Camera Gear - Whats needed to take on photographic workshops?

Camera

On all photographic workshops, you will need your own camera. It doesn’t matter if it’s a basic point and shoot or an advanced mirrorless compact camera system or DSLR, the fundamentals apply to them all. If you are looking for a new camera with very good image quality and features, and if you are wanting a small jacket pocket camera we recommend a premium compact camera (with a 1" or larger sensor) which is suitable for a beginner to advanced but offers great image quality.If looking for a longer zoom camera good image quality and features, we recommend a bridge camera, again 1" sensor models offers great quality. If you are considering an interchangeable lens camera we recommend mirrorless compact system cameras rather than an SLR as they offer more features than a SLR, newer technology, are more compact yet have the same large (APS-C) sensor size, and offer better value for money. These are especially suited from intermediate to advanced users. If you are an advanced or a professional user, looking for full frame camera systems, then the Sony A7 mirrorless full frame camera systems and lenses offer top of the line performance.

Tripod

A good tripod is a valuable piece of kit for the landscape photographer and is very useful for compositional purposes as well as steadying the camera. Essential for long exposure photography and time-lapse, and invaluable for obtaining the best composition a tripod is a must for enthusiast landscape photography. Better tripods offer superior support and flexibility, and good models can be compact, portable, lightweight and sturdy. Tripod heads should be considered, and are equally important to the ease of use and stability of your camera equipment.
If you dont have a good tripod we recommend one of the excellent Novo carbon fibre tripods, such as the Novo Explora T10 or Novo Explora T20 tripod kits.

Filters

Filters can also be very helpful in controlling exposure (ND filters) or reducing reflection and enhancing contrast (Polarising filters). Filters are generally available for the interchangeable lens cameras, but some premium compact cameras have filter adapter kits available allowing fitments of filters, such as the Sony VFA-49R1 Filter Adapter for DSC-RX100, II, III, IV, M2, M3, M4.

Quality filters offer the best performance whilst reducing any unwanted degradation of image quality. Hoya HD or Novo Excel filter ranges are superb performing filters. For landscape photography you should definitely consider a polariser / polarizer filter and a neutral density (ND) filter. Something like the NOVO Excel Pro 77mm Vari ND Filter is an excellent choice for a Neutral density filter, and one of the NOVO Excel Pro Circular Polariser Filters. If you just are looking for lens protection consider UV filters or lens protection filters.

Lenses

For landscape photography wide angle lenses offer a wide perspective for sweeping land or skyscapes capturing the whole scene. If you have an interchangeable lens camera you may wish to consider some wide angle or ultra wide angle lenses. Recent ultra wide angle lenses include lenses from Irix, and Laowa in various mounts including for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony mounts, whilst for Sony the 10-18mm and 16-35mm are popular, the 7-14mm lenses for Olympus / Panasonic MFT systems, and the Fujifilm Fujinon XF10-24mm for Fuji systems, and some excellent lenses from Sigma, including their Art series lenses, such as the 12-24mm and 14mm prime. Macro lenses offer other possibilities for example close up photography for flowers and fauna whilst out in the field, and longer focal length lenses can offer different perspectives and suit different styles or subjects.

  • Camera Bags / Photo backpacks

    Even if you only own a small camera, a camera bag or case will help protect the camera when not in use. Dedicated manufacturers camera cases will generally offer the best fit and protection for pocket sized cameras, particularly if they are an uneven shape (for example the Panasonic TZ series, or Sony RX100 series). Whilst cases do offer some protection they are generally not very water resistant. A good tip (and a cheap one) is to place the compact camera in a case, and then in a freezer bag. Once sealed the freezer bag can offer excellent protection against rain and water, and against dusty environments which would otherwise easily damage or destroy camera equipment or other delicate electrical or optical equipment when not in use. When in use ensure equipment is kept dry and when finished put away dry to avoid potential problems or failure of your gear.

    For compact system camera such as the very compact Sony A6000 series (A6300/ A6500 etc) with compact power zoom lens the Nest Athena S10 is a superb compact bag. If you have numerous lenses then a larger shoulder bag may be required. Shoulder cases are great for photographing and travelling locally and offer quick access to gear. If you are shooting with a mirrorless camera system a surprising amount of equipment can fit in shoulder cases, including multiple bodies, lenses, flash and accessories.

    For bridge type cameras generally third party cases offer superior protection over manufacturers cases, and not all models have manufacturers dedicated cases made anyway. The Nest Athena S15 is a great case for many medium sized bridge type cameras (such as the Panasonic FZ series, Sony HX series), larger ones (Such as the Panasonic FZ1000 / FZ200, Sony RX10 series may fit better in the larger Nest Athena S20 case.

    Photo backpacks are ideal for landscape photography workshops, even if you only have a small camera, a photo backpack can carry cameras, filters, spare batteries, cards and even a tripod leaving you hands free whilst travelling on foot. It can also carry supplies of food, drink, and jacket, clothes, umbrella and other items for being prepared in varying weather conditions for your trip. Photo backpacks can be split between gear, or dedicated for camera equipment dependant on your needs. For many travelling or landscape photographer a camera backpack makes the journey much more enjoyable than carrying separate camera bags and armfuls of gear. Compact and travel tripods can be attached to many backpacks. Check that the backpack has a tripod pocket and adequate straps. Be sure to consider both the tripod weight, size and backpack together to ensure the tripod fits on the backpack securely and comfortably and is small enough to travel, yet big enough for your application. Some great backpacks to consider is the Nest Diverse 20 modular backpack, which features two smaller camera bags, in a very flexible system that bags / compartments can be moved, removed, or a full insert added giving many options for the travelling photographer. Rain covers help to give extra weather proofing in rainy conditions.

    Memory cards / Spare batteries

    Don't forget to take extra memory cards and spare batteries. You don't want to be short of card space or battery power when out in the field. Also it is important to but good branded cards from trusted sources, to sure that you are not buying fake or poorly performing cards which can mean the loss of precious photographs through failure of the card.

    If travelling with equipment with different batteries, you may want to consider universal chargers, some offer internal power supply and 12v car charging ability.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further advice on purchasing new equipment or general advice, we are happy to help you choose what is best for your needs within you budget.


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