Photographers probably spend at least as much time thinking & reading about the equipment they want to get as they do shooting. The most famous saying here is
“The best camera is the one you have with you”
I had some amazing wildlife encounters before I got a proper camera, but still managed to collect some reasonably nice photos then.
I now have a Panasonic GH4 camera that I got in early 2015. The strongest reasons for me were that the camera internally records 4k video and that it is still small enough to travel.
Micro 4/3 cameras benefit from a large selection of lenses, including Olympus, Panasonic and others such as SLRMagic or Voigtlander. I started with the Panasonic 14-140mm lens – double those numbers to get the full-frame equivalent. This lens spans a wide focal range and consequently does not have the most amazing qualities, but it is a good one for hiking when you might try to capture a photo of an arctic fox in the distance and then take a panorama photo of your tent next to the fjord. Apart from hiking trips, I don’t use this lens anymore. My primary underwater lens is the Panasonic 7-14mm wide-angle lens. The wide angle is perfect for whale sharks and other large marine animals. I chose this one over a fisheye lens largely because I think video with a fisheye does not look as good as with a rectilinear lens. I also have the Olympus 60mm macro lens for smaller reef creatures, and the Panasonic 25mm f1.4, a nice lens for low light situations, portraits and interviews and getting good time-lapses of the northern lights. My latest addition to the lens family is the Panasonic 100-300mm zoom lens to get closer to wildlife on land.
I take the GH4 and wide-angle lens underwater in a Nauticam housing and I have a couple of video lights (iTorch Venom38), too. The housing is fantastic and even though I ruined the dome by putting ethanol on it, I could rescue it (with some help – thanks Clare) thanks to its acrylic nature. Phew! The vacuum seal is also really useful to check for leaks and the feeling that your precious camera is safe inside the housing.
Other than that, I have a light-weight video tripod from Benro that has a nice fluid head for panning. I carry three batteries with me and four 64GB SD cards with the U3 classification, meaning that 4k video can be recorded onto it. I should probably spend more time on post-processing, which is fun, but then so is being in the water filming the world’s largest fish or hiking up some mountain 🙂