Es­sen­tial kit

Cam­eras and lenses are the tools of the trade for pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers so make sure you in­vest in the right gear…

Digital Camera World - - COVER STORY -

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…

1 Cam­eras

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

2 Lenses

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

3 Soft­ware

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

5 Bags

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

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