"Stuff I'm working on ..."

Camera Gear

by kaeru published 2022/02/15 23:18:00 GMT+8, last modified 2022-04-09T07:41:04+08:00
Civil Society Protest Monitor in front of police line
Civil Society Protest Monitor in front of police line

I have a camera for both personal and work use, and after some trial and error came up with a combination of gear that works for my needs, whether it's taking photos of a community football event, travel or a protest where I may need to shoot some shots on the run. Maybe some of the gear ideas will be useful for others too.


Sony a6000 mirrorless camera
Sony a6000 interchangeable lens mirrorless camera

I still use the same mirrorless APS-C Sony α6000, I bought 7 years ago. It still is a pretty good camera with fast continuous auto-focus at 11fps and really good dynamic range. The best camera you have, is the one you have on you, and with both the camera and lenses being much smaller then full frame DSLRs at the time, it's something you don't think twice about to bring with you all the time. When it eventually breaks, I'll probably get same form factor replacement. It's also one of the first cameras that had wireless transfers to mobile phone. Which for many events, I could upload quality photos to social media almost as soon as they happen.


I have the 16-50mm kit zoom lens and 55-200mm zoom lens, but the one that stays on all the time is the 18-105mm F4 zoom lens, simply for the flexibility. Whether it's indoor shots where I can't get close enough, and there isn't much light, a wide angled landscape or group photo or constant aperture and smooth zoom for videos. A general use zoom lens isn't great at everything, but it's good enough, usually that's all that matters.

SELP18105G 18-105mm F4 Zoom Lens
SELP18105G 18-105mm F4 Zoom Lens


Sling Bag
Chrome Kadet Sling Bag

Not a fan of dedicated photography bag. When I'm out and about, I need to carry other things like water, change of clothes, rain jacket etc. and this may vary along with the lenses I might want to use or bring. Most dedicated photo bags or inserts waste a lot of space if you don't fill it up with camera gear and accessories only.

My preference is for Chrome Kadet Sling or Mini Metro Messenger bags. They're tough, and have waterproof shell that can handle heavy rain. Another useful feature that is standard for Chrome bags, the sling is basically same material, width and thickness as a car seat belt. This is perfect, to attach a Peak Design Capture near where it joins up to the bottom of the bag, which will have your camera on your hip, but supported comfortably and securely, for when you need to have both hands free to climb, run or do other things, but at the same time have quick access to the camera when you need it.

Peak Design Capture
Peak Design Capture attached to Chrome sling belt

Inserts and Accessories

Peak Design Cuff

I'm really clumsy, and don't trust myself to not accidentally drop the camera whether it's over the side of a bridge or when bumped into in a crowd. Instead of the silly and impractical neck sling you get for free with most cameras, for a small camera like the Sony a6x00 series, Peak Design Cuff works much better. When in use, it's attached to your wrist securely, and you can also easily detach it from the camera when it's hooked up to the Capture on your waist. The band without the camera, becomes like a mini wrist band and is not obtrusive and won't get caught up in something.

Peak Design Cuff band for camera
Peak Design Cuff

Hakuba Lens Pen

This nifty little accessory has both a lens cleaner and retractable brush to quickly clean lens from dust and fingerprints. As it's name indicates, it is about the size of a pen and fits into pen slot/holder in your bag.

Hakuba Lens Pen Hakuba Lens Pen next to pen

Transparent case with karabiner

Transparent case with karabinerKeys and case attached to key loop in bag

SD Cards, spare batteries? Cheap transparent zip case with karabiner or clip works great. The karabiner attaches to the key loop in the Kadet for easy access.

Inserts and Lens Cover

I use the Peak Design Shell to protect the a6000 with 18-105mm lens attached, either when it's on my hip or thrown inside my sling bag or backpack. Unlike the promotional materials, I don't find it practical to use the camera with the shell over, and take it off before use.

Removable inserts that are just big enough for what you need has worked best for me in terms of convenience and saving space. Use them when you need it, take it out when you don't. When using small lens, I use Hakuba 100 soft case that seems to be designed to just fit the a6000 series when paired with small lens. Hakuba makes a lot of cheap accessories like this, including lens covers but as far as I know they don't market their products outside of Japan. Additional lens, again I usually just put in the bag with a protective lens case, but I also have a slightly larger Hakuba box, but almost never use it.

Peak Design ShellHakuba Box 100Lens case

Editing Software

Finally for importing, editing and managing all the photos taken for both RAW and JPEG formats, I use the amazing open source software Darktable

Darktable Photo Editor and Manager