mscgerber's photography equipment

Photography equipment – What do I use?

Whenever someone asks me questions this is one of the first that I get asked: “What equipment do you use to take your images?”. While some are surprised by the cheap camera I still use, others are looking for recommendations because they are thinking about buying or improving their own gear. Therefore I decided to talk about my own photography equipment today – from my camera to the software I use. This post will include everything I use to take my images.

Updated: October 2018

*This post contains affiliate links. If you buy one of the products via my link I get a small commission, which helps me run this blog. For you, the price stays the same.

Camera

Nikon D3400 

This is already the point that surprises most of the people that ask me about my equipment: Yes, I still use my very first camera, the Nikon D3400, which is an entry-level DSLR. So far I’m really happy with the results of my images – and can’t complain at all. If you are looking for a good entry-level camera, I can highly recommend this Nikon.

Future: I might upgrade my camera soon, but I didn’t decide for which one I will go yet. My current favorite is the Nikon D850 though, as it would be a huge upgrade for the quality of my images.

Lenses

Sigma 18-35mm F1.8

NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G

I currently own three different lenses. During my first year of photography, I basically used my Kit Lens (Nikkor 18-55mm) for every picture I took. That is a great idea, especially if you just start out with photography. However, the Lens has its limitations and I, therefore, don’t use it anymore.

After I did my first portraits I realized: I want to have an amazing Lens for that. I found the Nikkor 50mm and I absolutely loved it – and still do! The lens is just a perfect (and cheap!) addition to every photographer’s equipment. From time to time I also used it for some city or landscape shots – where it also brought me great results.

My latest and favorite Lens is the Sigma 18-35mm. The images that I take with it are just outstanding compared to the two other lenses. The Sigma Lens is a quality product and absolutely worth its money. It even makes a good figure compared to lenses that cost more than 2’000$. The only drawback: It’s heavy as hell! For me, that’s okay though. I rather carry around some more weight than spend two times more on a Lens.

Future: While I’m really happy with my current Lenses, there will be a time when I have to buy at least one new Lens. Once I upgrade my camera I will look around for a replacement for my Sigma Lens, as it is not compatible with Full Frame cameras. Additionally, I would love to buy a Tele/Zoom Lens, especially for special occasions like full moon or Safaris in Africa.

Here are some images I took with my current camera + lenses:

Glattalp Switzerland

The image was taken with Nikon D3400 + Nikkor 18-55mm Lens

Pamukkale in Turkey

The image was taken with Nikon D3400 + Sigma 18-35mm Lens

Venice at night

The image was taken with Nikon D3400 + Nikkor 50mm Lens

GoPro

GoPro HERO7 Black

Split Gadgets Dome

GoPro The Handler

The GoPro Hero 7 Black is also part of my photography equipment. Together with the dome I bought I will be able to create not only under- but also under/over water images. In my opinion, the GoPro is a perfect addition for every photographer/blogger/Instagrammer, especially when traveling in locations with beaches.

Drone

DJI Mavic Pro

A drone is so powerful for a photographer – and even more fun. It gives you new perspectives that are impossible to reach without a drone (or helicopter, lol). Since I bought my DJi Mavic Pro I use it ALL the time in areas it is allowed – because it just takes amazing videos and images. If you are thinking about buying a drone – I would definitely recommend it!

Future: Mavic released its new Mavic Pro’s – the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. I’m definitely interested in upgrading to the Mavic Pro 2 at one point – but for now, other things have priority. 

Here is an image I took with my drone:

Sofia, Bulgaria

The image was taken with my DJi Mavic Pro in Sofia, Bulgaria

Tripod

Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT

Slik Compact Travel Tripod

Tripods can be a crucial part of your photography equipment, depending on your style of photography. I take many night images and long exposures, so I always require a stable and quality tripod. My current option is the Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT, which I’m really happy with. However, the Tripod is quite big, so it’s not the perfect choice for carry-on traveling. For that, I also own the Slik Compact Travel tripod, which is light and small.

Future: To be honest, I really like my tripod, but sometimes the size can be annoying while traveling by plane. So I might buy a perfect “combination” of both traveling and quality at one point.

Check out my 10 reasons why using a tripod is the best things to do as a photographer

Camera Bag

f-stop – Sukha 70 L

Langly Alpha Globetrotter

I currently have two different Camera Bags, that I usually combine while traveling. The F-Stop Sukha is my main bag, containing most of my stuff, including clothes. The Langly bag is my “day bag”, I use it for day trips but also short trips to travel only with carry-on. Both bags are tailored towards photographers and offer a protected area for your equipment. I’m absolutely happy with both of them!

During my recent Interrail trip through Europe, I used a combination of the F-Stop Sukha + my former day bag, the
Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22L, which is also a great bag for short trips, but offers less additional pockets.

Future: I love both bags I use! Currently, I don’t see a reason to buy a new bag. I always have an eye open for new inventions though!

Phone

Google Pixel 2 XL

After I broke the screen of my old phone in Foz do Iguacu it was time to get a new phone – after some research, I decided to get myself a Google phone – the Google Pixel 2XL to be exact. And hell yeah, that was a good decision! The phone absolutely rocks, especially its camera. Did you know I take most of the images for my blog with it? The camera is seriously powerful and I love it! If you are looking for a smartphone with a great camera and the “original” Android version, the Pixel phones are the way to go.

Future: Smartphones are developing extremely fast and there are always new, exciting features that are announced. Yet, I’m still more than happy with my Pixel 2XL. However, at some point, I’m sure I will grab a new one.

Do you want to take better pictures with your smartphone? Check out these 5 smartphone photography hacks.

Lauterbrunnen, Bernese Highlands

The image was taken with my Google Pixel 2XL in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Laptop

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Since I’m traveling quite often and need to be able to work and also edit images from anywhere I am I needed a strong laptop. I was comparing different devices and eventually bought the Microsoft Surface Book 2 with 256GB SSD. For me, it was the perfect option, and can also be used as a tablet, which is pretty cool during long flights.

Future: As long as my Surface Book does its job I will keep it – I hope that will be some more years!

Filters

Hoya 72mm Variable

I honestly don’t use Filters so often, yet, I have one for my Sigma Lens, which I use from time to time. I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to filters, but that may change.

Future: While I don’t really use filters right now, I will certainly give it some tries in the future. Photography is a permanent process of learning for me, so I’m open to new ideas and inputs.

Software

Adobe Creative Cloud

For all my images I use Adobe Lightroom – and sometimes Adobe Photoshop. Both of them are included in Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which is a monthly subscription to access several of their programs. If you do photography seriously you should definitely grab the Creative Cloud, as it offers almost everything you could think of. (Honestly, you don’t need more than Lightroom and Photoshop anyway!).

Future: As far as nothing totally crazy happens, I plan to stick with the Creative Cloud in the future.

To edit my images I usually use my Lightroom presets as a starting point. You can find them in my shop.

Harddisks

SanDisk Extreme 500GB Portable SSD

When it comes to Harddisks I trust in SanDisk products – and the SSD linked above is currently my favorite. It’s small, fast and reliable. Everything you need as a travel photographer!

 

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About the Author

Michael Gerber

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Hello guys! I am Michael, a freelance photographer and travel blogger from Switzerland. My goal is to inspire travelers all around the globe with my posts and images.