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I have several cameras and lots of different lenses, and I bring multiple setups with me on my sessions so I’ll have back up. But when I get to my location, I almost always only have one camera and one lens on me.
I’m asked all of the time what my main set up is, and that is what this article is about. Because this setup is about 95% the same on every session.
I like to keep it simple and have as little gear on me as possible. This gives me the freedom to move around, and I move around a lot! I’ve jumped in lakes, over fences, climbed trees and crawled on the ground. I’ll do almost anything for the perfect shot.
So As of right now, my main set up is my Sony a7iii with my Sigma 135mm f1.8 art lens and a little pouch with a cleaning cloth and air blower and extra SD cards and batteries. I leave everything else in the car.
This has been the perfect set up for me as my style is mostly composed of super thin depth of field, natural light, great colors, and crystal clear images. And this set up gives me that.
I almost always shoot outdoors and have plenty of room with this one lens to get group shots, full body shots, and amazing portraits.
Here is what I like so much about this setup.
The Sony a7iii is my absolute favorite camera right now. It is amazing and everything I need. I could be happy with this camera for the next 10 years!
Here are some highlights of why I love this camera so much:
- Low light
- Dual card slots
- Fast autofocus and eye autofocus
- Dynamic range
- Fast shooting
- Image stabilization
- Long battery life
I’ve mentioned a lot of these in a previous article ‘Why I’m Excited About The Sony A7III’ But I will go ahead and mention them again.
With today’s technology and the amazing sensors that are in these cameras, you can shoot extremely underexposed images and still pull the detail out of them in post. Sometimes I shoot late after it starts getting dark and I’m constantly amazed that I can rescue any underexposed images as if I shot in good lighting.
Dual Card Slots
This might not seem like a big deal unless you’ve lost a client’s images to a corrupt card! I haven’t thankfully and I for one won’t because I have dual card slots and I’m not taking the chance.
Even if my camera breaks, I have a backup camera, but the cards will be ok and I will still have the clients images. This is especially important if you do weddings!
Fast Autofocus and Eye Autofocus
For my first 3 years of photography, I used manual focus lenses (I still do from time to time) but I have gotten spoiled with the speed and accuracy of the Sony a7iii autofocus.
I particularly like the eye autofocus. Not having to think about focusing and knowing that the focus will be tack sharp almost every time is HUGE! Oh, and it also works on animals. 😉
I’m constantly blown away at the dynamic range that this camera has. I used to play around with HDRI by staking a bunch of images together to get more dynamic range, but that isn’t quite necessary with this camera. Or though you can and I still do at times, you can create a pretty amazing HDR image from a single RAW file. This is huge when it comes to post processing!
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Needing to shoot something that is fast and you don’t want to miss it? The burst mode is awesome! Giving you 10 images per second you’ll never miss another shot.
Of course this camera, like most of Sony’s mirrorless cameras, has built in image stabilization. This helps to have less motion blur From handheld shots and delivers crystal clear images.
Long Battery Life
With the Sony a7iii you have brand new battery. A bit bigger than the older Sony batteries and packs a punch. I have shot entire weddings on a single battery. They just seem to go and go! Of course I always have a couple of extra betteries in my pouch just to be on the safe side, but I have never needed them yet.
Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art Lens
Before I got this lens the Nikki 200mm f2 manual focus (still my favorite lens) was my primary lens. However, I wanted to test out an autofocus lens and this one was on my radar.
Once I got hooked on the autofocus I had to make a decision almost perfect focus every time vs the best bokeh in the WORLD! Believe me, it was a hard decision. I still bring my 200mm with me to my sessions but I find myself using it less and less especially since I shoot a lot of kids and it’s pretty frustrating to get a hyperactive kid in focus with a manual focus lens. Or though possible, it is very time-consuming.
Here are the highlights of why I love the Sigma 135mm f1.8 art lens.
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Fast aperture
- Super clear glass
Fast and Acurate Autofucs
Incredibly fast and very accurate autofocus. As I mentioned above, this is HUGE when you are trying to capture a running hyperactive child. I’ve also cut the time of each session down to a fraction of what it used to take. My confidence in capturing the moment has skyrocketed because of this.
There is nothing worse than seeing what would have been the perfect image on your computer screen but the focus was too far off to use. That just doesn’t happen anymore.
Or though I don’t get the bokeh I would get with my 200mm, this is the next best thing! I get incredibly sharp images at f1.8 and the bokeh is still pretty amazing. Not to mention the ability to shoot well into the evening as it starts to get dark and still nailing those amazing images because of the amount of light you can let in.
Super Clear Glass
You really can’t beat the glass in the lens. The images come out crystal clear and the portraits are to die for!
I have not been disappointed with this set up and I probably won’t be changing it any time soon. The only thing I would change is by one day replacing my 135mm f1.8 with the 200 f2. But for now. I’m pretty happy with my main setup.
If you are interested in this setup or want more info on them, here are the links.
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