My Current Gear - 2018
Below is a list of my current gear. Things have come a long way since going to shows with my moms point and shoot camera, but it didn't happen overnight. It's taken me years to get where I am now and I hope to make future upgrades as I continue to develop as a concert photographer.
Nikon D3400 [Amazon]
I purchased my Nikon D3400 refurbished from Adorama here in New York City. It was refurbished from Nikon and was in like-new condition. It came with the standard 18-55mm kit lens as well as a 70-300mm lens for only $419.95 total. I have always been a Nikon user ever since my first DSLR, the Nikon D50. I saw this as a great upgrade for the price.
I purchased the prime lens first. This lens is equivalent to 52.5mm on a crop sensor camera. This lens is compact, lightweight and inexpensive at only $196.95 on Amazon. The fast f/1.8 aperture makes it excellent for low-light concert photography.
My parents purchased me this upgrade to my kit lens for my birthday and I am forever grateful. The first show I used this lens at was Paramore and Foster the People and I was so happy with the photos I got. It is a bit heavier than the standard kit lens but that is it’s only weakness. It offers a large aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range. It also comes with a soft case and a lens hood. Keep in mind this lens is equivalent to around 25-75mm on a crop sensor camera!
Black Paisley Limited Edition Strap [Heavy Leather]
After I landed a half page photo in Revolver magazine, I treated myself by investing back into my photography with a new strap. This one is buttery soft, feminine and unique. If you are using this with a DSLR you will want to contact the seller to have it customized for an extra $15. I hit them up on instagram and they were very helpful and got back to me right away.
Sandisk Extreme PRO 32gb [Amazon]
I have always used SanDisk SD cards so that is what I have stuck with. 32gb is plenty and if I need more than that, I usually have a few extra on hand and will switch to a new one between acts. I purchased these recently as they are super fast with 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds. I was having some issues with speeds on my old cards and this resolved that. After reading reviews on amazon, just be careful and make sure the tab on the side is not yellow as that is a sign it is a fake card. I reformat in camera every time I shoot to make sure my card is cleared of all previous data and formatted properly.
3.5-inch Amazon Basics USB 3.0 drive enclosures [Amazon]
with 6tb drive inserts
You could probably do with 2-4tb inserts. I went a little overkill with 6tb but figured they would be solid for the long run. I have 1 set up as my master and the other as my backup. I keep one at home and the other at work. The actual hard drives are a little pricey, but the enclosures are only $20 and super easy to put together. You can utilize whatever hard drive discs you prefer inside as long as they are 3.5-inches. Make sure you partition them and format for mac or PC depending on your setup.
2012 Macbook Pro [Newegg]
I got my macbook on Craigslist for a few hundred bucks a couple of years ago. I specifically went for the 2012 because of the ports it offers. It has both USB3 and Firewire as well as an SD Card slot. You can also upgrade the RAM as well as the hard drive to an SSD to help with performance.
BenQ 21.5" 1080p LED Monitor [Amazon]
Towards the end of 2018 I purchased a desk for my apartment and an external monitor. I was mostly editing photos at work and wanted to be able to edit at home just as easily. This monitor is the perfect size for me and the color is very accurate. The model I purchased doesn’t include speakers which is not an issue for me as I setup my ipad with Hulu or Netflix running in the background while I edit. You can always purchase external speakers, which I would recommend over paying extra to have the speakers built into the monitor.
Adobe Lightroom CC [Adobe]
It may not be the most exciting part of the process, but editing makes all the difference. The biggest upgrade I've made in my workflow is switching from Photoshop to Lightroom. For only $9.99/mo this program was super easy to learn and has managed to salvage photos that at first glance looked unusable.
Etymotic High-Fidelity earplugs [Amazon]
Do not, I repeat DO NOT underestimate the need for earplugs in the photo pit. Save your hearing and get a pair, any pair. These had good reviews and were fairly inexpensive and I didn't hate the way they looked. I have used these at shows for the last 2 years and they have been comfortable and saved me from that dreaded after show ringing in my ears.