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 S9 A lot of the out-and-about videos I do are done on a Samsung S9. Previously I used the S5, 6 and 7 – I usually keep myself one generation behind the tech curve in order to keep costs down. Apple and Samsung have equally competent cameras, but I far 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 my unlocked Samsung S9 HERE on Amazon.
GOPRO HERO 7 BLACK Although there cheaper copycats out there, I still prefer the quality of GoPro over the rest. I started my channel with an old beat up Hero 2, and the little guy 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. I am now using a GoPro Hero 7 black for underwater work, talking head videos (with a lavaliere microphone) and action stuff. The stabilization that the Hero 6 and 7 series possess is an extraordinary step up from the non-stabilized earlier models.
You can find more information and customer reviews on the inestimable GoPro Hero 7 Black HERE.
SONY RX100 MK IV The Sony RX100 is great at what it is – a superior imaging system that works well in low light (much better than a camera phone or GoPro), shoots in RAW format, is lightweight and possesses very good optical image stabilization. Although point and shoot cameras are on their way out due to improving phone-camera technologies, the RX100 is still an incredibly handy addition to your cargo shorts.
The Sony RX100 MK IV reviews and price can be seen HERE.
NIKON D5500 I have wanted to do “DSLR photography” for quite some time and was finally able to nail a good deal on a Nikon D5500. 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 D5500 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.
SONY VEGAS PRO 15 As for more higher end video editing software, I’ve tried both Adobe and Sony and I’ve really come to like Sony Vegas 15. The learning curve is a bit less steep with Sony and – for me – the editing is just a bit more intuitive. Vegas 15 is pretty expensive at $329 but you can pick up the quite decent Sony Movie Studio Platinum Suite 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 for $50 can be seen HERE.
For a much richer $329, you can see the reviews on Sony Vegas 15 HERE.
HANDBRAKE (FREE) Living in the Philippines, one has to always contend with limited internet speeds, especially when it comes to upload speeds, which in 2019 are still about .5 MB if on DSL. 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.
EAST-WEST RT525 SLINGPACK 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 I absolutely LOVE my Paperwhite and it’s my favorite material possession in the Philippines. Brownouts, insomnia and occasional downtime guarantees 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. The latest iteration has doubled the memory (literally thousands and thousands of books) and implemented waterproofing. This is something every person on our spinning green and blue globe should have.
For reviews and prices on the Kindle Paperwhite, click this LINK.