Whether you’re a gearhead or just curious what tools and equipment other photographers are using, this page is for you.
When we chat with our Allies, we ask them which tools and resources are the most important and/or useful for them and share their replies with you here.
This page is split up into 2 parts:
- Most Common Tools – tools most photographers seem to use
- Tools used by specific people
Most Common Tools
Here’s a list of the most common Tools of the Trade for Photographers (or see what specific Allies have in their arsenal).
Canon DSLR Digital Cameras* + Canon Lenses*
Nikon DSLR Digital Cameras* + Nikon Lenses*
Sony Mirrorless Cameras* + Sony Lenses*
Photo Organization + Editing
Data Management + Sharing
- Gmail + Calendar
- Documents: cloud document creation, storage + sharing
- Drive: for storing + sharing files
WeTransfer – cloud-based computer file sharing + transfer
Here’s a list of photographers and the specific tools each one uses, sometimes accompanied by details + comments on why they chose those items. Hope this helps!
Canon DSLR Digital Cameras* + Lenses*
“I have my Canon setup, which is the most trustworthy. I know it’s going to work in bad weather, wet weather, auto-focus action.”
Sony Mirrorless Cameras* + Lenses*
“Mostly what I use is a Sony, that’s my go-to. It’s awesome, it does everything. I can do photo and video with it. In that next generation of Sonys the batteries are way better. The first generation of Sonys, they all failed on me with moisture and stuff, so I’m hoping the new Sonys will get to that level of the Canons. I think they’re pretty close.
“My Sony setup is awesome because I do a lot of backcountry stuff and it’s lighter. And then a lot of times I’m shooting photo and video together, which that’s great for. The Canons, I’m not a fan of the video. The Sonys I love.”
RED Digital Cinema
“For commercial work, I have a RED. I love that camera. If I could, I would take it everywhere, but I can’t. So the RED is my favorite video camera for sure. It’s amazing. But half the time I just rent it out, I don’t even use it because it’s too heavy. The actual RED [photo] camera isn’t that bad, but you have lenses and then the six or seven batteries you need and it’s just way too much weight.”
“I still do use Adobe Bridge for my base editing and then Lightroom* for the metadata and tweaking.”
“[Adobe] Premiere* for all my video editing.”
WeTransfer.com – cloud-based computer file sharing + transfer
“I shoot Nikon, I have shot Nikon since the film days. As a photo editor I realized it didn’t really matter what camera it was, I never even looked at that. It was always about the image. I think you can get really caught up in the tech weeniness of the world today and you don’t need the latest, greatest.
“My Nikon gear, most of it is one generation back. I tend to stay one generation back with gear. Number one, it’s more inexpensive, and number two, by then it’s all figured out. I don’t think you need to be on the cutting edge.”
“I like a Mac, I like the way it functions. When I went to Art Center in Pasadena, they invaded the school pretty early on and made us all cult members.”
Nikon 300mm f/2.8*
“The 300mm f/2.8 that I carried everywhere was my money lens, it was my point of difference.”
Nikon 300mm F/4*
“Now I’m using lighter lenses being around water more… I’ve been using the 300 F/4 a lot instead.”
“For editing Photo Mechanic is the jam, it’s so fast. It’s more of a newspaper program, actually, but you can go through thousands of photos so fast and it’s been my favorite for editing.”
“I’m mostly using this rather than Lightroom these days. Loving it.”
Adobe Lightroom* + Adobe Photoshop*
“For working on imagery I’m using Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m not so fond of the subscription-based thing, I liked using software and owning it. I have a version of Lightroom 5 that I use all the time and it seems to do pretty well.”
Canon DSLR Digital Cameras* + Lenses*
If he could just pick one camera/lens combination: “It would be my Canon 1DX body and Canon 70-200 lens with it.”
G-Drives* (external hard drives)
“More robust and come with a rubber case which is great for traveling.”
“It’s really cool because it backs up automatically every time you register your drive, whenever you have your drive plugged into your computer, it automatically backs up. So it’s fairly thought-free, I guess. You just plug it in and it does the rest.”
“All Adobe* stuff. I bring everything through Adobe Bridge first and I rename everything, all my photos and write metadata to them and then from there, I’ll pick and choose and bring certain photos into Lightroom* or Photoshop* to work on them. But I’d say it’s 95% Lightroom for photo editing and 5% Photoshop.”
Where to Buy Stuff
B&H Photo + Video
*ArtisticAllies.com is free resource we love creating, but one way to help us keep the site going is to use links on this Resources page if you need to buy something. Links with an asterisk denote referral programs we belong to, which means if you use the link to buy something you need, your price is either the same (or cheaper) and it’s a no-cost way for you to support the site as we may earn a referral for purchases. We really appreciate it + thank you! : )