As we wind down 2012 I thought I would put together a little blog post that might be of help for other photographers looking to add to their wish list for 2013(or beyond). Things fortunately ramped up for me a bit this past year and where I’m located forces me to purchase most of my gear so a lot of revenue was “reinvested” back into my company. For this post I thought I would include the items that I’m really happy with and in some cases can’t imagine working without again. I’ll follow this post later with new software/plugins that I’ve found useful this year as well in a couple of days.
Let’s start with the camera:
This camera, paired with good glass, is the real deal. There are thousands of reviews out there so I won’t spend time doing one here but suffice it to say I’m very happy with the results using this camera. If Nikon could pull some of the attributes or at least get close to the D4(fps, buffer, build quality) with the 800′s sensor they would really be on to something.
Other World Computing
With larger files comes the need for more storage. I’ve been happy with these drives and rotate them out as I need to keep some backups in multiple locations.
I’ve owned a few laptops but I can’t remember being wowed by one before now. These new Retina screen laptops with “flash architecture” are amazingly fast! My first couple of shoots using a tethered D800 were excruciatingly slow and it’s never fun being slowed down during a shoot in front of clients because your computer can’t keep up with file transfer. Those days are long gone with this laptop and the files look amazing on the retina screen – a great first impression for clients and models!
Before I switched to this table I was using some Bogen/Gitzo laptop stand that attached to my tripod with a T arm. What I like about the Tether Tool table is the larger size and the “no-slide” pad. It is more expensive but I feel it’s definitely worth it. I also prefer to mount it independently of my camera on it’s own c-stand.
I’ve also switched to using the bright orange cords you can purchase from Tether Tools as well. These tacky cables at least make it harder to be clumsy around the computer and camera!
Really Right Stuff
I’ve switched to an “Arca-Swiss” mount this year because I was not able to lock down my camera effectively when shooting vertical using the Manfrotto mounts. I’ve seen these heads recommended elsewhere and I have nothing but good things to say about it myself(except that it’s expensive!).
In order to take full advantage of the above mount I’ve acquired L-Brackets for all my cameras. This is an item where I don’t know how I survived before without it. Just the ability to switch from horizontal to vertical without having to tip your camera over using the tripod head(and then recompose) is worth the upgrade!
Paul C Buff Einstein
Okay, I have been shooting with Profoto gear forever and that’s still what I usually ask for when I rent but these little Einsteins are fantastic. It is really amazing you can purchase a light that can stop action at up to 1/13,000 second for $500! Count me sold as I’m a happy owner of eight of these puppies.
In keeping with the bang for the buck theme, these little guys are great for location work when you don’t want to haul that heavy gas generator. I even use them indoors if I run out of extension cords or need to place a light somewhere that doesn’t have access to an outlet.
Here’s a peek inside one of my lighting cases:
NEC MultiSync 27″ LCD Monitor w/Calibration
Fantastic monitor and you can get it bundled with a colorimeter.
I had the Intuos3 and upgraded to the 5 this year. With my work a tablet is a “must have”. I also work with a medium size as I feel it gives enough room for fine detail but you don’t have to cover as much ground with your arm as you would using a larger tablet.