Favorite Camera Gear

As I was getting my cameras ready for our trip to Mexico… (Yes, as you read this I will be sipping pina coladas and sitting by the beach… not to rub it in ; ) But I want to share a long over due post about my favorite camera gear and what’s in my camera bag. Since a common question is what camera and lens I use.
I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark 2 and I really love it. I’ve yet to name it but it’s definitely my pet. Over the years I’ve upgraded my cameras to that one. If you are a beginner I would suggest getting a Canon Rebel or the equivalent in Nikon. Then as you learn and are ready to upgrade you can sell it and get a step up. That’s what I did. I started with the Rebel, then upgraded to the 50D then sold both of those and got the 5D. I also really like the 30D and the 7D cameras.
(Camera bag c/0 Jo Totes)

My favorite lenses are:
Canon 35mm 2.0: A great lens for the price. I travel with this one and used it everyday before I upgraded to the Sigma. It’s a light weight, fixed lens and since it’s a 35mm you can get in close on your subject. I love getting in on the action. Use for portraits and macro shots.
Canon 24-70mm: A great, versatile zoom lens. Perfect for a setting where you need to zoom in and out quickly and want to get more of a wide angle shot of your setting. It’s a bit heavy but produces beautiful shots.
Sigma 50mm 1.4: An incredible portrait lens! It is fixed at 50mm so you are not able to zoom in or out. Great for portraits, sharp and goes down to 1.4 in the aperature setting which produces great macro shots. I use this very frequently.
Diana Super Wide Angle: This is a toy lens that I bought to mess around with. It’s pretty cool but I am not super impressed with it yet. It’s fun because there isn’t much to it and it produces an instant dreamy effect.


My second favorite camera is the Fuji Film Instax Mini. I’ve had it for a few years now and I love it! It’s instant gratification at its best! I am not the best at printing out photos so when a photo appears in minutes, I love it! The photos are the size of a credit card, and probably cost about .75-1.00 depending on where you buy your film. Sometimes the subject your are photographing may show up off center on the photo but I think that adds to the fun. Fuji Film also makes another version of Instax. It’s Instax 210 wide and the pictures are twice the size of the Mini pictured here. I want to get that one next.

You can also purchase a creative filter and lens kit set that comes with colored filters, glass shapes filters, ombre colored filters that jazz up your photos.



I have a couple toy film cameras that are very fun to shoot with. I took the white glitter Lomography on our trip to California and since it’s film the first thing I did when I woke up the next morning from our trip was develop the pictures. Seriously, it was so fun to see what we captured and especially to have the physical pictures in my hands instead of sitting on my computer.
The other cutie is a Golden Half. It’s a film camera that I recently purchased for this trip and am excited to see the results. What’s cool about it? Well, it takes a photo in half the frame and then pairs it with the next photo in the same frame. You get two photos in one. I’m going to experiment taking photos together to tell a story and see what happens when I don’t think about it and how the photos turn out. It also comes in some other cool designs.

(I mentioned this camera above.) This particular camera is a fisheye lens. It gives you an ultra wide angle and distorts the edges of the photo to achieve this artistic look.


It was a sad day years ago when polaroid enthusiasts heard that Polaroid wasn’t going to make film anymore. But in 2008 The Impossible Project saved the last polaroid production plant for instant film and started making new film for polaroid cameras. How incredible is that? I need to order some film, since I’ve been talking about doing just that for months!


The cameras I decided on taking for my trip. Of course that will include my phone… for the love of Instagram.
Golden Half//Lomography Fisheye//Instax Mini// Iphone 4

This is Collin’s fun, little toy for our trip. You probably cannot tell the proportions from the photo but this camera is tiny! It’s called GO PRO and is a still photo and video camera. It’s in a waterproof casing and you can buy all sort of attachments. The one on the right is a suction cup that we stuck to our car during a road trip and even though we were scared it would fall off and die on I-15 somewhere it didn’t even budge. The cool thing about this little guy is that you don’t worry about lighting, manual settings, shutter speeds etc there’s one setting and you just have fun messing around with framing, angles, compositions instead. A very discrete, cool camera.



25 thoughts on “Favorite Camera Gear

  1. Bonnie

    wow, so cool! thanks for sharing all your gear with us. My hubby is dying to get one of those go pro camera’s! I am a big Canon fan too. Enjoy your trip!

  2. Mirta Sanchez

    This is so timely as I have been longing for a proper camera! As a child of the 70s, I am in love with the Polaroid and am dying to get the Instax. Obsessed with the idea actually. And the Golden Half….better start saving my pennies!
    So, this is a great post! LOVE!

  3. Lela

    Got the polaroid, got the lomo, got the SLR. But the Golden Half camera sounds super fun! Might have to check ebay now….
    Thanks for the post!

  4. Norine Borys

    So cool! We shoot with much of the same equipment! Except for the mini-instax which I now need!

    Collin is going to LOVE the GoPro. Tell him to check out the video we shot with it last year!

    Have a fabulous vacay!!

  5. Jen M

    Love your camera collection! It’s so much fun to play around with different cameras. I took 4 different cameras with me on my recent vacation!

  6. alyssa

    Liz, do you happen to know if the lens adapters for the instax mini 7 also work for the instax mini 25???

  7. Sammy

    i bought my boyfriend the GO PRO last year and the attachment this year so that he could see what it was taking pictures of, its about $80 extra

  8. Cheryl Rodda

    Thanks for the tip on the Polaroid film! I own a thrift store in Bountiful Utah and sell these funny cameras all the time… I usually tell people to go to Urban Outfitters… now I can direct them to amazon as well. Thank you!!!

  9. Tara Lewis

    What kind of video camera do you use? I especially love your Cancun video where the quality came out with a vintage feel. Were you able to do that with a program or with the actual video camera?

    1. Elizabeth Kartchner Post author

      The cancun video was with my iPhone and an app called 8mm. It’s an awesome app with video filters!
      The other videos are with my canon mark ii.

      Let me know if you have any more questions. πŸ™‚

  10. Sharisa

    Your photography is beautiful and I adore reading your blog. I recently bought a Cannon Rebel T2i this summer and am hoping to get more into photography, but haven’t taken a photo class in almost 5 years. Wondering if you have any good suggestions for learning resources. Beginner books, online classes, websites/other blogs? Something simple to walk me back through the basics?

  11. Paige

    Hi Liz! Your blog is so darling. I am currently looking to purchase the Fuji film instax mini that you featured and I was wondering where you find cheap film? That would be very helpful, thanks!

  12. Pam Wright

    I really enjoyed reading about your favourite cameras and lenses. I am pretty attached to my Nikon 610 and about to travel to Peru. No trekking involved but lots of photo opportunities and I just don’t know which lens or lenses to take. What woul you take on a special trip.


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