The list author says: "My name is Tom Carter, I am an American travel photographer, photojournalist and published author. I spent 2 years backpacking to all 33 provinces in China to shoot my 600-page photography book CHINA: Portrait of a People and am presently traveling across India in its entirety for my next book.
I did not attend photography school; I am entirely self-taught. I am NOT an accredited press photographer. I shoot freelance, on spec, and work independent of any photo agency. Nor am I paid to endorse any product or brand. I buy all my gear out of my own pocket.
I firmly believe that camera gear is relative to your individual ability and purpose, so to vehemently endorse one camera brand over another is, in my opinion, pointless (unless you are getting paid to do so, then by all means...).
I have been taking pictures for nearly 20 years but I've only been shooting DSLR for a little over a year. Prior to this I used a 4-megapixel point-and-shoot; professional photojournalists snickered, snobby photo enthusiasts scoffed, but for me, at the time, that little camera suited my purposes perfectly.
The result was CHINA: Portrait of a People, which was, as a book reviewer for the South China Morning Post newspaper pointed out, "how Carter managed to capture many of the candid shots in the book without intimidating too many of his subjects."
Good photos come from the eye, not the lens. Nonetheless, in the interest of disclosure and helping to point aspiring photographers in the right direction, this is the gear I am presently shooting with. Unlike other "what's in my camera bag" lists on Amazon, everything on my list actually fits in one camera bag.
I should also suggest to anyone traveling in developing countries to purchase camera insurance; obvious advice except that I can't count how many fellow photographers who have had their gear stolen while on the road."
"There is no real reason why I chose Nikon over Canon, I just did, but I am happy that I did. The D700 is a solid piece of machinery and very easy to learn. The megapixel count is low compared to the new D3x, but other than that they are virtually the same camera, so save that money for lenses!"
"Glass is more important than body, this is a time-tested fact of photography. The 70-200 is expensive as heck, but the resolution at 200mm is crystal clear. You might save money on those cheap, plastic 200mm lenses, but your pictures will just suck. Its big and heavy, but it is my primary walking-around lens and I have come to adore it."
"Actually I rarely use this lens, and admit that there are more versatile wide-angle zooms on the market. Plus there is no lens filter that will fit it, leaving that expensive glass wide-open to fingers, dust and scratches. But, when I have used it for landscape and architecture, the beautiful shots I get pay for the lens."
"An example of Nikon really robbing their customers. You NEED this part to use the MB-D10 battery grip. So why does Nikon sell it separately, and for so much money? And why donít they even TELL us we need it before buying the MB-10? Nikon gets the middle finger for that move."
"Actually, I use the Nikon AH-4 SLR Leather Hand Strap but they donít sell it on Amazon, so I just put the Janco as an example. I LOVE my hand strap. I think neck straps are so friggin stupid for so many reasons. Check out my images on my Amazon profile page and you will see my hand strap in action."
"I used to work at Sanyo when I lived in Japan, and was responsible for writing and proofreading Eneloop cells label and packaging for this very product. But I am being 100% objective when I say that these are some long-lasting batteries with little charge time. Use them with the Speedlight flash."
"If you are on the road as long as I am, you will want at least 2 external hard-drives to store your images. I carry one in my day pack, and leave one at the hotel, because storing your precious images all on one single hard drive is suicidal."
"I am not an expert on tripods because I donít like to use them unless I really have to. If I had the money I would get one of those miniature titanium ones, because this size is kind of big for traveling."
"If you are traveling in countries with monsoon seasons (or insane water festivals like Holi), get this. I tried garbage bags and I tried other brands, but really AquaTech is the only model that really fits and works. If you are going to spend ten grand on camera stuff, then whatís another two hundred bucks to protect it all?"
"I have a love-hate relationship with my 350. Love it because it holds EVERYTHING on this list, about 25lbs in total hanging on my back all day, every day. Hate it because Lowepro really effed up their design: they didnít use metal zippers, they used string zippers, so you canít lock the damn thing!"
"I have been living out of my Palisade 80 for over a year now since Iíve been in India. Itís a good, solid pack and feels nice on my hips and back. I am 6í4Ē so the 80 might be too big for some people."
"In lethally-humid countries like China and India, wrist bands are great for when your skin is dripping sweat but your hands are holding a camera and you canít conveniently get to the du-rag in your back pocket."
"The only problem with canned air is some airports wonít allow it - even on checked luggage. At Shanghai International I constantly have to deal with Chinese airport security officers who just canít understand why I am traveling with air. They think itís some kind of terrorist poison gas."
"I completely covered my camera, lenses, accessories and bag with gaffers tape, which is vital for protecting from the elements. Plus I donít like to show off the brand name of my gear lest any thieves be tempted. Gaffers tape makes my gear look old and cheap and I like it like that."
"Just wanted to throw this on the list, but the truth is that I never read this book. The D700 owner's manual that comes with the body is very thorough and also fits in my back pocket. But I suppose you can learn a few extra tricks with this book; seems popular."
"My first digital camera, which I used to photograph my book CHINA: Portrait of a People. She is now retired and packed away for nostalgic reasons. What a great little camera! Check out the images on my Amazon profile page to see her in action."
"600 pages and over 800 photos of life and humanity from the 33 provinces in China. Took me 2 straight years of hard-core budget traveling to complete. It is my hope that this book will motivate others to visit China and see parts of the country that are not in the tourist guide books."