In my eyes the single most important aspect of blogging is exceptional content creation, whether that is photography, videography, writing or creativity in general. The reason I say that is because most of the campaigns I have worked on recently, the value is in the content I have created for them rather than numbers of followers on social for example - which is a very small part of the bigger picture. By offering exceptional editorial, creative content it offers the brand more than just a point-in-time social post that has a major impact at the time of posting but doesn't particularly have longevity, unless you have enrolled in a larger month-on-month campaign. Being able to create high-quality content for the brands, you offer them something they could potentially use (depending on images rights), for their website, social pages and larger advertising campaigns to name a few.
That's the reason why over the years I have invested heavily in some of the best camera and videography tech out there and it is a constant improvement. It's one thing having 'all the gear' but you need to know how to use it, so make sure you spend days learning about your new camera or drone before taking it out on a campaign shoot - what's the point in keeping your £3,000 camera on auto, right!
So what do I use for shoots, what is in my camera bag and why?
The SONY A7SII is my newest piece of camera kit and by far the finest item in my camera bag. The camera is great for video and stills images. The video is capable of filming at 100 frames per second at full-frame 4K, including built-in stabilisation within the camera. Regarding still images, it is exceptional at handling low light.
My only two beefs with the SONY A7SII is that when filming in 4K whilst using the monitor the battery life can drain quickly and the camera is a bit top heavy with large lenses due to the smallish body. Both are solved with this vertical camera grip. Which once added to your camera allows you too seamlessly work off of two batteries. The camera fits into your hands better and it's easier to hold steady with the additional grip.
When using cameras, I always feel that it is best to use native lenses for the camera body brand because the two will work in unison and you'll have all available software options available to you. With that in mind, my first choice for the SONY A7SII camera is this ZEISS FE F4 16-35mm lens. This lens has built-in optical image stabilisation with a constant F4 aperture through the whole zoom range.
My backup camera is an Olympus PEN E-PL7 which has recently been superseded by the E-PL8. However this backup camera still has its uses. Firstly I have a 45mm F1.8 lens for this camera which is perfect for portrait and product photography where you can blur the background and focus wholly on the subject. It is also a great camera to take discreet photos, as sometimes when photographing in public places around London with a 'professional camera' you'll be asked to stop, however the E-PL7 looks like a normal tourist camera, which is okay...I don't quite understand it but it's just how it is with some places!
The DJI Mavic Pro drone seems to be the drone of choice right now due to it's unique compact folding design, which is easy to travel with. Combine that with good battery flight time, easy flight controls, simple software and a 12-megapixel 4K gimbal camera is exactly why I chose to invest in this piece of technology.
The camera bag itself is this super stylish canvas and leather Manfrotto design in a backpack style. The bag has plenty of protection for all of your expensive equipment and plenty of zip pockets for your smaller items like SD Cards.
This Rode Lavalier Microphone (top right) is an essential piece of tech that is needed when filming whilst moving around, outdoors or doing presenting work. The lapel mic clips on to your clothing and I use this connected to the (bottom right) Zoom H1 recorder.
The Zoom H1 is a multi functional recorder. You can connect external mic's such as the Rode or it also has its own dual microphones built in which can capture 360 degree sound. The Zoom H1 records sound directly to a removable micro SD card and can record up to 24bit 96kHz uncompressed audio, impressive piece of kit.
Often over looked, but it is SO important to have a steady, stable tripod. I've used a cheap tripod before and my camera ended up falling off and breaking, costing much more than if I just brought a high-quality one from the get go.
When filming YouTube videos at home, having lighting is essential and these two soft boxes are a inexpensive option (above)
The above soft boxes are not the easiest to travel with, as they have stands...so if you are after a light that can connect to your camera which is easily transportable - this LED light is perfect (below).
Another Rode Microphone lives in my camera bag, this one is perfect when vlogging or talking to camera at home when the subject is static and therefore talking directly into this Rode uni-directional mic. This lightweight microphone plugs into your camera's mic port and is powered off the camera, so doesn't have any battery power itself.
Finally, I have two products in my camera bag that are to look better when on film which removes oil from your face and adds a matte finish (below).
Click on the images above to shop or for further technical, product information. Alternatively use the links below:
Camera Bag - Manfrotto - http://bit.ly/2xbP0Jy
Soft Boxes Lighting - http://amzn.to/2a5ckbB
Drone - DJI Mavic Pro - http://rstyle.me/n/csvuyfbjknx
Tripod - Manfrotto - http://bit.ly/2hIDrlW
LED Light - http://bit.ly/2fEEz5P
Sony A7Sii Camera Body - http://bit.ly/2xVqOdn
Sony Vertical Camera Grip - http://bit.ly/2yjYq5x
ZEISS FE F4 16-35mm Lens - http://bit.ly/2xLzseO
RODE Uni-directional Mic - http://bit.ly/2xaJ5Q2
RODE Lapel Mic - http://bit.ly/2xT4b90
Zoom H1 Recorder - http://bit.ly/2xWuSdj
Olympus PEN E-PL8 - http://rstyle.me/~a75Gr
Boots Oil Absorbing Sheets - http://bit.ly/2xPqNG1
Boots Matte Primer - http://bit.ly/2ySIIvg