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Using the Gear That You’ve Got

Many of us in photography have gear envy, thinking that we need the most expensive gear in order to take a great shot. However, great photographs can be taken with the most inexpensive gear. If you learn to use the gear that you’ve currently got and understand it’s limitations you can take some fabulous shots. I recently took a trip to Oahu, HI and the only thing I took was my Canon 60D, a 50mm f/1.8, an 18-55mm f/3.5 to f/5.6 kit lens, a 430EXII flash, a pocketwizard miniTT1 and FlexTT5, and a mini tripod. With this minimal set of gear I was able to capture some amazing shots around the island.

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5 thoughts on “Using the Gear That You’ve Got”

  1. Hi mark like what you do photgraphy wise I have a canon 60d camera like it a lot other people I should be up grading to current cameras on the market or I get left behind also canon flash 430mk11 what you think thanks for you utube tutorials

  2. I wanted to upgrade to a modern full frame camera for many years but I always ask myself, “Will a new camera give me any skills to make me a better photographer than I am now?” Each time the answer is NO! Therefore I stay where I’m at. While I have upgraded my cameras over the years for various reason it wasn’t to keep up with the current cameras on the market. I currently shoot with a Canon 70D. It has wi-fi and video capabilities that make my job and processing faster than I could before. It didn’t help me shoot any better it just made my workflow a bit faster. That being said I still have and shoot with my 60D because it is still a good camera and it works well! If an 80D came out tomorrow, would I getting it?? Most likely not because what I have now works for what I need it to do.

    I would love to go get a 6D or 5DmkIII but they won’t make my photography any better and they don’t have any features that would help my current workflow that my 70D and 60D can’t handle.

    I still know photographers that shoot with the original 5D. That camera came out in 2005 so it’s ten years old. They’re in no rush to upgrade to the latest greatest because their camera works for them and gets the job done. Just because the market comes out with a new camera every 12-18 months doesn’t mean we have to jump when they do. This goes back the purpose of this post. Use the gear that you’ve got! Upgrade when your camera is so limited that you can’t do your job. Also think about this… If you only need a different camera or other piece of gear for one shoot, consider renting it which I do as needed. I would love to have a 70-200 but I don’t use them that often so I rent it when I need it! You get the picture right?

    As for the 430EXII it’s a fine flash and I still have one myself. It’s capable of a lot but I also have a lot of cheaper manual flashes that can do just as well. Sure I have to spend a few more seconds getting the settings for whatever I’m shooting but it’s the difference of $50.00 vs $250+ dollars. If you already have a 430EXII, great! Use it and learn how much it is capable of. If you don’t have it yet, consider a cheaper, manual flash if you really want to learn the ins and outs of flash photography, especially if you want to save some money. You can always buy or rent a 430EXII later when you need it.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Hi Mark
    I just discovered your you tube videos & especially enjoyed the one on using the gear you have. I bought a Pentax Spotmatic II about 40 yrs. ago, and could never really afford to use it. Digital works better for me now, and I have adapted the pentax kit lens to use with my Nikon D3300. I thought it would help with low light situations (50mm f1.4). I photograph my grandkids indoors in poor light. It didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I probably just have some more learning to do. Thanks for the videos. You do a great job!

  4. what’s up mark. I just found your videos 2 weeks ago, and I am very impressed at how well you teach, so I subscribed to your channel. I wonder if you have ever thought about doing some kind of critique for people new to photography? people could send or upload photos they take so you could review them and let us know where we are having issues on camera settings etc. that would be super.

    1. Lofton, Thanks for subscribing! I’m glad you mentioned the critiques. I’m going to be live streaming this year where I do exactly that! I haven’t quite worked out all the details on how I want it to go yet but it will be coming really soon! I will be doing my first live stream on Lightroom basics and questions can be answered via the chat. Feel free to drop in tonight if you’re able to make it. It will be at 7-8pm PST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbYY3SopWTE Thanks!

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