Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's In My Camera Bag

Abandoned Homestead - Tehachapi, California
Captured with a Sigma DP2 Merrill camera.
I mentioned a while ago that I was in the process of simplifying my camera bag. There was a point where I owned two DSLRs, two compact interchangeable-lens digital cameras, and eight film cameras. Too many cameras! Too many lenses! Not enough simplicity.

Simplicity is good in photography. It is good in composition. It is good in a camera bag. Limitations improve art. I needed to simplify.
Avila Beach - Avila Beach, California
Captured with a Samsung NX200 camera.
One thing that I decided is that I don't need a DSLR. They're just too big and bulky to carry around. They're fine for studio work or for sports photography where speed is essential, but for most photographers there are many good alternatives to the DSLR that are smaller and lighter and, because of that, better. So I sold both of my DSLR cameras.

I also decided that having two compact interchangeable-lens digital cameras was redundant, so I sold one. I kept the other and purchased two new lenses to go with it.
Color Palette Abstract - Surprise, Arizona
Captured using a Minolta XG-1 camera.
I sold several of my film cameras and lenses, as well. I kept my favorites: the FED 5c, Holga 120N, and Minolta XG-1, but got rid of the rest. I just didn't need them, and it felt good to clear up some space.

So what exactly is in my camera bag?
Horse At Fence - Onyx, California
Captured using a Holga 120N camera.
First is a Sigma DP2 Merrill. This has quickly become my go-to camera. It is small and lightweight, yet can produce exceptional image quality. While it doesn't have the same flexibility as a DSLR, it has in many ways replaced my DSLRs.

Next is a Samsung NX200 compact interchangeable-lens camera. I also had a NX210, which is essentially the same camera, but I went with the older model instead. The NX200 is smaller and lighter than a DSLR, yet it is like having a DSLR. It gives me the flexibility that the Sigma camera lacks, so it is complimentary. I have three lenses for this camera: a wide angle zoom, a telephoto zoom (which is the one I use most) and a Holga lens.
Mojave August Sunrise - Mojave, California
Captured using a cell phone camera.
I have an external flash, a bunch of filters, extra batteries and SD cards. Oh, and I always have my cell phone with built-in camera.

I mentioned that I have some film cameras, which have their own camera bag. I don't use these all of the time, but it is fun to go retro sometimes. I also own two tripods, but try to use them only when I absolutely need to.
Old U.S. 80 - Arlington, Arizona
Captured using a FED 5c camera.
Cameras are not really all that important. Vision is what matters most in photography. I think it is best to keep things simple. Even my simplified setup seems like too much as I type it out here.

Perhaps my simplifying is not yet complete.

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