Disney Photography Equipment
Disney Photography Equipment
This post talks about what camera gear I use while at Disney (and outside of Disney) and why I chose this gear for taking photos. Specifically, this post covers my camera, lenses, camera bag, and tripod recommendations. I have shot with Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras. My current gear is Sony and I have been very happy with it. If you have a preference for a brand other than Sony, I suggest you stick with what you’re comfortable with. The most important thing is that you know how to use your camera and that you actually carry it around the parks with you, not what brand you’re using. Check out my Disney photography equipment below!
Best Camera –
I have been shooting with this camera for close to a year now and absolutely love it. It’s small enough that I can carry it around with me when in Disney, but still delivers top quality images. The A7R III is overkill if you’re shooting for Instagram alone, as it is a full frame camera that produces 42.2 megapixel images (the A7R IV images are even larger at 61 megapixels). If you’re interested in a full frame Sony, but think that the A7R III is too much, check out the Sony A7 III. It’s an amazing camera that produces 24.2 megapixel images for a much lower cost.
Good Camera –
The Sony A6400 is a crop sensor camera that is incredibly powerful and surprising small and compact. The image quality is top-notch and this tiny camera has the ability to record 4K video. We prefer this camera when vlogging because it has a fully viewable screen when facing the camera. If you’re not interested in the cost and size of a full frame camera, this is your best option!
Favorite Lens –
If you’re only going to own one lens for the A7R III, I think this is the best option. This lens has a wider focal length than many of its competitors, extending all the way to 105, and it costs significantly less than the Sony 24-70 f/2.8. This lens is a bit more expensive than the next lens I’m going to talk about, but I think its worth the additional cost due to its wider range. This has been my go to lens for the majority of the time I’ve had my camera and I can’t image a scenario where this won’t be my primary lens. If you’re headed to the parks and only want to carry your camera, this is the lens you should attach to it.
Great All-Around Lens for Low Light –
This is another great option if you shoot in low light situations. The ability to shoot at f/2.8 is a nice feature, but one you need to weigh relative to the reduced range of 28-75mm on this lens. Depending on how and what you enjoy photographing, the decision between the Tamron 28-75 and the Sony 24-105 is a personal one that each photographer needs to make on their own. In either case, image quality is excellent and you won’t be disappointed.
Great Disney Lens –
The super wide angle Sony 12-24 is an amazingly fun lens to use around Disney! Until you actually shoot at 12mm, you don’t realize just how close you can actually get to your subject. I don’t think this lens is for everyone, but I do find it extremely useful for when I’m up close with Cinderella’s Castle or the Tree of Life (among many other areas in Disney). This lens is one of the two lenses that I carry with me when I am in the parks, and there are a bunch of shots that I’ve only been able to capture because of the unique range on this lens.
Telephoto Lens –
I rarely bring my telephoto lens with me to Disney. In fact, the only time I use this lens is when I’m shooting a time lapse. I just don’t find many situations inside of the Disney parks where I need such a large zoom. However, if you’re interested in a telephoto lens, I’ve found this one is a great mix of quality and price. Alternative lenses such as the Sony 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 cost significantly more money, and yes, they do produce better quality images, but for how often I use this lens, the additional cost is too much.
Great Disney Lens for Second Camera –
I wanted to mention one specific lens that I think is a must own for anyone shooting with a crop sensor Sony camera. The wide angle Sony 10-18 is an amazing lens that pairs perfectly with the Sony A6400. This is a high quality lens that has built in image stabilization (this is helpful because the A6400 does not have inbody image stabilization). If you go the route of the Sony A6400, I highly recommend picking up this lens along with a nice starter lens like the 18-135mm kit lens.
Camera Bag –
I’ve had a lot of camera bags (Peak Design, F-Stop, Kata, Crumpler) over the years and this is by far my favorite one. I can fit all of my camera gear in this bag (1 Camera body, 2 lenses, time lapse gear, batteries, remotes, memory cards, filters, tripod, mini-tripod) and still remain comfortable for an entire day in the parks. The bag is high quality, comfortable, and highly customizable on the interior. This bag also fits under your seat when flying. The only downside is that there is no laptop sleeve, though my iPad fits easily in the front pocket.
If you’re going to shoot at night, you need a tripod. Nobody likes to hear this because carrying a tripod around Disney is worst part about shooting in the parks, but you’ve got to do it. I’ve tried a few different tripods in Disney, and I’ve found the Sirui tripod linked above to be a good compromise between cost, weight, size, and quality. This relatively low cost tripod folds up and fits easily within the tripod holder on the LowePro Flipside bag, while still providing me enough stability and height to capture 95% of the photos I’m trying to get. The ability to get that remaining 5% of shots this tripod can’t help with just isn’t worth the extra cost and weight associated with a larger tripod.
Mini Tripod –
Great mini tripod for vlogging and using in international parks that don’t permit the use of a full-sized tripod. You can easily put this tripod in a small over the shoulder bag or even your pocket when in the parks.
Camera Remotes –
I absolutely 100% love the wireless remotes I use. I usually have 3 of these remotes in my bag at any time and I’ve never had any issues with them. They’re simple to use and allow for instant photos as well as a 2 second delay.
Time Lapse Remote –
This is a high quality intervalometer for Sony cameras. Rather than use the built in time lapse settings on my camera, I prefer this remote because it allows me to easily pause and resume my time lapse to view a photo without having to navigate through the camera menu. This remote works well and I’ve had no issues with it so far.
Time Lapse Movement –
These items are amazing and I can’t say enough about them. I carry two Syrp Genie Mini 2 Panning Motion Control devices and the Syrp Pan and Tilt Bracket with me all the time. This system allows me to program custom movements for my time lapses that independently have panning and tilting. Everything is controlled from an intuitive app and couldn’t be easier to use. The other thing I love about this system is that its modular. If you want to lighten your load for the day, just grab one Genie Mini 2 rather than both and you can still setup a panning time lapse. These items are amazing, and I can’t recommend them enough if you enjoy time lapse photography. Keep in mind that you need a trigger cable as well if you purchase these.
Camera Microphone –
This tiny microphone provides high quality audio with a mic that can fit into your pocket. Just attach the mic and plug it into the camera.
I use an L-Bracket for shooting in portrait orientation on my tripod. This bracket allows you to keep the center of gravity over the middle of the tripod while changing the orientation of your camera. I also feel much more comfortable when my camera isn’t floating over empty space as it would using just a ballhead to shoot in portrait.
Memory Cards –
I like this size card because it is large enough to hold at least a day’s worth of images and video, but small enough that I have to change my card a few times throughout the trip ensuring that if I do have a card failure, I will only lose up to 64 GB of work.
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