Over the years I've always looked at the pages showing which gear other photographers are using, so I felt it only right to include this information too. Although you should know up front that it doesn't really matter that much. There is of course very large difference in quality and technical capability between a mobile phone and a DSLR, but I'm presuming that if you're reading this then you have or are interested in owning a DSLR, Mirrorless System or something similar. From this point, at least for the areas of photography I'm interested in, there isn't really a great deal of difference.
There is one thing though that I feel is missing from a lot of gear advice, but nevertheless important, especially if you are just coming into the hobby. This may seem strange, but it's 'look and feel', you have to be comfortable with your choice of camera. You will use something more, if you enjoy using it.
Another big point is the budget. It's important to remember that the camera is just part of what you are going to need, depending on your interests they'll be other lenses, a tripod, filters, etc. Lenses are not an area to skimp on, the quality of the lens is in some ways more important than the camera. There is no point spending a lot of money on a camera with a high quality sensor, if you're going to put low quality glass in front of it. The same goes for filters too.
I currently use two systems the Fujifilm GFX 50s and the Sony A7.
At the moment I have a Sony A7 mkIII, and a Sony A6000. I like to carry two bodies most of the time. Having a choice of a crop sensor as the second body opens up opportunities with extra reach.
I also use the larger GFX-50s. This is relatively new and my plan is to use this for predominantly for landscapes. Although after using it for a while I'm starting to see new opportunities.
As you’ll be able to see in my blog, in 2017 I tried the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Although I loved the function and ergonomics of the system, it wasn’t a good fit for me. I like to take pictures in low light and I had some issues that I couldn't get around with the level of noise in this situation.
Support - Tripod / Monopod
This was another learning curve. I knew that I needed a tripod as a wanted to use slower shutter speeds, but at the time I thought that one tripod was just as good as the next at keeping the camera steady. I was wrong.
Before going into my tripod story this is the compact version of what I have learnt:
There is really no point buying a cheap tripod. It will not hold the camera as steady as you want it to, and it will fall apart quickly.
If you do decide to go with the cheaper version, you will soon go out and get the other one. It might cheaper at the time, but buying two is more expensive!
It is worth spending a bit extra to get the carbon version. It is not only lighter but also more stable and resistant to vibrations.
I started with a very low cost tripod. It was compact, small enough to fit in my bag and seemed to be exactly what I needed. After a while of use the leg clamps got looser, tightening them didn't help, this meant it was shaky. As for compact, well compact actually translated as, incredibly small. I needed a new one!
Still not that experienced and not entirely sure what I was looking for, I went to a local photography shop for advice (Side note: There are some photography shops that will base their advice on what they need to sell, and not necessarily what you really need). I ended up purchasing a tripod, that was very good but didn't really fit to what I wanted to use it for. I did use this tripod for a few years, it held up very well on a number of hikes in a lot of weather conditions and took quite a beating without taking any real damage, but I never really felt that comfortable with it.
With the experience of other selections behind me, I had a better idea of what I was looking for. With a little more online research I narrowed it down to either a Gitzo Systematic or a Sirui Reporter. Due to a very lucky set of circumstances, I now have the GT2542LOS.
I am very happy with my choice, the stability is incredible, the weight is a little more than I had before, but my priorities adapted to my interests. I don't mind carrying more weight, if it means I gain stability. In addition, although not important to the function, but does go back to something I mentioned earlier. You will use something more if like it. For me, it has a stunningly beautiful design.
I have three other means of support, a Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4, it's lighter and more versatile in respect to macro work, a Sirui monopod and a 3 Legged Thing EVO3 Punks Rick.
I use two heads on the Gitzo, a FLM CB-48FTR II paired with a Sirui PA-20 Panorama head, and a SIRUI PH-20 gimbal head depending on the situation, but primarily the ball head.
Sony - SEL1635Z
Zeis Batis - 18mm f/2.8
Sony - SEL90M28G
Sony - SEL100400GM
Sony - SEL1670Z (APS-C used on the Sony A6000)
FUJINON GF32-64mm F4 R LM WR
FUJINON GF250mm F4 R LM WR