So what equipment does it take to do what I do? I try to keep my gear & software purchases to a minimum. I like using quality products, but I am careful not to get stuck in the tech rat race. I rarely upgrade for the sake of upgrading. A new version of a product has to really be a jump ahead technically for me to abandon the current product I'm using. You'll see some of that below. Additionally, I need to actually *need* the new features for me to justify the expense. There are tons of super-amazing products with cool technology out there that wows me. But I have to make sure the technology will demonstrably make my end-product better or generate more revenue to justify the financial outlay.
Once I figure out that a brand makes quality products, I tend to stick with that brand for a long time. Even when other brands pass it up, I will wait it out, cheering for my team to catch up. Currently I'm in that kind of situation with Canon. I really want them to catch up to Sony and Black Magic when it comes to mirrorless cameras and micro video, but I'm starting to get fatigued. That Sony NEX 7 and the BMCC keep calling my name!
Anywhoo, these are the cameras I use everyday in my job. There are in most cases superior products to the ones I use, but this is a list of the what & why when it comes to the cameras I keep in my bag.
Canon 5D Mk II
My first full-frame camera. I was sorely disappointed in it when I first got it. Obviously, it wasn't the camera's fault. I bought the wrong tool for the job. At the time I was exclusively shooting stills at mostly concerts and college and pro sporting events. My 7D's had more than 2x the burst rate and they performed much faster in low light situations.
So the 5D Mk II sat on a shelf for over a year as I agonized over the fact that I could have purchased two more 7D's for the price of one 5D Mark II. Then I started shooting primarily video and I found a niche for the 5D Mk II where it performed far better than the 7D's. Now it's my go-to camera for video with the 7D's serving as backups. But, I'm looking real hard at the BMPC right now.
My work-horse camera for stills. Nothing else feels quite like it in my hands. We were made for each other. This was the last camera I bought when I started shooting stills full-time. These are the Sherman tanks of DSLR's for me. My equipment gets pretty beat up out in the field and my cameras don't get too much love after I bring them home aside from a quick squirt of compressed air and a wipe down from a moist cloth. I have had one in for repair recently due to a faulty power circuit. Another one got dropped on the ground from shoulder-height and still worked for a few hours before something got jostled loose and caused it to fire its last frame.
I still use the 7D's as my go-to cameras when shooting stills. They serve as backups to the 5D Mk II when I'm shooting video. I know that doesn't make sense to most photographers when I have the 5D Mk II available. But I just produce better stills with the 7D. I was considering letting the one I dropped die a respectful death and moving on to the 70D at this point...or perhaps to the Sony NEX 7 but I didn't have the heart. It's on a slow boat to the Canon repair shop to get fixed. The 70D, while impressive, doesn't have the weather proofing I need. I'm hoping the 7D Mk II has that amazing touch-screen rack focus magic in it. As for the Sony NEX 7, I'll have to get my hands on one so I can give it a try.
Canon AE-1 Program
The AE-1 Program is a historically significant camera. It was the follow up to the first 35mm film SLR (the A-1) to offer an electronically controlled programmed autoexposure mode. Instead of the photographer picking a shutter speed to freeze or blur motion and choosing a lens aperture f-stop to control depth of field (focus), the AE-1 Program has a microprocessor programmed to automatically select a compromise exposure based on light meter input. Virtually all cameras today have at least one program mode. I use this camera to shoot 35mm film photos for clients.
The Canonets were a series of rangefinder cameras made by Canon from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. They were aimed at enthusiasts on a budget and more discerning point and shoot photographers. They shoot pictures that are instagram, before the creators of instagram were born. I use this camera to shoot 35mm film photos for clients.
Nokia Lumia 1020
I know, I know, it's a phone. But after using it on the front lines, seriously putting this device thru it's paces, I would not call this *just* a phone. This is a camera with a phone attached. We had to pick this up on no-notice during a weekend music festival due to a lack of proper media credentials...but no lack of deliverables that we were responsible for. It performed like a pro - exceeded any expectations I could have possibly had. This camera which just so happens to have a phone attached has already replaced my Canon G12, Canon T3i's, and Canon Vixia's in my arsenal. Seriously. All of them. To be fair, all of those cameras are pretty old technology. In any event, they all have ended up as starter-cameras for my kids in the case for the T3i's or someone else on eBay. It very well may be the reason why I am questioning the need to pack a full DSLR these days when the Sony NEX a7 and BMPC are calling my name.
GoPro Hero 3(+) Black
There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said or demonstrated regarding these tiny magic boxes. I use them on every shoot, in every conceivable place for work destined to the web and broadcast television alike. But, I am only getting 3+'s as replacements as I lose/break the Hero 2 and Hero 3 Blacks. There's just not enough difference between the 3 and the 3+ to justify adding them when i have Hero 3 Blacks which work fine.
Apple iPhone 5c
I stumbled across this upgrade when my iPhone 4 got stolen from me at a music festival - I REMEMBER WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE YOU CORN-TOOTHED RIFF-RAFF! While it's not the iPhone 5S - it's the camera I always have on me - and in some cases, the best camera for any job, stills or video, is simply the camera in your hand. Anyway, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is in a class so far ahead of the iPhone 5s when it comes to stills and video there is no reason in the world why I'd need both...except for Waze and iCloud.