My camera gear list
Nikon Z7II (mirrorless). Full-frame sensor recording 45.7 million pixels (8256 x 5504) and 4K Ultra HD video at 6o fps.
Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S. An ultra wide angle zoom lens producing incredibly sharp images, I love this lens!
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. A super versatile zoom range means this is a great carry-around lens.
Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S. Built like a tank, this is a masterclass of a lens with outstanding image quality.
Z Teleconverter TC-2.0x. Doubles the range of my Nikkor Z 70-200mm, with the only consequence being loss of 2 f/stops.
Nikon D850 (DSLR). Full-frame sensor recording 45.7 million pixels (8256 x 5504) with RAW file sizes of around 40 MB each.
AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR. Probably my most used lens over the years, it’s a powerhouse for wide angle photography.
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR. The ability to get in closer and ‘compress’ the landscape opens up a lot of creative opportunities.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro. I love aerial photography and the different perspectives a drone offers. I have the Fly More kit with x2 spare batteries.
GoPro HERO8 Black. Mainly used for recording adventures, b-roll, and anytime I want to get an underwater shot. Includes spare battery.
Surui N-2204-X and Surui K-30X ball head. A great lightweight carbon-fibre setup (1.8kg) which is plenty sturdy enough for all occasions.
Manfrotto Pixi Evo 2. A tiny and lightweight (260g) tripod which is great for handheld video and impromptu shots while out tramping.
Kase Wolverine 112mm Magnetic Circular Filters. An amazingly versatile system which, when paired with the NiSi filter holder (below) works across all my Nikkor Z lenses. Includes a circular polariser, 3-stop ND, 6-stop ND, and 10-stop ND.
NiSi Lens Hood / Filter Holder. This hood holds the Kase filter system and fits on the front of all my Z lenses (even though it’s advertised as being just for the Z 14-24mm). The NiSi hood fixes the issue of the native Nikon hood, which has tiny gaps which let in light and cause problems on long exposures.
Sunwayfoto L Brackets. Customised aluminum brackets for both the Z7II and D850, allowing me to switch super quick between landscape and portrait orientation when on a tripod.
DJI Ronin-S. Not used as often as I’d like (setting up the camera and getting it balanced is always a time-consuming and fiddly exercise) but use it for various video projects.
Remote timer. Hahnel Combi TF. Occasionally used for triggering the shutter on longer exposures and selfie shots.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 i5 256GB Tablet. Used whenever I’m editing on the road (which isn’t often) and/or want a second storage backup option (via a Seagate portable hard drives).
Spare batteries (and chargers). I have 6 spare EN-EL15 batteries, which thankfully are usable across both the Z7II and D850.
SD Cards. I have a large assortment of Verbatim and SanDisk SD cards, ranging from 32Gb up to 128Gb.
Bags. My camera and whatever lens is attached at the time is usually carried around in a Lowepro Toploader 55AW. The rest of my gear, depending on whether I’m travelling or tramping, is spread between a Lowepro Adventura SH160 and an f-Stop ICU Shallow Medium.
Peak Design Slide. Camera strap with quick connect system, to add to my Z7II or D850 whenever I need it.
Apple iPhone 12. All of my Stories on Instagram, and some of my video footage on Youtube, is done with my phone.
Rode Stereo VideoMic. Dedicated high-quality microphone for video purposes.
Manfrotto E-702 PL Elements Cover. Used to cover the camera whenever I’m shooting in the rain.
Filters for AF-S lenses. B+W 77mm MRC Solid Neutral Density 3.0 Filter (10 Stop) and B+W 77mm MRC Solid Neutral Density 1.8 Filter (6 Stop) for long exposures. Marumi 77mm Circular Polariser Super DHG for reducing glare and reflections. I use a step-up ring to attach the 77mm filters to the 67mm thread on the 70-200mm lens.
Other bits and pieces. I’m usually carrying around an assortment of filter cloths, allen keys (for tightening camera quick release plates), and camera/lens caps.
Update July 2021 – the transition to mirrorless begins
I’ve been proud to work with Nikon New Zealand over many years, but when they selected me as a Z Creator in July 2021 it was undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of my photography career.
There are three main reasons I began the shift to mirrorless:
- Lighter and smaller. When you’re out tramping long distances in the wilderness as often as me, the less weight the better. The Z7II is one-third lighter than the D850 (615 vs 915 grams) and there are further weight savings across all lenses (the only exception in my case being the 70-200mm, but that’s because it’s an f2.8 rather than an f4).
- Technology gains. The D850 is an absolute beast, but the Z7II improves on it in across the technology department, including faster processors, better autofocus, and higher video specifications.
- Better optics. I knew the Nikkor Z lenses and the largest lens mount in the mirrorless industry would be a step-up from the already great F-mount series, but I’ve been absolutely blown away by the corner-to-corner sharpness and all-round image quality.
The D850 and two AF-S lenses remain in my arsenal, because as mentioned in my previous update, it’s useful to have a back-up system and furthermore two cameras come in handy in certain situations. I was very sad to let go the D810 and AF-S 24-70 f2.8, which have been my workhorses for many years, but needed to make room in my camera bags!
Update June 2018 – why the Nikon D850?
Some people have asked me why I’ve added the D850 to the arsenal. The main driver is fairly straight forward: I’ve long been keen to move to a two camera system (I’m keeping the D810). The reasons for this are twofold.
Firstly, it’ll provide much greater flexibility in certain circumstances. Such situations include being able to take both short and long exposures in fast-changing light, or to avoid swapping out lenses when hanging out of a helicopter. 🙂
Secondly, a second camera provides a backup / insurance policy of sorts on longer missions. Having been in situations where my only camera has failed part way through a photography trip (apparently they don’t like being submerged in lakes), the photography part of a trip becomes a little difficult to achieve without a camera.
The D850 also presented the opportunity to upgrade to the latest and greatest tech available. Without being exhaustive, and without having yet tried some of these features extensively, here are some of the key advancements over the D810 that attracted me to the D850 (in no particular order):
- 25% bump in sensor resolution. The D810 admittedly already had a whole lot of pixels, but the D850’s 45.7 megapixels means even more detailed prints as well as greater flexibility for cropping in post-processing. The back-side illuminated sensor should also also make for better image quality at equivalent ISOs.
- Improved low light autofocus. The D850’s ability to autofocus in low light has been vastly improved, which is going to extend the time I can spend with AF before switching to manual.
- Focus peaking. An extra layer of visual information to show what’s in sharp focus while in live view is going to come in handy.
- Focus bracketing. Letting the camera take care of the multiple shots required to get a ridiculously large depth of field is something I don’t see myself using all the time, but is going make shooting some situations (e.g. lots of foreground detail close to camera) a lot easier.
- Tilting touch screen. I have old man’s knees so this screen is going to be great for the low shooting I often do; hopefully my time squatting in the mud has come to an end! The touch features are a nice, erm, touch (sorry), although not super essential for me.
- Wireless connectivity. Remotely controlling the camera via my smartphone and the Snapbridge app will be great for long exposures and situations where I don’t want to be directly behind the camera (seeing live view via the phone will also further assist squatting avoidance!). Plus the ability to geotag images (via the smartphone’s location services) and download pics to the phone will be awesome.
- 50% increase in battery life. Approx 1,800 shots per charge.
- Stating the obvious. I can use all my existing Nikkor lenses and other accessories across both cameras.
(The D850 also has some big improvements to shooting speed (frames per second) and video over the D810, but as a landscape photographer those features weren’t big draw cards for me.)
All the above being said, the D810 is still a beast of a camera and I have no doubt will still get plenty of use going forward.
Good move I got the D850 when it came out it was an excellent move we’ll wrth it.
Cheers Gordon, I’m pleased to hear that. The weather conspired against me on the weekend but I’m hoping to get out and use it for the first time very shortly!