It’s a popular item among photographers on YouTube: what’s in my camera bag. But as a photographer I prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of the camera, and that’s why I thought it would be a good idea to use this concept as a blog article. Because I regularly get questions about which camera I used to take that one photo, what kind of lenses I use and which camera accessories are useful. That’s why I share more about ‘what’s in my camera bag’ in this blog with more explanation about which camera set up I use and why.
But before we’re moving on, it might be good to know that I have more camera gear than I can carry in my bag. So don’t ask yourself how I can make it all fit, because it just doesn’t. But to be honest, that’s a conscious choice. Because besides my basis camera set, I also have two film cameras, two video cameras, several lenses and also a number of accessories. I never take all of that with me at the same time when I go outside to take photos. Because I don’t need everything at the same trip and it also ensures that I never take too much with me, just because I can, so I never have to carry a bag that is too heavy. And with that said, it brings me to the first item of my camera bag: the camera bag itself!
With my photography I mainly focus on travel, outdoor and documentary. So I can often be found on the road and outside in nature. That’s why I use the Shimoda Explore V2 camera backpack for these types of trips. Because I’m not that tall myself (1.55 m) and, as mentioned earlier, I prefer not to carry around too much stuff, I opted for the smallest version: the E25. In this way I don’t have a very large camera bag, but do have one that is ideal for (small) adventures. The backpack is large enough to take the camera gear that I would like to use for that specific trip, but I can also take all kinds of other (outdoor) gear with me. Think of food and drinks, but also extra clothing, a jetboil and even walking poles, snowshoes or a tent, making even a night of camping possible. This is due to the many extra pockets and straps that this backpack has. This means you can not only carry things in the bag, but also hang them on the bag. If you are looking for a slightly larger camera bag. The Shimoda Explore V2 is also available in larger versions: E30 and E35.
I own several cameras, but I always use the Sony A7Riii as a basis. I will share all the details of this camera in a separate review, but I’m certainly happy with this camera! Most of the digital photos you encounter on my blog, website and Instagram were taken with this camera. I also always use this camera for photos that I take on assignment for clients, photo projects, etc. In addition to this full-frame camera, I also increasingly take analogue photographs. I mainly do this with the Nikon F3 (35mm) and the Mamiya 645 1000S (120 medium film). Analog photography is something I really enjoy doing at the moment, where I share the photos on my Instagram and sometimes also on my website. I hope to do more with it in the future – for example in a photo book – but that is something for later. Curious about the analogue photos? I mainly share these on my personal Instagram account via @shamiravv.
Although I like to travel with minimal equipment and hate changing lenses, I have collected a nice collection of lenses. This way I always have a suitable lens that I can use for different situations. For the Sony A7Riii I use the 24-70 mm F2.8 GM lens, as an all-rounder, the 16-35 mm GM for landscape and astrophotography such as the Northern Lights, and the 100-400 mm F4.5/5.6 GM telephoto lens for outdoor photography where I can photograph wildlife, sports and other adventures from a greater distance. Because I think three lenses are enough for my basic set, I always take the two analog cameras with me with a fixed prime lens. The Nikon F3 has the Ai-S 28 mm F2.8 and the Mamiya 645 has the 80 mm F2.8
To make YouTube videos I use a drone and a small action camera. I have long wanted to do more with video (YouTube), but in addition to all the camera gear for photography, an extra camera + lens and accessories for video was often just too big and heavy to take with me. In practice, everything for video was therefore hardly used. At the beginning of this year I therefore partly exchanged this set for something else. The video set now consists of a DJI Mavic Air 2 and a DJI Pocket 3. This is a small action cam including a gimbal. The quality of the image is superb, while the set is super light and also so compact that it easily fits in a jacket pocket. This makes the camera much easier to take with you, so I am confident that I will finally be able to do more with video this year. Are you curious? Then subscribe to my YouTube channel.
When it comes to camera accessories, I don’t have that much. I prefer to just take photos instead of constantly working with extra filters, changing lenses, etc. That’s why I don’t have a compartment in my backpack full of all kinds of accessories. The camera itself contains two memory cards of 256 GB each (one of which is a backup), I have two batteries (one of which is a backup) and there is a standard protective/UV filter on the lenses I use. I also use the Peak Design Clip and Cuff wrist strap and I have a lightweight carbon tripod. That’s it. Not too many, but enough practical accessories that I actually use.
Laptop and storage
To edit all photos, I use the 14” inch Macbook Pro (model 2021), which – when we are at home in the Netherlands – I connect to a 27” inch 4K monitor. Such a large 4K screen is ideal for editing (professional) photos, but when traveling with our camper van or my car with a roof tent, it is very nice to have a compact laptop with us. I then store the photos on the laptop, an SSD drive and in the cloud.
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