Gear - What's In My Bag? III Fall 2017-Present


I hope you've been staying warm, safe + enjoying time watching Netflix/Hulu, reading books, or constantly refreshing your social media. To be honest I've been doing a little bit of all of these.

I'm currently watching Lost on Hulu (Spotify Student for the win. You get Hulu for free with it and if you haven't done it yet and you're a student, sign up NOW) .

I've been reading (okay well not as much as I should) Single. Dating. Engaged. Married. by Ben Stuart and I CANNOT recommend it any more highly than I already have. It's simply that good.

And I've been refreshing my social media - using all that fresh data xD. I'm a huge Instagram fan man, but I still want chronological order back. This new algorithm has people thinking you're stalking them like a Facebook mom from 2012.

But enough about that.

This is the end of the "Gear" series. If you haven't read the others be sure to check them out. My next post will be on how to use a camera because let's be honest, that's what you're all here for anyway.

So by the Fall of 2017, which wasn't that long ago, I had shot four weddings in four weeks, over the summer. I had scheduled two more for December made a decision. I wasn't going to use my current camera (Canon T5) to shoot my next two weddings. I was going to get a new one. I was going full-frame.

Now some of you may ask, "What's full-frame?"

Simply put, full-frame cameras have a larger sensor that results in better images. Here's a size comparison.

The camera on the left is the Rebel XT (very old) and the camera on the right is the Canon 5D Mark II (very old as well). But that doesn't matter. The sensor on the Rebel XT is relatively still the one you'd find on the Canon T5, T6, or T7 and the senor on the Mark II is relatively the same as you'd find on the Mark IV.

What I do want you to look at is the size of the sensor. That difference in size accounts for this difference in images.

The image above shows the difference between an image taken with the same lens, but the red box shows what the image would look like taken with a crop sensor camera. Now, maybe you're like, "Oh my gosh, I just wasted all this money on a camera that I don't need." But you'd be wrong. There is nothing wrong with a crop sensor. But here are some general advantages of a full frame sensor:

- Better performance in low light

- Greater image quality (sharpness in my opinion)

- More coverage through viewfinder

You may look at each of these and go, "Okay? Sooo...I didn't buy the wrong camera, but you just gave me some advantages of a full frame sensor which means my camera has disadvnatages...? Isaiah you're confusing me."

Haha, Are you shooting for your family reunion? Sorority? Dog who's been begging for pics?

You're so fine.

Let me explain where I was coming from.

Weddings are high risk-high reward moments. Either you get that kiss, tear, hug or you don't. Those are the moments, the unscripted ones, that make or break you as a wedding photographer. And sometimes when you have low light and can't use flash, like in a church sanctuary, you need as much light to flood into your lens as possible.

Enter a full frame camera. It's kind of like food. Weird analogy I know, but hang with me.

I've got two people.

Person One is one years old and Person Two is fifteen years old with lots of acne from all the chocolate that he won't stop eating.

Who's going to be able to eat more food? No brainer. Person Two because he's obviously larger.

Same with a full frame sensor. It's able to take in more light. Because of this, it is amazing for rooms with less light - like church sanctuaries.

In situations like wedding portraits, it's imperative that your images be sharp. Okay so the bride and grooms picture with great Aunt Judith was a little bit off. But when great Aunt Judith buys a 2'x3' CANVAS of the bride and groom to hang in her house proudly for all of her guests to see and it's a hair out of focus...then you have a problem.

Some of these issues can be taken care of in post or by simply checking your images after you take them. But it's not always that easy. And sometimes you find yourself with a beautiful image ruined by not having sharp tack focus.

My eyes were opened when I took my some of my first portraits with my friend Sam Evangelista.

I had never met Sam before this shoot. We had followed each other on Instagram for around a year and a half (y'all know how it is), but we'd never met in person, not even talked. But one day on Twitter (praise the Lord for Twitter), I told her we should shoot sometime and so we did. Whether or not you know Sam, you know two things about her - that she can sing and that she has cool hair.

After this shoot and while editing in post, I was AMAZED at the sharpness of these images. You could see the individual strands of hair standing out. I was SHOOK.

Finally, I'll talk about wider coverage through the viewfinder. So we've obviously seen, by the first two images in this particular post that I crop sensor is smaller. Duh. Well the number by which it is smaller, is called a "crop factor". My first camera was a Canon T5 and it had a crop factor of 1.6x. That means that my sensor was 1.6x smaller than a full frame camera. This also meant that for my lenses my 50mm lens on a crop sensor is actually 50x1.6 = 80mm. Confusing maybe a little I know. Okay maybe a lot.

BUT all you've got to know is that when putting my 50mm on a full frame sensor, it's actually a true 50mm and I'm getting much wider coverage.

So where did this leave me in October of 2017? Ready to buy a new camera. And I did. I bought a used Canon 6D with 11,000 shutter actuations and I couldn't be happier. But enough on that. Let's talk about some camera Basics.


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