Dan’s Current Gear List

Before we get started with this, an important disclosure.

Cameras

GearB&H PhotoAmazon
Canon 5D Mark IVCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon EOS RPCheck PriceCheck Price
GoPro Hero 5Check PriceCheck Price

Over the years, the size and content of my camera collection has changed on a regular basis, but at the moment I find myself with a relatively simple setup – although I’m occasionally borrowing additional cameras for testing from my partner, B&H Photo.

The Canon 5D Mark IV has been a real workhorse for me since the moment it was first launched. Image quality, particularly dynamic range, was a huge step up from the 5D Mark III, and the modest boost in frame rate to 7fps was enough to cement this further as Canon’s ultimate “all rounder”. I trust this camera in harsh environments, and I appreciate the small size compared to the larger 1D bodies.

For a while my second body was the 7D Mark II and it served its purpose well by giving me some additional reach for wildlife photography when I needed it. But then Canon launched the new RF mount and I knew that I needed a camera body that I could use to test new RF lenses with. I skipped over the first EOS R as the specs and the price point didn’t seem to match up in my eyes, but I jumped on the EOS RP when it was announced. $1300 for a 26MP full frame camera is a killer deal, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by my time with this camera. I’m sure that I will upgrade it to a more professional R-series camera when one is launched, but for now this serves my purposes by allowing me to test new RF lenses. With the EF to RF lens adapter I can use my existing EF lenses and that means this also meets my needs as a backup body to my 5D Mark IV. The fact that it is smaller and lihter than my 7D Mark II is an added bonus.

The only other camera I have right now is a GoPro Hero 5. I mainly use this for capturing behind-the-scenes content for my social media channels and the “5” does just fine for that right now. I haven’t been tempted to upgrade to a newer model yet.

Lenses

GearB&H PhotoAmazon
Canon 11-24 f/4 LCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 16-35 f/4 L ISCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L IICheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS IICheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS IICheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS MacroCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 1.4x III ExtenderCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 2.0x III ExtenderCheck PriceCheck Price

Much like my camera kit, my lens kit is often changing as I try new gear. At the moment I have a relatively small kit, having sold my Canon 200-400 f/4. After several years of owning that alongside the Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II, I found I grabbed the DO lens far more often due to its much smaller size and weight. That smaller size allowed me to carry a broader range of other lenses in my pack and at the moment that suits my eclectic photographic interests which range from landscapes to wildlife and adventure sports.

In the near future I’ll be purchasing and testing some Sony gear to see how it compares to the Canon system I have loved for so many years…

Camera Bags

GearB&H PhotoAmazonDirect From ManufacturerAdditional Info
MindShift BackLight Elite 45LCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review and development story
MindShift FirstLight 40LCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review
MindShift Multi-Mount HolsterCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1
MindShift Stash MasterCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review. Turns any bag into a camera bag.
Think Tank Retrospective 30 V2Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review
Think Tank Logistics Manager 30Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1HUGE rolling case!!
Think Tank ShapeShifter 15 V2Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1
Gura Gear Kiboko V2 22LCheck PriceN/AN/AB&H Photo has exclusive distribution rights to all Gura Gear bags.
Osprey Rolling Transporter (various sizes)N/ACheck PriceN/AFor travel with heavier non photographic gear.
Osprey Transporter Duffle (various sizes)N/ACheck PriceN/AFor travel clothing and other lighter, soft gear.
Arc'Teryx Brize 32N/ACheck PriceN/ADaypack used for climbing or when I'm hiking but not "working".
Arc'Teryx Bora AR 50N/ACheck PriceN/ATechnical multi-day hiking pack.

*1 If you use my links to reach either the MindShift Gear website, or the Think Tank website, and then spend over $50, you’ll get a free gift at the checkout! For more details on these two special offers, please see the deals page of my site.

 

The majority of my camera carry gear comes from MindShift Gear and their sister company Think Tank Photo. My primary backpack is the MindShift BackLight Elite 45L pack which is designed to be the ultimate rugged outdoor photo pack for adventures anywhere in the world, in any kind of condition. I should know, I helped to test and refine the pack for over two years during the development phase before it was released to the public.

When I travel by plane, my current favourite laptop bags to use as that “personal item” for carry-on are the Retrospective 30 shoulder bag and the uniquley designed expandable Shape Shifter backpack. For big car trips where I need to take everything but the kitchen sink, I load up the gigantic Logistics Manager 30 roller bag, and if I need maximum camera gear volume in a backpack then I use the First Light 40L.

Yes the BackLight Elite 45L and FirstLight 40 are similarly sized, but the FirstLight is entirely for camera gear, where the BackLight saves a lot of space for other outdoor equipment. For bulky items like my underwater housing, the FirstLight is the right choice.

I also really like the Gura Gear Kiboko bags for safari style photography. There’s no other bag on the market that can give you such easy access to a pair of ready-to-go cameras with big lenses already in place. The butterfly opening is unique and specific, but it’s a worthy addition to the gear closet for wildlife photographers. These bags went off the market for some time, but I’m happy to see them back now and available exclusively through B&H.

Sometimes a very specific situation calls for a pack with a laser-targeted purpose and when that happens, I usually turn to Arc’teryx’s lineup of adventure packs and convert them for camera usage by adding the previously mentioned MindShift Multi-Mount Holsters or the MindShift Stash Master 13.

Lighting

GearB&H PhotoAmazon
Elinchrom ELB 400Check PriceCheck Price
Elinchrom Quadra HS HeadCheck PriceCheck Price
Einchrom Skyport Pro wireless triggerCheck PriceCheck Price
Elinchrom Quadra 7" ReflectorCheck PriceCheck Price
Elinchrom Quadra Reflector Adapter MkIICheck PriceCheck Price
Elinchrom High Performance ReflectorCheck PriceCheck Price
Elinchrom 10m Quadra Extension CableCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon 600EX RTCheck PriceCheck Price
Canon ST-E3 RTCheck PriceCheck Price
2 x Pocketwizard PLUS IIICheck PriceCheck Price
Westcott Collapsible Beauty DishCheck PriceCheck Price

These days I don’t do a huge amount of flash work, but throughout my career I have been a fan of Elinchrom gear. They consistently make robust gear that is designed to be used in the field and not in the studio. Yes there are cheaper Chinese brands, but if you need gear that can work in potentially adverse conditions, or survive life being shipped around the world in a Pelican case then Elinchrom is the real deal. 

I have downsized from the 1200w/s Ranger RX to the 400w/s ELB400, but the light weight and portability suits my work perfectly these days.

I also keep one Canon flash with the wireless transmitter for use at sporting events when you need on-camera fill flash in poor lighting.

Tripods and Tripod Heads

GearB&H PhotoAdditional Information
Really Right Stuff TFC-24L MkIICheck Price
Really Right Stuff TFC-14 MkIICheck PricePair this with a BC-18 for the ultimate ultralight tripod setup.
Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballheadCheck PriceCheck out my HUGE RRS ballhead guide here.
Really Right Stuff PG-02 gimbalCheck PriceFor use with big super telephoto lenses.
Really Right Stuff BC-18 MicroballCheck Price
Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Ultra mini tripodCheck Price

Most of my support equipment comes from Really Right Stuff. They continually produce the finest carbon tripods and machined aluminum heads on the planet as far as I’m concerned. Over the years I have owned all of their heads for one purpose or another, so I wrote an extensive RRS ballhead and gimbal guide to compare them all. I also wrote a specific gimbal guide that talks in detail about the unique side mount design of the RRS PG-02 gimbal because people continually have questions about that.

My primary tripod is the TFC-24L which is one of their tallest tripods. I’m only 5ft9″, but a tall tripod allows you to have a long downhill leg whe you’re shooting on a slope, and still keep the camera at eye level. Honestly, buying a tall tripod was one of the best gear decisions I ever made!

Accessories

GearB&H PhotoAmazonDirect From ManufacturerAdditional Information
Peak Design Tech PouchCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceThe best way to organize all the accessories.
Peak Design Slide Lite camera strapCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceRead the review.
Peak Design Clutch hand strapCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceRead the review.
Peak Design Leash camera strapCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceFor when you need to go ultralight. Read the review.
Black Rapid Double Breathe camera strapCheck PriceCheck PriceN/AFor when you need to carry two cameras at once. Read my camera strap guide.
Think Tank Photo DSLR Battery HolderCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price + free gift*1
Think Tank Photo AA Battery HolderCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price + free gift*1
ProGrade Digital 128GB SD CardsCheck PriceCheck PriceN/A
Various Canon RemotesCheck PriceCheck PriceN/AOlder cameras use cabled remotes, newer ones use wireless.
Think Tank Photo Secure Pixel Pocket Rocket card holderCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price + free gift*1Read the full memory card wallet guide.
Really Right Stuff MTX Photography ToolCheck PriceN/AN/AThe ultimate photography multitool.
Leatherman SIgnal multitoolCheck PriceCheck PriceN/A
InReach Mini satellite messenger.Check PriceCheck PriceN/ARead the review.
Petzl Reactik+ headlampN/ACheck PriceN/AAlways in my bag for those sunrise and sunset missions.
Anker Powercore 10000 PD battery packN/ACheck PriceN/AFor portable charging of mirrorless cameras.
Field Notes Expedition notebooksN/ACheck PriceN/AI'm always making notes about what worked and what didn't. You should too.
Fisher Space PenN/ACheck PriceN/A

*1 Click through to Think Tank’s store and spend more tan $50 to get a free gift. More details about this offer can be found here.

Most of the items in this list are things that I pack into my bags whenever I leave for a photo mission and with the exception of the big camera straps, it all fits in the the handy Peak Design Tech Pouch to keep all the small things organized. All I need to do is remember to grab it on my way out! 

Photography Gloves

Product NameB&H Photo
The Heat Company Softshell 2Check Price
The Heat Company Heat 3 ShellCheck Price
The Heat Company Polartec Wind Pro LinerCheck Price
The Heat Company Polar HoodCheck Price

I spend a lot of time shooting photos in cold weather and mountainous locations so functional photography gloves are important for me. For the Shutter Muse Gear Guide series I undertook a seriously in-depth group test of all the photography gloves on the market and these gloves from The Heat Company came out on top.

The Shoftshell 2 is a brilliant glove for milder temperatures and cold wind, and the Heat 3 Shell will keep you comfortable well below -30 degree with the liner. Read the photography glove guide for more details.

 

Filter Kit

GearB&H PhotoAmazonDirect From ManufacturerAdditional Information
Breakthrough Phtoography X4 2-stop soft edge GNDN/AN/ACheck Price
Breakthrough Phtoography X4 3-stop hard edge GNDN/AN/ACheck Price
Breakthrough Phtoography X4 3-stop reverse GNDN/AN/ACheck Price
BreakThrough Photography X4 CPL (various sizes)Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceRead the CPL guide.
BreakThrough Photography Dark CPL (various sizes)Check PriceN/ACheck Price
Breakthrough Photography X100 Filter HolderCheck PriceN/ACheck Price
MindShift Gear Filter Hive filter caseCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review.
MindShift Gear Filter Nest Mini filter caseCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price +free gift*1Read the review.

*1 If you use my links to reach either the MindShift Gear website, or the Think Tank website, and then spend over $50, you’ll get a free gift at the checkout! For more details on these two special offers, please see the deals page of my site.

 

At the moment I’m really loving the line of filters from Breakthrough Photography. They are extrmely colour neutral and the X100 filter holder is a real bargain at only $50, about half the price of some other very similar options. One thing I do find odd is that they don’t sell their full range of products on Amazon or B&H Photo like most people. Selected products to pop up in those places, but to get the full range of products you need to buy directly from their website. That said, this isn’t a bad thing as they have free shipping and some exceptional customer service.

Of course you’ll need a case of some sort if you are going to have a few different filters, and the Filter Hive from MindShift is the only holder out there that will hold grad ND filters, circular screw-on filters and 4×4 filters. It’ll even hold the filter holder so everything is packaged up an a read-to-go case. Love that!

If you’re looking to get a filter “starter kit” as many people have asked me about in the past, I would suggest getting a 2-stop soft edge GND, a circular polarizer and a 3-stop ND filter. Check this aricle if you aren’t sure about the difference between a GND and an ND filter, and check out this article for help on choosing between square and screw-on ND filters.

Computer and Drives

GearB&H PhotoAmazonAdditional Information
15" Macbook ProCheck PriceCheck Price
13" Macbook AirCheck PriceCheck Price
BenQ SW271 monitorCheck PriceCheck Price
Drobo 5D3Check PriceCheck PriceRead about my Drobos in the photography back guide.
Drobo 5N2Check PriceCheck Price
Drobo 5DCheck PriceCheck Price
LaCie Rugged Raid ProCheck PriceCheck Price
LaCie Rugged USB-C 5TBCheck PriceCheck Price
Sandisk Extreme SSDCheck PriceCheck PriceRead the rugged drive guide
Prograde Digital Dual SD ReaderCheck PriceCheck PriceRead the review
Prograde Digital CFast + SD Reader
Check PriceCheck PriceRead the review
CalDigit TS3 Thunderbolt HubCheck PriceCheck Price

At the moment I’m running a 15″ MBP that primarily stays in my office and only comes on the road when I know I need to process photos away from home. When I only need a laptop for downloading cards and writing, I take the much small and lighter 13″ Macbook Air.

I take my photo backup routine very seriously. Literally my entire career relies upon it so the setup is redundant in multiple different areas. This list shows you the drives I’m currently using, but if you want to read about the actual process and backup automations I have in place, I keep a series of articles on the site that go through this in great detail.

Audio and Video

GearB&H PhotoAmazon
Sound Devices Mix Pre3 audio recorderCheck PriceCheck Price
Rode Lavalier MicCheck PriceCheck Price
Rode VideoMicroCheck PriceCheck Price
Rode NTG-2 Shotgun MicCheck PriceCheck Price
Sony UWP-D11 wireless mic kitCheck PriceCheck Price

I typically don’t shoot video for clients, but I do post videos on my Youtube channel and my social media channels on a regular basis. I also take part in quite a few photography podcasts and record tutorials for various photo editing applications.

All cameras these days are capable of recording video that is more than high enough quality for web consumption, but where they fall down is the audio quality. It sucks if you use the on-board microphone in the camera! Audio is hugely important, just as important as the video quality, if not more! Rode makes all kinds of excellent microphones at great prices, and the Sound Devices recorder allows me to route sound to a camera or a computer however I please.

Optics 

GearB&H PhotoAmazon
Nikon Monarch HG 10x42Check PriceCheck Price

Anyone that does a lot of wildlife photography should have a good pair of binoculars. Much like a good tripod, this is something that with careful thought and research can be purchased perhaps just once or twice in your life. Good ones can be expensive, but they last well and they truly enhance the wildlife watching experience.

Yes they are great for spotting wildlife in the first place, but they are also great for watching wildlife that is simply too far away to get a good photo. If I can’t get a good shot, you can bet I’m still going to sit there for a while and study the animal’s behaviour so that I’m more familliar with their motions and patterns for future encounters.

The Monarch HGs are relatively new to the market but have quickly picked up near legendary status for the quality that they deliver at a price point that is less than half of other binoculars with similar optical performance. I’m sure I’ll have these around my neck for my whole career. They’re quite simply one of the best presents I ever bought myself!

Outdoor Clothing

GearAmazon
Arcteryx Beta SV JacketCheck Price
Arcteryx Beta SV Bib PantsCheck Price
Arcteryx Cerium SL VestCheck Price
Arcteryx Thorium AR HoodyCheck Price
Arcteryx Firebee AR ParkaCheck Price
Arcteryx Bora2 Mid Hiking BootCheck Price

Full disclosure: I get discounted Arcteryx gear, but keeping warm and dry is such an important part of my work that I wouldn’t use anything that didn’t suit my needs 100%. Here’s my personal favourite pieces of outerwear.  You get what you pay for, this stuff will last years of intensive usage and their customer service is second to none.

Outdoor Equipment 

GearAmazon
MSR Hubba Hubba NX Tent sCheck Price
Thermarest Parsec Sleeping BagCheck Price
Thermarest Corus QuiltCheck Price
Thermarest Prolite Apex Sleeping MatCheck Price
Thermarest Mondoking 3D Sleeping MatCheck Price
MSR Guardian Water FilterCheck Price
MSR Pocketrocket Deluxe StoveCheck Price
Nemo Fillo PillowCheck Price

I spend a lot of my time outside, so naturally I have amassed a fairly large amount of outdoor and adventure equipment alongside my photographic gear.  There’s far too much to list all of it, but these days, the stuff on this list is what I find myself reaching for on a regular basis.

The Guardian water filter is worth a special mention. This is the new king of MSR’s water treatment lineup and it’s effective against protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and particulates. Whether you’re camping or travelling in an area of the world with suspect water conditions, the Guardian is a great tool to keep you behind your camera and not… you know… in the bushes.

I’m also loving the new Prolite Apex sleeping pad. This is a 2″ thick self-inflating pad and whilst it’s slightly heavier than the previous NeoAir pads I have been using, it’s much more rugged and simpler to deal with. It’s the first self-inflating style of pad that I’ve been comfortable on as a side sleeper. 

WordPress Plugins

Plugin NameLink to Plugin
Envira GalleryMore Info
Yoast SEOMore Info
OptinmonsterMore Info
WP FormsMore Info
AkismetMore Info
WP RocketMore Info
Social WarfareMore Info
MonarchMore Info

These are the valuable WordPress plugins that are used on the Shutter Muse website, as well as my personal professional photography portfolio. My websites are a hugely important part of my business so I spend a lot of time optimizing them and testing various plugins.

Where to buy the best gear ?

Once you’ve figured out what it is you’re looking to buy, a common question is “where should I order from?“.  Typically I buy my gear from either B&H Photo or Amazon and occasionally Adorama if the other two don’t have it in stock. I’ve experienced exceptional customer service from all three at some point, and can wholeheartedly recommend them all.

Even though I live in Canada I still like to order from B&H in the USA because they allow me to pay all the applicable taxes and duties up front so there are no surprises. This is a service they offer for many countries worldwide, and they now ship to Canada for free on orders over $99. That’s a huge deal for me!

If you happen to be looking for camera bags for general use or sports photography use then I would definitely recommend checking out Think Tank Photo.  You’ll see in my gear list below that I have a number of their carrying solutions in my closet for when I’m traveling or shooting at sporting events which is where their gear really excels. For all your adventure, outdoor and widlife photography needs, look no further than Think Tank’s sister comapny, MindShift Gear.

As a friend of the site, Think Tank Photo and MindShift Gear will offer you a FREE gift of a small bag or accessory when you purchase more then $50 worth of stuff from their store after clicking through one of my links!

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