The Gear I Use to Create 4WAAM

I was asked several times recently about the equipment I use to create the photographs and videos you see here on 4WAAM. Today is a good day to share that list. (Naturally the day I want to publish this my light box goes down. Excuse the shadows on the lead image.)

Primary Camera – Nikon D750

Here is a link to the Nikon USA site if you want to geek out over specs. I buy a camera because of the images I can capture, not what some piece of paper says it might do. I prefer a camera that shoots as close to what my eye sees through the viewfinder. The color needs to be right, it shouldn’t add brightness, and it shouldn’t look like I used a filter.

Another factor in my decision to use the D750 is the full-frame sensor. You get more shot for your money maximizing the light, viewiing angle, and overall quality of the shot.

I do use manual control, but sometimes I need to shoot on the fly, so a proper auto setting is a must-have. I also don’t allow for photo editing of any kind to appear on the site. (Watermarking and cropping are fine) There is nothing worse than finding out a photo is faked.

Lenses

I primarily use two lenses. Its used to carry several lenses but it was cumbersome.

The first, and definitely my current favorite, is a 100 MM Macro lens from Tokina. Build quality, optical quality and features are second to none. My favorite part is the speed I can switch from auto to manual focus.

Using the Tokina One-Touch Focus Ring I can switch from manual to auto and back in tenths of a second. Great for when one or the other isn’t giving the shot that I want.

There is also a focus limiter switch when using the lens as a short telephoto lens. It speeds up the focus by locking out the close focus range.

My other lens is a 35 MM prime lens. I use an older Nikon D series lens due to its affordability and solid construction. Great wide angle shots and the ideal focal length for both close work and wide landscape shots.

Video Cameras

This is the category that changes the most. Prior to buying the Nikon I used a Sonly DSLR with a crop sensor. I was able to capture the best video in complete silence and in perfect focus. The Nikon is not a very good video camera by comparison.

Here is today’s setup. For 4k video I use a Panasonic HC-VX870. Easy to use, excellent video screen, and a Leica lens. The one drawback is definitely the microphone. It captures a ton of wind noise and small sounds of walking etc… I have an external mic that shows some early promise.

Camera two is a robotic camera from Soloshot. This one also shoots 4K and tracks either my movement or the movement of the vehicle. Excellent when I don’t have a second person to shoot video, and I need some action video. Sound is good quality with the only drawback the lens zoom motor is loud and ends up on the audio.

My final cameras are a pair of GoPro Hero Sessions. Small, easy to mount, and with better battery life than the normal GoPro they are the ideal action camera. Considering the prices were two to one the Session was an easy choice.

William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role having been a cook, a painter, a machinist, part time mechanic, computer programmer, and writer. He also wields a freely shared opinion on just about everything., just ask him.

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