What camera d’ya use mate?

photo 7

My bags are packed. Have I forgot anything? I hate that question… how many times do you need to go through your kit to make sure nothing is missing!

To be honest, I rarely unpack these days. I go to a race, come home, wash the clothes in my bag and then immediately re-pack. ‘It’s a no brainer,’ as Kevin Bacon would say.

You actually don’t need much for the desert, a mountain or a hotel. A sleeping bag, sleeping matt, shorts, t-shirts, warm jacket, warm tourers, thermal top for in the evening, a hat, a buff (maybe-2), good sunglasses and a pair of ‘goggles’ should the wind be blowing and few other small ‘essentials.’

Darn it, I forgot my cameras…

photo 8

I often get asked what cameras I use? So I thought it was time to give a run through of some of the equipment I will take to a race.

I have a reputation for using Panasonic GH3 cameras. They are well built, smaller (and lighter) than a conventional DSLR and what always tipped the scales for me was my ability to run with them. They have been my tools of choice on races and trails for the past 2-years. However, just recently I had a complete overhaul of my equipment and I have moved to the Canon D6.

I’m not going to go into specs… it’s boring. But trust me, low light quality is superb, focus tracking is excellent and although considerably heavier than my ‘P’s’ the D6 are built like tanks and with the correct lenses are weather sealed; a huge bonus!

Like most travel/ sports photographers, I use two bodies with a wide to standard set up on one camera and a medium to long set up on the other.

F2.8 lenses are the norm offering low light functionality, however, they have two drawbacks; price and weight. Weight and the ability to move is essential for me and I therefore use F4 lenses – the incredible 17mm-40mm and the 70-200mm (with image stabilisation). I use two prime lenses, 50mm F1.8 and the 85mm F1.8 for portraits. Importantly, the D6 is a full frame digital camera so the lenses are ‘true’ focal length.

It’s a simple set up but importantly it works, I have flexibility and retain the ability to move quickly as and when necessary. The recent purchase of a ‘sports’ camera rucksack makes this task even easier!

photo 4

I can actually access the pack without removing it from my waist allowing perfect on-the-go access. Finally, with the addition of a monopod, tripod and other small gadgets, my ‘must have’ is one flash and in many cases, two flash that I can use ‘remotely.’ By remote, I mean operated ‘off camera’ to either create effect or a more natural light.

That’s it! No real surprises, no fancy gimmicks, not even the ‘most’ expensive cameras (not by a long way). My set up is fast, functional, high quality and as I have always said, if you have all the gear and no idea, you may be better off at home!

Kit list:

  • Canon D6 with additional hand/ battery grips
  • 17-40mm F4 USM lens
  • 20-200mm F4 USM ‘IS’ lens
  • 50mm F1.8
  • 85mm F1.8
  • 430 EX Flash
  • Wireless TTL flash remotes
  • Tripod. monopod and other gadgets

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.