I think having good photographing equipment enables you to get better quality images, but obviously nothing replaces your eye and the way you see. For anyone who is curious, this is my current lineup of equipment:
1. Canon 5D Mark II
This camera is a workhorse. It’s full frame, 21mp and the ISO goes up to 6400 which is very helpful in low lighting situations. It has 9 auto-focus points so I don’t need to re-compose a shot after focusing, which can lead to out of focus images if you’re using shallow depth of field. I learned to utilize back-button focus which if you’re not familiar with it, check out Melissa Jill’s blog post to learn more.
2. Canon 50D
This is my backup camera. Feels strong and sturdy unlike the plastic feel of the Canon Rebel, which was my first DSLR camera.
3. Canon 50 f/1.2 lens
Lately this has been the lens that I use most of the time. I find it’s the perfect focal length for a full frame camera and is very versatile for environmental portraits. You can get close-up portraits without much distortion and step back back to include more of the landscape. When travelling I’ll opt for either just the 50mm or the 24-70 lens.
4. Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro
This is a great lens when you need to photograph something small, like rings. It is also a terrific portrait lens and is a very flattering focal length since it compresses space and isolates people from the background. The photos it produces are tack sharp.
5. Canon 24-70 f/2.8
Love this zoom lens, it renders colors accurately and is very sharp. I use it occasionally when I need the versatility of a zoom lens. At its widest angle, it works great for large family portraits and at its longest length its perfect for individual portraits. Note: this lens is heavy!
6. Canon 580 EX II with Gary Fong Lightsphere
I rarely need to use a flash, but I often still carry it with me just in case the need arises. When indoors, you can bounce it off the ceiling or a wall to get soft, flattering light. I have 2 Alien Bees B800 and a large softbox which I use for my stock photography work and if you ever need to setup an indoor studio I would definitely recommend Alien Bees. Use it with a pair of radio transmitters (a transmitter and transceiver) and you’re good to go.
FYI, most camera equipment comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, and if you purchase it with an American Express credit card, they warranty it for a 2nd year!