Brian Lackey


What's in my Camera Bag 2019

Since my camera gear has changed a bit since I wrote about it last, I thought I’d create an updated post here. I’ll probably just make one of these each year so the information stays relatively up-to-date.

I should also note that while the latest and greatest camera gear is objectively better than older and cheaper stuff, it very quickly hits diminishing returns. After a certain threshold of gear quality the differences are pretty minuscule in all but the most demanding situations. I talk about this a bit more in my post on upgrading to full-frame cameras. If you're just starting out in photography, or are just on a tighter budget at the moment, my earlier post on a good comprehensive beginner kit for under $800 might be a better place to start.

In any case, here’s what I’m using these days:

Sony a7rii


Still my main workhorse, I’ve used this camera body for a couple years now and—other than the battery life—have had zero issues with it. The newer model seems to have fixed that, but I just bring a handful of batteries with me and call it good.

Sony 24-105 f/4


Not the most exciting lens, but the image quality is outstanding and the zoom range is so convenient. I probably have this on my camera 80% of the time.

Sony 100-400 GM

A bit pricey, but this lens is absolutely fantastic. I ended up selling off my 70-200 f/4 and Sigma 150-600 and getting this instead. I think it was a great trade and I have nothing but good things to say about this lens. For wildlife and mountainous landscapes, it absolutely shines in both image quality and autofocus capabilities.

Sony Zeiss 55 f/1.8


This “normal” focal length lens is one of my favorites in my bag. Universally regarded as one of the best lenses for Sony cameras, it’s incredibly sharp, while being considerably smaller than some of the other options. I use this often for portraits, street photography, detail shots, and in low light settings.

Sigma Art 24 f/1.4

After hearing both Alex Strohl and Finn Beales mention that a 24 f/1.4 was their favorite lens, I decided to give this one a shot and holy wow! I don’t take it with me on every trip since it’s a bit heavy, but man is it nice to have. I’m not a huge tripod fan, so this basically allows me to shoot handheld in the dark. So much fun.

Samyang 35 f/2.8

This is the cheapest lens I own by far, but it’s tiny and does a surprisingly good job. I picked it up for experimenting with street photography, but have been surprised by how often I’ll throw it on for a lightweight walking-around lens in lots of settings.

Sony 90 f/2.8 Macro

A relatively new guy in my bag, I haven’t used this as much as I thought yet, but I’m planning to bring it with me more often into the mountains this summer to get some more detailed shots. I’m also toying with the idea of using this to create a film “scanning” set up at home.

Peak Design 20L Everyday Backpack

This bag doesn’t quite fit all of my camera gear, but I’m usually not taking everything I own with me on a trip or a shoot. Not perfect, but it’s a well-designed bag that fits my needs most of the time and has held up well so far.

Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 Tripod

I don’t use a tripod that often these days, but this is the main one when I do. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. It’s really bulky, expensive, and probably overkill for mirrorless cameras. That said, I haven’t had any issues with it and have used it for years.

Lacie External Hard Drives

I’ve had no issues with these, which is exactly what I want from my hard drives. I also back up everything to backblaze, just to have images stored in the cloud as well.

There’s quite a bit more gear that I use occasionally, but most days just sits in my closet unused. In any case, that pretty much covers what I typically use for travel photography these days.

GearBrian Lackey