Joel Santos kit bag. What and why?


"what camera and lenses do you use?”

This is one of the most frequent questions I get over social media DM or during my workshops. Therefore, I decided to shed some light over this matter :-)

It’s not a secret: I’m a Canon user since 2003 and became an ambassador in 2012. It’s easy and transparent to stand for what we really use and love, especially when so much has improved on the mirrorless tier, namely with the new EOS R and RF lenses. So you’ll see a lot of Canon gear, among other accessories,

Going straight to the point, here’s what always have on my travel backpack, explaining why those are my choices:

  • 3 x Canon EOS R — “It’s a dream come true: lightweight and feature packed, allowing me to capture stills, video and time lapses that live up to the highest standards. It’s not uncommon to use three bodies at the same time”

  • 2 x Canon EF/R adapter — “Essential to take advantage of my EF lenses, without any performance loss.”

  • 1 x Canon EF 16-35 mm L f/4 IS — “This lens encompasses the greatness of the remote landscapes and, at the same time, allows me to get close and personal while shooting daily life. The image stabiliser is wonderful for video shooting.”

  • 1 x Canon RF 28-70 mm L f/2 — “My all-time favourite lens. Jack of all trades, and master of them all. Excels in portraits, daily life and landscapes, whatever the available light is. Super sharp at all apertures, corner to corner.”

  • 1 x Canon EF 70-200 mm L MK II f/4 IS — “Either for portraits or for a volcano spurting lava, this lens is the perfect choice to fill the frame with faraway subjects. At 200mm you get an amazing background magnification, otherworldly beautiful in stills and video”

  • 1 x Canon RF 35 mm F/1.8 IS Macro — “Small, bright and stabilised. This lens is a no brainer, perfect for when you must be discrete and work in extremely low light situations. Being able to do macro shots adds an extra layer of creativity.”

  • 1 x Canon RF 50 mm L F/1.2 — “When any other lens might struggle, this one saves the day. AF works amazingly in pitch dark situations and has the best background blur rendition I’ve ever seen. This lens adds soul to portraits and sheds light where there is none.”

  • 1 x Lacie Copilot Boss autonomous external HD — “Murphy’s law is powerful, so backup while on the field is a must. No need for a laptop, thus saving space and weight, which is key for a travel photographer”

  • 1 x Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fiber tripod — “Lightweight and sturdy enough. Essential for long exposures and time-lapse videos.”

  • 1 x Rollei wireless remote control — “Having three bodies shooting at the same time — stills, video and time-lapses — raises the need to shoot while being distant from the camera, sometimes more than 100 meters away”

  • 1 x Peak Design Travel Backpack 45 L or 1x Peak Design Everyday Backpack + 3 x Peak Design plates for straps / tripod mount — “Love the versatility of this system, enabling me to have the camera on the strap, tripod or backpack holder without any fuss”.

Joel Santos kit bag

Joel Santos kit bag

There you have it!

Let me know if you’d like to address, on a following post, what drones do I use and why.

Stay tuned and adventurous.

Joel Santos