My gear

This is the list of the gear I currently use and why I like it. If you plan to buy any of it over Amazon, please use my links provided here before purchase. This way Amazon will pay me a small commission for every item sold but you won’t pay any more than otherwise (Amazon and I split profit that would otherwise be only theirs).

Canon EOS 6D

6D is my main camera since 2014 and will remain so for at least few more years. Even though there are better cameras out there now, none of them is significantly better to justify spending a lot of money for them. 20 megapixels is enough for me, central focus point can focus in crazy low light and ergomomics is almost perfect. Silent shutter is wonderful and I especially like how 6D performs in low light – I still think it is one of the best low light cameras. Best of everything, it is very simple to use allowing me to concentrate on creative part of photography rather than camera itself.

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Canon EOS 80D

I bought 80D in 2017 primarily to upgrade few details I found antiquated on my 6D. 80D has excellent Full HD video features set: Dual Pixel auto focus system is probably the best video focus on the market, it can record in 50p/60p frame rates, has better overall video quality over my 6D and lovely articulated touch LCD. I also use this camera for photography – 24 megapixels APS-C sensor is probably the best so far in any Canon crop body. 80D has a few details I found very useful in real life use: it uses the same battery as 6D, has grid lines and crop marks in viewfinder and a few useful menu items that make life easier.

You can see my review of this camera on YouTube.

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Canon EOS 40D

I bought 40D from second hand almost 10 years after it was introduced primarily for time lapses. It has just enough resolution for 4K time lapse video, fits all my lenses and  surprisingly good image quality compared to modern cameras. In fact, sometimes I use it for normal everyday photography and if shooting conditions don’t require high ISO or larger than web use, images can look identical to any fancy modern camera.

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Canon EOS 300D

Canon 300D (first Rebel model) is laughable these days: 6 megapixels, tiny LCD, crazy slow in operation and you cannot even select light metering pattern! Luckily, there was “russian” firmware that unlocked many options from EOS 10D on which 300D was based upon. It is worthless to sell for some years already so I’m keeping it as sacrificial camera: if I know some photo session might end up with a destroyed camera, this one is what I will use (so far it still survived!). Also, I have the black version (i remember a lot of users being angry at Canon for releasing  silver version only for the first few months.)

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Action cam – Sony HDR-AS100V

Sony got me over GoPro for its image stabilization and excellent bundle (extra mounts).  Sale price also helped a lot :) So far I’m happy with performance and even got some nice street still images shots using 13 megapixel photo mode.

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Canon EF 17-40mm F/4 L

Wide angle zoom that I often use for landscapes and cityscapes. It has solid optics, constant F/4 aperture, durable weather sealed L grade mechanics and constant body length (internal zoom). Weighing at just under 500 grams it is one of the lightest ultra wide angle zooms for full frame.

 

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Canon EF 24-105mm F/4 L IS

Jack of all trades and master of none. This is the lens I will carry when i don’t know what I might be photographing and as such is often with me on my photo bicycle rides. It is sharp, has optical image stabilization, L grade build quality and surprisingly good bokeh rendering.

 

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Canon EF 70-200 F/4 L IS

Optically probably the best lens I currently own, it is crazy sharp with wonderful bokeh. Beside constant F/4 aperture and very effective image stabilization it has constant body length (internal zoom just like 17-40) and is relatively modest in size and weight. Sadly, tripod collar does not come with the lens by default but I bought 3rd party collar which works without issues.

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Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 pancake

Without any doubt, 40mm pancake is my favorite Canon lens. If I had to choose only one lens for the rest of my life, this would be it. It is very sharp even wide open, has good flare resistance, produces good bokeh and lovely sunstars, is small, light and actually one of the cheapest lenses you can buy! I also prefer it over 50mm focal length – a bit wider angle suits my style better.

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Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM

50mm STM is an updated version of the classic “nifty-fifty”. Although still from plastic, it has metal lens mount and overall is much better built than its predecessor which was known to fall apart for no obvious reason. I don’t use it that often (I prefer 40mm pancake), but a solid large aperture 50mm lens is what everyone needs to have in lens arsenal.

 

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Canon EF-S 24mm F/2.8 STM

24mm pancake is basically 40mm pancake for crop sensor (it gives 38mm equivalent field of view). It is very sharp, has solid build quality and while doesn’t produce as nice sunstars like 40mm lens, it has very useful close focusing at only 16 cm (0.52 ft). This is the lens I recommend getting first after the kit lens purchased with the camera. See my review for details.

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Giottos GTL-9242B-S2 tripod

This is relatively lightweight tripod with ball head at inexpensive price point. I have it since 2011 and it still works like first day. Head is not particularly suited for heavy gear, especially front heavy body-lens combinations so keep that in mind. For usual combinations (Body + lens up to half a kilo) there will be no problems. See my review here.

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Manfrotto MVH502AH head + 546B video tripod

This is tripod and head combination I use mainly for video recording, but can be very useful for panoramas. Mechanical quality is pretty much perfect and being rather heavy makes it very stable. There is a downside though – carrying it is a real pain and I bring it only when I go with car somewhere and know there will not be more than 5-10 minutes of extra walking. This set consist of three parts that must be ordered separately: tripod, 75mm half ball and video head. See my review on YouTube for details.

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75mm half ball:    Amazon US    Amazon CA     Amazon UK     Amazon DE

MVH502AH Fluid Head:    Amazon US    Amazon CA     Amazon UK     Amazon DE

JJC TMA Timer LCD Remote

This is cheap Chinese programmable wired remote control for all Canon cameras with N3 connector. It is a must have for time lapse recording, exposures longer than 30 seconds or just to make sure pressing camera shutter doesn’t shake the camera when on tripod. It is powered by two AAA batteries. You can learn all the details in my review on YouTube.

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Kingston USB 3.0 Memory Card Reader Review (FCR-HS4)

Simple and (so far) reliable card reader with USB 3.0 interface. Head over to my YouTube review of this device.

 

 

 

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Lowepro AW400

This is my main “big” camera backpack. I have it since 2011 and so far I’m quite happy I bought it. It has a lot of room for all my gear and very smart back entry system. You can see it in details in my video review on YouTube.

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Vanguard BIIN 37

This sling is what I almost always carry on my photo bicycle rides (mostly it carries 6D + 24-105 combo). It is just big enough for a DSLR and a lens plus usual extra stuff (smartphone, wallet, filters, etc.) Learn more in my video review.

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Sony LCS MS10 shoulder bag

Sometimes a good old classic shoulder bag is what I want and I picked this one mainly for not being to big. It fits DSLR camera with two or three lenses, depending what i carry. All the details can be found in my review of this bag.

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Hoya Pro ND1000 10 stop ND filter

Excellent 10 EV stop neutral density filter for long exposures in daylight. I’m very happy with it – it has almost no color cast.

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Marumi CPL filter

Circular polarizing filter is probably the most important filter you will ever buy. It removes light rays from certain directions and by that reduces reflection on water, glass, plants, roofs and many other surfaces. It also boosts contrast, color saturation and averages exposure across the frame. It is always better to adjust images using filters that in Photoshop. I’m never going out without one. My preferred brand is Marumi. They have 4 quality levels: FIT+Slim (entry level), DHG (standard), Super DHG (high grade) and Exus (professional). I use DHG and super DHG and cannot notice any difference; they work great on all my Canon L lenses.

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Rode VideoMic Pro

Quite good self powered shotgun mic with switchable low pass filter.

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Audio-Technica ATR3350 lavalier microphone

Inexpensive and solid sounding lavaliere microphone with 6m long cable.

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Neewer 24″/60cm Handheld Stabilizer

Like all steady-cams, this one also requires a good deal of practice to learn how to balance it properly, but once you do it will create very smooth and fluid videos. Mechanical quality is very good.

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Mini Dolly Skater

Must have item for smooth video pans. Be careful, this one comes with magic Arm which is for lighter cameras only, but I usually attach ball head from Giottos tripod on it and have no problems with Canon 80D + 24mm lens on it. Wheel bearings rotate nicely.

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Cold Shoe Mount Bracket

Quite useful item for video work. With these “antlers” as I call them, I can attach several items on my camera like microphone, external audio recorder, LED light or action cam at the same time. Yes, it looks weird but who cares? :)

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Memory cards

I used a lot of memory cards over the years and consider them almost as an expendable item. I am in digital photography for around 15 years and none of the cards malfunctioned so far, but I had a good deal of SD cards that physically broke over time – plastic around the connectors is thin and can be fragile. So far I had the best experience with SanDisk and recommend them. As for speed – I suggest researching what is your’s cameras fastest write speed using this Website and buying as fast card as you can. Don’t buy one big card for photography. It is better to have more smaller capacity ones. For videos – you will need larger capacity ones.

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Gear I don’t have anymore but recommend anyway:

Samyang 14mm F/2.8

This is the best budget extreme wide angle lens for full frame, period. Excellent optics and F/2.8 aperture make it a great choice for astrophotography. It has manual focus and aperture though but wide angle lenses are not hard to focus. I really enjoyed this lens but traded it for Canon 17-40 zoom which is more suitable for my needs. Still, I might get another one some day, who knows. See my review of this lovely lens on YouTube.

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