Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Camera Gear Tips (What's in the bag)

All the gear no idea! Don’t waste money on expensive camera gear unless you are sure you need it, there is usually a cheaper alternative. It’s all about the picture. A good photographer with a simple set up will easily beat a novice with all the gear.


What's in the bag?

Canon DSLRs 70D & 550D
Spare Batteries
Spare Memory Card
Canon 50 1.8 Lens
Canon 10 - 18 Is lens
Canon 18 - 55 IS Lens
Canon 55 - 250 Is lens

3 Tripods
5 in 1 Reflector
TTL Bounce Flash Gun
Manual Bounce Flash Gun
Small Manual Flash Guns
Spare Batteries
TTL Flash Lead
1 Flash Gun FM Radio Trigger
3 Flash Gun FM Radio Receivers
Flash Slave Trigger
3 Lighting Stands
3 Mains powered Flashes
Mains UV Lamp
Shoot Through White Umbrella
Reflective White/Silver Umbrella
Reflective Silver Trifold Umbrella
Grey pop up backdrop with black/white train
Laptop with photo editing software


Most people do not use half the features on their camera, if not any just leaving it on auto. Take photos using all the settings. Get to know your camera.

Compact, bridge, system or SLR. Compact and bridge cameras have a similar small size sensor.

The system camera has a smaller body to an SLR but when the lens is added, it’s not so small but more limited.

Camera shake. By placing the camera on a small, cheap tripod the cameras self timer can be used to help take blur free photos. The vibration control can be switched off to save power and avoid confusing the camera.

Filters were very popular with film cameras. Now most things can be done quite easily on the PC.

Filters that are still used today are UV, polarizing and N.D.

UV filters as the name suggests can cut out or reduce UV light, it can be left on the lens at all times to act as a lens protector not only from knocks but rather than you forever cleaning the front element of your lens and removing the multi coating.

Polarizing filter. Can reduce reflections and can make skies a darker blue.
ND filter. A neutral density filter will reduce the amount of light reaching the cameras sensor. Useful on a bright day when you want a slow shutter speed to blur moving water.

Reflectors can be used to bounce light back. Great for backlit portraits.

A reflector can help remove shadow like fill in flash but is less harsh and more controllable.

Fast lens. Zoom lenses tend to be slower than prime lenses, but more versatile.

SLR’s and lenses. Most people tend to use the same one lens the majority of the time.

Tripod. Great for reference point for you and your group when you have stepped forward to make composition adjustments.

A reflector can be anything, a white card, silver car windscreen blind or a pop up camera reflector. A white reflector will be more natural, gold more warming while silver will have the brightest reflection it will also look the coldest.

Zoom and prime lenses. A zoom lens can vary its focal length. A prime lens has a fixed focal length, great if you always do a certain sort of photography.

A shower curtain can act as a big, cheap light diffuser.

The problem with digital SLR's is that if they are not full frame then there is a magnification ratio which is great for making telephoto lenses more powerfull but they also make wide angle lenses less wide. For true wide angle you need full frame.

Camera image stabilisation will help hold the camera steady in low light or using telephoto but if the shutter speed is not fast enough and the subject is moving it could blur. A fast lens will give a faster shutter speed so less blur all round.