camera gear

Camera gear I use to record myself and document my work

Camera gear I use to record myself and document my work

I've talked about the importance of documenting your work before. I believe that documenting and sharing your processes and workflows can only help you to improve them.

One the mediums I choose to document and share my work is video. I've been uploading video content to YouTube for a few years now, and I've learned quite a few things on the way.

I will be sharing some advice, tips and tricks in the next few days. Today, we'll talk about the camera gear I use to make those videos.

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Photography doesn't start with a camera

While it's totally possible to get a camera and then find a subject to photograph, it's definitely much easier to find something you are passionate about and then start capturing it.

If you gave me a camera 10 years ago, I wouldn't have known what to do with it.

Instead, photography came naturally to me when I discovered my passion for the outdoors after moving to the Pacific Northwest.

A camera is a tool to capture what we see. I didn't see anything 10 years ago. I do now.

Downgrading my camera gear

I've been feeling a little bit uninspired lately. It's normal, everyone has highs and lows in photography.

When I struggle with creativity, there's one thing that almost always comes to my mind: camera gear.

"If only I had this camera or this lens... I could create something different"

I only recently realized that it's not a new piece of gear that I want to buy. I want a better version of myself, a better photographer making better images than the ones I'm making right now.

But it's not about the equipment we have, it's about the use we make of that equipment. A new camera or lens might inspire you to get out, but it will still be you who has to make the images.

A few weeks ago, I started shooting with my old Sony a6000. It's an almost 4-year-old camera, able to create beautiful images. It's always been a backup camera so I used to look down on it.

Not anymore. From now on, it will be my main camera for photography (digital, this is, the Bronica is not going anywhere!).

I also downgraded my 70-200mm big and heavy telephoto lens to the 55-210mm that came in my a6000 kit. The quality coming out of them isn't even in the same league and still, I've made more images I like with the latter. That's due to the size, weight... and also price. Being cheap means I'm more willing to risk it in rough conditions.

This kit should enable me to create most of what I want to create with my photography. Thinking otherwise has only led me to dwell and waste time looking at new gear.

Let's get out and enjoy what we have, let's get out and create something.

My review of the GoPro Hero 7

I want to start talking a bit more about the gear I use, both for making images and recording videos. The GoPro Hero 7 is a recent acquisition, but I've already taken it with me on a few outings. This is my review: the good and the bad, and how it fits in my workflow.

Zeiss ZX1: the future of photography (sort of)

These past weeks have been pretty exciting. There are plenty of new cameras coming out soon, and even if you have no plans to get any of them (like me), I'm sure we can still agree that new camera gear is always interesting.

Most camera companies are giving their new cameras incremental updates. Yes, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic just announced their first full-frame mirrorless cameras, but they are -at best- just small improvements over what we already have now.

Even Fujifilm and its new medium format cameras are about polishing and making stuff that was already here, a bit better.

I wanted to mention one company who has gone a slightly different way, though: Zeiss and its first full-frame camera, the ZX1.

What's different about this camera has little to do with the hardware and everything to do with the software. The ZX1 looks like someone took an Android phone and attached a full-frame sensor to it. This makes me wonder about the booting up times.

Built-in Lightroom, smartphone-like features like the gallery and sharing capabilities, built-in battery (ouch) and ZERO SD card slots (it comes with a whopping 512GB of internal storage). The experience of using this camera will be very different from using other cameras we are more used to.

Most of the software features in this camera look a little gimmicky: who's going to edit images in the camera? Keep in mind: that will use battery, that you can't change since it's built-in.

This is why the title of this post has a "sort of" at the end.

I look at the ZX1 as a hint of what the future might bring, though. Computational photography is going to play a big role in the near future as modern phones have been showing us for years, but we are yet to see it making its way into "real" cameras.

If the iPhone XS can do what it can do with that tiny sensor and lens, just imagine what a full frame camera could do in the future.

Seeing Lightroom in a camera also reminds me of the attempt made by Sony to bring apps to their cameras. Now abandoned, it was a brilliant idea that got a poor implementation. I'd love to see apps making a come back into cameras - that'd open a whole new world of innovation.

Anyway, just my two cents on the Zeiss ZX1 and the future of photography.

My dream camera

Have you ever thought about what your dream camera would look like?

Mine would look something like this.

I want a mini Bronica SQ. Smaller and lighter, using a new type of film for 5x5 frames, 16 exposures per roll.

The viewfinder would stay the same, a little smaller due to the overall size reduction. You'd be able to switch to a fully electronic viewfinder (very much like the Fuji X100 series) with a live preview of the exposure and the film you have loaded in the back. This preview can simulate pushing and pulling as well.

If you run out of batteries, it should still work using the optical viewfinder.

I'd like to have just one lens, a zoom lens with a range of 20-300mm. f/4 would be more than enough.

When taking a long exposure, it should be able to show you the image as it's being "built". Of course, simulating the effect film will have on it. This way, you could stop it once it looks good and not before or after.

This would be the perfect camera for a hybrid shooter.

What would yours look like?

Hasselblad XV Lens Adapter

This new adapter will allow photographers to use V system lenses on digital cameras like the X1D.

If anything, this will only make those lenses more expensive. There it goes my dream of shooting a Hasselblad 500C/M.

The best tripod for vlogging (and documenting your work)

The best tripod for vlogging (and documenting your work)

Carrying a second tripod for vlogging (or to document your work) can be -literally- a pain.

For the longest time, I used a Gorilla Pod, but I hated it because most of the time I’d have to place it on the ground. I wanted an extremely light, and yet tall, tripod to bring along with me and record myself in the field.

I think I’ve found it.

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