What's in my Camera Bag
Earlier this summer I set out to purchase a new camera - I was using an entry level camera from another brand and, although it worked fine for what I was doing, I was not reaching for it as much as I would have hoped and my photos were not turning out the way that I envisioned them. It was either time to invest in an arsenal of lenses, upgrade my camera or switch brands altogether. So I sat in front of my computer doing research and made frequent stops to my local camera store for a few weeks (and asked a handful of my friends whose advice I did not take - sorry!). All of the paths I took left me with the Fujifilm X-T30 in hand and I could not be happier.
One of the biggest reasons that I made this switch was that I would simply never use my camera. Oftentimes its weight in my bag did not justify its lack of use. What initially drew me to the Fujifilm X-T30 was its overall aesthetic. I knew that if I wanted the camera in my images it would, in turn, lead to it being in my hand or around my neck any time a photo opportunity presented itself. I would not have to root around my backpack or kick myself for leaving at at home. This may seem silly to a lot of people but, at the end of the day, the best camera is the one that you have in your hand; so purchasing something that I would want in my hand at all times was very important to me.
The next couple of things that drew me to the Fujifilm X-T30 over its competitors were the rich colours of a Fuji sensor as well as its extremely sharp auto-focus. These two features allow my images to come out in the soft, warm colour tone that was lacking in my previous set up and also enabled me to feel confident in using my tripod to take self portraits when I am out on my own.
Fujifilm calls this camera the “Little Giant,” as it inherits most of the best bits from its more-expensive older sibling – crucially, the same processor and 26.1-megapixel sensor. It lacks features such as the X-T3’s weather sealing (this one did make me a little bit nervous but I have had no issues so far), dedicated ISO dial, dual memory card slots, and 4k video at 60 frames-per-second. But what the X-T30 has that the X-T3 does not, is a pop-up flash, a full-auto mode that’s useful when shooting video (or when passing the camera off to a less camera-savvy hiking partner); and not to mention, an incredibly compact body. It shoots 4k video at 30fps and a fast and accurate face- and eye-tracking autofocus system for both still images and video.
Low Power Integrated Bluetooth
This is great for transferring images from my camera to my smartphone or use it as a remote shutter (both on the Cam Remote app). It also has the quickest connection with the fewest losses of connection of any camera brand that I have used. The low power mode of the bluetooth means that I don’t have to worry about it draining my battery if I don’t turn to off (I never turn it off).
Built in Intervalometer
An extremely useful and easy to use feature of the Fujifilm X-T30 is the built in intervalometer. Simply choose your interval rate, the number of frames you would like captures (infinity is an option in which you manually stop the intervalometer) and a countdown timer and you are good to go!
Intuitive menu system
I watched two tutorials upon purchasing this camera and they were extremely helpful in setting up my quick menu and having a once-over familiarization with the camera but the menu system is so intuitive and easy to use that if I forget something it is extremely easy to figure it out.
Although in most newer cameras, this is something that I missed when using friends’ camera bodies that did not have this feature. Being able to see live time what my fiddling with settings would look like helped a lot with my learning process, plus reviewing images in high light is infinitely easier with this feature.
I might be saving the best for last. But coming from a camera without a touch back screen this is a complete game changer (especially when enlisting the help from my mom on hikes). Being able to one tap focus on the back of the screen and have the screen function similarity to a smartphone has gifted me with far fewer imports of blurry, out of focus, images.
XF 23mm f/2 R WR (35mm equivalent)
This 35mm equivalent was what first made me decide to go on a route of using primes vs zoom lenses when filling out my camera bag. 35mm is the most similar focal length to a human eye so it made the most sense that in sharing my view of the would this would be the the first lens in my shopping cart. I am very happy with this lens and most of my landscape shooting is done on this focal length. If I did more landscape shooting or pushed into the realm of astro I would likely be looking for something wider but the 35mm equivalent is perfect for my at-home detail shooting as well as landscape shots in the field.
XF 50mm f/2 R WR (76mm equivalent)
My most used lens by a long shot (no pun intended). I am in love with the depth of focus that this lens offers as well as a comfortable amount of compression when in the mountains. It is the lens that is most often found on my camera body and my go-to when shooting via self-timer. It is small, lightweight and produces images that I am extremely happy with.
XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR (76-213mm equivalent)
This was my dream lens for a long time and one of the reasons that I knew I needed an upgrade. I spent years shooting with a photographer who loved their 70-200mm lens for mountain layer compression. In having this lens, however, I find I am reaching for it less often than I thought I would. It creates such beautiful images and it is really a fun piece of equipment with the ability to drop down to f/2.8. However, a lens this powerful does take up additional space and weight that I often find that it gets tossed out in lieu of more snacks on longer backpacking trips. Don’t get me wrong - I am absolutely in love with this lens but would recommend renting it first to ensure that its cost and weight are worth the amount of use you will get out of it before investing.
XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (27-84mm equivalent)
This is the kit lens that comes with the camera and has been my least used lens to date. It would be amazing to get a feel for the camera and what your shooting needs are prior investing in more glass. It offers a great range for everything from wide angle landscape images to portraits to the low end of telephoto images.
camera specific backpacks
Day hiking I will use my Patagonia Nine Trails with a camera insert.
When I am travelling with my XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR (76-213mm equivalent) I will use my Douchebags The CIA camera pod which allows for a little bit of extra room and fits perfectly in my The Backpack - as with all of douchebags systems their intuitive integration is something that keeps drawing me into their systems.
On backpacking trips I will opt for my Fjällräven Kånken photo insert (small) - although built to fit into their Kånken backpack system, this smaller camera pod fits flat atop my bear bin in my backpacking bag. It comfortably fits my backpacking gear set up and accessories as well as extra batteries, power packs and miscellaneous electronics that I carry with me.
I have used the Atlas Supply Co. Copper Camera Strap for years and love it. It has changed in colour and grown extremely soft over years of use, and not only does it look amazing in photos, but it is very functional and I have never had a reason to change it out. It also comes with a bees wax protector wax for maintenance.
I do not use a camera clip currently, however, I have thought of this many times and perhaps would have a few fewer dings and scrapes on my camera if I did. Most photographers that I work with swear by the Peak Design version.
I purchased the mefoto BackPacker Classic tripod years ago and, although it was the right decision at the time, I feel that it took a lot of getting used to before I felt comfortable using it. It is extremely compact and lightweight but with that, it also feels rather flimsy and I would not trust it in less than ideal weather situations or with a heavier camera (I will not use my telephoto lens on it).
My go-to editing is Adobe Lightroom with very minimal use of Adobe Photoshop - both the desktop versions on my MacBook Pro. I also shoot in RAW to allow the most flexibility in my editing process.
*note that I will often opt to leave the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (27-84mm equivalent) at home if I am going ultra lightweight
*Please note that this is not a sponsored blog post and that this camera was purchased by me, at full retail price. With that being said, some of the links above are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission on any purchase made - at no additional cost to you. As always, all ideas and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own. Thank you for your support!