18-55 mm lens
Tamron 70-300 mm zoom lens (canon fit)
Sigma 15mm fish eye lens (canon fit)
2 x ultra violet filters
1 x ultra-speed 8gb SD memory card
Manfrotto bella v shoulder bag
I used to own a 400D with standard 18-55mm lens and every time I travelled I would regret having not updated my camera body or have invested in more lenses. So when I knew I was coming to Australia, having already purchased a new body earlier that year. I decided it was time to save up for some new lenses along with a new bag to fit in all this equipment. I have been using this same equipment travelling for over six months now and despite doing all kinds of horrible things to my camera – like changing lenses on the beach and exposing the body to, too much salty sea air or running around in a tropical rainstorm it seems to be surviving well! As much as I try to look after my camera, I normally end up getting exciting about a shot and all sensibility goes out the window.
550D Canon Body
When buying this body I had the choice of the 600D too but the extra features were mainly video based so I decided to go for this model and as always two newer models have been released since then. Still this model feels in date from my old 400D body and I love the changes they have made. I find it really useful having the option to look on screen to snap the shot. The use of more ISO settings is one of my favourite upgrade features although I would happily have a lower option than 100 which is the current smallest setting. The change in the layout of the buttons took time to get used to but now it feels so easy to navigate and set up just how I want it. The picture quality in general is much better with a higher image resolution and a lens that I haven’t scratched to pieces. The timer settings have more variety which is really useful and of course there is the addition of a video setting. Having had a canon camera as my first SLR I will never change from the brand I like however if you are looking for your first SLR camera then know there is not real difference between Canon and Nikon – it’s just personal preference.
Canon 18-55mm lens
The only canon brand lens I own as this is the standard lens you buy with the body. Useful in most situations to capture landscapes and portraits, however if you want to zoom in on something you will have to get physically close. I always found I was wishing for more zoom when this was my only lens – hence a zoom lens being added to my kit. Having a filter on this lens provides the effect described with that filter type but it also stops the lens from being starched. This is why both my lenses have UV filters fitted as these can be used in everyday photography and add protection from my clumsiness. My version of this lens is also fitted with an image stabiliser – something which I would not go back to being without.
A brand recommended by my Dad who owns several of this companies products for his film SLR. It is an affordable lens available for Nikon and Canon fit. The zoom is great, clean and sharp although can be heavy and unstable at full zoom. I find it hard to keep a steady hand when the shutter speed slows down. It has added macro feature between a certain range however I rarely use this feature as the majority of my photos aren’t suited to macro. My favourite thing about using this lens is the colour it picks up when zooming in on sunset/sunrise.
Sigma 15mm fish eye
Bought from the London Camera Exchange for half of its retail price – item was in their ‘previously owned’ section. With no marks on it and in perfect running order I was over the moon to land this item, it was the perfect addition to my kit. The actual fish eye is small and subtle on the whole. This is especially true when photographing landscapes or anything in the distance. I have found myself using this lens to photograph cities, a lot. When working with close up subjects especially people it creates a very obvious fish eye distortion – I like the versatility this lens gives me. Again this product is available for Canon or Nikon fit.
I always work with fast speed memory cards as they process the data much quicker. This means you can continuously click away at a faster pace and when reviewing them switch between images faster. Both big positives if you ask me, and of course if you are uploading via the card itself the ultra-speed cards will make that quicker too.
The bag is a great fit for me, despite its silly white colour – which obviously isn’t white any longer. I find I can fit it in my day rucksack if needs be hidden or stored away. I can then fit my purse in with the camera meaning I don’t have to carry another bag around with me if I don’t want to. I find keeping a notepad and pen in my bag comes in hand for any silly notes.
The only thing I’m missing and it is something I would highly recommend is the Lonely Planet travel photography guide book. Having read it cover to cover before leaving I have some of the tips memorised, but if you want to get the most out of your photography while travelling then a digital copy of this book would be a great help.