I have always been a fan of digital photography, well from late teens.
I bought my first digital camera (Kodak DC280) in 1997. I have had a few point and shoot cameras since, and have taken thousands of photos over the years. I love looking back through past photos of holidays and friends. I rarely print (or have printed) my photos, so they are only stored in digital form. Some photos are displayed on our Digital Photo Frame (which is rarely updated, oops).
After many years with various point and shoot cameras, I decided it was time for a DSLR. I bought my first DSLR (Canon EOS400D) in 2006 / 2007 before our trip to Australia. I absolutely adored this camera, and it has served me well over the years. Whenever we go on holiday, it always comes along as I love taking scenery photos to remind me where we have travelled.
I wanted to upgrade this camera for some time, and wanted a mid range DSLR rather than an entry-level. I had my eyes on the Canon EOS70D for some time, and knew this was the one I wanted. Shortly before our trip to Walt Disney World in October 2015, I took the plunge and purchased it. So far, I am loving the camera (for photos and videos). Not sure I have quite got the hang of all the different settings, but I am happy with the photos and videos produced at the moment.
I have never been a massive fan of video cameras, as I hated the sound of my voice (don’t we all – hate our own voices, not mine – LOL?) when played back. However, I did buy my first video camera (Sony Digital Handycam: DCR-TRV11E) around 2000 / 2001. This was mostly used for videoing motor car racing (Autograss Racing) that we used to frequently attend with friends. It was also used on occasions when out socializing with friends (AKA Drinking). This camera has been sat collecting dust for a very long time.
Very recently, I went through many of the old tapes and imported them to our MacBook Air (after finally getting the FireWire adapters to work). Whilst doing this, I found some wonderful videos of our eldest as a baby, and some of our trip to Australia. The quality isn’t great, as it is only standard definition – but still wonderful to play back.
Our latest video camera is the GoPro Hero 4 Black. This was bought for us to start videoing our holidays and adventures shortly before our YouTube channel launch. It’s not really an ideal vlogging camera, but is great for rides and water parks. Personally, I don’t think the sound is terrible – and is certainly audible enough. We never originally intended to Vlog, it was more for capturing our days in the parks at Disney World.
Before visiting Disney World last year, we always planned on uploading our videos to YouTube as we were inspired by other channels, and wanted to share our experiences which are aimed more at families with young children like ours. Many of the channels we have watched, are of young couples.
Some of our favourite Disney based YouTubers are:
- PhilEmmaAndBen – one of the first channels we actively watched when planning our 2012 Disney Holiday. We have since watched more of their videos.
- ThatSoundsFun – also one of the earlier channels we watched.
- KrispySmore – is another big Disney based channel that we have watched over the years, and before our 2015 holiday.
- Ellie Steadman – is also a big Disney based channel that we enjoy watching.
- Tom&Sophie – is a more recent favourite, that we found shortly before heading out October 2015.
- GetBinky – is another more recent favourite, with a different comical editing style which got me hooked.
We do watch some videos from many other smaller YouTubers like ourselves, but I am not going to list them all. You can see many of them on our YouTube channel.
Our Kit (Capturing):
Our current kit consists of:
Used for videos at home, and photos when out and about.
GoPro Hero 4 Black:
Our main video camera for now, which we use for almost all of our videos / vlogs.
GoPro The Handler
Stick handle for holding camera, which is the most used accessory. I would highly recommend this over any other form of selfie stick (which are mostly banned in theme parks now).
We have 4 batteries in total, which keeps us going all day long if needed.
GoPro Dual Charger
Great for charging two batteries.
SanDisk 4GB Micro SD Card
We have two of these which store about 3.5 hours of 1080p footage per card.
RAVPower 26800mAh 3-Port 5.5A iSmart Output Portable Charger Compact Power Bank External Battery Pack for iPhone, iPad, Samsung and More – Black
Portable USB power supply which we use to charge GoPro batteries and iPhones / iPads whilst out and about. One of the best portable chargers I have owned, and can charge batteries / iPhones multiple times on one charge. It does take a while to recharge though.
Our Kit (Editing):
This was our only editing laptop (until this month), which was not ideal. It does the job, and we are very happy with the results. This was purchased as a lightweight laptop and was not intended for video editing when purchased. We were looking to buy a MacBook Pro for some time, and I was hoping for a new model to be released this summer (which never happened).
Apple MacBook Pro
We have only just purchased this laptop, which is now used to finalize the edits and upload as it is more powerful. To be honest, it doesn’t appear to render our short videos much faster than the Air. It is nice that Jody & I can both be working on MacBook’s now, as sharing Jody’s Air was not ideal.
We currently use iMovie for editing our videos, which is ideal for our needs at the moment. I may try Final Cut Pro in the future, when I get more adventurous with our edits.
Our Kit (Storage / Archiving):
Ever since I took an interest in photography, I have always been keen on keeping all memories archived. Our photos have always been very precious to me, and are the only things (other than family & pets of course) that are precious to me at home. All other items can be replaced. I have always stored my photos on a custom-built Server utilising Folder Duplication (to protect my precious photos from hard drive failure). I also backup all photos to a USB Hard Disk Drive that is stored in a Fire Proof Safe (This saves me storing off site copies – which is normally recommended). Many photos are also stored in various cloud locations (iCloud, Flickr, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft Onedrive etc.).
This has worked fine for many years – until now. We now have a lot more data (videos) that I also want to protect. This data is constantly growing, and I needed a way to protect from hardware failure and Fire / Flood.
I have had my eye on a new NAS (Network Attached Storage) for a long time now, and recently decided to commit to the purchase. I opted for the QNAP TVS871 which allows me to install 8 HDD’s. I have set up a RAID Array, so that I am protected from individual HDD failure. I also have 3TB WD Ultra USB HDD’s which I use for backups and storage in the safe.
The QNAP can be extended by adding additional enclosures and supports over 300TB of raw storage.
If you have any questions, or would like any more info on us, leave a comment below.