The Desert Island albums question is a favorite for many podcasts, with the premise altered slightly for the industry in question. So let's see what the answer is for our readers.
Desert Island Discs was a radio show, now podcast, by BBC Radio 4 and has been running since the 1940s. The original question pitched to the interviewee was if you were stuck on a desert island, what eight recordings (usually music), book, and luxury item would you take with you? The premise isn't designed to make you think logistically or to try to outsmart the question, rather distill your music, books, and luxury items down to the bare minimum.
This format has then been slightly re-imagined by all sorts of disciplines and industries in which the question becomes relevant to particular fields. For example: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have three instruments, which would you pick? Well, for us photographers and videographers, I think it'll be interesting to see which camera body and lens you would go for. Remember, do not bog yourself down in logistics or overthinking. Imagine you have all the capabilities to edit, develop, and view your images, and you're not short of subjects, for simplicity's sake.
Share your choice in the comment section below.
My Top Three Choices
It's a difficult question, but one I think I have the answer to. However, to get our juices flowing, I'm going to pick my top three combinations that I would be choosing from and why.
1. Thinking With My Heart: Fujifilm GFX 100 and 110mm f/2
Early last year, when I was at Fujikina for the launch, I was blown away by this body. It's big and heavy and not quite as pretty as some bodies, but it can do so very much. The resolution is staggering, and when paired with the 110mm f/2, I just couldn't take a bad image. Even using the GFX 100's predecessor, the GFX 50R with this 110mm f/2, I was beside myself with glee every time I took a shot. With the IBIS of the GFX 100, the ridiculous resolution, and that delectable piece of glass, I doubt I'd ever grow tired of the two. That said, picking a prime to go with any body when stuck on a desert island is a bold and potentially stupid move.
2. Thinking With My Head: Sony a7R IV and Sony 24-70mm f/2.8This combination is far more sensible. Where the Fuji body and lens is thinking with my proverbial heart, this Sony team is using my head. The a7R IV is an incredibly powerful body but significantly smaller than my medium format option, despite sporting great resolution. The IBIS isn't quite as good as other brands' tech, which might be a problem for those long evenings wandering the sands, but it's capable nonetheless. I'd probably replace this with Canon's announced R5 and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, but as I haven't tried it yet, I'll stay with Sony. Speaking of the 24-70mm f/2.8, I've gone for that for the versatility. Great for landscapes, portraits of other stranded folks, animals, and fast enough and wide enough for astrophotography, which I love.
3. Thinking Outside the Box: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and Olympus 12-45mm f/4Right, let's push the boundaries a bit. Picking a micro-four-thirds sensor might seem a bit crazy, but hear me out. I did review this camera in Costa Rica earlier this year, before... everything. I went in with two assumptions that I had to actively keep at bay for impartiality: a m43 camera isn't going to be for me and the 12-45mm f/4 will be pointless. I was proven wrong on both counts. The new Olympus body had some of the most interesting tech I'd ever seen in a camera, with features like Starry AF, Live Composite, and Live ND meaning you can be highly creative without much effort. I tried all sorts of things with these functions and only grazed the surface of their potential. While I was being wrong, I had accidentally doubled down, because the 12-45mm f/4, while slow and not what I'd ever usually reach for, doubled as a macro and worked for just about every other application I threw at it, too.
If I could put the Olympus functions in the GFX 100, I'd starve to death on that island a happy man (I don't foresee myself being a particularly proficient hunter.)
What Is Your Desert Island Camera Body and Lens Combination?
It's hard not to delve a little too deep into this question. While I wanted to keep my thought process fairly linear — what's my favorite camera body and lens combination — you do have to factor a few elements in. For example, a key consideration for me was longevity. Not so much with shutter life, as I've allowed for unlimited of that, but rather with using the kit day in day out. It's easy to become bored with your current equipment, which can often lead to a sense of handedness, and that's the true enemy I feel. I want a combination that will continue to inspire creativity. The question is whether that is derived from flexibility of genre and technique or from a pairing that suits my creative tastes, and I'm honestly not sure of the answer.
So now, we move over to you. What combination would you choose and why? Share them in the comment section below.