About My Gear - K. Piper Photography

I've had a number of people ask me about my gear, so here's a brief description of what I use and when I use it.


Cameras

- Canon 7D Mark II. Shoots up to 10 frames per second and has a focusing system that is designed for sports. Also works well for wildlife photography. It's a lower end professional camera. 

- Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. A bridge camera (non-separable lens but DSLR controls) with an electronic viewfinder. This is my new "can't bring a pro camera" backup and might be used for some shots at games for closer up shots. Has a 25-400mm equivalent f/2.8-4 lens built in and can shoot RAW and JPG at 10 frames per second. Also shoots 4K video.

- Samsung Galaxy EK-GC110. Point and shoot used when I need something very small (and what I used before April 2016). Has a 4.1-86.1mm f/2.8-5.9 zoom lens built in.

- iPhone 7 Plus. Because it's always in my pocket.


Lenses

EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM. My current sport lens. It does not have stabilization (but it's not needed with the high shutter speeds to capture sports) and allows for shooting better at night as well as getting a nice creamy background (bokeh). And it takes amazingly sharp photos. Not as much magnification as my previous lens, but the photos are so sharp I just crop down to the parts I want no problem (this would only be an issue if I wanted to make large prints). First used for Spirit v Dash (14 May 2016)

EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. My first sport lens. Was pretty good to reach the far ends of the field, but not very good at night and took photos that often had the background more in focus than I wanted. Photos were not as crisp as well.  Good starter lens though. And I still bring it when there are length restrictions on lenses at events.

EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. This is the lens that came with my camera. I use this for general photography (museums, street, landscape) because it has a very wide range from wide angle to a decent telephoto. I haven't focused enough on more general photography to warrant a better lens yet. 

EF 50mm f/1.8 STM . This is my only prime lens. It's great for photos of people or pets and anytime you know you'll be able to take the time to get the right distance to frame your subject properly. It takes very nice photos and does a great job with that desired creamy background and shooting under low light.


Storage

- Memory Cards. I shoot 2 cards simultaneously (CF and SDHC) so I can shoot both JPEG and RAW at the same time. I use pretty fast cards with lots of memory (64GB or higher). This lets me take more photos and have the shortest breaks when my camera is out of commission because the buffer is full and transferring to the card.

- Hard Drive. I keep my photos on an external drive that is rated for some drop protection. This way I can move between my laptop and my desktop Mac and keep my Lightroom catalog up to date.

- Cloud Storage. I backup my photos on Dropbox. If I damage an external drive (like the time I dropped it in a hotel room in Boston), I just use my Dropbox backup to build a new external drive. I make sure I have all my photos backed up to Dropbox before I reformat my memory cards.


Accessories

- Lens Hoods. I always shoot with a lens hood, even indoors. You never know when there will be light flare. Besides, it helps protect the lens from bumps. The main exception would be if I needed to get my lens close to something like a fence or glass.

- UV Filters. I keep a decent UV filter on each of my lenses. It's much cheaper to replace a filter than to replace the actual lens and this gives me an extra layer of protection against things hitting the lens. A good quality UV filter shouldn't impact the photos.

- Batteries. I always have a spare. I tried knock offs but they drained faster and didn't always seem to properly register with my camera, so now I stick with Canon batteries. They are considerably more expensive, though, so your mileage may vary on this one. 

- Strap. I use a sling. It's much easier to carry around at a game and is what I'm comfortable with. I almost always shoot from the stands (or field seats) so I can't bring a monopod. 


Software

- Adobe Lightroom. Right now this is all I use. Helps me organize my shots, crop/straighten them, and do some pretty major post-processing. I run it either on a Mac laptop or desktop, although it's also available for PC. 


Got any questions about my gear that I didn't mention here? Go ahead and ask me (kelley@kpiperphotos.com).

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