The Photo Gear I Own and Use!
I have had many requests to add a page that lists all of the gear I own and use, and why I chose a particular camera or lens. So, here it is! A complete listing of what camera gear I own and use on a daily basis. When and if it changes, I will change it here. I will also list my bag, computers, hard drives, and anything photo related that I use in my daily shooting adventures! Can one man own too many cameras? NEVER!
But remember, I run a review site and my gear changes often as I have to keep up with the times, it is what I do. If I did not run this blog I would probably still only be shooting my M9 and 50 Lux. :) But just because I buy a camera and add it to this list does not mean it will be with me for years. Cameras are always rotated in and out after 6-12 months as this is how it has to be done when running a review site such as this.
The Sony A7II
For $1698, this camera is a STEAL, and a HUGE bang for the buck. My full review is now up HERE!
The A7II has a much more pro build and feel over the old A7 series and includes a worlds first 5 Axis in body IS on a full frame camera. After extensive use I can state with authority that it is one of the best, if not the best cameras I have ever tested or used. I am in love with the A7II just as I am still in love with my A7s (below). After one day with the review sample I placed my order for one of these A7II cameras which meant something else had to go. For me, the A7II handily beats the Nikon Df and even my Leica M for features and image quality as well as versatility. The video is gorgeous, especially with the 5 – Axis, and using Leica lenses will also mean that they will be stabilized. The A7II can mount thousands of lenses that are out there in the world, being adaptable to Leica, Canon, Nikon and others. Amazing camera from the leader in camera innovation, Sony.
This A7II and the A7S are so good, I sold my Leica M system because the Sony’s did everything the Leica did, but even better and at 1/5th the cost. The A7II is my 2014 Camera of the Year.
The Sony A7s
My AF/Super Low Light workhorse and all around crazy versatile camera: The Sony A7s is a revolutionary camera in so many ways. With many companies just releasing evolutionary cameras, Sony comes along and offers something that is so outstanding in so many ways, it really threw me off. The sensor in this camera, while only 12MP, is quite special. It has the ability to shoot in any light imaginable. It will also focus in almost complete darkness. Like a cat eye, the camera is a king of the night. It is also mighty fine for daytime work, and will fill the needs of 99.5% of those out there. If you want super high res, or shoot detailed landscapes or need super high res for magazine work then look elsewhere (A7II, or DSLR). For everyone else this camera can do things no other can do. The size is small, the build is superb and the performance is outstanding. New lenses are on the way for 2015 which will only strengthen this camera. Leica M fans? You now have a body to use for your Leica glass as even most wide angles will work well with the A7s. I recommend this adapter at cameraquest for your Leica M glass. It’s a win/win!
LENSES: I shoot the A7s with the Sony/Zeiss 35 2.8 and 55 1.8 as well as the Voigtlander 15 4.5 Also the Voigtlander 40 2.8, Leica 50 Noctilux and Zeiss 16-35. FOR ME, the Sony A7s is one hell of a camera that has excelled in any situation. Truly Outstanding for non pixel peepers ;)
The Hasselblad Stellar (Sony RX100)
B&H Photo blew these out at $999, 70% off of the normal $3400 price. I bought one and LOVE LOVE LOVE it for many reasons. They still have a handful left after selling hundreds of them at this special price.
This is a camera that many will never ever “get” or understand. Me, I “got it” when it was originally released, but I also got the fact that it was seriously overpriced by 70%. The original price Hasselblad tried to push on this guy was ridiculous. Insane. Laughable. Yep, they tried to sell this SE edition for up to $4250 at authorized dealers. That didn’t fly, and they sold about 10, if that. With the Stellar II now coming (RX100 II) Hasselblad needed to clear the stock of the original Stellar (which I feel has the best IQ of the RX100 series I, II and III) so $999 is the blowout price, and THIS is now the correct price for what you get here.
Hasselblad beefed up the build a but using metal dials and construction. They added a real exotic wood grip, which is a HUGE improvement in handling and looks gorgeous as well. They also have their own firmware, which after using it extensively appears to do something to the files that make them a little more dynamic than the original RX100.
Also, the Stellar is made in Japan, the RX100 in China, so they are not made in the same factory. The SE comes with an italian leather custom neck and wrist strap as well as some other goodies. The real wooden storage box is a nice touch and adds to the cameras charm. In the future if I ever want to sell this guy, I will get more than I paid (supply and demand). The IQ is stunning (as is the video) from this little guy making it my all time fave pocket camera. See some samples HERE. I am glad I jumped on this one at $999. No regrets and its in my pocket every day.
To those who like to be angry and bitter and say this is garbage, I feel sorry for you as you have no clue. This little camera beats MANY larger sensor cameras for IQ, speed, video, usability and fun factor. FACT. I am getting better IQ with it over the Panasonic LX100 and Fuji X100T.
The Olympus E-M1 – Silver Chrome Edition
Yes you can quote me on this “The E-M1 is one of the greatest digital cameras that have ever been made”. I believe this 100% and I have had one ever since launch and now with the latest and greatest silver version with the upgraded firmware this camera is now better than ever. The body is amazing, the features are not in any other camera and the lenses are 2nd to none. It also makes for an amazing Monochrome camera (My 2nd fave for B&W next to the Leica Monochrome).
There is nothing that this system can not do but it can never match the low light of the Sony A7s :)
The Wotancraft RYKER
I have had many bags in my life (Fogg, Artisan & Artist, Think Tank, Billingham, Crumpler and more) and have lived with an Artisan and Artist 7000 for years. Think Tank rocks. But I took it up a notch and now have amazing style WITH quality AND functionality. This is the best bag I have ever owned or used. Beautiful. You can see my review of the bag HERE in black and also in BROWN HERE. HIGHLY recommended for Leica users or Mirrorless users. I also own and love the new Wotancraft THOR.
The Roamographer bag from HOLD FAST GEAR
This bag is GORGEOUS. If you are a fan of beautiful luxury and useful bags, take a look at this guy. It is larger and will hold a DSLR setup with ease. But I can not overstate the quality of this bag. I suggest taking a look at it HERE for more details. If you want the most stylish and high quality of bags and need something larger than the wotancraft offerings, this guy is full of WOW.
COMPUTER, Hard Drives, Accessories, Audio, etc
3.4 GHX i7 processor
3 TB Fusion Drive
2GB Video card
The iMac I bought from B&H Photo and the exact model I bought is HERE. I can not recommend it enough…best, fastest and coolest computer I have owned in my entire life. In fact, if anyone wants a computer for photo or video editing, this one will do it for you and do everything in super speed. It is easily 4-5X faster than my old iMac in all applications from editing huge files to importing and editing video. I have always used iMacs or Mac Pros and no, I have no issues editing photos on them whatsoever. I do not stress about insanely super calibrated displays as 98% of what I shoot if for my own personal use or this web site/reviews. Every photo ever posted by me online in the past 15 years has been edited on an Apple display.
The External Hard drive storage/backup and video/photo editing solution I invested in at the end is the LaCie 5Big 10TB Thunderbolt drive. This thing is a monster and after having a G-Raid fail after two days with the result being me losing 1 TB of video/photo data (that was not yet backed up as it failed so quickly) I decided to go for a solution that will be fast and reliable while never needing more space. Expensive but a long term solution that should last me many years. It also goes to sleep when my iMac does, which is nice. Not a backup solution in itself but I back this up nightly to another drive. This thing is fast, solid, beautiful and so far, reliable. It tackles my video editing, photo editing, storage needs and is cool and quiet. Gorgeous external to own.
It is quiet, stable and bad ass looking. I recommend this if you need massive space. If you only need 4TB, go for this one.
The speakers I bought for my desktop are HERE and the DAC that brings them all together is HERE. The Speakers are Audioengine Bamboo A5+ with a NuForce HDP Icon Dac. I tried the Audioengine D1 but the ICON is better, much better IMO. This sound setup ROCKS!!! I am a former audiophile who used to own a $25000 2 channel system and this little setup for $900 is about 75% there, all on my computer desk. Perfect for music, youtube, video production, etc. Best setup I have had EVER for my computer desktop.