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Tell Us Your Favorite Photography Gear Of 2015

This year Fstoppers will be awarding the best photographic equipment of 2015. I have an idea of what my favorite gear is but I don't want to leave anything out and so I want to hear from you. What pieces of your kit deserve recognition? 

Let me start off by saying that although the list we compile will be the "best gear of 2015," it does not mean that this gear had to be released this year. Some equipment, especially things like camera bags and tripods, do not see upgrades very often. As long as the gear is currently available to buy, it has potential to make this list. 

Below I've added a few categories that we know we will have. In the comments below please let me know which product you believe should win each category. If you can think of additional categories feel free to post them below as well. 

 

Best Tripod System under $500

Best Tripod System over $500

 

Best Camera Backpack

Best Camera Shoulder Bag

Best Camera Roller Bag

 

Best Entry DSLR

​Best DSLR Under $2500

Best DSLR Over $2500

 

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1500

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $2500

Best Mirrorless Camera Over $2500

 

Best Lenses (we are still trying to figure out how to categorize these)

 

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $400

Best Point and Shoot Camera Over $400

 

Best Strobe Lighting System (Budget)

Best Strobe Lighting System (High End)

 

​Best Speedlite System (Budget)

​Best Speedlite System (High End)

 

Best Constant Lighting System (Budget)

​Best Constant Lighting System (High End)

 

Best Slider System

 

Best Camera Stabilizer

 

Best Photography Accessory Under $200

Best Photography Accessory Over $200

 

Best Drone/Aerial System

 

Most Innovative Product

 

I'm sure that I am leaving out a bunch of different categories so please let me know if there are any that we should add. I look forward to hearing which products you believe are the current best in the market. 

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57 Comments

Maximilian Mesch's picture

You guys should do a "worst gear/software/what so ever list" as well ;)

Lee Morris's picture

Holga Digital ;)

Adam Ottke's picture

Easy. Best software: Adobe Lightroom. Worst software: Adobe Lightroom.

David Vaughn's picture

Funny enough, this year seems like it's been a bigger year for C1. I can't open my browser without articles like

"Hello. Have you heard about our lord and savior Capture One?"

LR is annoying but I keep going back for some reason. :P

Adam Ottke's picture

I know what you mean. Funny enough....I have owned Capture One (7) for quite some time and upgraded to 9 just recently with its release with the aim of actually giving it a shot for the first time. The new smart contrast controls were just the cherry on top to get me to give it a fair shot with my next project. So here it goes... Time will tell...

David Vaughn's picture

I do like the more extensive tool set C1 has, so I don't have to go into Photoshop. It's mostly the UI and layout that takes some getting used to.

Dre Rolle's picture

Mirrorless under $1500 - EM-5ii or X-T10

Accessories under $200 - MagMod basic, over $200 Magmod Complete

Lee Morris's picture

If you had to choose only 1 camera which would it be?

Mr Blah's picture

XT-10 without doubt.

Dre Rolle's picture

EM-5ii. It's a sexy little thing, good for street, and that 64mp shot is a monster for product/interior photography.

Taylor Duckett's picture

I second the votes for the xt10

Sean Molin's picture

Best Camera Backpack - Incase DSLR Pro (review coming in like the next day)

Best Strobe Lighting System (High End) - Profoto B2 is the talk of the town this year

Best Constant Lighting System - Not sure if you consider it budget or high end, but the new Ice Light 2 is a big improvement over the original

Brian Rodgers Jr.'s picture

Best Lenses
One of the best lenses I've purchased in 2015 is the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM, also known as a pancake lens because of it's uniquely shaped barrel.

I've been shooting a lot more video recently in my career. And when you put this lens on a Canon 70D with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, it's a killer combination. It's fairly wide on a crop sensor Canon camera, shoots a fairly wide aperture, it's sharp, and even though it's not a macro lens, you can shoot super close to subjects. Nice bokeh as well.

This lens is great for video interviews where you need a wide shot in tandem with a reasonably shallow depth of field. But it's also awesome for shooting B-Roll. Though it's not my main lens for still images, I have used it on occasion and it's super sharp.

At the time of writing this, a brand new one runs $149. But you can grab one of these lenses on sale at most retailers this time of year. I actually bought mine refurbished from Canon a couple months ago. Killer lens, very reasonable price

Best Speedlite (Budget)
For me, I use Yongnuo speedlites. I've heard all of the mixed reviews, good and bad. I decided to buy some back in January of this year. The Yonguo 560 2's have been great and consistent.

Best Strobes (Budget)
Not sure what price you would consider budget. But I would definitely say that anything Paul C Buff is nothing short of awesome. Great prices and very well built, quality products. The Alien Bees, Einsteins and White Lightning Strobes are awesome. If I were to buy a new Paul C Buff light today, I would definitely go with the Einsteins. But if you need a ton of power and are shooting large commercial vehicles, I'd go with the the White Lightning X3200s at a whopping 1320 watt seconds of power

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Best Camera Backpack - F-Stop Gear Ajna

Best Camera Shoulder Bag - Mountainsmith Descent

Best Camera Roller Bag - Lowepro Pro Runner RL x450 AWII

​Best Constant Lighting System (High End) - Kino Flo Celeb Light

Best Slider System - Kessler CineSlider

Best Camera Stabilizer - Ronin M

Best Drone/Aerial System - DJI Inspire

Most Innovative Product - Metabones Speedbooster Lens Adapters

David Lawrence's picture

CamRanger! ;o)

Lee Morris's picture

I was thinking that product is old but it's so amazing it deserves to make the list

Kelvin Cheah's picture

I prefer dslrdashboard though, more powerful and compatibility.

Joseph Battaglia's picture

Joe Battaglia if I had a camera it would be a EOS 5DS canon.

ananta cuffee's picture

point and shoot over $400... does the FujiFilm X100T qualify... Because it changed my day to day.

Jason Vinson's picture

i would say yes it counts as a point and shoot. but so does the Sony Rx1

Taylor Duckett's picture

Definitely the x100t

ananta cuffee's picture

well played! I really wish I could bring myself to get one. It just seemed too expensive at the time.

Jason Vinson's picture

haha ya! super expensive! now that the mrkII is out, you can a used mrkI for 1400ish. Which is tempting...

ananta cuffee's picture

see... the way that my crazy consumer brain is set up... The camera, that made beautiful imagery just 2 days ago... is CLEARLY no longer even an option since there is a new one out. lol. HA! but seriously, I would always wonder what they did to improve it. I've been good recently, No updates to my studio workhorses, but this would be different.

Jason Vinson's picture

ha! I'm the same way... been itching to upgrade my original X100 though

Taylor Duckett's picture

Definitely the x100t

Nino Batista's picture

Best mirror less over 2500: A7RII all day long

Jason Vinson's picture

Best Camera Backpack - Wotancraft Commander
Best Camera Shoulder Bag - Holdfast Romographer

​Best DSLR Under $2500 - Nikon D750

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1500 - Sony A7
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $2500 - Sony A7II
Best Mirrorless Camera Over $2500 - Sony A7RII

Best Strobe Lighting System (Budget) - Paulcbuff Einstein

​Best Speedlite System (Budget) - Neewer flash with litium ion battery

Best Photography Accessory Over $200 - Holdfast Moneymaker

Alexander Miquel's picture

Nikon D750

Adam Ottke's picture

Nikon D750, Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art (review coming soon! -- And I think we could do lenses by typical wide-angle, medium, telephoto, and then have prime/zoom variants for each), Gitzo GT1544T w/ their new ballhead, profoto b1.....the list goes on.....

ALEXANDER TARDIF's picture

SLIDER: Rhino Slider Evo

...saw Lee's review of it, which looked legit so supported Kickstarter, took delivery of it about a month ago, it is absolutely tits! I just pre-ordered their Arc panning add-on they've released few days ago too. Anyone doing motion should look into it, it's one of those rare wow products IMHO and my fav gear I bough all year (and that's after dropping about $20K on converting to Sony E-mount system). This is my 3rd slider after Cinetics and then Syrp and for my use it's the one that actually works REALLY REALLY WELL!

Lee Morris's picture

Glad you like it. It's one of my favorite pieces of gear

David Lara's picture

Best accessory under $200 - WD Passport Wireless 2TB
Best miriness user $1500 - Fuji X-T1
Best speedlite system (budget) - Neewer beats out Younguno because of the brick style battery.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

​Best DSLR Under $2500 NIKON D750
Best DSLR Over $2500 PHASE ONE XF

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1500 FUJIFILM X-T1
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $2500 SONY A7R
Best Mirrorless Camera Over $2500 SONY A7RII

Best Lenses ZEISS and SIGMA ART LENSES

Best Strobe Lighting System (Budget) PHOTTIX INDRA
Best Strobe Lighting System (High End) ELINCHROM ELB 400

Best Constant Lighting System (Budget) PHOTTIX VLED 168A

Best raw processor software Capture One 9
Most Innovative Product Affinity Photo

Taylor Duckett's picture

Shoulder bag: Ona Brixton
Rolling bag: Think tank airport security
DSLR under 2.5k: D750
Lenses: Sigma 35mm art
Continuous lighting system: Lightpanels led panels
Strobes: Profoto b1 system.
Accessory under 200: xrite color calibration
Accessory over 200: Holdfast Moneymaker

Paul Jarrett's picture

Best Tripod System Over $500: I love my RRS TVC-33 with a BH-55 Ball head.
Best Accessory Under $200: a Rocket Blower.
Best Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
I don't think I will be spending much on camera equipment next year, kind of broke the bank this year. Maybe I wll get another Rocket Blower, I seem to loose them a lot.

Luis Pedro Cotero's picture

What about these categories:

Best medium format: camera body, back and lens.
Best RAW processor software (Capture One)
Best plug-in software

Markus Hofstätter's picture

Not sure if this counts, but you said also not from this year and its definitely mirrorless ;)

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $2500
I have just a picture, there is no name, because its about 120 years old

And here you can see a video of it
http://blog.markus-hofstaetter.at/2015/11/enstehung-der-nassplatte-makin...

Mkclain -'s picture

Best Camera Backpack : Lowepro Protactic
Best Camera Shoulder Bag : Wotancraft Ryker

​Best DSLR Under $2500 : Nikon D750
Best DSLR Over $2500 : Canon 5DS

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1500 : Panasonic GX8
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $2500 : Sony A7 II
Best Mirrorless Camera Over $2500 : Leica SL

Best Lenses : Zeiss Loxia 35 & 50 F2 lenses

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $400 :
Best Point and Shoot Camera Over $400 : Sony RX100 Mark IV

Best Strobe Lighting System (Budget) : Phottix Indra
Best Strobe Lighting System (High End) : Broncolor Siros

​Best Constant Lighting System (High End) : Westcott Flexkit

Best Photography Accessory Under $200 : Alienskin Exposure X
Best Photography Accessory Over $200 : Lee Filters Wide-Angle Lens hood

Most Innovative Product : Canon EF 35mm 1.4L II

Bruce Taylor's picture

Best Accessories: Hands down anything by ProMediaGear.

Bruce Taylor's picture

Best Camera Backpack (for active hiking/shooting) Mindshift Gear rotation 180 professional. Best bags, rollers and carry gear Think Tank Photo for innovation and bulletproof construction.

Steve Disenhof's picture

Mirrorless over $2,500 (AND competing against DSLR's over $2,500), Sony A7Rii. No contest.

Aaron Priest's picture

Here are some of my favorites, and most used tools in 2015...

Best remote:
Promote Control

Best timelapse controller, and most innovative product:
Ramper Pro

Best timelapse software:
LRTimelapse

Best night photography lenses:
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8
Sigma 35mm f/2.8 ART
Rokinon 24mm f/1.4

Best tripod (for my needs anyway):
Really Right Stuff TVC-34L with leveling base

Best ballhead:
Really Right Stuff BH-55

Best slider (for the price anyway I think):
Dynamic Perception Stage One

Best portable solar power:
Goal Zero Sherpa 100 battery and Nomad 20 solar panel

Best hiking pack:
f-stop Satori EXP

TJ Jackson's picture

Best Backpack: F-Stop Gear Ajna
Best Lens: Sigma Art 35mm
Best Budget Strobe: Einstein (PCB)
Best DSLR: Still love my D800E

Reid Hoffman's picture

​Best DSLR Under $2500 - Canon EOS 6D
Strobes - Profoto B1
Most Innovative Product - Iconasys 360 Product Photography Turntable

Cody Limber's picture

Best lens, at least my favorite is the Tamron 15-30 f/2.8, its crazy sharp, versatile, and brings all the greatness of the Nikon 14-24 with VC and at a lower price

Stan Kay's picture

The best lens I bought this year: Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM

Simon Pollock's picture

I have a few suggestions of camera bags and tripods, but I'll just sit over here in my corner of the internets and shush... :D

Lee Morris's picture

Do tell

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