What do we have in our backpacks?

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Hmm, what’s in our backpacks?
Well, this is gonna be a geeky post about gear…

So, besides the concept/ creative/ story, the gear plays a big part in every production. I might be a geek when it comes to gear because I like to read and document a lot before a buying decision. Also, I prefer to wait and to get the good stuff instead of taking some cheap toys. In other words, I’m picky with the things that get in our backpacks.

First, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about my backpack. 

It’s a Manfrotto and yes, I’m a big fan of this brand.
The model is called Professional Backpack 50 (or MB MP-BP-50BB) and is a big one. It weighs 2.33kg empty and fully loaded goes up to 13kg or even more depending on how much gear is inside. If you’re interested in full specs, here’s a link!

I got this backpack in 2016 and since then I’m using it for every project. It still looks awesome and this is because I’m crazy about cleaning everything after every shoot…

I remember one morning at 6 o’clock, after a full night of shooting a Christmas commercial (link here) we got home super tired, and before going to bed I spent about an hour cleaning everything. ? Then we slept for 3 hours and went back to shoot the 2nd part of it. But what can I do? I like the feeling of working with stuff that looks new every time!

So, what’s in my backpack?
As a DP, I enjoy working with:

  • Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K camera
  • Sigma 18 – 35 f/1.8 lens
  • Sigma 50 – 100 f/1.8 lens
  • SmallHD 702 Touch monitor
  • Angelbird CFast 256GB cards (2)
  • Vaxis 500 SDI Wireless Transmitter
  • Edelkrone Follow Focus One
  • Hedbox Nero S (98Wh) V-mount batteries (2)
  • Hedbox Nero M (150Wh) V-mount battery
  • 1854 SmallRig Sideplate 
  • 1674 SmallRig Baseplate 
  • SmallRig Carbon rods (2)
  • Hedbox NPF 770 (4440Mah) batteries (2)
  • SmallHD Dtap dummy
  • Shape Skinny 90Deg SDI cables
  • Normal SDI cables
  • DTAP power cables 
  • SmallRig Folding Tool Set
  • DJI Screws
  • Other small accessories 
  • Lens cleaning cloths
  • Occasionally a 13″ MacBook Pro

As you may already know, the Ursa Mini Pro is a big camera and what I really like about my backpack is the way of storing it assembled with the Sigma 50-100 and both the top handle and the ball stud (of the Easyrig Quick-Release Hook) mounted. This way, the total height of the camera is 23 cm, and having a backpack with such depth is a big plus for me. Therefore, if you own an Ursa Mini Pro and you’re looking for a backpack, you should consider this one too.

Here’s a stop-motion that I made in April 2020.
Make sure to have the sound ON before playing.

That’s about me, let’s talk about Maria’s Director’s backpack.
(yup, I’m the one who takes care of all the gear, even if Maria has her own stuff).

The newest member of our family is a Manfrotto Advanced¬≤ Gear Backpack M (or MB MA2-BP-GM). It’s a medium size and it weighs only 1.2kg empty and fully loaded gets close to 4kg. In case you’re interested in full specs, here’s a link!

We bought this backpack in November 2020 to accommodate the Director’s monitor and we’re happy with it. I adjusted the inside pads to fit the monitor and there’s plenty of room left for other accessories.

So, what’s in Maria’s backpack?
As a Director, she enjoys working with:
  • Wooden Camera Director Monitor Cage V3
  • Blackmagic Video Assist 5″ monitor
  • Vaxis 500 SDI Wireless Receiver
  • Hedbox Cine Battery Plate V-mount
  • Hedbox PB-D150A (150Wh) V-mount battery
  • Shape Skinny 90Deg SDI cables
  • DTAP power cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Monitor wall charger
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Occasionally a 13″ MacBook Air

Here’s a Before & After:

It’s time to put our main backpacks aside and talk about the other backpacks.

The 3rd one is the drone backpack – a DJI Phantom Series Multifunctional Backpack that accommodates the Phantom 4Pro+ since 2017. It’s a big one and it has a strong hardshell that gives me the confidence to leave it on any surface. From sand to snow it has seen it all. Here are the full specs.

What’s inside?

  • DJI Phantom 4Pro+ drone
  • DJI Intelligent Flight Battery (3)
  • Remote controller
  • ND 16 filter
  • Battery Charger
  • Extra blades
  • USB cables
  • Portable anemometer
  • Wet wipes
  • Registration papers

Of all our backpacks, the 4th one is the most special...
Why? Because it’s my first photography backpack and the oldest one.
I got it 13 years ago, in 2008 for my first DSLR – a Nikon D80 and since then it has passed the test of time. It’s built like a tank and is water-resistant.

We traveled the world, from Europe to Africa, from Africa to Asia, from sandy deserts to salty beaches, from dusty roads to snowy mountains and it has seen it all…
It’s called Tamrac Expedition 3 and since the first day, I’m using it to accommodate my photography gear. Thumbs up to Tamrac for making such durable products!

Despite the fact that it’s so small and light, I managed to fit all these inside:

  • Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-120 f/4G ED VR + grip installed
  • Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5 – 5.6 VR
  • Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
  • Nikon EN-EL 15 battery
  • Battery charger
  • Nikon Dummy battery
  • HOYA filters
  • USB cable
  • Cleaning cloths

That’s it for now.
This was our backpacks’ story.

Cheers!

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