Snowmobile jumping
When You’ve Only Got an iPhone…

I’ve said before how hard it is sometimes to decide what camera equipment to bring along – if any at all.  Sometimes you want to take photos of the location, sometimes you just want to be on vacation.  This was one of those “I’ll leave it all home” moments.

  (iPhone 4)

Kayak on water
Ad Photo on River [iPhone 4]

Some of the best photos I’ve ever taken have happened suddenly.  Sometimes I’m on a shoot on location with all of my equipment and a plan to get the perfect image.  But sometimes, I’ll find myself in a situation where a scene presents itself that just communicates a feeling or an idea.  This photo is an example of one of those times.

Floating along by myself in a kayak on a river in Idaho, the perfect lighting, scenery and opportunity presented itself.  When I go to places like this I always struggle with the question of what camera equipment to take – if any.  This was one of those times that I decided not to take ANY equipment but my iPhone.

This image is from a series of photos taken along the river with my iPhone 4 in a waterproof case.  I’ve used several of the photos in advertisements.  The quality of any of the iPhone 4+ images can be quite acceptable for use on the web as well as in print media of reasonable size.

  (iPhone 4, LifeProof Waterproof Case)

Canon Camera Backpack
What’s in My Bag?

I absolutely love Canon’s cameras and lenses.  I’ve tried everything else and have always come back to Canon.  I’ve gone through several Canon body variations, some lower cost (and fewer features) and some high end like the Canon 1D Mark IV (which is my absolute favorite) but I’ve settled into a mid-range camera body that I think is perfect for what I do most.

I shoot a lot of digital advertising images, a lot of sports photography, and then just some for family fun.  Since most of my images used professionally are usually in the digital realm (online, web, etc.) and not large format print, I’ve found that I can really get away with using the Canon 7D for just about everything.  Yes the 5D has much higher quality for print, and the 1D Mark IV is extremely fast (and expensive) for sports photography, but I usually find myself able to be extremely happy if with just the 7D and a fast Canon lens like the 70-200mm f2.9 IS and a shorter fast lens like the 50mm f1.8.

Having a good middle range camera that covers 95% of my needs is so much better than even having only one of the extreme high end, or low end cameras and feeling kind of stuck without a lot of options.

This is what I have in my bag:

  • Canon 7D body
  • Canon 70D body
  • Canon 70-200 f2.8 ID II (zoom lens)
  • Canon 50mm f1.8 (prime lens)
  • EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (low end wide angle)
  • Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS (extreme zoom)
  • Canon 430 EX II Speedlite Flash

You can’t go wrong with Canon.  If you’re just starting out, I would suggest getting a cheaper body (60D or lower) and put the money into a good lens to start.  Then trade up the body later and use the old body as a backup.

But sometimes it all boils down to what you have with you at the time.  Take a look at a few commercial shots taken with an iPhone.

  (Canon 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.8 )