Outdoor photography: tips for the right equipment

Outdoor photography: tips for the right equipment

If you want to take photographs professionally outdoors, you must be able to quickly set the ambient conditions on your photo equipment. A sun position with its corresponding shadows, the clouds or twilight affect the selection of the aperture and the ISO value and can make the use of a detachable flash unit necessary. The object also plays a major role: Is it a moving object, a landscape or can I take a portrait with all the time I require and also experiment with the aperture in order to get the right depth of focus? Do I want to shoot an athlete with a high shutter speed or should I give a waterfall a lesser shutter speed in order to achieve a slightly blurred effect? Or do I want to click animals, which are active at night, during the twilight period and should I take a camera with a higher ISO value for that?

The right camera for outdoor use

What is important is that it should be a camera where, the aperture, the ISO value and the shutter speed offer you the greatest possible flexibility. It does not really matter if it is a system camera or a single lens reflex camera. The ideal is a camera where the objective can be changed. These have the advantage that the right objective can be selected for panorama photos, portraits or for close-ups. In the case that you do not want to continuously change objectives, an objective with a large focal range is recommended that can give you good performance with close-ups as well as with zoom.

FUJIFILM XT-2 – Compact all-rounder of the premium category

The FUJIFILM XT-2 is a mirrorless system camera which is dustproof and splash protected and is therefore the ideal companion while travelling. Aside from that, it weighs just 508 grams, is sturdy and thanks to its APS-C X-Trans-CMOS-III sensors with 24.3 megapixels, it gives you razor sharp pictures. It takes photos and videos, which are taken in 4K, these appeal to you through their excellent colour reproduction with a minimum noise level even at high ISO values. This is a great advantage particularly for outdoor photographers, who want to take photos even in twilight or when it is cloudy. The large electronic OLED colour viewfinder, with 2.36 million pixels, serves you well for focussing on an object exactly. The most important functions can be set via mechanical adjusting knobs that provide you with a comfortable and familiar user experience. Even when the camera is switched off, values like the shutter speed, ISO and the exposure compensation, amongst others, can still be set. This enables you to be fully prepared for the next picture and you can take the next picture immediately thanks to a turn-on time of just 0.3 seconds. This is an invaluable advantage if you want to take candid photographs effectively. Continuous shooting is carried out masterfully by the FUJIFILM X-T2 with a speed of 14 pictures per second.

System camera FUJIFILM XT-2


The perfect lighting with the right flash unit

A flash unit is an essential part of the standard equipment of a photographer, if you want to shoot good photos outdoors in different lighting conditions. In contrast to the studio, the flash unit is often the only possibility to light up the object because the natural light source cannot be adjusted the way you need it to be or because it is too dark. A flash unit is also essential when lighting up an object which has back light. This is because photos are only successful when the object is made brighter by means of a flash. Also finally, you can also take creative pictures with a flash by overexposing them or through an indirect flash. A flash unit with a high intensity of light, which can be recognised through its guide number, is ideal. In this case: the higher the guide number, the better. However, it must be noted here that the guide number must be specified on the basis of the same ISO and aperture values in order to be able to properly compare units made by different manufacturers.

FUJIFILM EF-X500 – A flash unit with many opportunities

As the appropriate adjunct to the XT-2, FUJIFILM offers you the high-end the detachable flash unit, the EF-X500. It supports shutter speeds of up to 1/8,000th of a second, through which even particularly fast moving objects can be captured in razor sharp shots. You can even achieve creative effects such as bokeh easily, as you can concentrate on the aperture setting without worrying about the shutter speed.

Or would you rather have the optimal lighting of both the object and the background? Then, make use of the multi flash setup through which you can control several flashes in up to three groups so that you can create just that lighting situation that you desire. The flash unit is dustproof and splash protected and that makes it the ideal supplement to your X-T2 and the indispensable accessory for the outdoor photographer.



Greater flexibility through a tripod

A further accessory is a stand that can be a single leg, a tripod or a table stand. This is indispensable for photos with a longer exposure time. Aside from that, it also helps when taking self-portraits or for the gentle panning around while making a film recording. A tripod which has a pan and tilt capability and is also height-adjustable is recommended. The tripod’s legs should be able to be extended and retracted easily so that the camera can be brought into the required position as quickly as possible.

Manfrotto Befree Live – The tripod for professional photos and videos

The Befree Live, an aluminium tripod, is comparatively light at just 1,800 grams. It is particularly suited to the requirements of videographers and photographers who travel a lot. Its compact packing dimension of just 40 cm allows the stand to be easily accommodated in your hand baggage or in a rucksack and, with that, it fulfils the photographer’s most important prerequisite, namely that it is suited for mobile use. The tripod’s legs are fitted with slip-proof rubber stoppers and, thanks to the flip lock, it can be quickly extended to a working height of 43 – 151 cm. As the legs can be adjusted at different angles, the Befree Live is stable even on uneven surfaces. In spite of its light weight, the tripod can support a weight of up to 4 kg and so, also a camera with an extra-long zoom objective.

Tripod Befree Live from Manfrotto


Bag or a rucksack for the accessories: What is important here?

Your photographic equipment should be kept in a bag or a rucksack. This is so that the camera and its accessories are kept properly and safely. What is important – and this is applicable to the camera and the flash unit – is that the bag or the rucksack must be waterproof and should be able to be used in all kinds of weather. Finally: If you have to carry your equipment, every gram counts. It is for this reason that you should keep an eye on the weight of the camera and the accessories. The following representatives from each category belong to the premium segment and can be expanded to an appropriate set of equipment for demanding photographers – and for those who would like to become such.

Manfrotto Backpack 50 – Perfect protection for camera and accessories

You need to transport your camera and equipment in a well-protected way. For this, a multi-functional rucksack is essential, such as the Manfrotto Backpack 50. It is watertight and is made of a 3-D foam that ensures reliable protection for your camera equipment. A special characteristic is that it has exchangeable separators so that you can decide on the suitable size of storage spaces for your equipment. Aside from the camera with the fitted objective, the premium-class backpack gives you enough space for five additional objectives, an extra camera body and flash unit. It also has place for a tripod, a tablet and even a laptop. What is particularly important is the quick release lock, which allows photographers to get to their camera quickly. This means that the camera with the fitted objective can be taken out without first taking out other equipment. Something that is very practical for airline passengers is that the professional rucksack can be carried along as hand baggage so that you can have your expensive equipment along with you in the plane.

Rucksack Manfrotto Backpack 50


In our category Cameras you will find many more cameras for outdoor use and other products that can be used to complement your camera equipment.

Posted on 22.08.2017

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