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essential items to take in your camera bag


  • there is a surprising amount of gear one needs for general versatile walkaround photographic kit when you do not quite know what you will need
  • you should avoid taking too many options as this often results in poor image quality as you can't make your mind up - I often only take 2 or 3 lenses to reduce this issue
  • nevertheless you CAN carry ALL of the following in a fairly small backpack which won't break your back IF you buy Micro Four Thirds system
  • if you have a heavy, bulky Nikon or Canon digital SLR then get a sherpa or be really frugal about which lens you take and whether you will be taking a big tripod or not.

essential items to take in your camera bag

  1. camera(s) with battery charged and memory card emptied
  2. lenses
  3. spare battery
  4. spare memory card
  5. filters for your lenses:
    1. circular polariser filters for each lens
      • these are important in:
        • giving nicely saturated leaves in forest or garden scenes
        • giving deep blue skies
        • reducing reflections from glass and water
        • allowing wide aperture shots in bright sunlight if your camera only goes to 1/4000th sec and ISO 200
        • allowing wider aperture shots outdoors with fill-in flash without resorting to high speed sync flash
    2. 10x neutral density filter
      • great for allowing long exposures in daylight for lovely flowing water or blurred crowd shots
      • this will allow 1/4 sec f/2 at ISO 200 in bright sunlight and if you have a tripod or an Olympus OM-D E-M1, the exposure can be further prolonged by closing the aperture down
    3. optionally, a Hoya R72 infrared filter if you are into infrared photography
    4. 0.6 ND gradient filter
      • great for avoiding blown highlights in skies and for giving more dramatic skies
      • for sunsets, also consider a reverse ND gradient filter
  6. lens cleaning kit eg. blower brush, optical cleaning cloth
  7. perhaps a tripod, particularly if your camera does not have sensor-based image stabiliser as good as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera
  8. if your camera is not highly weatherproof like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera then additionally you should consider rain protection gear
  9. for indoor portraits, a small flash with a tilt/bounce head for bouncing it off walls
  10. for outdoor portraits, a fill-in flash or a silver/white bounce sheet (eg. car dash sun protectors) to fill in shadows under the eyes
  11. for sunrise or sunset shots, a torch so you can see your way in the dark
  12. if bushwalking in Australia:
    • a snake bite compression bandage
    • water
    • sun hat
    • UV protection lotion and lip balm
    • raincoat
    • snacks
    • consider a ePIRB personal distress radio beacon in case you get lost, bitten by a snake or break an ankle
  13. your phone with ear phones
  14. reading glasses if you need them
photo/bag_essentials.txt · Last modified: 2013/10/06 12:02 by gary1

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