This is where I'll make my sincere recommendations for the best choices possible. I use Canon almost exclusively and can only recommend what I use myself (even though other brands are absolute equals).
The links below are from my Amazon Affiliate Program. I do make a tiny percentage per item ordered, but will go to great lengths to offer compelling content over time and total honesty even if it means pointing you away from my own site.
I left out protective filters because I don't use them, but for landscape photography I do sometimes use a B+W CPL and a Breakthrough Photography 6-stop ND filter (and to a lesser extent a 10-stop ND filter and 2-stop soft & 3-stop hard/reverse GND filters).
The door is always open and please don't hesitate with any questions about anything at firstname.lastname@example.org
The 80D is possibly the best value do-it-all camera available today. Remarkable image quality potential with a very intuitive user interface.
Comes with Canon's latest crop-sensor technology and a very advanced focusing system (particularly useful when using a focus point other than center).
The following directs you to a very nice package deal.
The Canon T7i has much in common with the 80D in a slightly more "consumer-oriented" package.
This is a remarkable choice if you don't feel like going "all in" with the 80D. Certainly no slouch, though, and is much more the same than not.
The main differences will just be with the user interface (which many will find to be insignificant and they're not wrong).
The SL2 is the smallest DSLR that I'm aware of and gives up nothing in image quality. It's quite striking, actually.
The function is very basic (which many tend to prefer; me included). To a point - all center points are created equal and that's what we'll use most of the time anyway
Paired with the tiny 24mm lens, too, and you have an ideal travel combo.
This happens to be a very good ultra-wide-angle lens. Not necessarily used to "get everything in", but rather to get up very close, especially at the Start, to create unique effects.
Used in landscape photography to create "foreground" interest.
Consider purchasing with the Canon EW-73C Lens Hood. A remarkable value and a fun lens to use.
This is a fantastic lens that, with the 1.6x factor, effectively makes it a 38mm lens. That's perfect for the Start of almost any race with the added bonus of being the quintessential "normal" focal length. Another major bonus is that this lens alone is all you'll need for travel for GREAT pictures while traveling light.
Getting the tiny lens hood for this is optional, but does help a little.
50mm is often the ideal focal length for individual and small group portraits. Paired with the 24mm lens offers an unbeatable combo capable of better image quality than any "standard" zoom. Probably your go-to lens for pre and post-race pics.
This particular lens is a very rare value. Consider including the Canon ES-68 Lens Hood.
For one lens to nearly do-it-most (or the lens to start with) look no further than this venerable jewel. It's the perfect focal length for portraits (if you have the room) and is exceptional on the course. It's often "better" to be farther away, but the image quality is spectacular.
The Canon ET-65III Lens Hood is recommended.
This would be the best lens to get if you're so inclined and produces better image quality than THE zoom that costs 3x as much. 200mm (320 when you factor in the 1.6x crop factor) lets you be far enough away to be stealthy. The image quality offered will allow you to bring your photography to the highest level. An amazing bargain, really, for what you get.
I'm a big fan of Sigma lenses. They offer a very nice "contrasty" look similar to that of the most expensive Canon lenses. The largest aperture maybe isn't ideal all the time, but you gain some phenomenal flexibility with 100-400mm of zoom. The 200mm prime lens definitely gets you better pictures, but this one is quite excellent as well.
Having searched far and wide for the best choice concluded with this camera. Nothing will beat a DSLR so stick with that, but this is my choice for a pocket or running belt with it's intuitive controls, 1" sensor and RAW capability.
There may be "better" if you're to split hairs, but I appreciate a compact camera that's high quality and very simple.
I'm going to declare this to be the ultimate travel zoom with its 1" sensor, electronic viewfinder and 24-360mm Leica lens.
Extreme ease of use and 4K video doesn't hurt; along with the really lovely design.
I still prefer the others for pure image quality, but this is no slouch.
This is probably the best compact camera, but you do give up some simplicity in operation and, in my opinion, your DSLR is standing by when you need more features. It does have a tilt-screen and viewfinder which are nice. The quality is the same as the newer versions IV and V which have features you might not need so the version III is usually ideal.
SanDisk Extreme PRO 32GB 95MB/s Class 10 SDHC Memory Card.
Pretty much the right size, speed and reliability for anything including video.
There are cards with more capacity, but it's often a better idea to have two 32GB cards than one 64GB card (and, consequently, 32GB is still huge).
This is my favorite bag for carrying a DSLR with a lens attached, another lens and some basic gear.
Extremely durable and the perfect size for on-location shooting.
Really fits all that you'll need at one time. Anything bigger gets to be too big and smaller won't big big enough.
The Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney is ideal for a DSLR and lens or a DSLR/small lens and another small lens or flash (plus some basic items).
It's my go-to bag more often than not when I'm just on the go and don't feel like messing with much.
Minimalism is a great thing.
This is a really nice tool for custom white balance that folds out and then is stored in a durable carry case. Allows you to precisely calibrate your camera to the current environment. Your camera will often do a great job, but you can take your photography to a higher level when challenging (like indoors or in the snow).
I have a large tripod and this tiny carbon fiber one (with the C-10S Ball Head), but actually use this a lot more. So if I could only have one this would be it.
I've removed the center column (as shown) and reattached the ball head directly onto the center. Ideal, to the extreme, for when on the go.
Calibrates your computer screen to an industry reference standard for precise color accuracy. Also determines optimal brightness. Essential if you shoot in RAW and a good idea regardless.
In case you were wondering - the color CHECKR isn't really necessary unless you're doing product photography.
The Canon RS-60E3 is the correct remote switch for most Canon crop-sensor cameras. Just double-check to make sure.
You can use a timed shutter release on a tripod, but this is much better.
3rd party brands are probably just as good, but what the heck.
Sensor cleaning is performed infrequently and a lot easier than it looks. Just view This Video (and others), take a deep breath and carefully dive in.
The following kit is all you need and is correct (for a crop-sensor). VDust Plus is the do-it-all cleaner with no downside.
Basic bulb blowers may potentially pick up dust and blow it onto your sensor. The Zee Pro has a filter in the front and in the rear allowing for particle-free clean air to travel through.
Used for lenses, cameras, sensors (prior to cleaning), keyboards, etc.
There's bigger, "better" and much more complicated, but I've found simple and inexpensive to be the best approach to lighting. You can spend the rest of your life perfecting studio lighting skills, but nice and easy is usually best when on the go. More about that in upcoming blog posts.
The Watson 4-Hour Rapid Charger with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (2300 mAh) is a great choice. Seamlessly convenient. I've actually never needed a 2nd set for any shoot, but a 2nd set to have on hand isn't a terrible idea.
Haven't yet had to replace any.
This book is the foundation of your photography education. All photography journeys begin here.
Bryan Peterson is an all-time great and will teach you the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. These principles have defined photography from the beginning. Some things don't change.
The single most critical training tool is this site's DVD and/or Download specific to your camera. Exceptionally well-presented covering every aspect of your camera plus photography in general. Type your camera into the search bar.
This is not an Affiliate link, but just too important to not include.
The "Lightroom 5 Develop Video Workshop" is OUTSTANDING if you shoot in RAW and use Lightroom (with 2 additional sessions to address Lightroom 6). "The Image Correction Master Class" really tops it off. George Jardine is remarkable instructor. Also not an Affiliate link, but must be included.