“What gear do you guys use?”, “What camera are you shooting with?”, “What lens did you take this pictures with?”, “What were your settings on the camera?”, “What actions did you use?”
We haven’t actually been asked this question yet as Two Are Better, but we’re heading it off right at the start. It’s not that we don’t want to answer these questions. Ryan’s a gear head and tech spec geek, he likes answering questions like this. It’s only perhaps it’ll answer some of the basic questions so you can get down to asking even better ones. 🙂
First off we’re Canon & Mac snobs. That means we love our Canon cameras, L series glass, and Macs. We might feel lost without them. Without further ado, here’s a simplified list of gear. We’ll explain more below.
- Canon 5D Mk II
- Canon 7D
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
- Canon 35mm f/1.4L
- Canon 50mm II f/1.4
- Canon 135mm f/2L
- 27″ iMac Core i5 12GB RAM – Ryan’s Machine
- 21″ iMac Core 2 Duo 12GB Ram – Mindy’s Machine
- 13″ MacBook Pro Core i5 8GB Ram – Portable Machine
- 500GB G|Drive mini – Portable storage with MacBook Pro
- 2TB Time Capsule – Used for all 3 Mac backups via Time Machine
- 4TB Drobo – Ryan’s Aperture & FCP libraries exist here
- 4TB G|Drive RAID – Mindy’s Aperture & FCP libraries live here
- UNLIMITED Crashplan Pro – Offsite backup
- 16GB x 3 SD Cards
- 16GB x 2 Compact Flash Cards
- 32GB Compact Flash Card
- 1GB SD Card – For H4N
- Aperture 3
- Photoshop CS5
- Final Cut Pro 7
- Final Cut Pro X
- Motion 4
- Billings 3
- MAMP Pro
- Incase DSLR Slingpack
- Lowepro CompuTrekker AW
- Kelley Moore B-Hobo Bag
- Dolica Proline Tripod
- Dolica Proline Monopod
- Great Grandmas “Vintage” Tripod
- Zoom H4N
- Shure 57
- Nady Overhead Condenser
- AKG Large Diaphragm
- Cowboy Studios Beginners Light Kit
- Canon Speedlite 430EX
- B+W Clear UV Haze Lens Filters
It doesn’t seem like too much at the moment, or maybe it does. Sheesh, looking at that list makes you realize how much money you sink into what was once a fun hobby! Mindy is the proud owner of a 5D Mk II. She is usually the one doing photo shoots, so she gets the benefit of that great full frame sensor. I’m usually shooting the most video and while I can shoot video with either the 5D Mk II or the 7D. The 7D does have more frame rate and resolution options. It really depends on the project we’re doing though with what camera gets used. They are both wonderful and work really well with each other. If we had a bigger budget I’d be going after Canon’s new Cinema line of cameras and Mindy would be buying a couple more 5Ds or maybe a 1D.
Our lens collection is a pretty good set of glass. Gives us plenty of focal lengths for most of the project we do. I know we really want to grab the 85mm f1.2L as well as the 16-35mm f/2.8L to help round that out even more. From there we’d love to have the 50mm f/1.2L and the 100mm f/2.8L. We know the 70-200mm at either f/2.8L or f/4L is another popular one, I don’t know if we’d ever get into that far of a reach though. I’d also really like the 24-105mm f/4L with IS and one of Canon’s Tilt-Shift lenses. Far too much we want here. 🙂
Computers & Storage
We love our big iMacs. Especially the 27″ is great to view photos and video on. The little guy at 13″ is a wonderfully portable power machine. Takes care of us when we’re tired of sitting at our desks our travelling.
Both of our iMacs run on a RAID drive. Which means they’re protected from disk failure. They are also on a service called Crashplan, which makes backups off site. Just in case a fire/earthquake/flood happened our data is still safe if it’s destroyed locally. The MacBook Pro’s companion is the 500GB G|DRIVE mini, we can take projects with us if travelling or dump cameras at the end of the day to this drive and then back it up internally as well. Everything also backs up to our 2TB Time Capsule for extra local protection. Ryan’s got further ideas for this so it may need updating in the future.
We both use Aperture 3 & Photoshop CS5 for editing images. Ryan’s played with Lightroom but has never loved the UI and obviously Aperture being an Apple designed program has a very nice UI. We’re betting on Aperture being even greater in the future, and we think it will be compared to Lightroom. Photoshop is used for any extra editing we need outside of Aperture. Further control over certain edits, HDR, clone stamp, etc…
Ryan mostly edits video and uses Final Cut Pro X for the most project. If the project needs Final Cut Pro 7 we keep it around for that too. Any motion graphics are done in Motion 5 and everything is sent to Compressor from there.
We keep track of client invoices and money owed us via Billings 3. It’s worked great for us thus far, and even syncs to our iPhones in case we need to add a timed slip out in the field, etc… Speaking of iPhones we also use Square to take credit card payments via our iPhones. Technology is so awesome.
For the web design side of Two Are Better we use an editor called Coda that is wonderful. Paired with MAMP and Github we easily keep track of all local development and easily push live to clients sites. We’re pretty well exclusive with WordPress, it’s a beautiful bit of software and usually meets anyones sites needs. Plus we’re very very familiar with it. Ryan does work at WooThemes full time, the internets number WordPress theme shop.
Like mentioned Coda and MAMP are used to develop themes locally, versioned with Github, then pushed live with Transmit.
Accessories & Bags
For photo shoots we each carry a personal bag. Mindy uses a Kelly Moore bag and Ryan uses an Incase DSLR Slingpack. When we’re travelling we can usually squish everything that needs protecting into the Lowepro. Camera bodies, glass, MacBook Pro, and the H4N go in the Lowepro if traveling.
The other accessories need some upgrading. Specifically our tripods and whatnot. We don’t often need them so they get by for now, maybe if we had good ones we’d use them more.
For video accessories we have a few mics for different purposes. First of all, the in camera audio is always crap. Ryan only uses it to sync up to the separate audio we record as well. It’s then trashed after that.
The Zoom H4N is always where audio ends up being recorded. It has a great pair of stereo mics on the front of it. Great to use if the situation calls for it. We also have a Condensor, Shure 57, and the Large Diaphragm mic for different audio situations. We really do need to get a couple of lavalieres as well. Soon!
We just got that cheap lighting kit, we love natural light but aren’t limiting ourselves to natural light. We’re keen to learn about working with both kind of lighting. 🙂
That pretty much wraps up the gear we use. Hopefully that gives you a little insight into how we handle everything with what tools we’ve got. Always feel free to pop us a comment if you’ve got further questions. Thanks so much for reading through all of that, you must really be a gear head like Ryan!