Trey’s Gear and Tools

Sony a5000 Mirrorless Camera

Good Camera: Sony a5000

Priced at under $500, this Sony mirrorless camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you at below the $500 level.

If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the “Better” or “Best” recommendations. However, if budget is your principle concern, then no worries this Sony is the way to go! One great thing about it is that all the lenses that you get for this camera can also be used when if you decide down the road to upgrade to the Sony a7R below.

Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera

Better Camera: Sony a6000

Starting at below $800 which includes an 16-50mm lens.

Read my complete Sony a6000 review, it is the replacement for the Sony NEX-7 which I loved. The a6000 has a number of advantages over the lower-priced a5000. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, 2x higher screen resolution, 7x the number of focal points, 24MP compared to 19MP, and more than 3x faster continuous shooting (11 fps vs 3.5 fps).

Best Camera: Sony a7R

Starting at just over $2000

A full-on Sony a7R Review is here on the site that is full of a ton of sample photos. This is currently my main camera. I absolutely love it. It has all the power of the giant DSLR systems at a fraction of the price and size. It’s Full-Frame goodness combined with a small mirrorless form factor gives you everything you need. Plus, the camera smarts inside are absolutely insane. Check on the review there to see even more!

Camera Lenses

Sony a7R – First Three Lenses

Note these work for all the Sony A7 cameras! :)

  • Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – A great mid-range lens the covers wide to mid-range zooming. See more on the Sony 24-70mm review.
  • Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – I’m so impressed with this lens! I feel like I get just as good of results with this lens as I did with my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8. See more on the Sony 70-200mm review.
  • Sony FE 16-35 f/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – I’m so excited about this lens! This is the first full-frame wide angle lens that fits the eMount on the Sony a7 line of cameras.

Sony a7R – Other Goodies!

  • Sony Alpha Adaptor (Amazon | B&H Photo) – So that you can attach the other Sony full-frame Alpha lenses to your Sony a7R
  • Novoflex Leica Adaptor (Amazon | B&H Photo) – Fantastic for attaching any lens that uses the Leica lens mount. Check out my Leica Lens Buying Guide for more info.
  • Nikon F Lens Adaptor (Amazon | B&H Photo) – To hook up your Nikon DSLR lenses
  • Canon EF Adaptor (Amazon | B&H Photo) – To hook up your Canon DSLR lenses

Sony A5000 / A6000 Camera – Two Great Lenses

If you are just getting started and want recommendations on your first couple of lenses, here they are. Often times a camera will come with a “kit lens” that is pretty versatile and can get you a long way. The Sony a6000 comes with a 16-50mm lens that produces great pictures. But there are many lenses that are better for more specialized situations.

  • Sony 55-210mm (Amazon | B&H Photo) – This lens is a little big but its versatility is perfect for mid-range stuff like landscapes, birthdays, sports, etc.
  • Sony 10-18 F/4 (Amazon | B&H Photo) – A great lens that gives you maximum wide-angle flexibility for landscapes and architecture. To find out more, read my full Sony 10-18mm Lens Review.

Leica Lens Buying Guide

I’m really getting into using Leica lenses with the Sony a7R. You have to manually focus but you still get focus peeking and all of the other sweet features of the Sony mirrorless system. I’ve created a Leica Lens Buying Guide where I’ll chronicle what I learn and recommend.

More Lens Reviews

I only write reviews for lenses that I use and recommend.  Here is a complete list of camera lens reviews.

DJI Phantom Vision and Inspire 1 Quadcopters

I recently got a quadcopter and I LOVE it! You can get amazing photos and videos from previously unattainable perspectives. I started with the DJI Phantom 2 with and Gopro (read my Phantom Vision review).

I recently upgraded to the new DJI Inspire 1 with Dual Controllers. It is beyond awesome! Visit my complete Inspire 1 review with photos.


What’s in my photo bag?

Tripod and Head

My best advice for tripods is to visit your local camera store and try them out!  Find one that you find easy to use…  I’ve tried many, and my recommendations are below. A tripod is composed of two parts – the Legs and the Head.  The head simply attaches to the legs, and these have universal connections.

  • RRS Tripod (link) – And here is the tripod.
  • RRS Head (Small) (link) – This is the Really Right Stuff tripod head I use. It doesn’t have to be too big because the camera is small.
  • RRS Head (Big) (link) – This is the ballhead I used with my much bigger DSLR systems. It’s highly recommended if you use hefty DSLRs!
  • L-Plates for your camera (link) – These allow your camera to attach to the tripod head. These “L” plates are of the variety that enables you to easily adjust it from landscape to portrait orientation.

Entry Level Tripod and Head

More Reviews and recommendations

I have many other reviews and recommendations you may find helpful!

Any questions about the nature of these reviews? Please visit my Ethics Statement.

  • Eve

    Hi, Trey. I absolutely love your photography, and it’s been somewhat of an inspiration to take my hobby more seriously and start learning photography on a semi-professional/semi-entry level DSLR. I basically narrowed it down (with a price range in mind) to Nikon d5100/5200 and Canon eos 600D, with the popular opinion in mind that these two brands rival all the others.

    And then I found out that the amazing photos that you make were taken by Sony. A COMPACT sized Sony! ;-0

    Please, there is no end to my exasperation. Could you advice me, a small handed beginner photographer with the love of photo filters on the camera to buy?


  • iknowdatsright

    Is the new Mac Pro part of the editing gear?

  • treyratcliff

    Yes – I am using one of those now when at home – I really like it :)

  • Richard Houghton

    Trey, what a pleasure it is to view your photos. How often do you use the Nikon 14-24mm?

  • treyratcliff

    Not so much any more — now that I switched to the Sony

  • Frode

    Hello Trey. I hope you can help me a little bit here. I’m torn between getting the A6000 and the A7. The main reason for considering the A7 is less noise at higher ISO. Weathersealing seems handy to have as well, but it’s not a dealbreaker. I’ve sold all my old gear, so I don’t really have to consider if I can re-use any lenses, like many other people have to. I’m not a proffessional, but more in the advanced amateur (is that even a term?) category, but I’m not made of money and the A7 is about 1000$ bigger investment + generally 30-40% more expensive lenses within the same focal range. I’ve seen you take some amazing photos with the NEX-6. I’m just wondering if you think that the A7 is worth the extra dent in the wallet on a tighter budget?

  • treyratcliff

    The A7 will be MUCH better in the low light for sure because of the bigger sensor @disqus_KivPrHFIjm:disqus . But if expense is a problem, the A6000 will treat you really well. You might have some noise in the low-light shots (for handheld), but nothing wrong with a bit of noise! If you’re on a tripod and doing landscape work with the A6000, then you’ll have no troubles at all..

  • treyratcliff

    Thanks @GreyGooseConfidential:disqus for the nice note! I think you’ll be good with ANY of the cameras above — we just re-did the recommendations btw! :)

  • Frode

    Thanks for the reply. I guess I’ll save up a little bit more and go for the A7 + 24-70mm F4 lens to start with. I was also quite surprised at the amazing quality you get with the 10-18 E-lens on the A7R, so that might be my next lens purchase.

  • Daniel Vincent

    Hi from Austin, Texas Trey.

    I wanted to know more about your editing hardware setup. What computer(s) do you use (home and mobile), wacom tablet?, etc. And what are their respective specs/model which you recommend for good, better, best results?

    And lastly, if you were sitting with an a7r today with no wide angle for landscape would you wait on the 16-35 FE or go with the 10-18mm? If the latter, would you eventually carry both or just one and if just one which?

  • Nick

    Hi Trey,

    Grateful if you would advise which of the RRS tripods you are using with the A7R – the link above seems to go to their home page (same with the link for the RRS Head (small)).

    Hong Kong

  • Martin Winstanley

    I’d be grateful too if you could relink the tripod and Ball head. the present link is straight to the home page.

  • Sam Camilleri

    Yeah I use a Canon 600D. I use it mainly with a 50mm prime f1.8 lens. Great for low lit shots. It’s a decent camera and if you’re starting out, will do you just well.

  • Sam Camilleri

    Some images I took with the 600D, 50mm f1.8 lens…

  • Jay

    What is the strap you are using that is in the Lightroom intro video? Thanks.

  • Carlos Mendoza


    You don’t think that the 55m Prime for the Sony is overpriced. There are same kind of lenses for Nikon and Canon that are less expensive that the one from Sony.

  • Kevin

    Hey Trey,
    what do you think about the new Sony Alpha 5100 ?
    I’m thinking about buying the a5100 instead of the a6000.

  • Alistair Ford

    Hello Trey.
    i just got a Sony A5000 a couple of days ago and think its a real bargain. Just £299 here in the UK for the camera and the 16-50 PZ kit lens. It’s a great little camera for travel and when your out walking. Great picture quality from the 20.1 Megapixel APS-C size sensor and the Bionz X processor. And loads of shooting modes and settings to play with. A great little camera.

  • Jeff Fitzwater

    I’m in the planning stages of shooting for a exhibition project that will feature 90% or more of images taken in the rain. Big rain. Not sprinkles, not drops here and there, not mist, but downpours and gully-washers. I need some advice on water proof (not water-resistant) camera and off-camera/strobe flash protection. Anyone? Trey? Bueller? Bueller?

  • Chris

    Try your RRS links goto the mainpage and not to the products

  • Tomi Tomion

    Where is your Nikon D800? )))

  • treyratcliff

    Sitting on my shelf collecting dust ! :(

  • Dave’sPhoto

    Trey, I must compliment you on your “on computer” graphics and presentations. The highlighted and zoomed in portion is the best I have viewed on any video. You need to make a video of how you perform those methods and sell that to the rest of the photographic and training world.

    Your method is not rushed and you are not keeping secret your selections in the menus.


  • treyratcliff

    Wow thanks man! :)

  • Kyle Svecz

    Hey Trey I just want to say you in a huge inspiration to me (cliché as it is true lol), although I have never seen your tutorial because I want to find my own way into it I have built my am just off of what I’ve seen from yours. I did a lot of research after i found out you switched to stony, and I decided that I’m also going to switch to Sony. i’m just out of school so I don’t have that much gear built up yet (because i’m poor lol) but ive been having some success in my area (im the only photographer in my area to attempt hdr, i also do hdr pans) so maybe this time next year i can go for the a6000! Thanks Trey,

  • treyratcliff

    Thanks so much for the nice note Kyle – cool photos! :)

  • Bobbi

    Would you like to sell it? I don’t have much money, but I could sure use it. I am beginning my photography career. Thank you.

  • Guest

    Excellent lenses for Sony A6000 and A500 (crop frame) are Sigma 19mm, 60mm & 90mm. All of them are very light, reasonably bright at F2.8, and interestingly, all three together cost less than any of the pro lenses Trey recommnends here.

  • Jan Muller

    Here is a sample shot from the Sigma 19mm

  • Paco TeGe

    Hi Trey,
    I am a follower of your site, impressed by your work.
    Can you tell me the exact references found that samples of this sling, which you bought in Tokyo.
    My English is better when I read it when I hear.
    Paco TeGe from Canary Islands

  • treyratcliff

    Aha – you mean the bag? it comes from a company called art-berg

  • Paco TeGe

    LOL – Yes, I prefer bags that mold, soft, Domke type.
    And that I liked for everyday.
    Trey thank you very much, now to see if I find it.
    Best Regards

  • Paco TeGe

    Now this, bought USD94,21 Free shipping expenses.

  • Chase Rangel

    Trey, I love your work! And thrilled that you have been using the Sony a6000. Do you have any recommendations for an external flash, for the a6000?

  • Adam

    If you are beginning your career, than the D800 isn’t the camera for you unless you plan on tripod based work. Do more research on how the cameras perform and the best situations/environments for each camera before you jump into a SLR that borders on medium format. You may be more happy in the end.


    Hello trey,
    Love your work and appriciate it well. I am lways getting inspired by your work. Photography is my hobby i have kit of sony a7s with 20mm f/2.8 and 70-200 f/4 lenses. Along with nikon d810 with 14-24 mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8 with 28-300 f3.5-5.
    Landscape photography is my passion. Please give me suggestions about my gear improvements. We have mountain range large forest and many heart touching places around my home town. Im from junagadh, india, home of asiatic lions.
    Your golden suggeestions will help me to improve my photography.. thanks a lot for being with us. We learn from your photography.. thanks a lot..

  • Sandip Gupta

    Trey – I didn’t see any mention of filters on your site. What filters do you recommend?

  • treyratcliff

    I don’t use any! :)

  • Sandip Gupta

    Wow! And you get all those rich colors without a filter…that’s truly amazing work! I guess the trick is to understand how the camera and lenses handle light.

  • Joe Tomkins

    Just saying, “Thank You” for encouraging me to take my hobby to the next level. Since finding your blog I have bought a Sony A7 (and yesterday ordered the A7 II)…lenses…started a blog…learned HDR. You’re the man.

  • a.t.

    tell Sandip Gupta how much post production you do to get all those rich colors…!

  • a.t.

    Trey: I received a Sony a3000 as a gift…will it do HDR ?

  • bob k

    Love the red pants and your grey top w/thumb grips…! Could you be any more —?

  • treyratcliff

    I could be more gay, yes! Teehee :) (but I’m not)

  • treyratcliff

    Yes! Any camera can do HDR ! :)

  • treyratcliff

    Awesome @joe_tomkins:disqus ! :)

  • treyratcliff

    Oh! I meant I don’t use on-camera-filters. I do a lot of post-processing for sure – see to start!

  • Shanna @ pineapple and coconut

    I watch your floating over Bora Bora video at least once a week. Its my dream to travel there so until then, I watch the video. My friend Dawn and I will share the video on each other’s facebook pages once a week too. And now I want a quad copter and a go pro. I photograph food for a living but would like to get into other types of photography. Love reading your tutorials on HDR – I am going to try doing some HDR shots with my nikon gear.

  • RoscoeS

    Trey, I’ve been looking at your equipment recommendations. The link to your RRS tripod doesn’t take me to a tripod page. Rather, it takes me to to an advertisement for some of the other cool RRS stuff (most of RRS stuff is really cool). This is also true for the link to the small ballhead you recommend. I already own a BH-55, but since I moved to the Sony cameras, it is bigger than I need and heavier than I want to schlep around. Could you let me give me the name of the tripod so I could check it out.

  • Sandip Gupta

    Yes – I understood. And my question was for on-camera filters. We (me and my 12yr old son) have been trying out the a7R this last week and the sharpness and brightness of the pictures is amazing. So far we have mostly used the 24-70 zeiss lens. I am sure we will be purchasing your HDR guide here pretty soon.

    I am pretty sure I will be investing into the 70-200 lens pretty soon. However, my son is more into nature photography – close ups of flowers, plants and I am wondering what lens would work better for him. He took some good pictures with the 24-70 even though the sky was dull grey but they were not sharp enough. I think he was using auto-focus and it didn’t do such a good job.

  • LBJ2

    Hello. What RRS tripod do you recommend for the Sony A7r ?

  • Brett Engle

    Trey, I hope you will see this. First off want to say that you’re at the top of the list of who I follow and admire for your reviews, point of views, and mostly for your amazing HDR work. One of the things that got my attention to you a few years ago was reading that you’re colorblind. I’m also colorblind, more than most I’m sure. I really loved your article from over a year ago (DSLR’s are a dying breed). At the time I was shooting with the Nikon D800 and usually carried the Nikon holy trinity of lenses. After having my second back surgery (fusion in lower back) in Oct. 2012, the pain from carrying so much weight was getting to be more than I could stand. I sold everything and bought a Fuji XE1 and a Nikon D7100 (only because at the time I wasn’t ready to give up DSLR’s all together yet). As soon as the Sony A7r was announced, I knew it was what I was really wanting and had been waiting for so I ordered it right away. Getting a lightweight camera and lenses was just the start. Then I started noticing significant differences in the weight of camera bags and in tripods. Now to my point…… In your video of you with the Nex 7 in the article “why I switched to Sony…..” I noticed what looked like a Manfrotto tripod. I have had the Manfrotto 055XProB (aluminum and CF versions) 190XPro4 (also both versions) and I felt really frustrated about spending so much more money on the CF versions of each with them not being that much lighter. I thought that there had to be a better tripod so I started looking. I then got a CF Oben tripod which was a lot lighter than the equivalent (for height & weight it supports) Manfrotto. Then I noticed tripods that were super lightweight and much shorter when folded down because they fold backwards and I got a Mefoto CF Roadtrip model. It was great but it only had 2 leg angles which I decided wasn’t working for me. I even tried out it Gitzo tripod that I wasn’t happy with. Long story short, I now have the Sirui T-2205X 5-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod which I’ve now had for about a year. I wouldn’t trade it for any RRS or Gitzo tripod (although I love RRS heads). You should give it a try and add it to your gear list for your followers to benefit from (that is if you like it as much as I do). It is full height at 57″, weights only 2.6 lbs, supports 26.5 lbs, folds down to 14.6″ with legs folded in reverse, has min. Height of 5.3″, includes short and long column, has 3 leg angles, very very good build quality, and only costs $311.95 at B&H Photo. It the best tripod I’ve ever used by far and it is the least expensive carbon fiber tripod I’ve ever used.
    Thank you for taking time to read this, keep up the great work with your blog, photography, and everything else you do. You are a huge inspiration to me.

  • ovendoor

    I know you like your Sony A7R, was wondering if you’d considered changing to the A7Rii with the in-body stabilization?

  • Steve

    Slow down future man. That camera doesn’t exist yet, if ever.

  • Jim Foss

    Trey, like ovendoor…have you tried the A7II yet? I’m about to dump my canon and get either the sony A7R or the II and was wondering if you still like A7R. Like the mega-pixels of the A7R but like the in camera stabilization of the II, your thoughts?

  • Julian Herbert

    Hi Trey! How do you record your precise locations when shooting? Only I notice that the Sony cameras don’t have GPS capability. This is important to me as I like to use the coordinate data to record my travels.

  • unroar

    You never need to do long exposures when there is too much light? Seems like you need in-camera filters for that shot.

  • Sohan Navaratne

    Hi Julian … I use GPX Master + app on my Iphone 6 … it lasts a full day with battery to spare and the GPX files upload direct to Dropbox when you connect to wifi … The app is smart enough to use minimal GPS to save on power … I use lightroom to put photo and GPS data together (lots of instructions on the web on how to do that) …

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