Less is More: The Ultimate Minimalistic Photography Setup

For beginner, amateur, and professional photographers alike, here's the ultimate cost-effective and minimalistic setup that can all fit into just one bag.

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The Rundown

My journey and love for photography traces back to a darkroom class in high school. While learning techniques, I initially only began photographing with my iPhone and a GoPro but eventually plunged into a full-frame DSLR setup. Remarkably, my gear has remained nearly identical for 10+ years, undergoing only minor upgrades. I chose this setup because of its cost-effectiveness, minimalism, and the convenience of fitting it into a single bag.

This setup is what I consider a "price point sweet spot" – not the cheapest, nor the most top-of-the-line expensive, yet consistently reliable in 99% of situations. Embracing the philosophy that "the best camera is the one you have with you," I've tailored and optimized my gear to always be at my fingertips for any opportunity.

The best thing about this gear is that it can equally cater to beginner photographers securing their first gig, amateur photographers landing their first paid assignment, and even full-time professionals completing commissioned shoots. Let's take a look at what's in my bag.

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1. Camera Body: Sony A7III

The backbone of my setup is the Sony A7III, a full-frame mirrorless camera that balances power, performance, and affordability. It boasts a 24-megapixel sensor, excellent low-light capabilities, and a fast autofocus system – perfect for capturing fleeting moments and vibrant details. It's been my loyal partner on countless adventures, helping me shoot in various situations like portraits, weddings, landscapes, the Milky Way, and even videos up to 4K resolution.

Fixed to my camera body are Peak Design anchor links, which are attached to a slim profile, versatile, and quick-connecting leash strap. When hiking or exploring international towns, my camera system always feels secure to my body as a sling or neck strap.

Pro Tip: Get an extra battery for your camera body; it will go a long way for those full-day shoots or if you're forgetful about recharging!

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2. Camera Lens: Sony 24-70 GM II

A good camera body is only complete with a quality lens, and many people say they're often more important than the camera body. As a self-proclaimed "one-lens wonder," I use the Sony 24-70mm II as my only lens. Its versatile zoom covers various focal lengths, from intimate portraits to vast landscapes, making it adaptable to any shooting situation. The sharp optics and fast aperture produce excellent image quality, and its constant f/2.8 aperture allows me to achieve beautiful bokeh and low-light performance, like capturing stars in astrophotography. It's lighter, smaller, and faster than its predecessor, but the first version is also a great option to save $200.

On top of the lens I use a UV filter to reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that passes into a camera that can sometimes produce glare and discoloration. I don’t even use a lens cap anymore since I know there’s an extra piece of glass protecting my lens at all times.

Pro Tip: Level up and grab an ND filter to dynamically control light even further, like capturing the movement of water in daylight with a slow shutter.

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FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II Lens


The FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM II is great for a compact yet versatile setup and allows users to capture extremely sharp, detailed imagery for both stills and video. The new lens features high resolution acro...

Add for $2298
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UV Lens Filter - 62mm


The Urth Ultraviolet Filter protects your lens from scratches, dirt, and water. And by cutting out UV haze, makes your images clearer and sharper. UV light can create a blue color cast, but the Urth U...

Add for $15
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3. Carry - Peak Design 20L Bag

An expensive camera setup can only be used if it's safe and secure being lugged around. I trust the Peak Design Everyday 20L Backpack for its blend of functionality, flexibility, accessibility, and style that can meet the needs of photographers of all levels. It has flexible and customizable dividers that allow me to quickly access my camera while navigating urban landscapes or embarking on outdoor adventures. I use the "everyday" bag to commute to work, go on day hikes, travel internationally, and everything in between. In just 20L, it can fit my laptop, camera setup, tech pouch, and other accessories while offering high-grade hardware, an innovative top access MagLatch, waterproof zippers, and a weatherproof exterior.

When I don't need more than my camera and an extra battery for smaller endeavors, I transfer my gear to a Moment Rugged Camera Sling. It also boasts a weatherproof shell and zippers, with a customizable interior to fit your gear comfortably. Both bags offer quick access and complement each other well for any shoot.

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Rugged Camera Sling - Olive / 6L


The rugged, comfortable camera sling for your most active days. Bomber materials and durable padding protects your gear on the outside. Lots of pockets and customizable dividers keep you organized on...

Add for $99
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4. Tech & Accessories - Peak Design Tech Pouch

No photographer's journey is complete without an arsenal of tech and accessories. In my bag, you'll find a selection of high-speed SD cards, portable external hard drives for secure storage, and a Peak Design Tech Pouch to keep everything organized. I typically use 128GB+ memory cards, edit off LaCie SSDs for high performance, and then store backups on a larger hard drive and a cloud service. You'll also find my Moment phone cases, which are durable and offer various customizable mobile photography and videography upgrades.

It’s also a good idea to have a tripod, which is essential to provide stability for sharp, blur-free images in various lighting conditions. I mainly use mine for slow shutter photography, like capturing waterfalls and the Milky Way. Any tripod you’re comfortable with will get the job done. I use a combination of a Joby tripod for flexibility and a Sirui carbon fiber tripod to keep my bag light.

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5. Lighting - Headlamp & Lume Cube

Lastly, lighting is at the top of the list when creating a successful image. It's important to control light correctly to get the best texture and vibrancy of color while helping to set a photograph's tone and mood. I like to rely on natural light the most and mobile apps like Weather, Windy, and Alpenglow to find out when the conditions will be the best, like during golden hour. Extreme planners can use apps like Planit to use information from the sun, moon, stars, and points of interest to see or simulate a shot before even taking it.

For indoor or in low-light scenarios, I like to rely on my Black Diamond headlamp, which can surprisingly make for a good enough hands-free flash or help you focus on subjects at night while trying to photograph the stars. I also have a Lume Cube in my tech pouch, providing adjustable brightness and versatile mounting options for lighting effects in any environment.

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2.0 On Camera LED Light

Lume Cube

Meet the Lume Cube 2.0, the ultimate lighting tool for creators designed to perform in any environment and withstand all the elements. Lume Cube 2.0 embodies the perfect combination of size and power....

Add for $89.99
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In conclusion, my photography journey has been a testament to the power of finding the right gear that aligns with my vision of being cost-effective, minimal, and versatile. The Sony, Peak Design, and Moment gear have all been my companions on countless adventures and professional assignments. As I continue exploring new horizons in photography, I'm grateful for my gear's durability and performance, enabling me to translate moments into timeless images with precision and artistry.

For a complete list of my up-to-date gear, head to the gear page of my website.

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