Location: Knightsbridge, London
I’ve had these images since early September but I just never found the right subject matter to link them to. I’ve also been wanting to write this article since around that same time – mostly because as my overall platform grows I’m learning that many of my readers and members of this community are also bloggers and content creators looking for information that they find useful for their own business. Black Friday and Cyber Week are coming up, so I thought what better time to talk about the camera equipment I’ve invested in over the last two years. Whilst many are able to create beautiful images by just using their mobile phone, I personally felt that I needed to up my game. Since I started this journey, I knew I wanted to invest in the right equipment and take everything very seriously – treating this as a business and not just a hobby. And just like every other business, it requires investing both time and money. I’m not able to help much with the time aspect of learning how to use a camera or how to edit photos, but I can help with the cost side by sharing my little collection in the run up to Black Friday. There will definitely be a huge selection of deals that you can take advantage of and that means there is no better time to invest in that camera you have been wanting for a long time!
The heart of my camera equipment is my Olympus Pen-F. It was the very first piece of camera equipment I purchased and almost two years later, it remains my favourite. It is the camera that I use for all my Instagram images and pictures for this website. I’m not going to pretend I am a fully trained photographer, nor that I know all the features of the Pen-F. What I do know is that it has the functions that I need and they were relatively easy to learn with a few YouTube videos and some trial and error. I love that it has a really sleek retro and sophisticated look to it, almost like a modern antique kind of style that I just find so elegant. It’s extremely robust and in the (almost) two years I have owned it, I have never had any problems. The only downside that I am aware of is that you can no longer shoot in raw format, only RAW + JPEG. The quality of a JPEG generated from a raw format image is admittedly much better, however it hasn’t bothered me enough to want to change camera. This might be something that you want to think about though if you plan to use your images as wallpaper or other large formats.
Aside from silver, it is also available in black. This was actually my preference but sadly it was not available on the day that I went to buy it! No matter the colour though, the Pen-F comes with built-in wifi which I’ve found to be incredibly handy. I can upload the images straight from my camera to Lightroom (which is very often what I do on long plane rides) without having to remember to bring the wires.
The high speed sequential shooting function is another of my favourite features and is what was used to capture these movement shots. The in-body stabilization system also makes life so much easier, along with the vari-angle touch LCD which allows you to shoot from a variety of angles.
For my 30th birthday last year, we headed to the UAE. I remember being in Dubai, standing in front of the Burj Khalifa and getting pretty frustrated that no matter what angle I was shooting in, I just couldn’t get the whole building in the frame. To be fair, it is the tallest building in the world. It was only then that my husband said to me ‘to get that in the shot you need a wide angle lens’. A wide angle what? I had honestly never heard about it before! I did some research and asked on forums and the most common answer I got was the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO. As with most lenses, it isn’t cheap. It took me almost a year to take the plunge and purchase it but I am so glad I did. The lens is a total game changer and was one of my best purchases this year. I can now happily take images of the largest scenes, without compromising the quality of the images. It’s also great for wide-angle nighttime photography.
For some time now, I have been saying that I eventually want to start vlogging. I actually am now enrolled in a course that teaches video editing and plan to fully launch my YouTube channel in the coming months. When that time comes, I have the camera that I need for it and that is the Canon EOS M50. Significantly cheaper than my Olympus and whilst I would say that I prefer the Olympus for photography, I definitely prefer the Canon for taking videos. With high-resolution video footage and four times the image quality of Full HD, I find the sound is superior and the excellent autofocus makes it easy to take video content on the go. Like the Olympus, it also has a vari-angle touchscreen and built-in wifi. There is only one downside to this – if you are shooting video content but not sitting down in the same place, it can be pretty bulky to carry around and hold with one hand. This however, is no different to buying any other mirrorless camera. Which brings me to my latest investment…
This is absolutely genius. I haven’t used it to its full potential yet but everyone I’ve showed it to couldn’t believe how a camera so small could take such high quality videos. I know that a couple of people I spoke to about it actually went out and bought it. This cute little gimbal easily fits into your clutch bag, allowing you to take it out with you wherever you go. You can also connect it to your phone so that you can see what you are filming directly on your mobile phone. I am so excited to continue learning how to maximise the use I’m going to get out of this. One thing is for sure though, it’s going to make my camera equipment bag a whole lot lighter.
Aside from the larger ticket items listed above, I’ve also picked up a few accessories to cap everything off, including these two tripods: Hama Star 75 and JOBY GorillaPod 325. The first is a collapsible floor length tripod and the second is a mini tripod that’s great for carrying whilst I’m on the go or wanting to film at my desk. I admit though that I am using the latter less and less since buying the DJI Gimbal.
I’ve built a little collection of memory cards, both standard and micro, and always take them with me whenever I travel. You never know when you’re gonna run out of space.
Last but not least, I invested in a RØDE VideoMic Pro-R On-Camera Microphone. This was a ‘just in-case purchase’ and I’ve actually found the sound recording of the Canon and DJI pretty good, but if I ever wanted to up my sound recording, I know that I have the RØDE microphone sitting and waiting for me.
Hope this was helpful to anyone trying to make a decision on what camera equipment is right for them. Let me know what you use for your images in the comments!
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