What Is The Bag?

This blog post follows on well from this one. There is hardly any of that gear in my bag today incidentally, a sure sign of how times change and technology moves on so fast. This post is less about what's in the bag (though I will list most of it) and more about 'What is the bag?'. The bag is like the Mary Poppins bag of camera bags. It's mostly airline hand luggage friendly (always check before you fly) yet can pack so much gear into it's high grade fabric shell I am every time I use it astonished just how much room there seems to be. Anyway, that's it above, the ThinkTank Airport Accelerator. 

The zips are the most durable looking I've seen on a camera bag. I can't say how durable they are yet as I haven't had the bag that long, but needless to say i'm not worried about their level of strength, they seem to be very well made out of some fine materials (thats as technical as you're going to hear me get). Inside the bag, there is a compartment at the front for such haberdashery as memory cards, pens, /card readers, cables, phones, earplugs etc etc and then a bigger compartment with a laptop sleeve (mine is 15" and fits easily) and an iPad sleeve which as you can see below holds my This Is Ground Tablet Mod .

Just a little note about the Tablet Mod, it literally goes everywhere with me. It holds cables, my iPad, my Field Notes Notebooks inside my DDC Stuff Sheath, documents, pens, headphones and more. It's one of my favourite things, basically.

Now, inside the bag. There is a lot of gear in here, get ready...

  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens
  • Rotolight
  • Lacie 2TB Thunderbolt Hard Drive
  • Sony A7S with Movcam Cage
  • Rode NTG-3 Microphone with Deadcat Wind Cover
  • Sony FS7 LCD Screen
  • Sony FS7 hand grip with Shape arm extension
  • XLR cable x2
  • Sony FS7
  • Canon 70-200 f/4 IS L Lens
  • Sony UWP-D11 Wireless Microphone system + Lavalier Mic
  • Surgical tape (for taping the mic onto people when I need to)
  • Rode Vampire Clips
  • Sigma 18-25 f/1.8 Lens
  • Canon 24-105 f/4 IS L Lens
  • Assorted batteries etc

As you can see, it's 'home modified' with some dividers inside from my Sachtler bag (which i'll also review briefly soon). If you need a big capacity bag for travel etc, especially if you're a videographer as well as photographer, this is THE bag i'd recommend.

My Daily Essentials

I'm quite a fan of seeing people's essentials, especially travellers/photographers/filmmakers. So I thought i'd put together a list of some of my day to day essentials. If you want to follow 'what's what' from my photo above i'll go left to right, starting from the top, clicking the link will take you to a page where you can find out more about that item...

  1. Fisher NASA Bullet Space Pen
  2. Fuji X100S Camera
  3. Mujjo iPad Air Sleeve
  4. iPad Air 2
  5. iPhone 6 Plus
  6. P&Co Notebook
  7. Casio Digital Watch
  8. Thomas Sabo Jewellery
  9. P&Co Hip Flask
  10. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
  11. Beats Solo HD Headphones
  12. Phillips Hue Iris Light (Remote Control Pictured)
  13. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
  14. P&Co Classic Card Holder
  15. Sheets Brand Energy Sheets
  16. Viktor and Rolf SpiceBomb Aftershave
  17. Eastern Collective Anti Freeze Lightning Cable
  18. Eastern Collective Leather Wrap
  19. Kiehls Eye Alert
  20. Nature's Herb Tea Tree and Cinnamon Tooth Picks
  21. Kiehls Facial Fuel
  22. P&Co Faraday Sunglasses
  23. Starbucks Gingerbread Syrup

What's On My Desk (Part One : Organising)

This is how my desk was looking this morning as I came into my office to start logging and organising footage shot in the past few days. This is completely different to how my desk looks for an edit, so i'll add part two : editing here soon. Here's what's on my desk..

  1. Fuji Instax Share Printer : This is here for when I take a break or i'm waiting for something. I like to have my digital photos as a physical copy as well and this little beauty is perfect for that.
  2. Fuji Instax Film : Kind of obvious this one, great film nonetheless and fits my Mini 90 Neo Classic Instax Camera too.
  3. iPad Mini : As you can see i'm Apple through and through. I use a lot of apps that are on all three of my devices and love the fact I can go from one to another. I tend to use my iPad for reading websites I like, books, magazines and sometimes for production use on set.
  4. iPhone 6 Plus : Straight away I loved the larger screen. I have relatively big hands so handling is easy and the 128GB lets me store more of the stuff I want in my pocket.
  5. Bose QuietComfort Headphones : These are amazing. Noise cancelling for work and travel is a must. These go everywhere with me.
  6. Beats Pill : When i'm not editing I like to put some music on and email / log footage and organise, this little speaker travels with me too.
  7. Apple Magic trackpad : I use this in conjunction with the 'Better touch' app so I have it mapped for whatever application I'm using. Makes keywording in FCPX much faster, I can't edit with it though.
  8. Apple Bluetooth Keyboard : Does what it says :)
  9. Fuji X30 : This camera has really suprised me. I thought it would just act as a nice zoom backup but it's become more than that and rivals my X100S for a place in my bag now. As with all the recent X Series cameras by Fuji, I love the wifi capability and transferring images straight to my phone.
  10. Moleskine Evernote Notebook : I'm a premium user of Evernote to organise projects, things I like and personal stuff too. This notebook lets me take a photo of a page I've scribbled on and Evernote can see the letters and words so it is fully searchable on all my devices. Geeky as hell, but, still pretty cool ;)
  11. Fisher Bullet Space Pen : This writes like nothing I've ever written with, any angle, upside down (yes I've tried). It's my favourite pen...Yes...I have a favourite pen.

Not numbered, Macbook Pro 15" Retina.

What's In The Bag

Back in the UK and catching up on all things, it time to add something here. This is a typical look at what is in my bag (and out) for a typical cover/interview shoot for me at the moment. My gear changes dependant on what i'm shooting, so it's important to note that my stills setup is purely along for the ride incase I get time (which I did, see below) to take any stills whilst on set. If I was shooting stills as well as part of the job that day, i would have a backup camera with me for it. Anyway, here's a look...

This is my main camera bag, a Lowepro 350 Runner. I’ve had it for a few years, its lasted so well, I’m about to upgrade to a newer model but i’ll keep this on standby as my ‘old trusty’. Here’s what was in the bag for shooting a few music videos and some interviews with the band a few days ago :

  • Fuji X-T1 Camera - I use this for stills and timelapses, it’s my favourite camera in the bag.
  • Fuji 10-24mm f/4 lens - Used for wide shots, shots where all the band are in a photo and timelapses, mostly form my hotel room on tour.
  • Fuji 56mm f/1.2 - Portrait lens, its tack sharp and the bokeh is so nice. My favourite lens in my bag.
  • Fuji EF42 flash (for the X-T1
  • Fuji X100S - walk around camera for grabbing documentary style stills, love it for the image quality and how small and light it is.
  • Canon C100 - My main doc camera for filming. 90% of what you see on the boys Youtube is with this camera now. Built in pre amps for audio are great, ergonomically its a dream, my favourite feature being the built in ND filters.
  • Canon 18-55mm f/2.8 
  • Canon 35mm f/2
  • Rode NTG-3 shotgun mic
  • LCD Screen shade
  • Two F&V Z96 LED lights for on and off camera use
  • One 5 metre XLR Cable
  • Assorted Batteries
  • *Memory Cards
  • *Visible Dust Actic Butterfly Charged Sensor incase I get dust on a sensor while filming
  • *Black Rapid 35 Strap
  • *Lensskirt for timelapse through windows
  • *2 x Rode Smartlav+ mics
  • *iPad with assorted apps i use for work and books for if I am waiting around on set
  • *X-Rite ColorChecker Classic for matching my camera profiles up in the edit
  • *An airline ticket (incase you ask what the red thing is on the right)

*In the bag but not on view in the photo

This is my Retrospective bag by think Tank, it's my 'I'm going for a walk to film some B Roll' bag. Outside of the bag are two tripods, a Manfrotto and really small travel tripod made by Velbon. I also have a gorilla pod and ball head wrapped around the strap on my bag. Here's what's inside...

  • Sony A7s
  • *Metabones MKIV Adaptor for Canon to E mount
  • *Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS L lens attached to camera
  • *Rode  SVMX microphone
  • *Batteries
  • *Memory Cards
  • *Passport
  • *Genustech Variable ND filter & case

*In the bag but not on view in the photo

A still of Brad from the shoot taken with my Fuji XT-1 inbetween set changes.

New York, New York

When we arrived in New York I had a box full of fun waiting for me. The Sony A7S, the new breed of DSLR filmmaking with amazing low light capabilities and rumoured to have the best HD image seen yet from a camera of this size. 

The new line up on this trip. The GoPro 4, Fuji XT1, Sony A7S and Canon C100

The new line up on this trip. The GoPro 4, Fuji XT1, Sony A7S and Canon C100

I charged up my batteries and flicked through the camera menu and control buttons/dials on the body of the camera before heading out to shoot some test footage. The temperature was around -8 degrees celsius when I arrived at Central Park, my firs location of the day. I walked and filmed, mostly trying out the 50fps slow motion setting. As it was so cold I opted to leave the tripod back at the hotel, that also gave me a chance to see how the IS worked via the Metabones adaptor I needed to be able to use my Canon lenses. 

Central Park, New York and it's -8!

Central Park, New York and it's -8!

This was when i had my first teething problem (and the reason I do some tests before using to for 'work' on paid shoots), the adaptor, unbeknownst to me, needed updating, as did the camera, so that they worked together better and more regularly. The IS on occasion didn't and just wouldn't work, so at -8, when you don't particularly work at your steadiest as a handheld camera operator, I needed to be super steady. Other than that everything looked great in camera. I found my way around the controls pretty quick, and after Central Park headed via The Americas to Staten Island so I could get shots of the Statue Of Liberty and Downtown Manhattan from the ferry.

En-route to Staten Island walking past and paying my respects at the now One World Trade Center

En-route to Staten Island walking past and paying my respects at the now One World Trade Center

That done, I headed back to the hotel to thaw out. I had some food, warmed up, updated the camera and the adaptor, tested those updates from the room, grabbing some shots of the buildings around me on 54th and Broadway and then headed down to Times Square to finish off my tests for the day. Here is a little edit I put together yesterday...

I also am testing out a new 'travel screen' by Asus on this trip. It is incredibly thin and light and connects to your laptop via a USB cable which also powers the screen. I use it purely for extra screen space when editing, as you can see in the picture below...

The excellent and very portable Asus travel screen combines perfectly with my Macbook Pro when i'm editing on the road.

The excellent and very portable Asus travel screen combines perfectly with my Macbook Pro when i'm editing on the road.