What do I for photos & videos?

My "Memory Crafting" Kit

"Monique, why do you have a reason for everything?"

This statement came across quite often in daily conversations. As an INTJ, I am a natural thinker. Before any decision is made, my logical brain needs to generate enough reasoning to support the conclusion.

Of course I am not always right. But the reasons / analysis give me a sense of authority when I pull our my card or click that buy button..... Camera gears aren't cheap..

I am no where near being professional. In fact, I don't even consider myself an amateur. Taking photos and videos are simply for fun. And it allows me to create something to share. 

I don't like upgrading or changing gears so often. Technologies innovate too fast for me to catch up every step. (Maybe I'm just not geek enough?) Also, getting rid of the old gears is a huge hassle - I hate selling things, especially the meeting strangers and bargaining part of it.

So I did what works best for my personality. I would get something decently nice at the time being and hold on to it for a few years. Usually the top tier products from one year can last for a few rounds of upgrades until I can't stand it anymore..


Sony A7 iii

After years of carrying heavy DSLR, I finally gave in to something much lighter. I find myself having too many excuses not to capture photos due to the weight of my Canon. It became clear to me that it's time to switch to a light, yet still full frame mirrorless. The latest Sony A7 series has been making noise since its release, many of its performances and specs exceed 5Dii.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Full Frame DSLR Camera

I feel old every time mentioning 5D Mark II. Kids these days call it "vintage"..

It was my first camera in 2012. At that time, the Mark II was in the top tier line up of Canon full-frame DSLR, just below 1D.

Back then, I was in school for movie visual effects. Sometime, I needed to shoot footage myself to create my own one-of-a-kind explosion of downtown Vancouver. So I went on the search for a camera that allows me to shoot both photos and videos, and that is good enough so I didn't have to change it too soon, until 6 years later.


All-In-One Camera Travel Bag

The one thing that fits all my "memory creator" kit: DSLR, lenses, drone, and accessories.

Lens - Sony

Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8

Opposite from my Canon set up, my Sony kit is all about "being enough". Yes, it would be nice to have the top tier native lenses like what I did with those Canon red rim lenses. But does that extra thousands dollars justify for a GrandMaster glass? Over the years, my focus shifted from photographing still automotive to capturing moments on the go. For storyline style pictures and vlogs, the difference a GM lens can make is close to none, other than a bulkier body...

Tamron 17-28mm F2.8

When Tamron debute their wide angle for Sony E-mount, I put my name on the pre-order list instantly. Tamron has been serving me well since the switch to Sony. I've been waiting for a resonably priced quality wide angle till now!

Lens - Canon

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Lens

Canon EF 16–35mm f/2.8L Lens

If you know me for a while, it's not a surprise that I always want the best... To pair my Canon, I bought the 3 prime zoom lenses: 16-35mm; 24-70mm; and 70-20mm.

The wide angle 16-35mm is good for real estate and landscape. See how I make a RV looks more spacious than it actually is.

24-70mm is the most versatile lens every camera owner will tell you... Unfortunately I do fall basic on this one.. It gives you enough range to shoot both wide and and far. And F2.8 allow you the depth to highlight the focused object.

After a few years of photographing, I only touched the "white tube" no more than 5 times... It's a fantastic lens but I just didn't create enough opportunity to bring it out.... Although a hard decision, I let go of the 70-200 to someone that would actually put it into use..


GoPro HERO3: Black Edition

An old buy from when HERO3 was the top version.

HERO 7 Black

With internal stabilizer, don't need to worry about shaky footages.

This is for the outdoor action shots. Mostly mounted on the outside of my cars using a suction cup mount.


DJI Mavic Pro (Fly More Combo)

When ground shooting is simply not enough to present the whole landscape... I'd like to view the world from bird's eyes.


Zhiyun Smooth Q2 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal for Phone

DJI Ronin-S Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras

After the Alberta trip, while going through footages and putting together my travel video, I officially could not stand my shaky hands/legs... I need gimbal stabilizers for both my DSLR and my phone.

After watching and reading countless reviews and comparisons, I decided to go with Zhiyun Smooth Q for its hardware advantage (more smooth and wider rotation range) and DJI Ronin-S (weight capacity for Canon 5D2 and joint angle).

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