WHAT’S IN MY BAG?
a sneak peek into what I often carry on assignment
I have been traveling the world for over 15 years as a TV cameraman, so have picked up and developed some tricks for travel with equipment along the way. For me, camera gear is only a tool to help achieve the desired goal, but I have to enjoy using it and it must be reliable. I have a rule that if something lets me down in the field it gets shelved when I return from the trip. I want this page to be a resource to help other photographers, but don’t take my word for it, please test and make your own assumptions. However, if you just don’t travel much, or you are just starting out, perhaps this page can be of some help to you.
My intent is to give you an insight into what I might take on a typical job and to explain why. On this page and under each tab you will find an overview of that gear. It is not a complete list and of course, my requirements would depend on the particular mission I’m heading out on. But it should give you a good starting point if that is what you are looking for.
The Fujifilm mirrorless X series has a lot to offer a photographer. The lenses are very high quality optically and very well made. They make the perfect setup if you are trying to travel light. The X-Pro 2 is the flagship Fuji and is my current weapon of choice for pretty much all work I do right now. It’s well-made metal construction offers a certain piece of mind that it won’t fall apart on a trip.
The viewfinder is great with a choice of optical or electronic. The X-Pro2 has a maximum speed of 1/8000 sec and a flash sync speed of 1/250sec. Furthermore, the camera also includes an electronic shutter with a completely silent operation and a maximum speed of 1/32,000 sec, allowing users to select maximum apertures even in bright conditions. With its twin SD card slots you have little worries about losing data should a card go pop, you can set them up to simply waterfall into the next card or better still, as I have set, configure the second card to mirror everything that gets recorded onto the first one. This means you have half as much memory in your camera but you have a backup copy every time you press the shutter.
The size and weight are perfect for travel when paired with one of the many excellent Fujinon primes such as the 23mm or the 35mm. The X-Pro 2 has way too many clever and useful features to list here. The bottom line is its well made and the images and skins tones that come out of the camera are amazing. Read my mini review of the Fujifilm XPro2
The Fujifilm X-100T is a highly capable compact camera with a fixed 23mm f2 lens and an APS-C sized X- Trans sensor. The low-pass filter has been removed as due to its clever sensor design it no longer requires one. This means you get much better detail definition from its 16mp sensor than you might expect. It is also equipped with a leaf shutter and due to this it can flash sync at any speed you like, this becomes extremely useful when using the flash in bright daylight situations as a fill flash. It also has a built-in 3 stop neutral density filter, this also becomes extremely useful in bright situations if you are still trying to get a shallow depth of field for example. It’s a strobists dream come true with these features.
The Fujinon 23mm f2 is very good, sharp and fairly fast lens that once the crop factor of the sensor is taken into account will give you a useful 35mm equivalent. The viewfinder is a marvel giving options to use as an optical or electronic (EVF) both have their uses. I mostly will use it in EVF mode, however in low light of fast-moving situations, the optical can be better. Frankly to have both is great! Fuji has included a number of film simulation modes and I think the skin tones from the Fuji cameras, in general, is hard to beat.
The X100t version now has Wi-Fi, now this may sound a little like a gimmick to some people but is actually the main reason for me to upgrade from the older X-100S, a fine camera in its own right. The Wi-fi comes into its own when you are out in the field and want to keep people updated via social media, or if you quickly want to review of show people an image on my iPad mini rather than the small screen of the camera. Its main use in my workflow, however, is that you can make an instant street side print using the little Fuji SP1 Instax printer. This can be a real door opener when you are travelling.
The X100T also adds a fully electronic shutter mode. This enables totally silent operation and increases the maximum shutter speed to an impressive 1/32000 sec. For me, it’s the best walk around camera you can buy.
You can read about why I owe this camera so much by clicking the link Fujifilm X100.