Equipment Used

Nikon D700 DSLR

I'm always being asked what kit I use.  So OK, the list is below.  And yes, I am relentless in taking the p*ss out of users of another well known brand with cream lenses.  But ultimately, kit is just a means to an end.  So long as it works for the job in hand, and so long as it delivers up the quality you're after, the choice is pretty academic.

The stuff I'm using currently is:

DSLR

  • Nikon D700 Digital SLR
  • Nikon 17-35 f2.8
  • Nikon 28-70 f2.8
  • Nikon 70-200 VR f2.8
  • Metz 48-AF flash
  • Lee Hard Graduated Filters 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9

Compact System Camera

  • Nikon V1 Compact System Camera
  • Nikon 7-13 f3.5-f5.6
  • Nikon 10-30 f3.5-f5.6
  • Nikon 30-110 f3.8-f5.6
  • Nikon SB-N5 flash
  • Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro (for video with the V1)

GoPro

  • GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition
  • GoPro LCD Touch BacPac
  • A bunch of GoPro mounting accessories

Other Stuff

  • Gitzo tripod and off centre ball head
  • Gorillapods
  • Nikon D700 bag - LowePro Vertex AW 100 backpack for times when I'm walking or biking, and a Billingham for when I'm not and I want a bag to stay where I put it.  (I find backpack type bags tend to have a mind of their own and roll away when you're least expecting it!)
  • Nikon V1 bag - Tamrac 3456 Hip Pack
  • GoPro bag - LowePro Edit 100

Usage

GoPro

The GoPro is the most recent addition.  Bought primarily for its underwater capability, it's turning out to be a fun video camera that delivers up astounding quality in demanding conditions.  It's turning out to be several gallons of petrol fueling my creative juices.

Nikon V1

The Nikon V1 has become the day-to-day workhorse.  I wanted something much smaller and lighter than the D700 and its lenses.  I also wanted something that would shoot reasonable quality video. The Nikon V1 is proving to be a great answer to both questions.  Even when bagged up with both its lenses, its flash and its external microphone, its no hassle to carry around at all.  (In fact, with the right jacket, all its bits and bobs are so small they go into pockets).

I'm glad I dug deep to get a proper stereo external microphone for the Nikon V1 when shooting video.  The Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro with its "Dead Kitten" is great at minimising wind noise and picks up great stereo sound - much better than the V1's internal microphones. Its only downsides are size (It's bigger than the V1) and its another battery to check before going out.

Nikon D700

The D700 replaced a D2x.  The D2x was a complete warrior - standing up to a great deal of use in a variety of camera hostile environments.  New in 2009, the D700 has proved to be exactly the same - a true workhorse.  My only gripe with the D700 is battery life.  In a busy day's shooting I'm often into battery number two or three.  Fortunately two chargers mean I can rapidly get back to full charge when I get home.

I found the D700's predecessor the D2x to be a cracking bit of kit. New in 2005, it went 'round the clock' more times than I know. It was dropped 20m down a slag heap at a coal mine in China. It was frozen several times. It was covered in snow. It was soaked in the rain. Mine certainly looked like it'd been to war zones! And it kept going until a Cyprus downpour finally saw it off.