equipment

 cameras

The Canon EOS 7D is everything I need in a camera, for the type of work I do. It's low-light capability is pretty good, image quality excellent, build quality very good, and ease of use superb. My second body is a Canon EOS 40D, and when I'm on location I find myself with the telefoto on the 7D and a wide(r) angle lens on the 40D. They both do a great job, but the &d has the added capability of micro-adjustment for each lens, as well as HD video. I think it's time the manufacturers stop cramming more pixes on the sensor and concentrate on sensor quality.

 

 lenses

If you have a limited budget rather spend less on the body and opt for great glass. DON'T buy cheap lenses, you'll only end up buying many more! If you shoot Canon buy L-series. There's plenty of hype about these lenses, and for good reason, read the tests. 

The largest lens I have is a Canon EF 70-200mm F/4.0 L IS, small by any standard but absolutely razor-sharp and quick focusing. It's light and manoeuvreable, and works well with a 1.4x or 2x convertor. I've used it plenty of times with a 100% crop, and it's awesome. 

For portrait and close-up work I have a Canon EF 24-70mm L F/2.8, arguably the best portrait lens in its class. It's very sharp, focuses very fast, and is ideal for sport photography, weddings (not really my field) and photojournalism. The downside is its weight - almost 1kg - which really matters when you're trudging up a hillside with your bag of tricks, rushing to capture a sunset.   

My wide-angle is an ultra-wide Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5  which I use plenty when shooting interiors and landscapes. With a small-sensor format this the equivalent of a 16-35mm lens. It gives great results, and with Photoshop's lens correction algorithms I can use it on full wide in any interior, with very little image distortion. 

For macro work I have a Canon EF 100mm F/2.8, which is fast, light, quiet and accurate. Also, very importantly, it doesn't extend when focussing. Macro photography is fun, and something I really should find more time for.


 

 

 speedlites, etc

A good dedicated flash is essential, and the Canon EX-430 works well for me. I have to admit I'm not a great fan of cold, hard flash, but when used with a correctly coloured gel it can give the desired results. I use the EX-430 as a slave as well as a trigger, in conjunction with a couple of mini strobes and reflectors when needed. But mostly I prefer to work with ambient light.

My tripod is a Velbon Sherpa 600R, a trade-off in that it's relatively light, yet sturdy enough for long exposures, and fits into a suitcase. The pan-and-tilt head has a good fluid feel and locks with one twist of the handle. There are better tripods, but when you're travelling you need to keep the weight down and lose bulk. 

A tough, fairly waterproof backpack is the next essential item on my list. I use a Vanguard UP-rise 48 - it fits both bodies and all four of the abovementioned lenses, as well as the Speedlite, and my notebook pc. I carry the notebook as a backup for my images, as well as doing some light editing on the road.

Other extraneous accessories include reflectors, duct type, lights stands, lights, gels, soft boxes, and all manner of stuff that I ususllay leave behind when traveling. Very important - plenty of spare CF cards and a couple of spare batteries.