Hope you’ve been enjoying all the Redwoods content over the past few weeks, especially the travel video which we put out last week, which you can find here. But today, we wanted to write a post that correlated a little more with the sit down video we released on our Youtube Channel just two days ago, talking about what camera equipment Scott has in his bag and what equipment we carry with us on every trip. We decided we would us this blog post to take the opportunity to talk about some of the things Scott mentioned in the video, and also go a little more in depth into why we use the equipment that we use. We will also put the video at the bottom of this post in case you would rather watch a video about this stuff, but lets jump into it.
First up, is the camera bag that Scott uses to carry most of his equipment in. It’s super important to us that almost everything we use can be easily stored in this backpack and allow us to be on the go without having to worry about forgetting or breaking things. Scott loves this bag because it has a lot of room in the main pouch with velcro dividers that can be rearranged to fit whatever equipment that’s inside. It also has lots of different sized pouches to fit some of the smaller items we carry with us like SD cards, extra batteries, and filters.
Getting into the equipment itself, the first and maybe most important item that we always have with us is Scott’s Panasonic Gh4. Scott has had this camera for almost 3 years now and it has been a crucial element in almost everything that we have created together. While we won’t get into all of the technical specifications that this camera offers, we do want to talk about some of the things that make it such a powerful tool for creators like ourselves. First up, is the versatility that this camera offers while being pretty small and low profile and also pretty affordable (especially now since Panasonic came out with the Gh5). What we mean by versatility is that, with this camera we can shoot footage at 4k (like most of our sit down videos), we can shoot slow motion at 48, 60, or even 96 frames per second (which you see in most of our travel videos), or we can take photos and time lapses in camera without any additional equipment. So needless to say, this camera has been a stable in our arsenal of equipment and we absolutely love it.
A little over a year ago, Scott came to the conclusion that even though the Gh4 is a great camera, and we continue to use it for video on almost every project, we were looking for a camera that could take pictures at a higher quality and resolution. The solution to this problem was the Canon 5D Mark II, which Scott purchased used online. If you know anything about this camera, it was revolutionary release by Canon back in 2008, because it was the first DSLR camera that allowed video recording at 1080 and also took 21.1 Megapixel photos. While the camera can shoot full HD footage as I just mentioned, we use it solely for taking photos, and have been blown away by the quality that this nearly 10 year old camera can still provide to us. Unlike the Gh4, which is pretty small and low profile, this camera is big and significantly heavier, (especially with the external battery grip). But even though its big, we’ve never felt like its clunky or a burden to carry around, it feels good in your hand and feels like a powerful camera, which is why we love it. So even though its been almost 10 years since the Canon 5D Mark II was released, it still proves to be an extremely crucial element in everything we do and Canon definitely knows how to make cameras that can withstand the test of time.
Transitioning to the lenses that we carry with us on every trip, first up is the Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 Micro Four Thirds Mount lens which is a mouthful, but I think its important to include the fact that its a Micro Four Thirds lens. This is the only lens that we own that can only be used on the Gh4 and not on the 5D. This is something that Scott tries to avoid when buying lenses, but for its price, this lens is phenomenal and offers one of the widest angles possible while using the Gh4. In the sit down video where Scott discussed this lens, you might notice that he messed up and called it a 24mm, because even though the lens is a 12mm, when used on a Micro Four Thirds sensor like the Gh4, the image is cropped to look more like a traditional 24mm lens. All of that can be pretty confusing, especially if you have no idea what Micro Four Thirds means, but it is an important thing to learn about if you are interested in buying lenses or equipment of your own so you understand what you are buying. Moving past this whole Micro Four Thirds topic, we love this lens and you can tell because we use it for so much of what we shoot. On top of being one of the widest lenses you can use on the Gh4, it also offers an extremely wide aperture of f/2.0 allowing us to shoot some pretty cinematic stuff in some pretty low light situations.
The next lens in Scott’s camera bag is the smallest one we carry around with us, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. For a while now, this little lens has proved to be one of our favorites because of just how high quality and crisp everything it captures is. We love that it can open up to an aperture of f/1.8, because not only can we shoot in very low light, but we can capture some pretty artsy stuff with a small depth of field when we want to. Being that this is a Canon lens, it fits natively to the Canon 5D, but in order to use it on the Gh4, which we often do, we have to use the Metabones EF to Micro Four Thirds Adapter which allows us to use all of our Canon lenses on the Gh4.
Probably the most inexpensive lens in Scott’s camera bag and the lens he has had for the longest time is the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens. Scott has had this lens since it came in a kit with an early DSLR that his family purchased back in the day, and even though its probably not a professional level lens and has its flaws, we love shooting on it. Scott loves to switch up the perspective on the stuff that we shoot and capture long telephoto images and video instead of just shooting everything at a wide angle. Along with using it on the the 5D, we often use it on the Gh4, thanks to the Metabones adapter we mentioned earlier, and because of the crop factor that the Gh4’s Micro Four Thirds sensor creates when using a full frame lens, we can capture images that would normally be somewhere close to what a 600mm lens would deliver when using this 300mm lens. Again, this can be kind of confusing stuff, so if you’re interested in learning more about different sized sensors and crop factors, you can read more about it here.
The last lens that we carry with us on every trip is also the newest and most expensive, the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. Earlier this year, Scott made the decision to purchase this lens after having his eye on it for a very long time. The lens itself is beautifully and amazingly put together like most of Canon’s products, and also captures some unbelievably sharp images. In case your wondering what separates a lens like this from some of the others in our bag that are significantly cheaper, the main factors are the quality of the glass inside the lens, which influences how the image looks when it comes to sharpness and color, and also the fact that it can stay at an aperture of f/2.8 whether its zoomed all the way in or out. Overall, Scott has been blown away by the quality of this lens and its exciting to see the difference that getting nicer, more professional equipment can actually have on the content we create.
Moving to the last item we use on every trip that still fits in Scott’s camera bag is the DJI Mavic Pro Drone. For a while, we had considered buying a drone and expanding the capabilities of what we could film, and just before our trip to Hawaii last summer, we decided to make the purchase. At first, Scott was pretty nervous about investing around $1000 dollars into a drone when he had never actually flown one before, and was convinced he would crash it in the first week. But as soon as the drone arrived and we put it up for its first flight, we were both amazed at how easy it is to fly and how easy it is to capture incredible aerial footage. We feel that the drone had a significant impact in the production quality of everything that we shot and you can see for yourself how our videos have progressed since the purchase. Along with how easy it is to fly, the drone is so small and compact that we can take it anywhere in Scott’s camera bag and its never an issue. And finally, as if we didn’t love this thing enough already, despite being compact and small, the Mavic is very durable and has survived Scott flying it into three trees without any significant damage.
The last two pieces of equipment that we want to talk about in this post are things that we bring with us on every trip, but don’t necessarily fit in Scott’s camera bag. However, we feel like its important to talk about these two because they have a serious impact on what we shoot. The first item is the Glidecam HD-2000, which is a camera stabilizer that utilizes counterweights and balance to stabilize the camera that you mount on the top of it. Scott bought the glidecam about 2 years ago and it was a pretty big game changer for the things that we filmed. Similarly to how the drone upped the production value and quality of our videos, the glidecam allowed us to shoot smooth, moving footage and break away from shooting everything handheld or on a tripod. We love using the glidecam and you can see the smooth movement it provides in almost every travel video we have made.
The last piece of camera equipment we carry with us on every trip is the Magnus VT 4000 Tripod. We’ve been using this tripod for a while now and have grown accustomed to just how sturdy and reliable it is. While its definitely not a typical “travel tripod” which are usually light and could probably fit in a camera bag, we have gone on many hikes and adventures lugging this guy along with us. Scott loves the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about his camera when its on this tripod because its so stable and he doesn’t have to worry about a leg collapsing or it falling over when were sitting on the edge of a cliff at Horseshoe Bend. Like we mentioned with the Glidecam, the tripod doesn’t actually fit in Scott’s camera bag, but its just too crucial of an element for us to leave out of this post.
That pretty much does it for everything that fits in Scott’s camera bag and everything that we bring with us when we travel. We hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it useful and informational as we look to do more tech related posts like this to go along with more tech oriented videos we will be making on our Youtube Channel! As always, let us know what you think in the comments and thanks for reading!