Pete Souza has one of the best jobs in the world, as well as one of the most demanding. It's enlightening to see what gear the man charged with documenting every aspect of the president's life carries.
I won't lie; I did a tiny cheer when I saw that Souza is a Canon guy. I have no doubt he could create a great shot using a Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, pinhole, etc., but it's still fun to see we're rocking the same gear. On a more serious note, though, I think his gear bag is a great lesson in paring down to the essentials and focusing on taking the shots. After all, he needs to be mobile and ready at all times. His gear bag reminds me very much of a minimalistic wedding photographer's setup.
This is still one the best all-around cameras on the market and a favorite of many professionals. Souza carries two of them. Their very quiet shutter, decent frame rate, stellar AF, and good high ISO performance make them versatile in just about any situation.
I imagine that this lens lives on his camera the majority of time, particularly at events where the president is moving around. Its fast aperture (for a zoom), combined with its useful focal range makes it a documentary photography favorite.
We're fans of this lens. It's quick, sharp, and its autofocus is dead-on. And yes, it's better than the Sigma Art.
Though it's older, it's still one of Canon's best lenses. It draws beautifully, has fast AF, and has a wide aperture, making it a great portrait or long-distance lens.
5. Fuji X100S
When not working, Souza turns to the Fuji X100S. It's also my personal favorite; it's just a fun camera to shoot with. Its compact size and great image quality make it a perfect carry-everywhere camera.
I'm not surprised by Souza's kit; it's essentially a modified version of the "holy trinity" (35mm, 85mm, 135mm). By throwing the zoom in the middle, he gets a bit more versatility, while still having the light-gathering ability and optical quality of primes near the ends. It's also a great example of sticking with the bare essentials and focusing on getting great shots.
All photos by Pete Souza, public domain.
[via Popular Science]