9 Items Any Photographer Would Want in Their Camera Bag
I get questions all the time about the gear I use or the gear that I would recommend.
The questions don't just come from beginner photographers either...
Enthusiast and even professional photographers are always on the lookout for the best gear they can get their hands on.
That's where this list comes in...
I sat down and took stock of the gear I have in my collection and did some research about new and exciting products that I wouldn't mind adding to my kit.
The result of that work is this list of nine things that any photographer would love to have in their camera bag.
I might as well start with something that allows you to carry all your awesome gear!
The Roamographer Bag by Holdfast is a remarkable camera bag, to say the least.
It exists at the intersection of form and function, so you not only get something that protects and organizes your gear, but you also get a bag that is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.
I mean, just look at the image above, and you can immediately see the quality of craftsmanship that goes into making each bag.
The Roamographer comes in two sizes (seen above) - large that's perfect for DSLR gear, and small that's ideal for carrying a mirrorless system.
Either way, you get a bag that's got the appeal of vintage aesthetics and modern functionality with a camera insert to keep your gear safe and organized, carrier straps to easily carry your tripod, and a shearling-lined shoulder strap for comfortable carrying.
Better still, the camera insert is removable, so you don't just get a bag that protects your gear, but is a versatile bag too. Use it for weekends away or as a carry on when you don't need your photography gear.
And for those days when you'll be out shooting for a long time, you can carry the Roamographer on Holdfast's excellent MoneyMaker camera harness, as seen in the image above.
That makes the Roamographer the complete package when it comes to camera bags - it's versatile, durable, comfortable to carry, and it looks damn good too!
Learn more about the Holdfast Roamographer.
Now that you have the inside track on one of the best camera bags around, let's focus on what you can carry inside of it.
Microsoft Surface Book
I've written a lot lately about why Microsoft is becoming the go-to producer of computers for creative professionals.
If I were to summarize my arguments for the Surface Book, it would come down to two primary features.
First, it's simply much more versatile than a Macbook because you can use it as a laptop and as a tablet.
I find myself working in laptop mode to do things like write this article, then switch to tablet mode when I want to plop down on the couch and catch up on all the latest photography news after the workday is done.
Heck, the tablet mode is even great for showing proofs to clients, taking care of quick tasks like sending emails to clients and making updates to the website.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the Surface Book has a touch screen that makes editing photos a million time easier than a traditional laptop setup.
Instead of dragging my finger around on the trackpad or using the mouse, I just unfurl the Surface Pen and go about making highly precise edits right on the screen.
It's totally changed the way that I work, and given a chance, I'm confident it could change how you work too.
Learn more about the Microsoft Surface Book.
Sirui W-2204 Waterproof Carbon Fiber Tripod
Since you'll have a great camera bag that allows you to easily carry your tripod, you might as well have a top-shelf tripod to use, right?
The Sirui W-2204 has all the features you want in a quality tripod - it's waterproof, lightweight, durable, and has four-section legs that are easily adjustable with twist locks.
Better still, this tripod has a removable leg that you can attach to the center column to turn it into a monopod. Now that's versatility!
Throw in stainless steel retractable foot spikes for extra grip, a center column hook to weigh the tripod down for added stability, and the ability to support almost 40 pounds, and you've got one excellent rig for whatever your adventures.
Learn more about the Sirui W-2204 Waterproof Carbon Fiber Tripod.
Acratech GP Ballhead
Complete the tripod package by adding an Acratech GP Ballhead to your Sirui W-2204.
This ballhead is extremely versatile and can be used as a gimbal head when shooting with long telephoto lenses or even upside down to act as a leveler for panoramic photos.
You can pan smoothly and easily, maintaining a parallel course to the horizon even on the most uneven ground.
The Acratech GP comes with a bullseye level, a quick-release clamp, and a double-speed knob. There's also a detent pin that keeps the plate and your camera in place, even if the quick-release plate becomes loosened.
And at just one pound, it's something you can easily add to your kit without adding a ton of weight to carry around.
Learn more about the Acratech GP Ballhead.
Alpine Labs Pulse
If you're looking for an easy way to improve your long exposures, time-lapse videos, and still photos, look no further than Pulse.
This little gadget sits on your hot-shoe mount and gives you wireless control over your camera from up to 100 feet away via Bluetooth.
And don't just think that you can fire the shutter with Pulse - it's much more than that.
You can adjust exposure settings, dial in time-lapse settings, get image previews, and even look at the histogram for the images you take - all from your smartphone.
You can bracket exposures for HDR, set a time delay for a photo, and ramp your exposure for gorgeous day-to-night time-lapse videos as well.
That's all in a package that weighs only 1.5 ounces!
Formatt-Hitech Ken Kaminesky Signature Edition Filter Kit
Having a good set of filters is a critical part of any photographer's kit, and it's hard to beat the Ken Kaminesky Signature Edition Filter Kit from Formatt-Hitech.
This kit includes everything you need: a 3-stop, 6-stop, and 10-stop Firecrest ND filter, a Firecrest ND soft edge grad, a 105mm Firecrest Polarizer, a 77mm wide-angle adapter, and a 100mm holder.
These filters are manufactured to the highest standards, featuring incredible durability, scratch resistance, and image quality.
You even get a booklet by Ken Kaminesky to inspire your photography!
Learn more about the Ken Kaminesky Signature Edition Filter Kit.
Of course, the main thing you'll need in your awesome photography kit is an equally awesome camera body.
I'd like to make three recommendations because I don't want to get pigeonholed into recommending just one manufacturer.
With that in mind, I have my top picks from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
There are newer 5D models, but the Mark III has my heart.
Like the Nikon D810 (see below) it produces excellent image quality without the larger price tag of newer models.
It's got a 22.3-megapixel sensor that's more than enough to get high-resolution images. The 61-point autofocus isn't the largest or fastest out there, but it still performs well, as does its 65-point metering system.
The 5D Mark III is also plenty fast, with a DIGIC 5+ processor that made it 17x faster than the 5D Mark II.
In other words, though the 5D Mark III debuted five years ago, it's still a great camera and one you can get for much cheaper than newer Canon options.
Learn more about the Canon 5D Mark III.
The Nikon D810 isn't the newest camera from Nikon, but it's still my top choice because of its plentiful features and the lower price compared to newer models from Nikon.
With a 36-megapixel full frame sensor and a 51-point autofocus system with an upgraded processor, you get high-resolution images with quick response.
Add to that a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, and you've got a rig that can go anywhere you do and perform at the top of its game.
There's no fancy features like Wi-Fi or GPS (though they can be added), a tilting LCD, or blazing continuous shooting speed, but that doesn't change the fact that the Nikon D810 is one of my go-to camera bodies that has helped me produce a bunch of excellent images over the years.
Learn more about the Nikon D810.
Sony A7R II
As far as mirrorless cameras go, I'm not sure there's a better one than the Sony A7R II.
With a 42-megapixel sensor that garnered a 98/100 image quality score, it's certainly got the chops to generate some truly detailed images.
Unlike many other mirrorless cameras, the A7R II also has a top-notch autofocus system that is on par with many DSLRs.
It also features in-body five-axis image stabilization so that you can push the boundaries of shutter speed with less worry about camera shake.
Add in the fact that the A7R II weighs just about one pound without a lens, and it's clear this is a camera for on-the-go photographers and travel photographers that need to work lean and mean.
Learn more about the Sony A7R II.
There you have it - a collection of incredible gear to put in your incredible camera bag.
I realize not everyone will agree with my choices, and that some of these items are on the spendy side...
However, you get what you pay for, so spending a little extra money now on great gear means you'll have things that last you for years and years!