My cameras & other equipment

equipment and cameras for a blog

Let the photography week continue! Yesterday I shared some of my tips for blog photography and have received so many sweet comments here and on Instagram, I’m so happy that you guys liked it and found it helpful! As promised, today I’ll talk a little about my equipment.

I own a few cameras, but it only makes sense to talk about the only two that I use for taking photos for my blog. Primarily, I use my beloved Canon 60D. I bought it a while a go when I started my YouTube channel and I have been loving it so much! I believe that this model has been discontinued now, and I’m hoping to upgrade to 70D in the near future. 60D works like a champ, it takes both amazing photos and videos, one thing that I especially like is the fact that it has a flip screen, which allows me to see myself while I film videos. I can also take photos at different angles; even when I can’t physically look through the viewfinder piece, I can always flip the screen and still see what I’m doing. Another camera that I sometimes use is Nikon D200, which is actually my husband’s. It’s an old camera but it still takes stunning images. I often refer to it as “the big dog” just because it’s not only heavy and huge but it’s also more of a professional entry-level camera and can be a bit difficult to use.

canon eos 60d

canon 60 D

canon 60d

My favorite lens is Canon 50 mm f/1.8 II. Most of the time, this is the lens that I use for my product shots, and the only lens that I use for my food photography. Often referred to as “the nifty-fifty”, this lens is very affordable (a little over $100.00) and the performance is absolutely outstanding for the price. This lens is a “fixed” lens, meaning it doesn’t zoom in or out, you have to the “work” by getting closer or further away from the subject. It works amazing for portrait photography as well, creating that beautiful, out-of-focus background. If I were to use only one lens, this would probably be it. I also really like my 18-55mm, which I believe was a “kit” lens from our super old Rebel camera. I love using this for taking pictures of my makeup and product close ups. My 18-135mm kit lens that came with my 60D rarely gets used.

Few pictures taken with my Canon 50 mm f/1.8 II:

canon 50 mm 1.8

zara flower crown

detox water recipe

strawberry and goat cheese bruschetta

Taken with 18-55mm:

deborah lippman break 4 love swatch and review

find me an oasis swatch

MAC Velvet Teddy swatch, velvet teddy by mac

When using “the big dog” Nikon D200 I use yet another 50mm lens (Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G). This one was a lot pricier than my Canon 50mm (around $500.00) and I actually bought it as a gift for my husband. So technically, it’s his, but you know.. we’re married so what’s his is mine :D .

nikkor 50 mm 14

Taken with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G:

fire

In case you’re wondering, that’s a fire pit in our yard. Don’t worry, I didn’t set anything on fire even though I do have a tendency to do that. nikorr pic

Tripod is another must have for me. It helps you hold your camera steady, minimizes camera motion, which in turn produces clearer images. It obviously also helps me out when I film my videos. I don’t always use a tripod, but whenever taking “flatlay” style pictures (like the one in yesterday’s post) it’s absolutely crucial. It allows me to look at my setting, if I want to move something or change things up a bit in my composition I can do so without having to put the camera down and having to find that perfect “spot” again. My camera just sits in the same position attached to the tripod while I re-arrange things. A good tripod should not have “skinny” legs, it should feel sturdy and the camera shouldn’t move or “bobble” while attached to it. I have a Manfrotto tripod, which supposedly is a “Cadillac” of tripods and I actually received it as a gift, but I’m sure that there are lots of other options out there that work just as good. I also sometimes use a shutter release remote by Canon (especially when filming videos as my camera doesn’t autofocus during filming). This is the one that I’m currently using. I also had one that was battery operated, but I think that I must have bought a faulty one as the battery kept dying on me nonstop and it was a bit of an inconvenience.

When it comes to lighting, I already mentioned that you should always use as much natural light as possible. This is something that I’ve struggled with for a very, very long time. Our home is just naturally dark; we basically have a forest behind our house and not much daylight gets inside. I have two soft box lights that I bought at a pretty affordable price (these are similar to mine ) as well as two umbrella lights (find them right here) but to be honest, ever since I bought my fab ring light, it’s the only artificial light source that I use. My ring light was expensive (about $250.00) but it’s honestly worth ever penny. I was putting off this purchase for years but I figured that I wasn’t happy with my lighting situation and spending money on and hoarding more affordable equipment wasn’t making much sense. I first got the umbrellas, wasn’t happy, then I got the softboxes, it was much better but still not what I was hoping for, so I bought different bulbs, and I just kept spending money without getting what I really wanted. Then I finally gave in and bought the ring light. Whenever I can, I avoid using it in favor of daylight, but the truth is I can’t live without it (especially when it comes to taking pictures of my nails or makeup). If your house is brighter than mine, then one or two umbrella lights may be all you need.

stellar dive ring light

I think that this is pretty much it for my equipment you guys. As you can see I’ve collected a whole bunch of different things over the last two years. Please keep in mind that I didn’t buy it all at once and some of it was gifted. I know that a lot of girls who have blogs don’t have tons of money to spend on fancy cameras, “Cadillac” tripods or nice ring lights. The truth is that if you can find a great spot in your home where there is nice, natural lighting you can take amazing photos even with your phone (I mean phones nowadays, hello, they have hella good cameras). You can always try stacking books instead of using a tripod (that was what I did at first) and remotes are usually pretty affordable. I also created some “equipment” of my own like my mini wood palette that I use for my food photography or a white box for product photography. Let me know if you guys would like to see them and have me talk more about them. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as you did yesterday’s.

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  • Another awesome post Paula! This series is so awesome and I can’t wait for more :) Your tips are really helpful and I think I might go for the nifty fifty you mentioned. I originally wanted to get the 5mm 1:1,4 but it is really expensive, so the 1:1,8 seems perfect to me since it’s much cheaper and I always love how your pictures turn out.

    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom!

    xx Carolin
    http://www.olive-apple.com

    • Carolin, you have absolutely no idea how much it means to me that you’re enjoying these posts! I was thinking of getting the 50mm 1.4 too, but you honestly can’t go wrong with the “nifty fifty”. That lens really does all the work, you’ll love it! And you can’t beat the price!

  • I got so distracted by the nail photos haha! I’d love to upgrade to the Canon Mark 5D III.

  • I would love to get a better camera, as the one I use is incredibly standard, but money always gets in the ay, especially when yore trying to save up for a house. Since you are the photography guru and take such beautiful pictures, maybe you can give me some advice on buying a good used camera?

    Gems x

    • Aw thanks Gems! I know how you feel, it took me a while to buy my first decent camera too. I’d definitely look into a Canon if I were you. EOS Rebel T3 EF-S is a pretty affordable option, even better if you get a used or a refurbished one. I think that it’s a great camera for making a transition to a DSLR. :)

  • Love the camera! The pictures you take are always amazing quality, Paula, and I just read your other post and it is sooooo good! Definitely one I’d keep coming back to!
    Btw, I LOVE your new layout! It looks gorgeous!!! <3
    xoxo,

    BerryBloomXO.com | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog 

    • Aww thanks so much Puja!! So happy that you liked it! And that you like my new layout! thank you so much Hon!

  • Can you die from proudness? If so then I’m a goner ;) :D Seriously love, I’m so in awe of every single beautiful, beautiful post you do! This being NO damn exception! You deserve all the praise, support, love, admiration and respect in the world and it makes me so happy how everyone is (quite rightly) behind you! <3

    Your Canon 60d sounds so, so awesome! A flip screen is such a must, so beneficial and the results just attest to how incredible it is; from your stunning photography to your beautiful, beautiful vlogs. I've got a Canon 600d but I won't even try and pretend I know the difference between the two :P Hehe! I absolutely love how vibrant the beautiful photo of Blu is, how sweet?! Your OOTD post is so magical, I love how the colours are so well captured. The details are so perfect in everything from your glossy nails to your food posts to your gorgeous make-up product posts.

    The images are just so bewitching Paula, it's amazing how far you've come in so little time, every new post you do is more and more innovative, experimental and unique than the last. I adore that you push so many boundaries and are so damn experimental with photography, I absolutely love that. It's so rare to see, which makes you just so memorable and stand-out and it's not hard to see how respected and valued you are in the blogosphere (and once again, quite rightly so!) Really loving those gorgeous shots of the fire burning and the lantern, perfect AW inspo ;) :D

    Some fantastic notes and tips as always lovely. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on tripods, I've got one but hardly have a clue, so it was great to hear your words of wisdom! And your ring light is divine, it really looks like such a must <3

    Sophie xo

    • Wow, thank you so much Love!! Means so much to me, but you already know that!

      I don’t know the difference between the two myself hehehe, but your images are always stunning and Graham always does such a great job! And my Blu is one handsome devil, not going to deny that hahah :D:D

      Right now I can actually enjoy taking pictures, but at the beginning it was such a struggle. I spent hours crying and throwing things just feeling all confused. I’m so glad that I didn’t give up. Honestly, for a girl who never thought that she’s good at anything, this is just so amazing to hear. It’s such an awesome feeling :). Thank you so much Hon, your compliments (though maybe a bit exaggerated hehehehe :D:D:D) only lift me higher. Thank you so much Sophie!

  • Your photos are amazing. I am slowly investing in more stuff for my camera but like you said it is pricey.
    xx, Jodi
    http://highheelsandtutus.com

    • Thank you so much!

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