The Rowing Photography Xmas Wish List 2016

Cyclists often ponder how many bikes is the ideal number to own; the answer, they joke, is n + 1 (one more than you currently have) – and this is exactly the same for photographers, there’s always one more bit of kit that’d help you take slightly better photos or make better films.

With technology moving at lightning pace it can be hard to keep up, but here’s a quick guide as to what products we think all budding rowing photographers would be delighted to find under the tree on the 25th December this year!

WARNING: Some are VERY EXPENSIVE but what kind of wishlist would it be without a few 00s on the end?

1. Drone: DJI Mavic Pro (£1099)

This drone is hot property at the moment, folding down to roughly the size of a water bottle and weighing about the same too (under 750g!!!) it has a flight radius of 7km, can reach 65km/h and shoots 4K video while it’s doing it!

There’s seemingly nothing to dislike about this drone except for the fact they have only just launched and can be tough to get a hold of with estimated delivery of 6-8 weeks which wouldn’t be in time for Christmas, but unless you NEED a drone before then, it’ll be well worth waiting for.

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2. Action Camera: GoPro HERO5 (£340.18)

Not all the items on the wish list are unlikely to be delivered in time for Christmas! The GoPro HERO5 is the latest iteration in GoPro’s range of action cameras that have dominated the market for as long as action cameras have been a thing!

No longer needing a protective case the HERO5 is waterproof to 10m, can shoot 4K video and take 12MP photos. For fans of super slow-mo it can also record full HD video at 120 frames per second which can make action sequences look incredible (who doesn’t love slow motion backsplash?).

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3. iPhonography: OlloClip – Active Lens (£60.55)

As I found out recently, the best camera is the one you have with you and for most people that will be your phone!

OlloClip have been leading the way for a number of years now in manufacturing high quality clip on lenses for iPhones. The Active Lens set includes a Telephoto (2x zoom) and Ultra-Wide. The Telephoto lens in particular will help you get closer to rowing action without having to rely on digital zoom (which results in poorer quality images – although there’s nothing to stop you using the OlloClip telephoto lense + digital zoom to get REALLY close) and the Ultra-Wide is a great way to help fit more people into your crew selfie because the lenses work on both the front and back cameras!

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4. 360° Camera: Nikon Keymission 360 (£419)

Everyone is excited about VR at the moment! Until very recently you needed an expensive array of cameras + supercomputer to create your own 360 degree video, but that has changed and there are now a few options available to consumers to create their own immersible video.

While the Samsung Gear 360 is already available and in shops, it isn’t waterproof and you’d have to be very brave taking it out in a rowing boat! However, Nikon’s Keymission 360 is waterproof and can be pre-ordered now. While there’s no estimate of delivery times, the sooner you order one the sooner it will arrive.

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5. Compact: Sony DSC-RX100M5 (£962.70)

As far as compact cameras go, there are loads and loads to choose from, but this one caught my eye because it shoots 1000 frames per second video (see example) which is just cool…

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6. DSLR: Canon 5D Mk4 (£2999)

If you’re looking for something more serious, the Canon 5D series are fantastic. While I’ve used a 5D Mk3 on occasion, I still own and use a 5D Mk2 for most of my work. The 5D Mk4 is the latest in the series and boasts loads of new features including 4K video as well as vastly improved AF system compared with the Mk2 which I’m more used to.

There’s no point in me listing off all the features, there are loads of comparison sites online, it’s just here because if Santa was going to bring me a new stills camera I’d probably want this one!

That being said, whatever your budget can stretch to, the entire range of Canon DSLRs is excellent and once you’ve set your budget, the best advice I can give you is to look at 3 or 4 comparison websites to see how different cameras in your budget bracket compare.

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7. Lens: Canon 200-400mm f4 (£9490.05)

A fairly recent addition to the Canon range (and with its price tag firmly in wishlist territory), this lens is a versatile beast perfect for shooting rowing. Not only is the focal length perfect for following rowing action, the built in 1.4x converter also lets you shoot at a maximum 560mm at f5.6 which is an incredible boost – especially when you don’t have to carry a separate converter to achieve it!

However, this is a fairly specialist lens and outside of sports/wildlife you wouldn’t get much use out of it. The more affordable Canon 70-200mm 2.8 would still help you produce great action shots but can also be used as a portrait lens and is my go to lens for catching candid shots at events.

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8. Storage: G-Technology G-DRIVE (£129.98)

Unless they’re very lucky, every professional photographer will have had a memory card or hard drive fail on them at some point.

It’s happened to me twice and so I know how important it can be to back things up!

Essentially a hard drive housed inside a protective case, the G-DRIVE is not only designed to take a beating – it’s waterproof and FLOATS…! I have two of these myself and although I’ve not tested the buoyancy of them yet, they are both covered in scuffs and scratches that lesser drives might not have been able to cope with!

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9. Camera Bag: PeakDesign – Everyday Messenger (£229)

I’ve always been a big fan of camera bags that don’t look like camera bags and the PeakDesign Everyday Messenger is just that. With expandable sides it can make a great commuter bag as well as being up to the task of being fully laden with camera gear, all protected by the customisable dividers included.

You don’t need to take my word for it, PeakDesign have raised millions by launching their innovative camera products onto kickstarter, the Everyday Messenger raised over $4.8m!!!!

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I won’t be holding my breath on Christmas Day, I’m not sure Santa is insured to deliver £10,000 lenses, but all of these items I either use or would desperately love to get my hands on and hopefully the list might have inspired anyone shopping for a budding rowing photographer!

If you’ve got any questions or would like to ask for advice about any of the categories on the list but with a different budget in mind, feel free to contact me via the site or leave a comment below.

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