My Film Gear
This is most of the stuff I use to film when I'm doing a big video (which isn't as often as I'd like). I don't always bring everything but if I can carry it all, or get my brother to carry some of it, each piece of equipment helps to create a better film. Certain adventures are just too rough to carry all this gear and the heavier things get left behind.
It has taken me a very long time and all of my money to buy this equipment. I also started out with basic cameras and gradually moved from camera to camera as I learned how to use them and learned what I wanted/needed in a camera. No camera is perfect (so far). Many cameras that are great for video, are poor for still images and many that are great for images are poor for video. My dream camera will be good for video and stills, full-frame and mirror-less.
I have a closet in my apartment full of all my film gear and photography equipment. This closet is the only place in the whole apartment that doesn't have a fire-sprinkler on the ceiling! I don't get to go on big filming expeditions very often, but when I do get the chance, I like to bring as much of this gear as possible. The more I have, the higher-quality footage I'm usually able to create. All this stuff is expensive and I have saved and accumulated it over the years, I wouldn't expect anyone to be able to afford this stuff right off the bat...
I don't usually bring everything but if I can carry it all, or get my brother to carry some of it, each piece of equipment helps to create a better video. Certain adventures are just too extreme or difficult to carry all this gear and the heavier things get left behind. There are still some big-ticket items that I'd love to add to the closet but for now I'll work with what I have. I'll talk more about my camera-theory down below...
My First “Real” Camera
This was my second camera
The Perfect Camera
As you may have guessed, the perfect camera doesn't exist (yet). All of the current cameras on the market are riddled with shortcomings and flaws. These days camera manufacturers are finally starting to create mirror-less full frame cameras. Mirrorless systems are extremely important for someone like me who switches between stills and video on a second-by-second basis. During a day of shooting, I switch from photos to stills around a hundred times. This is a painful process while using a mirrored system like my D750. It takes several seconds and requires me to hit four buttons and knobs and transfer between two focusing systems. This issue is solved in mirrorless systems... they use they same focusing mechanism, the camera doesn't have to put the mirror up, and there are fewer button strokes. The whole process is smoother and faster (this can be the difference between getting a shot and missing it). A mirrored camera is not a deal breaker, but an annoyance for hybrid shooters. If you're just planning on taking photos and not doing much video, the mirror isn't as big of a deal. Another important camera feature (to me) is that it has a full-frame sensor. This is the reason I bought my D750 and it excels in this arena. The three "real" cameras I've had have all had different size sensors, from 'APSC,' to 'Micro Four Thirds,' to a 'Full-Frame' sensor. Because I've owned and used all sensor sizes and both mirrored, and mirror-less systems, I like to think I have a strong understanding of the pros and cons to each variant. I'll list some of the advantages and disadvantages of each variant below.
Full Frame Sensor: Better (much better) in low light scenarios. The most bokeh, highest shutter speeds, lowest iso.
APSC Sensor (crop Sensor): Much cheaper than a full frame. can create some high-quality, amazing photos under good light.
Micro Fourth Thirds (4/3) Sensor: Inexpensive 4K video capability, photos and video much better / higher quality than a phone.
Here are the flaws and deal-breakers of each current full-frame, mirrorless camera produced by Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic.
Nikon Z6 / Z7
Major Annoyances: No outward-facing tilty screen. Questionable focus ability.
Deal Breakers: 1 card slot and zero sd card slot. No 24-70 F2.8 lens (until 2019).
Major Annoyances: Not enough manually controlled buttons and dials/wasted space/bad on/off switch. No IBIS
Deal Breakers: 1.7x crop when filming 4K. 1 card slot. No 120 fps at 1080. No 24-70 F2.8 lens now and none announced.
Sony A7Riii / A9 / A7iii
Over time, Sony has been cranking out new versions of these cameras pretty quickly.
They only have a few major annoyances and deal-breakers left before they create the perfect camera.
Major Annoyances: Poor user interface, No outward-facing tilty screen
Deal Breakers: Not Weather-sealed, No built-in intervalometer.
(New Panasonic Full Frame Camera announced September 24, 2018):
We will see when it's released...
My Dream Camera
This is my wish-list, spec-sheet for what would constitute a perfect camera (to me).
- Full Frame
- High Megapixel
- Small Body
- 24-70 F2.8 Lens available
- Weather Sealed / Waterproof / water resistant
- Outward-facing tilty screen
- Touch Screen
- High DPI EVF
- Good User Interface
- Lots of manually adjusted dials and controls
- Light-up buttons
- Fast Focusing
- Good Focusing in low light
- 120 FPS in 1080
- 4K at at least 30 FPS
- 2 Card Slots
- Built-in Intervalometer
- Large Battery
- RAW / flat / log profiles
- 10 Bit 4.2.2
- Focus Peaking
- Exposure Zebras
- Eye-detect AF
- Looks cool?
Some of my adventure gear
This backpacking backpack I use for hauling tents, sleeping bags, climbing gear etc. Most notably, I used it to climb Mount Rainier and to hike to Mount Everest base camp. It's kinda heavy and expensive but it fits and functions very well. I got it for half-price after someone returned it 'used' to a store...
This was the first DSLR camera I ever bought. It's responsible for the majority of the images on this website and has been with me to Nepal, Yosemite, and everywhere in between. It produces good images for the price and provides some okay video as well. Filmed My Everest Video with it.
Like I mentioned above, I am so happy with these boots that I love telling everyone about them. The have saved my feet so many times, I can't even count. I was lost once on the way to Everest, had to walk through a bunch of snow and an ice-cold river. The boots were completely waterproof until the water went over my ankles 🙁
I use this for snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking or for walking around cities that I travel to when I don't want a full size backpack. Think of it as my 'man-purse'.
I use this light all the time during camping trips. It's more functional and better than a regular flashlight. Coming home from Half-Dome it was pitch black in the woods and me and Cody would have been completely lost for an 8 mile hike through a bear-infested woods.. Watch me and Cody climb Half-Dome alone HERE.
We have used this plenty of times, it's very easy and fast to set up, not light though, you wouldn't want to carry this far, but great for camping with a bunch of friends. My brother, Colin, Cody and I just used this to camp in Iceland.
I always leave a lighter in my backpack in the event I get stranded on a desert island...