My Favorite Photography (and Life) Equipment

eric kim photographer hanoi portrait by cindy a nguyen
LINDBERG glasses / UNIQLO button-up / UNIQLO jeans-joggers / Nike Flyknight Motion RN

This is a list of my personal favorite equipment in photography, computers, and life (as of 2017):

Of course, this list probably won’t apply to you — but this is advice I would give myself (if I needed to buy stuff):


Selfie with Ricoh GR II / Hanoi, 2017
Selfie with Ricoh GR II / Hanoi, 2017

Digital cameras:

Best digital compact camera

Ricoh GR II ($650)

Best 3-inch screen protector

For Ricoh GR II: Expert Shield 3” LCD protector ($14)

Best designed mirrorless camera

Olympus Pen F (silver): $1200 + Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Lens: $500 //my review

Best value mirrorless camera

Fujifilm XT-2 ($1600) + Fujinon XF23mmF2 WR Lens ($450)

Best value street photography camera

Fujifilm X100F ($1300)

Best digital rangefinder

Leica M10 + Leica 35mm f/2 ASPH Lens

Best digital video camera

Sony A7S II ($2700) + Sony 35mm F2.8 Sonnar ($800)

Best SD card

Transcend 128 GB SD card UHS-3: $73

Best Digital SLR

Pentax K1 ($1800) + Pentax 31mm F/1.8 FA Limited Lens ($1,100)

Best wedding digital camera

Canon 5D Mark IV ($3500) + Canon 35mm f/1.4 II ($1700) + Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT ($480)

Best fashion digital camera

Pentax Medium-format digital 645Z ($6500) + Pentax 55mm F2.8 AL ($960) // 7 Lessons I’ve Learned Shooting Fashion Photography For the First Time

Film cameras

If you’re new to shooting film, read the book: The Film Street Photography Manual.

eric kim melbourne benjamin thompson
Portrait by Benjamin Thompson // Leica MP + Henri Neck Strap + SF 24D flash + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron ASPH lens


Best film rangefinder

Leica MP + Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron Lens

Best affordable film rangefinder

Leica M6 + Voigtlander 35mm f/2.5 Lens

Best compact film camera

Contax T3

Best medium-format film camera

Fujifilm GF670 (discontinued, find on eBay)

Best black and white film

Kodak Tri-X 400 (pushed to 1600): $5

Best color film

Kodak Portra 400: $8.50

Best film scanner

For medium-format/35mm: Epson v800: $800

For 35mm: Plustek OpticFilm 8100: $270

Camera accessories

eric kim photography portrait14
Portrait by Luis Donoso

Best camera shoulder bag

ThinkTank Retrospective 5 (pine): $150

Best camera backpack

Fits 13” Laptop and Camera: Thinktank Perception 15 (black): $120

Best photography neck strap

Henri Neck Strap: $99

Best photography wrist strap

Henri Wrist Strap: $49

Best photography inspiration website

Best photography news blog

Best photography software

Adobe Lightroom

Best video editing software

iMovie (free) or Final Cut Pro X ($300)


eric kim photography black and white ricoh gr ii 28mm -0012417

See all my free books.

Best educational photography book

Magnum Contact Sheets

Best black-and-white photography art book

“Exiles” by Josef Koudelka

Best color photography art book

“The Suffering of Light” by Alex Webb

Best photography handbook

Street Notes

Best philosophy book

On the Shortness of Life – Seneca ($8) // 10 Lessons Seneca Has Taught Me.

Best digital tools

eric kim hanoi street photography-0012613

Best laptop

MacBook Pro 13” (2017, 3.3 GHZ, 16GB ram, 512GB HD): $2,500

Best value laptop

11” MacBook Air (used) — 2015 (maxed-out)

Best tablet

iPad 9.7 inch, 32gb, Space Grey ($330)

Best phone

iPhone 7 (matte black)

Best value phone

iPhone SE (cheapest model): $400

Best cheap phone

iPhone 5S (used)

Best android phone

Samsung S8

Best value android phone

OnePlus 3T ($440)

Best cheap android phone

Moto G Plus (5th Generation) – Lunar Gray – 32 GB – Unlocked (no ads): $230

Best Mac Apps

Best writing app

IA Writer (for writing) + Ulysses (for note-taking)

Best email

Default Apple mail

Best screen recorder

Camtasia 2

Best movie-playing app

VLC (free)

Best image resizer

JPEGmini Pro

Best notes app



eric kim hanoi street photography-0012663

Best noise-cancelling headphones

BOSE QC 35 (black): $350

Best noise-cancelling earbuds

BOSE QC 20 earbuds: $250

Best earbuds

iPhone/Samsung default headphones


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Best car

Toyota Prius 2017 (Model ‘One’) in white: $23,000


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Best watch

Casio Men’s F108WH Illuminator Collection Black Resin Strap Digital Watch: $13

Best underwear

ExOfficio Men Boxer Brief (black): $26

ExOfficio Women Bikini Brief: $18

Best shirt

Uniqlo V-Neck Mesh (black): $12

Best socks

Drymax Socks: $12

Best shoes

Nike Free Flyknight RN Motion (black/white) // my review

Best dress shirt

UNIQLO cotton button-up (black)

Best pants

UNIQLO jeans joggers (black)

Best glasses

LINDBERG – Titanium


Best bank / credit card (USA)

Chase / Chase Sapphire credit card


Best phone carrier (USA)


Best entrepreneurial tools

Best blogging platform + Genesis theme (I use the ‘Infinity Pro’ theme on this blog)

Best paid online services

Best cloud storage

Dropbox (Pro)

Best streaming music service


Diet & Nutrition


Intermittent fasting — with one big meal a day (only dinner)


Deadlifts (one rep max) + chin-ups + pushups


eric kim hanoi street photography-0012576
Hanoi, 2017 // Portrait by Cindy A. Nguyen

Of course this is just a list of stuff that work for me. It probably won’t work for you.

But I got inspired to make this list– because it took me about 10 years to figure out the best equipment for me. And this works for me, and I hope it can help simplify your purchasing decisions (at least in photography and some other details).

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I’ll continue to do articles and videos related to equipment– because I do believe (up to a certain degree) having the ‘right’ equipment in life makes life easier. But the problem is falling victim to GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) where we are buying stuff for the sake of it (has happened to me).

If you already have a bunch of equipment that works for you– stick with it. But if you need some help, I hope this list helped you.



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