I will use any camera that appeals to me, I have never been very brand specific. At this time I am shooting a mix of Canon, Sony, Fuji, and Panasonic.
This is my main camera now. While I’m not overly excited about Canon DSLR’s, this one ties in with Otto quite well. It offers a better live view than Nikon or Sony, and has excellent control right through dragonframe. With the excellent sensor and image quality, this was a no-brainer.
I picked up a pair of these from Amazon. This model has already been replaced by the Sony A7II, however the updates in the newer version hold no real advantage for this sort of work over the A7, and the A7 is selling for under a grand now making it an absolute steal.
So far I do like the camera. Sony’s lens lineup is pretty poor compared to most other brands, however I am using adapted Nikon lenses anyway. So far they are working out nicely, the only challenge being the shorter DOF present in full frame bodies. I do like the output however.
The Panasonig GH4. Wow! All i can say is what a lovely camera. Well built, excellent output especially when paired with the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 lens. This is actually the second time I have purchased this lens. I picked one of these up for 2 reasons. First is the 4k video capability, and second is the exaggerated DOF of the m43 sensor. This should make things easier on some of the close ups of very small plants. So far the GH4 has done nothing but impress me.
The Fuji X-T1 (above) is my primary camera for Photography and landscape Timelapse Photography. The articulating screen makes composition a breeze at any angle, and the Electronic Viewfinder is fantastic and a pleasure to use. it is built like a tank and weather resistant so if i get in some bad weather it should be just fine.
Fuji X-M1 (RIP)
The X-M1 (above) is my favorite for Biolapse. The articulating screen rocks, it is not weather resistant and not a solid as the XT-1, but it is simple to use, inexpensive, and makes a perfect Biolapse camera.
The XE-1 is now my least favorite of the three, but it is still a great camera. This is usually on the Biolapse set with the XM-1. The viewfinder is not as good as the X-T1, it is not weather sealed, it is better built than the X-M1 and has a great sensor, but the lack of articulating screen is annoying to me. I suppose i am getting spoiled. The lack of articulating screen will never be a deal breaker for me, but when you have a timelapse rail, a pan and tilt system, LED light panels, boom arm with a grow light, cables everywhere, sometimes setting the camera up is a bit challenging without an articulating screen.
I acquired some cheap knockoff batteries, gutted them out and stuffed them with DC-DC voltage regulators and some 2.5mm barrel jacks. I can now run them from my Anker batteries as well as standard 12v Ac/DC wall adapters.
Nikon to X mount adapters.
Cheap $20 adapters. I would love to get some metabones speed boosters, but these work pretty well.
A Truly wonderful lens. The aperture ring gives full manual control, 1.4 is nice and fast, and when filming plantlife it is nice to have something with a more restricted field of view.
Nikon 50mm f/1.8
No image on this one, sorry, it is a very inexpensive lens and i have been quite happy with it in the past. I recently picked another one up with the new cameras and honestly I wish I would have saved money on the f/1.4 and gone with the f/1.8 earlier. I never shoot this sort of work wide open so wide apertures really do not do much to help. The 1.8 is every bit as good as the 1.8 if you don.t need that extra speed.
Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 Micro.
LOVE THIS LENS! It is well build, very sharp, great macro capabilities! it is awesome to have the ability to get “all up in there” and it can be had used for about 200-300 bucks.
I now have two of these 🙂
Nikkor 85mm 1.8
Another recent aquisition, I will post more about my thoughts on this later and add a picture.
Nikkor 28-70 AF lens
I got this lens for about $100. I have no complaints, it works well, the zoom seems a tiny bit grindy, not sure if that is just how this lens works. The zoom gives me some some extra options for composition that are awfully handy.
Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8
Picture to come, i love love love this lens. I loved it on my Olympus OMD, I love it more on the Panasonic GH4. I do not expect to use this for timelapse often, but it will make an excellent lens for 4k video work.
This came with the XE-1. I dont want to sit here and review every lens, but make a few basic comments on each one. This lens is probably the finest “Kit lens” I have ever seen. It is fast, metal, well build, with excellent IQ and gives me a bit of FOV wiggle room for Biolapse.
I have not used this for timelapse. I may or may not. It is a killer little lens though, worth every stinking penny, razor sharp even wide open.
My Go-To lens in the field. I love this 14mm lens, excellent for landscape work, very little barrel distortion, virtually no chromatic abboration, this lens is a marvel of cutting edge optics.