I love it for video. It is so tiny and has a ton of optional accessories. I took it everywhere with me, but after a few years, I wanted to step up my photography game, so I invested in a DSLR/Mirrorless camera. Now I use this GoPro during action activities and all underwater adventures. It takes excellent photos in great lighting, but the extra-wide angle will give photos a particular style that you may or may not like.
DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone
I still use the original Mavic Air and love the compact size. However, the batteries do not last as long as I would like, so for that reason, I recommend upgrading to the Mavic Air 2. Its size makes it a great travel drone!
Peak Design Travel Tripod – This is the best tripod I have ever used. It comes in two materials, Carbon Fiber, and Aluminum. The Carbon costs $250 more but it feels so much lighter. I originally bought the Aluminum one not thinking the .63 lbs difference would be worth the extra money until I held them both in person. This is well worth the investment if you travel frequently and Peak Design offers a lifetime warranty on this tripod. Walmart online usually has the best price.
Selfie Stick Tripod for Smart Phones – I usually take this tripod with me when I do not want to lug around a large camera pack and tripod. It will only hold a smartphone or GoPro, a camera is too heavy for it. It twists to expand in three areas and collapses easily making it the perfect size for a small bag or purse.
Bluetooth Remote Shutter for Smart Phone
Pixel Wireless Remote shutter– This is a more advanced shutter remote. You can use it on multiple cameras as long as you have the correct input cord. The cords are sold separately so you can use this remote between different camera brands. *I have not found the correct cord for Leica cameras as of now so I mainly use this one with my Sony.
Single-button Bluetooth remote for smartphones- These Bluetooth remotes are what I use when I take photos of myself using my iPhone. They are so easy to use and the battery lasts forever.
Smart Phone Accessories
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