The Philippine Dreams Gear List

I occasionally get inquiries into what I use for video and photography equipment.  Instead of fielding each question individually, I am just going to collect all the answers in one location. 

That is, right here.

Note that the provided Amazon links are affiliate links, and if you purchase an item through one, I get a small commission – it doesn’t cost you anything and helps continue our work. 

Cameras and Editing Software

Samsung S Series Cellphone
My main video camera at this moment is a Samsung S7.  Previously I used the S5 and S6 – I usually keep myself one generation behind the tech curve in order to keep costs down.  Although Apple and Samsung have equally competent cameras, I prefer Android to iOS.  As long as the available lighting is halfway decent, you can get some really good results with camera phones.  Plus, as an added convenience, you usually have it right there in your pocket.  (“The best camera is the one you have with you.”)

Check out prices and reviews on the Samsung S7 HERE on Amazon. 


GoPro Hero Series
Although there cheaper copycats out there, I still prefer the quality of GoPro over the rest.  I started my channel with a used Hero 2, and even though they are well behind the tech compared to today, it did a pretty good job.  Actually, the biggest problem my Hero 2 had was me panning too quickly and not knowing that I was supposed to output the edited footage at the same frame rate it was shot in.  Hence, if you look at my first hundred videos, you’ll see what happens when 30 frames per second is output at 23 frames per second.  L   I am now using a Hero 3+ for underwater work, talking head videos (with a lavaliere microphone) and action stuff. 

You can find more information and customer reviews on the inestimable GoPro Hero HERE


Canon Powershot
The Canon Powershot was long been great at what it does, being a superior imaging system that works well in low light (much better than a camera phone or GoPro) and posseses very good optical image stabilization.  Although point and shoot cameras are on their way out due to improving phone-camera technologies, the Powershot is still a handy addition to your cargo shorts.

The Powershot reviews and price can be seen HERE.   


Nikon DSLR
I have wanted to do “DSLR photography” for quite some time and was finally able to nail a good deal on a Nikon D5100.  I only have one lens for it (I am still learning!!), but I was lucky enough to get a Tamron 18-200 mm which I really, really like.  The downside of a DSLR is – of course – it’s weight and size.  But for capturing stunning photos in RAW mode for later manipulation with Adobe Lightroom, a Nikon DSLR is pretty sweet.

Check out the Amazon reviews on the Nikon HERE.  


Video Editing Software
As for video editing software, if you are just starting out, use a free program like Windows Movie Maker. We all cut our teeth on something similar, and you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to get decent footage. 

As for more higher end video editing software, I’ve tried both Adobe and Sony and I’ve really come to like Sony Vegas 13.  The learning curve is a bit less steep with Sony and – for me – the editing is just a bit more intuitive.  Vegas 13 is pretty expensive at $599 but you can pick up the quite decent Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite HD for about $50 bucks.  You won’t be able to export 4K DVDs, but it covers just about all the other bases. 

Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite HD for $50 can be seen HERE.  

For a much richer $599, you can see the reviews on Sony Vegas 13 HERE.  l


Living in the Philippines, one has to always contend with limit ed internet speeds, especially when it comes to upload speeds, which in 2017 are about .5 MB.   To avoid spending six hours uploading a 600 MB video, I usually run it through Handbrake, a free compression program that does a very good job at maintaining quality while drastically shrinking the video’s file size.  I usually Handbrake my full-resolution vids to 3000 bits per second, reducing a 600 MB file to about 130 MB whilst maintaining good quality.

Handbrake is a free program that can be downloaded HERE.  


Other Gear

East-West SlingPack – $28

In my humble opinion, this is the PERFECT sling pack and I literally use it every day.  It is one of  this particular foreigner’s top ten things to have in the Philippines.  As a bonus, it also fits perfectly in the top box of my Honda Click.  On flights, it is counted as my “personal item,” and it sits at my feet, providing me with room for my tablet, Kindle, travel documents and the like.  If you are coming to the Philippines and going to buy anything on this page, it should be this sling pack.

Check out reviews and prices on the East West Slingpack HERE.  


Kindle Paperwhite – $99
I absolutely LOVE my Paperwhite and it’s my favorite material possession in the Philippines.  Brownouts, insomnia and occasional downtime ensure that our strong relationship will continue.  I think I actually did a video on how much I appreciate it at one point….a true declaration of love.  This is something every person on our spinning green and blue globe should have.

Comments 2

  1. Great to see things back to normal and thank you both for taking us along on your journey. I have just downloaded the updated copy of your ebook so thanks for that too. I have previously messaged you about your copyright notice but see no effective change if any. Here it is: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be not be reproduced, stored in a digital retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, digital, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

    Perhaps you missed my earlier message but you need to remove the word “not”. Left in it allows anyone to reproduce because effectively you are giving permission to do so as it stands.

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