After many years - in some cases under very extreme expeditions - I learned, which equipment is any good and which is not. Now I know exactly what works and what does not. You can also just ask the guys from AC-Foto who know all this too ;-)
I take pictures and movies in 4K with some Canon EOS 1D C (Cinema) cameras and corresponding lenses, such as:
Sigma 15mm f / 2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye: One of my favorite underwater lenses. Incredibly sharp and true to color.
Canon 16 - 35mm f / 4.0L IS USM: My standard wide angle. Very good when subjects are close, and it performs very well underwater.
Canon 24 - 105mm f / 4.0L IS USM: A good lens for filming and a very good »always on«.
Canon 50mm f / 1.2L USM: My darling, when it comes to capturing people. The bokeh effect is amazing. It creates unique images and the focus is gigantic.
Canon 100mm f / 2.8L IS USM Macro: A very good macro lens with awesome portrait properties - lightweight and sharp.
Canon 70-200 f / 2.8L IS II USM: My favorite wildlife lens. Suitable for almost all situations from a boat, a jeep or just in the hand. I shoot most of my wildlife images with this lens. Excellent sharpness for a zoom lens.
Canon 400mm f / 2.8L IS II USM: The Big Berta - I love this lens! If you cannot get close enough to animals, this super-telephoto is warranted. Not lightweight and very special, but the fantastic image quality, even with converters, can almost make you forget the weight. Great for sports, action and even people at a distance.
Canon EF 1.4x & 2x III Extender: Good for particularly shy animals (and humans). There are situations where you cannot avoid to the converters. The picture quality is good, even with a zoom lens.
All my lenses I equipped with filters from B & W. I strongly recommend equipping all lenses with filters. This has already saved me three lenses. It is easier to buy a new filter, instead of having to discard an expensive lens because of a scratch on the front of it.
If possible, I prepare my lenses with a neoprene protection of LensCoat. This protects, camouflages, feels good and is useful, especially at minus 20 degrees celsius.
My Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Digi Pro-HD 82mm - LCW Variable Neutral Density filter is perfect for filming with small apertures and for long exposures of waterfalls, waves, etc… 82mm and various reducing rings from KIWI so I can use the filter on almost all lenses. Works best with a rubber lens hood.
The Canon EOS 1D C is the perfect camera for me, whether on expeditions in the ice, in humid and hot jungles, underwater or in dusty deserts. This camera works perfectly. Superb image quality, quick & easy to use. I also like the feel and look. This is why I work with Canon. My favorite is its variability: I have a camera for action, quiet moments and it films in 4K - brilliant concept!
I use my 1D C under water in a housing from Seacam. I can use all functions of the camera - even underwater. The quality and ergonomics of the housing is outstanding.
I use two underwater flash / light combinations (Fusion 160) of Subtronic with Carbon arms - so the housing is perfectly balanced and very comfortable to use. I can also decide underwater if I need lights for filming or flashes for photography.
Topside, I use Canon 600 EX RT flashes together with the ST-E3-Transmitter RT. The unleashed lightning is ingenious and has produced some unique images for me.
I use a Gitzo Carbon Tripod (GT2543L) - the quality is outstanding.
My favorite tripod heads are the Really Right Stuff BH-55 and BH-40 Ball Heads - heavy, but strongly made and guaranteed to hold the weight! Also, I use a Jobu light telephoto tilt head for the 400mm lens and a Manfrotto pro fluid video head for filming.
For movies I use some DIY Camera Sliders and small parts from Novoflex, for a theatrical effect. As a second tripod and also for the unleashed lightning there is always my Joby Gorillapod Focus. A great toy! For movies I use a XT1000 steady cam from Zolinger from time to time.
I use exclusively SanDisk memory cards. Mostly, the SanDisk Extreme Pro CF, SD & MiniSD cards (up to 256 GB). Very durable and great quality. On my expeditions I have to be able to trust them 100%. These cards have never let me down, even in flooded underwater housings, at minus 30 C, at 50 C, or 100% humidity. They always work!
I use external microphones. After countless tests, the new RØDE Stereo VideoMic X, the Sennheiser MKE 400 and an Azden Wireless Lavalier Mic Pro are best. All three provide good sound quality and are used with DeadCats, fitting in windy conditions.
I transport my camera equipment in various Pelican Cases, Zarges boxes and a Tamrac Expedition backpack. The good thing is the equipment is usually delivered in one piece - if it arrives of course. Unfortunately, it lets everyone know there are valuables inside. Camera insurance is strongly recommended!
Many small parts make my life as a photographer and film maker easier and also more fun, but none has given me more fun than my GoPro HD Hero 4 Black Edition camera. This camera always works! It is literally indestructible and is of great quality. Underwater I use it in an aluminum housing from UK-Germany. This camera is always in my pocket.
What I constantly use: camera straps from SunSniper and the Spider Camera Holster, Bellows (very important!) and a Lens Pen from Hama, a multitool from Novoflex and microfiber lens cloths from Kalahari.
In the end a successful picture is not about the equipment, but the skills of the photographer and the situation. What is important is that you know how to use your equipment.
If you need to learn, you should take one of my camera or film courses or work with me one on one. It does not matter what camera or what amount of equipment you own.
In the end there is only one question you have to ask yourself:
How far would you go for the perfect image?