Cameras and lenses are the tools of the trade for professional photographers so make sure you invest in the right gear…
PROFESSIONAL-GRADE kit isn’t just about highmegapixel counts: build quality is just as crucial.
After all, the chances are you’ll be using this kit day in and day out, so it will need to stand up to the knocks and bumps of professional use. Let’s take a look at the various essentials that should feature in every professional’s kitbag…
Most professional photographers use DSLR bodies equipped with full-frame sensors. These physically bigger sensors offer more resolution than their alternatives, so images contain more detail and can be used at larger sizes – essential if you’re looking to create poster-size prints.
Today’s full-frame sensor cameras offer up to 50 megapixels. Most also offer dual memory card slots so you can instantly back up images or extend the amount of time before you have to switch media while out in the field. Ideal gear: Canon 5D Mk IV , £3,349; Nikon D810, £2,399
When it comes to optics, professional photographers crave fast-aperture lenses. These not only enable faster shutter speeds – a godsend in low light conditions – but the shallow depth of field these largeaperture lenses create opens the door to more creative options. A workhorse zoom lens like a 24-70mm f/2.8 is capable of covering most situations. Ideal gear: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L, £,1,899; Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G, £1,379
Virtually all professionals use the industry-standard Adobe programs, Photoshop and Lightroom, which together cover all your image management and post-processing needs.
The good news is that Adobe’s Creative Cloud service allows you to pay for these programs on a monthly basis, rather than compelling you to shell out a large payment up front.
Ideal gear: Creative Cloud Photography plan (Photoshop and Lightroom), £10.10 per month; www.adobe.com
4 Lighting KITS
If you work in a studio, there are plenty of kits to choose from, including packages from Profoto, Elinchrom and Bowens. If you shoot on location, you could decide to use a portable kit. Again, Profoto and Elinchrom have this covered for you. Ideal gear: Elinchrom EL B 400 Action To Go Set, £1,278
Once you’ve bought some pro kit, you’ll want a heavy-duty bag or case to protect your investment. Both Peli and Vanguard offer a range of virtually indestructible hard cases, while Lowepro and Think Tank offer rucksacks for demanding professional use. Ideal gear: Vanguard Supreme 46D Hard Case, £159
6 Additional accessories
Along with filters and tripods, one of the most important items of kit is a back-up system. Your images are your currency, so they need to be protected. Ideal gear: LaCie Rugged 2TB hard drive, £105