Cameras, tripods, software & gear that you really ought to consider this holiday…

My Best of 2014 List of Must Have DSLR Camera’s, Lenses & Equipment–
(Professional Tools To Help Make Looking Great Effortless…)

 

Digital Camera Wish List

 


EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP 1080p Digital SLR Camera

(Amazon)

Ever wonder how some pro’s pull off stupid-incredible images time after time and make it look easy? This tech in this camera is probably how they are doing it. This is THE camera man’s camera, with sick ISO ranges, has the best sensor on the market with incredible color accuracy and is stupid-easy to use to boot. Can’t stomach the price tag? Consider the Mark ii. It’s the world’s best digital SLR in my humble opinion, and if you can’t create big, bold, bright, beautiful pictures with this beast you never will…

 


Nikon D800E 36.3 MP Digital SLR Camera

(Amazon)

Though not my first choice if you have the budget, the Nikon D800E is still a great camera if you want to safe a few dollars in comparison to the Canon. This model is essentially identical to the D800 but without the anti-aliasing filter in the D800. The detail and sharpness is incredible, and if you like to shoot details, the Nikon won’t let you down, though it’s a little slow to process large RAW files.

 


Nikon D7100 24.1MP CMOS Digital SLR

(Amazon)

Coming in third is the Nikon D7100, with a truly respectable image performance with a retail price slightly above $1000. Relatively cheap at a third of the price of my favorites, has better bracketing, a larger image size and blows the D7000 away (+full HD video). The included tech is respectable, and image quality is clean in the low ISOs, though it can get a little soft in low light at ISO 2000+. Speed: respectable. Sensor: decent. Options: Useful. Price: Spectacular!

 

DSLR Camera Lens Wish List


Nikon 85mm Lens

(Amazon)

Incredible clarity, DX-format (for newer cameras essentially) excellent color light capture in a very versatile, go-to 35mm. This is a rock solid lens ideal for the everyday HDR use providing very natural images and realistic looking results.

 


Nikon 50mm FX f/1.8G Lens

(Amazon)

The image quality is remarkable, and the lens comes in a compact package, making it versatile, most importantly it creates a really sharp image in my opinion when compared to other 50mm lenses I’ve worked with.

 


Nikon 10-24mm DX Wide-Angle Zoom Lens

(Amazon)

This ultra-wide angle lens supports DX cameras provides one heck of a wide field of view capture range. This is a very applicable lens which can capture really complex scenery while not being so specialized that it’s always left at home…

 

Alternative N Lens List


Nikon 85mm Lens

(Amazon)

Incredible clarity, ideal for capturing the hidden soul of the people in your image. Ideal for capturing reactions and honest emotions, the 85mm 1.4 gives lets you keep just enough distance to not spoil the moment while keeping your ‘presence’ (the killer of many a moment) at range.

 


Nikon 200-400mm Super-Zoom

(Amazon)

If you are into wildlife / nature photography, this is the lens you need. Unless you are a capable of some serious sneaking skills, photographing animals, birds and life in their natural habitat is challenging. This lens buys the distance you need, and allows you to capture natural behavior with yourself safely removed from the action. You can get good detail at distances up to 400 meters! Downside, it’s huge, it’s heavy and the setup is a pain, but the range is worth it in the right scenarios.

 


Nikon 14-24mm Wide-Angle Lens

(Amazon)

A rockin’ wide-angle lens, in fact this is my general purpose go-to lens for most client shoots (architecture, destinations, location features). Results are reliable and high detailed. Its a very large lens, as you would expect for a wide-angle, short of being a being fish-eye, but with a few camera setting tweaks it serve as a flexible option for most locations. Excellent quality & range.

 

Tripods

 


Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Tripod

(Amazon)

I don’t know how or why some people seem to obsess over their tripods… Myself, I’ll only buy a tripod with latch adjusters (no twisty tightening knobs), and I recommend the 190XB for the extended height it provides. Quality: Great, Ease of Setup: Stupid-Simple. No unnecessary crap, just a well made piece of equipment.

 

Tripod Heads

 


Giottos MH1000-652 Ball Head w/ Quick Release

(Amazon)

Clearly a tripod head made by folks who actually get out in the field at use their products. The tension control feels great, you’ll love the quick release, and cheap for a ballhead. It’s a bit heavy, but it’s a result of it’s being made from quality materials. Can handle a large DSLR with my super-zoom lens no problem.

 


Manfrotto MH054M0 Quick Release Ball Head

(Amazon)

The Manfrotto quick release accompanying ball-head to my favorite tripod. Make’s one helluva stocking stuffer in my opinion wink-wink. I’m a stickler for a firm tension feel in my ball-heads. Invest in a quality head for your tripod whatever you do, no better investment…

 

Travel Accessories

 


Tenba Shootout 632-303 Backpack

(Amazon)

The cameraman’s backpack. This bag is as beautiful as an M1 Abrams tank, IMO but probably carries more. I can fit 2 Digital SLR bodies WITH lenses attached! + lenses, backup, and tripod, and its rugged for trecking for wilderness shoots. One of my favorite specialized camera bags available.

 


5.11 Tactical Backpack

(Amazon)

Lugging all your gear about safely can be a challenge. The best camera is useless if you don’t bring it with you. I love 5.11 gear, fits an incredible amount of gear comfortably, is well thought out and compartmentalized. Best of all, stealing from the military, its modular, allowing for a variety of add-ons to customize your ideal setup…

 


Pelican 1510 Case w/ Padded Dividers Protected Case

(Amazon)

Waterproof, crush-proof, dust-proof… I bet I could shock you how much I fit into my pelican case setup. Incredibly durable, well made, and ideal for protecting your most precious equipment from life’s unexpected mishaps. Do yourself a favor and protect your photography investments today…

 

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