Photographers are often asked why they use the equipment they use, so I thought I’d let you know what I use and why I use it.
When I (Ben) started getting into photography I was introduced to the world of Canon DSLRs. It wasn’t a case of I thought Canon was best because of A, B, C, it was more of a case of the people influencing me used Canon and I naturally followed. I followed because I was learning with a Canon and I feel to use something completely different would have put me on the back foot. You are always told to read…read…read the manual for your camera, know the camera inside and out. There is the argument that in doing so I could easily had used a different make, but to me, Canon was familiar, so I went with it.
I started with a Canon 550d, it was an affordable model at the time, and not knowing much about the differences with cropped sensors, ISO range etc, my mind went with what was affordable at the time. I now use 2x Canon 5Dmk3’s and made an investment to these bodies when I seriously started doing Wedding Photography on my own and not as an assistant or second shooter. I use the 5Dmk3’s for their reliability, their ISO range and how they handle noise within this range, the extensive set of compatible lenses for them, the Full Frame Sensor, the feel and familiar Canon experience. The list is extensive, but rest assured there are plenty of reviews out there of why you should use a Canon 5Dmk3 for things like Weddings, we have also started some reviews on our ever growing YouTube Channel.
So I use Canon, I think that’s now obvious, and the main reason being familiarity. I can pick up my 5D’s and know where all the buttons are and know what they do and where to go within the menu system to make changes when I need to. Knowing your camera, the layout of the buttons is paramount for smooth and speedy shooting, which helps when it comes to photographing things like weddings.
I have pondered over the ‘Mirrorless’ market now for a while. The appeal of a light weight kit, which is discreet and still offers me the quality my 5D gives, is massive. Two 5D’s with battery grips are fairly big in the kit bag alone, adding 5 different lenses means you carry some weight around with you. To move to Mirrorless would mean buying completely new kit, lenses to fit the new bodies, or at least some type of adaptor. The learning curve of the new camera body and its software would be massive. I don’t think at the moment I have the time to commit to this, I like knowing if someone asked me to shoot a Wedding, Commercial, Family shoot tomorrow, I could pick up my camera and grab shot after shot without even looking at the camera body to see if my settings were right.
In conclusion, I use Canon because it is where I started, it is now as familiar to me as the palm of my hand. This doesn’t mean that Nikon, Sony etc. are not good, because I know some of their products are amazing. Sony’s mirrorless cameras are incredible.
I have a mix of Canon and Sigma lenses in my kit bag. Again starting with Canon I had the nominal kit lens, this gave me a good starting point, but when I started seeing and learning about the benefits of high apertures I moved to Canon L lenses. I purchased the Sigma 50mm Art lens when it was released. Reading reviews of this lens I was intrigued and wanted a prime that was going to perform for me. The Sigma delivers, not only is it SUPER sharp, the colours and contrast you get with the lens are beautiful, and at f/1.4 I love the bokeh. Falling in love with this lens, (I still am to be honest), I decided to ‘upgrade’ my Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L mk1 lens to the Sigma 24-35 f/2 Art lens. I was initially worried about the lack of ‘reach’ with this lens, but have found it has slowly made me more confident to get in the middle of what I’m photographing to give me yet another aspect.
There are plenty of reviews of different lenses (we have done some ourselves), so I wont drum on, we will be doing more video reviews on the Sigma lenses within time.
To sum up then, I use Canon L lenses, they are amazing bits of glass. I use Sigma Art lenses because I fell in love with their colour, contrast, bokeh and affordability. There are plenty of other lenses to choose from but these fit my way of working, and my style of photography.
In essence photography equipment is only good if you get on with it, does it fit your style, can you understand it, do you feel comfortable using it. Don’t let someone tell you Nikon is better over Canon, Canon is better over Sony etc. If you are starting out, go pick up some camera’s, have a play with them, see how they feel, do you understand their software etc. Once you do that I think you then have the best camera for you.
List of some of what equipment Ben has in his kit bag:
2x Canon 5D mk3 with battery grips
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L Mk2
Sigma 24-35mm f/2 Art Lens
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro L Lens
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L Mk2
Yongnuo Flash Guns and triggers
Westcott Ice Light
Filters and batteries etc.
HoldFast Roamographer Camera Bag and MoneyMaker camera strap