They are all serviceable and working but the extent that I pick one body over the next inevitably comes down to its age.
Once you move to digital, you’ll do the same I’m afraid.
That’s the path you’ll take out of necessity.
Newer means more megapixels ( I can hear my hard drives straining as they fill to capacity faster)
Newer also means lower noise in high ISO situations. (this is a good thing, no doubt about it)
Hopefully newer doesn’t mean a different kind of battery for your new â€œbaby.â€
Why buy a battery grip?–In digital photography where you are totally dependent of battery power, when you run out of juice, your camera is a useless paperweight. With the battery grip, you now have ability to use AA batteries which are readily available. ensuring you’ll never have a problem when Canon’s proprietary battery runs out of power.
My closets are full of chargers and AC adapters. I have so many I’ve absolutely lost track of which charger/AC adapter works with what.
That’s why when I consider the purchase of any new hardware, I always see if I have to buy something new like a different battery.
You guessed it, new proprietary battery means yet another different battery charger.
You think that’s the least of my problems, right? Wait till I show my drawer of old cellphones.
So what does the average photographer need? First off, there is no such thing as â€œenough gear.â€
It’s all in how well you can hide those purchases from your spouse and slyly introduce them casually when they least suspect it.
My wife has her own â€œm.oâ€ She keeps her purchases in the trunk and they magically appear, so there you go!
In all seriousness, there are some pieces of equipment you’ll need if you plan to do any photo job.
As with most things you read here, these are only my suggestions. Feel free to add yours by commenting. I can use all the help I can get.
Location portraiture need not take a whole lot of equipment if you are observant and know where to set up. This one of local Riverside attorney Mary Daniels was done with just available light from a doorway.
One body is sufficient for a session with a static subject. Doing kids? Hmm… maybe 2 bodies: each body with different lenses. Good luck trying to get spontaneous pictures switching lenses back and forth on one body.
External flash. It doesn’t have to be original manufacturer’s brand of flash. What’s important is you need a flash with capability to shoot at different power settings giving you a way to adjust its power output.
Radio Slaves. This may sound expensive but they are actually cheaper than if you get a long extension sync cord. Compare what Canon charges for their cord and what you pay for one of these cheap, made in China, radio slaves. It’s a no-brainer. So, you don’t get the fancy E-TTL and features like that. But those features end up costing you a lot more.
If you have deep pockets, try the new version Pocket Wizards. There is a documented Â flaw unfortunately reducing the operating range caused by Electro-Magnetic Frequency interference with the Canon Speedlites 580EX and 580 EX II. I wouldn’t go so far as call that flaw a deal-breaker. Keep in mind, most photographers don’t need to have that kind of range. Besides, if you set up your remote flash to trigger remotely in questionable neighborhood, it may develop legs and walk away!
Lenses. 50 mm lens f 1.8 is good, f1.4 is better. f 1.2L (The â€œLâ€ designation from Canon might stand for lidiculous, as one of my phonetically-challenged Asian brothers might pronounce ridiculous). When you see the price difference between these 3 lenses, you’ll agree.
Longer focal length zooms (anything from 70 mm) give nicer perspectives and allow you to blur out backgrounds because of their shallow depth-of-fields.
Extra memory cards. The more the merrier. If you don’t have a long zoom lens, having more memory cards allow you to shoot RAW. That means you can now crop in and still be able to make some very nice enlargements.
I shoot both RAW and jpegs simultaneously but I only look over the jpegs. Â But I archive the RAW file Â just in case clients come back and saw they want 40 x 30 print.
One light stand if you’re working alone, this provides a way to light off-camera whether to diffuse the light by shooting through a white umbrella or into an umbrella.
Growing an extra arm would be nice, but you can opt for one of these LiteDisc holders to hold reflectors or diffusers in place.
During overcast conditions, a simple reflector with a gold fabric can introduce a nice warmth without much fuss. My heartfelt gratitude to my friend Ted Kulesa for sharing this image from a recent wedding where he assisted me.
Collapsible reflectors are worthwhile purchases but worthless when it’s windy out. They can be extremely unwielding when it’s windy, but they are worth their money when you need to throw light into a scene and you don’t have a lot of time to bring in supplementary lights.
Backdrop. This can be any large fabric which you can use to eliminate distracting backgrounds, for use as ground sheet when you or your subject needs to lay down.
Other miscellaneous stuff. Among your â€œstuffâ€ should be some gaffer tape, not duct tape. They are different. Unlike its ugly cousin duct tape, gaffer leaves no residue when you peel it off. Big powerful clamps are invaluable for keeping backdrops in place.
Stay tuned. This is such a broad topic and we haven’t even considered the post production end of things.
Ah… with digital, your computer or digital darkroom is also now part of your photo gear and there’s even more toys to buy for that.
Next time I’ll have some suggestions on what I think you’ll need to shoot a terrestrial wedding, as in firm ground, successfully. And yes, there is another kind of wedding–one which takes place totally on board a yacht. I survived one and lived to tell about it.