I often get asked about the equipment that I use to make my images and videos. I thought I’d put together a list of items that I use on a regular basis along with a brief summary of what I like about a particular piece of kit. Most of these I’ve purchased and some of them I rent.

If you’re considering purchasing any of these items please use the links provided on this page as I receive a tiny commission which helps me to continue running this site. It won’t cost you a penny more to purchase via these links and it might mean I can afford to pay next months bill from Adobe 😉

Sony A7RIV Mirrorless Camera

Having over 60 megapixels might be overkill but what I love about that is how easy it is to switch to crop mode with one assigned button and still produce 25 megapixel RAW files.

Battery life is more usable and results in less outbursts of rage. The My Menu function is a tolerable workaround for the atrocious Sony menu system.

Whenever possible, I use this as my vlogging camera as the video quality is superb and I love the shallow DOF I can get when using certain lenses wide open (see lenses below).

Buy at Amazon


The DJI OSMO Pocket

It’s not perfect but it’s as convenient as your phone and that means you can capture every moment with this camera. Plug in a lav mic and you’re good to go even on windy cliff tops.

The gimble has its limitations but can help smooth out some clips. I wish I could turn down the sharpening and make more tweaks without being forced to attach it to a phone.

For the money though, it does the job and gets you the footage you need to put together a compelling story. Battery life is surprisingly good. My first Osmo died after being drowned by a large ocean wave. It was good enough that I bought another.

Buy at Amazon


Sony A7RII Mirrorless Camera

Yes, I know I never stop complaining about the shameful battery life of this camera. Sony deserves every bit of that abuse.

That being said, it produces brilliant landscape images when used well. If you’re in the market for a brilliant stills camera for landscape photography and can tolerate the soul crushing misery of seeing ”Battery Exhausted” all of the time – this is the camera for you.

If you plan on shooting video – buy a different camera. The R2 records over-compressed audio and will go through 7 batteries a day if recording video.

But those RAW files though……

Being such an old camera, you can now pick up some screaming deals. By the time they bring out the A7RV it’ll be an even better deal.

Buy at Amazon


FLM Tripods

I have a couple of tripods from FLM and I’m impressed with the quality of these very sturdy tripods. I punished them very hard for an entire month and they stood up well to my continued abuse.

You can get them direct from FLM Canada


Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM

Sony 16-35mm F2.8 G MasterNot only is this a super sharp lens but it’s plenty fast enough for astrophotography and delivers great sun stars if you like that kind of thing.

I find that the zoom range of 16-35mm on a full frame camera is the closest thing to what I see with the naked eye so it’s really easy to compose the shots that I see in my head.

I also use this lens for vlogging because at f/2.8 the background blur is just enough that your subjects pop with a lovely 3D quality while you can still make out what’s going on the background.

Buy at Amazon


Canon 24-105mm f/4.0

Canon 24-105mm lensI originally bought the Canon 24-105mm as a kit lens with my Canon 5D MK II way back in 2010 and to be honest it never really impressed me in terms of sharpness.

That quickly changed when I used it on my Sony A7R for the first time and saw the true capabilities of this superb lens.

Now it’s my ‘go to’ lens when I need sharpness and a little more reach than my super wide lenses.

As an all rounder landscape lens, the Canon 24-105mm is worth every penny when used with the right camera.

Buy at Amazon


My BENQ Image Editing Monitor

I’ve been using a BENQ monitor for a little while now and I love the way my images and videos look on this device. Sure, there are more high end monitors available out there but for the price, this UHD Monitor performs brilliantly and feels like a high quality piece of kit.

I edit all of my images and videos on this screen and overall I find it a joy to use. I’ll be honest though, I haven’t yet felt a need to install the shading hood.

Buy at Amazon


 

Published by Gavin Hardcastle

Gavin is a professional landscape photographer from Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC. He teaches photography workshops all over the world and writes extensively about his experiences on location. You can read his photo guides and tutorials here at Fototripper.com.

94 Comments

  1. Gavin, thank you so much for this information! Can you please clarify what you meant when you said: (Regarding the Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f/2.8)

    “It’s also great for daytime landscapes if you stick to f/8. Other apertures are less than ideal for daytime shoots, so get used to focus stacking if you want corner to corner focus.”
    I’m not sure what focus stacking is?
    Thanks!
    Helen Watson

    Reply
    • Hi Helen,

      At f/8 you won’t be able to get focus in your entire image from front to back so you’d need to use a focus stacking technique to achieve front to back focus. The reason I mention f/8 is because that’s the aperture that will give you sharpest results. All other apertures on my lens loose sharpness the further away you get from f/8. That’s the main drawback with this lens – that and the fact that it’s a bugger to get the focus just right due to poor build quality. I’d happily pay double for this lens if it was made better.

      Gavin

      Reply
  2. Hi,Gavin,

    I have a question in regards to portraiture with a7r.
    Would the 35 mm be a good lens for portraiture on this camera?
    I like the size of the lens. 130g small.

    I tested the 10-18 mm on my a7r, but found that when I took portraits, cropped the pics went into extreme digital form.
    While some posters say you still retain the 36 mp.
    I found the pic broke down., reminded me of the 80’s first digital cameras.
    Is there something I’m missing?

    Reply
    • Hi Yve,

      If you mean the Sony/Zeiss FE 35mm, yes that is an excellent lens but check out the Zeiss Loxia also. Not sure what you mean by ‘extreme digital form’ but I wonder if you had the A7R set to crop mode when shooting with the 10-18mm which I would never advise as a portrait lens.

      Cheers
      Gavin

      Reply
  3. Hi Gavin thanks for the quick reply.

    What I ment in regards to the 10-18 mm is, I took a pic of a person across the table.
    When I cropped the pic. for a close look, the picture quality degraded and would not be useable.
    When I took a similar pic. with a different lens, including 10-24 Nikkor, lens and camera, the picture did not degrade to that leve and was useable.

    Some people are pleased,with this lens on a7r. Perhaps the one I tested was no good.
    Not sure if camera was set to crop mode as you suggested.

    I definitely liked the weight, size of the lens.
    The pic looked fine until I cropped it for a close look for details which then were degraded.
    Maybe I should give it another try?

    Reply
  4. Very nice website!! As for your gear, what bag do use to carry your equipment while you go hither and yon to make your images?

    Reply
    • Hi Pat, I use massive LowePro bag but in all honesty it’s a total pain if any kind of hike is involved. Check out Tamrac as I’ve recently been impressed by their quality and usability.

      Reply
  5. Hi Gavin,

    What adapter did you use for canon lens on a7r II? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Gavin hi I was reading your gear list and watching some of your landscape on YouTube and notice that I don’t see you using any graduated filters, do you use them or is it something you do in post? Do you need them? Love your articles

    Thanks

    Reply
  7. Garvin,
    What back packs due you use ?

    Reply
  8. what camera backpack did you use on the video “My Most Successful Landscape Photography Shoot Ever! to Lewis River Falls. it wasn’t the osprey.

    Great Videos, Keep Them Coming!!

    Reply
  9. Hi Gavin,
    Love the videos and wish I was there for all the fun. My
    Question is what lens adaptor do you use on your Sony equipment for Canon lens. I’m looking at getting something for my XT-2 for my old Nikon lens. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks my Friend and Have. Great New Years.

    Don

    Reply
  10. Hi Gavin, interesting to know you use the Canon 24-105mm on your Sony cameras. I have the lens and a Sony A6500. What converter do you use to get such amazing results?

    Reply
  11. Gavin hi, wondering do you still use the canon 24-105 on your Sony, and if so why not the Sony equivalent.
    Thanks

    Reply
  12. Gavin what ball head do you use on the new tripod?

    Reply
    • Until recently I’ve been using a heavy duty Manfrotto ball head but it seized on me after hardly any use. So, I can’t recommend them any longer. I should be receiving the new ball head from Breakthrough photography so if it’s any good I’ll post a review.

      Reply
  13. Maybe I missed it, but what coffee do you prefer?

    Reply
  14. I started watching your vlogs after seeing you on one of Thomas Heaton’s youtube videos. I really love your enthusiastic attitude and just can’t get enough of you and Uncle Grumpy aka Adam Gibbs, your banter is really funny. How long have you been living in Canada?

    Reply
  15. Gavin,
    Does the B&H affiliate program work like Amazons, in that as long as I use you link, I can buy something else, and you will still get credit? I spend more than I should there, and would like you to benefit from it, what ever small percentage that may be.

    Reply
  16. That’s something we shall have to remedy. (William Wallace’s uncle Argyle -Braveheart)

    Reply
    • Gavin, I’ve made a few purchases at B&H using your links, enough to take Uncle Grumpy to lunch and buy him a new lens cloth 😉

      I have some Really Right Stuff I need to buy and will be sure to use your links again. Thanks for the great videos, the ladder was Classic!

      Reply
  17. Hi Gavin, I noted you change tripod quite often on your videos, I curiuous about which head and what leggs do you prefer if you ciuld only choose 2 of both.

    Reply
    • I’m currently trying out a few different brands. Can’t be sure on new gear until I’ve put it through it’s paces but the tripod leg that I favour are the Benro ones listed.

      Reply
  18. Hey Gavin ,
    First of all Love your Youtube Content. It actually makes tickels my Trigger finger for some Juicy Pics . But anyway I was wondering how much the Battery life is Improved from the A7 RII .I also on the fence switching to Sony as well.

    Reply
  19. Hey! Just watched Tomas Heaton’s YouTube channel and you mentioned that your still sporting the a7rii, is it that you upgraded to the a7iii and you dedicated the 2 for vlog recording or is the 2 your main camera cause the 3 is listed here and I’m just a bit confused. Hate to see you leave the Sony system since I also just purchased one and was looking forward to your experience with the same camera. Ultimately whatever makes you feel better is always the best option.

    Reply
    • I often rent and borrow the R3 but can’t justify buying a 4th Sony camera just because the batteries on the pre-3 versions are an abysmal joke. When the R4 comes out I’ll either buy that or switch to Nikon if the upgrade isn’t significant.

      Reply
  20. Fototripper fans want to know… have the recently announced tasty specs of the A7R4 enticed you enough to think about the upgrade?

    Reply
  21. Hey Gavin.Love your videos,fun and informative.I’ve just switched to Sony.Was looking at the 16-35 or the 24-105 f4’s for a little landscape photography.Would f4 be ok for northern lights photography?Off to Norway in December.Many thanks.

    Reply
  22. Interested to know what you use to cover the sony logo on your camera ?

    ive seen it in your youtube videos.

    is it just tape ?

    Reply
  23. You have a new camera I see. Is there going to be a video on this at all as I would be very interested to hear your opinion. I have the Sony A7iii and love it so your opinion is greatly appreciated.

    All the best mate.

    Reply
  24. Hey Gavin,

    In one your videos I noticed you were sporting a Wandrd backpack. Would you recommend that? I am looking to splurge on a bag (21L) and even though this is expensive, I am hoping to buy a bag that will last me a while. It is difficult to find non biased reviews and I look at you… you mr. beacon of integrity, to give me genuine advice.

    Also, a big fan, quite literally. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • In all honesty, I really like the design of the Wandrd bags and I use them a lot but Adam recently told me of a student on one of his workshops that had a new bag and the zipper ripped. So I’m not 100% certain of the build quality. I have two bags and they are brilliant but I can’t say they are the sturdiest bags. The Shimoda bag that I have is far more bomb proof but the design is not as practical as the Wandrd. Maybe reach out to Wandrd and ask them about their warranty to ensure problems like this get fixed?

      Reply
  25. Gavin,
    I like all your videos!
    Welcome to Pennsylvania. Let me know if you want to visit this part of America. Im living in Lancaster, PA!

    Reply
  26. Who makes your sunglasses Gavin? They look mint!

    Reply
  27. Hi Gavin, any chance you can let me know what L Plate your using on your Sony?

    Reply
  28. Any chance the new R5 could pull you towards Canon?

    Reply
  29. Gavin love your imagery and your personality.

    What camera pack do you use for gear????

    Best,

    And watch out for Amanda

    Reply
  30. Hi Gavin, long time listener, first time caller. Can I ask what laptopyou use, if any? I’m in the market for my first one but can’t seem to find a definitive answer on appropriate specs needed for using multiple layers in Ps and Lr. Apologies if, like me you hate computers and cba to talk about them but I’d be interested to know what a professional comedian and part time photographer such as yourself would use.

    Reply
  31. Hi Gavin, I really enjoy your videos. I’m in the market for a microphone to do voiceovers and really like the quality of the voiceovers in your videos. Could you please let me know which microphone you use?

    Regards
    Justin

    Reply
  32. Hey Gavin, Love your humor and content. I also live on Vancouver Island and do a ton of hiking for video and photo work. I am in the market to upgrade my camera bag and Shimoda seems best, I am looking between the 50L and the 70L because when I go on overnight trips want a bit of room for camping gear. Which one do you have and have you used it on any camping trips?

    Reply
  33. Hey Gavin, enjoy your work and humor! I’m looking to upgrade from my mark3. Looking into the Sony a7r3 or 4 possibly. What camera do you think is best for astrophotography and lowlight/iso performance? I’m thinking a7r3, also ive seen some great results from just a73. It’s hard to tell! Ive heard the a7r4 has slightly more noise due to higher megapixels. Thoughts?

    Reply
  34. Happy New Year to you and yours. Discovered your channel this year and it’s bloody brilliant! Hilarious! Just ordered your book, hope you have an extraordinary 2021. Hoping to get back to Canada sooner than later, stuck in Vegas as of now. When I do get home, I look forward to crossing paths with you guys, uncle grumpy, and that pano taker . Cheers Gavin

    Reply
  35. Please drop the link to your camera bag. Love it

    Reply
  36. Hi Gavin.
    My hubby has a new passion in his life….you and photography!!. He non stop watches your vlogs etc. Can you tell me whst camera gloves you would recommend if any. Thanks from Kelly from South Wales Uk x

    Reply
  37. Gavin, what is the make and model of that monster backpack/camera fold down top bag you use? can we get here in Canada?

    Reply
  38. Hi Gavin,
    I found your channel while laid up with a bad back. Watched them all! Fantastic quality on stills, audio, video, production and the content is a fantastic mix of laugh-out-loud skits balanced with great advice and information.
    Up until now I’ve focused on portrait photography but I think you might have turned me. Also considering a move to Sony.
    Keep up the great work.
    I’ll be keeping an eye open for the next workshop.

    Reply
  39. Loving your YouTube videos and your images! Im a wildlife photographer and your videos got me shooting landscapes, super excited about this new side of photography I had barley explored. Thanks for the laughs and inspiration.

    Reply
  40. Hey Gavin,
    First of all want say thank you for the videos you are creating.
    I’m from all that way from Sri Lanka and I do landscape photography as hobby. I’m still using the Nikon d7200 with Tokina 11-16 lens for landscape photography. I’m planning upgrade to a full frame camera and A7Rii cought my attention with it’s current price tag of $1198.

    I would like to know your thoughts ?
    Amal

    Reply
  41. Gavin,
    I’ve seen a few older videos along with some of your friends and you had the Wandrd backpack. I don’t think you are using that now are you – didn’t see packs above in gear? I have the new 41L for travel/hikes (laptop, more gear, space, etc.) and a smaller pack for everyday hiking and photo needs.

    It’s past the return date so I own it, but overall what did you think about it and what would you recommend it for and any advice on how to get the most out of it?

    PS – love your videos! Don’t subscribe to many channels but yours is one of them.

    Reply
  42. Hi Gavin,

    Love the content you are making. Really make me want to get out there. What polariser your you use and what mount

    Reply
  43. Hey Gavin

    We stumbled upon your videos this weekend. They are beautiful and informative and the added comedic shenanigans are very refreshing . Look forward to more soon – thanks!

    Reply
  44. I see you love Sony, curious if you’ve tried the Nikon D780? If so, what are your thoughts?

    Also, I currently use the Oly EM1 MK2. I’m looking to upgrade to a FF, but not sure just which one. And I don’t want to break my bank on one. Thoughts?

    Reply
  45. Love your show. Which FLM tripod do you use? Is their travel tripod study enough or should I go bigger?

    Reply
    • I use one of the mid sized one (not to hand at the moment) but my fave is the one Grumpton uses CP38-L4 II 10X. It’s heavy but the best tripod in the world. The small travel tripod is good but not very tall.

      Reply
  46. Heya Gavin,M8 Love your youtube channel,your a funny bugger…You do a hell of a lot of trekking, specially uphill,interested in knowing ‘what is the backpack you are using’…the green one,it never seems to leave your side.
    Hope You & Yours are well.

    Reply
  47. HI Gavin,

    I have discovered your website through your youtubes videos, they are really great and funny. I like how you are explaining what pass in your mind for composing your image. That’s great.

    I see you never mention something about polarizing filters. Are you using them ?

    If you come once to switzerland, don’t hesitate to contact me, there are some beautifuls spots for landscape pictures 😉

    Continue to make me astonishing your your takes and laughing with your wife!

    Reply
  48. Hi Gavin, am loving the videos and the comedy, especially during these difficult times.

    I’m guessing your kit list is now a little out-of-date now as I think you’re now shooting with a Fuji? Could you provide some details on this new camera (and your thoughts on how it differs to your previous setup)?

    Oh, and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS (?) on your engagement!

    Reply

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