Recommended Amazon products by Van Life Geek

Links to Photo & Video Stuff I Like and Use

I'll add any links I think are worthy

One thing I've learned is that finding great products can be a bit "trial & error", so I'm including links to the gear I find useful as a photographer and videographer. All links open in a new window/tab so you won't lose this page. Full disclosure: I make a small commission from these links, so please click away!

Also Check out my Recommended Van Life Product Links

Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary DG OS HSM Lens Bundle, Including Lens Dock (Nikon F Mount)
If you're a photographer and like to shoot wildlife, this is a great lens and a great deal. This particular bundle includes a bunch of accessories, but the main bonus is the Sigma Lens Dock, which allows you to do firmware upgrades, customize buttons on the lens, adjust auto focus speed, and more. The reason I am suggesting this bundle is that it is almost the same price as the lens alone. I am super impressed with this lens and it is considerably less expensive than the "Sport" version of this lens, which is a bit more weather resistant, but not really any better optically. This seller is an authorized dealer, so it is genuine and comes with a USA warranty. Think of the other included accessories as an added bonus.

Movo GH600 Vertical, Portrait Mount Carbon Fiber Gimbal Tripod Head w/Arca-Swiss Release Plate
This is the perfect accessory for the Sigma 150-600 I recommended above. The carbon fiber keeps the weight down while ensuring strength. This particular gimbal works best with long lenses that have their own mounting ring as the mount is on the side. Again, perfect for the Sigma!

I have always wanted a gimbal for my longer lenses and this one fits the bill. Its movement is very fluid and the price is excellent for a gimbal of this quality. I'm really looking forward to using this gimbal/lens combination out in the field. Being able to track birds in flight will be a game changer. Having an Arca Swiss quick-release mount is extremely convenient as well.

Koolehaoda Tripod Leveling Base
Another related photography product... this Aluminum Alloy Leveler Adjusting Plate with 1/4" Thread and Bubble Level is another perfect mate for the gimbal & lens combination I recommended above A gimbal works best when it's level and trying to get a tripod level can be a time consuming endeavour, unless it's a video tripod with a built-in leveler. I have one of those, too, but it's heavy and I plan to go as light as possible when photographing wildlife. So I'll be using one of my carbon fiber tripods, which are great, but can be a pain to get level. This product will get you level very quickly. This attaches to the tripod, and the gimbal attaches to the leveling base.

Driak 60mm/2.36" Bullseye Level Aluminum Case Round Bubble Level & VHB 3M Dots Adhesive Double-Sided Pad
This is a dual recommendation to complete the trifecta of products above (Lens, Gimbal & Leveling Base). Although the leveling base has an attached bubble level, it is small and can be difficult to see. This larger bubble level makes it easy to see and get your gimbal perfectly level.

The added benefit is that this bubble level is the exact same size as the top of the gimbal and looks like it was supposed to be there. The 3M adhesive pads attaches the level to the gimbal securely.

Victure WiFi Trail Camera 30MP
I got this trail camera to setup at camp looking back at my van to see what, if any, critters were visiting me at night while I sleep. It will also be good to keep an eye on camp as I wonder off on hikes. I haven't had a chance to use it in the forest yet, but my initial tests prove that the image quality is great. The video is also excellent at 1080P, but the higher 1296P resolution they tout is in 4x3 format, so not great for videos that are wide screen. The night vision on this camera is excellent. It can connect to your phone via BT/WiFi for easier menu setup and monitoring.



NUNET Suction Cup Mount for Heavy Duty DSLR
This is a serious suction cup! I have tried this on several areas on my van and it holds very well and can take quite a bit of weight. It has a tether to use as insurance in case it loses suction and you don't have your camera gear falling to the ground. There are several "mods" you can make to increase the versatility of this suction cup, which you can see in a video review I made. Here's the video review I did on this mount:

NUNET Heavy Duty Magnetic Mounting Base
Here's another product from Nunet that is an inexpensive way to get some unusual video angles with your action cam. It's basically just a neodymium magnet that comes with a 1/4-20 screw, which makes it sort of a magnet tripod. This one also has a video review, so check it out to see how I plan to use it.


Plano small parts box

Plano Large 2 Sided Tackle Box - Sometimes it's the little things in life that make me happy. When I had my photography business, I had one of these and I really missed having it, so I bought another one.

With all the little bits that are so easily lost or buried somewhere in a camera bag, this keep things nice and neat and well organized. It fits well in my big Pelican case and holds more than you might think.

Pelican 1610 Case With Padded Dividers - This is as good as it gets for protecting all of my expensive gear while traveling around and driving on bumpy forest roads. My Pelican case has fallen out of the back of my van onto the ground and everything inside was just fine. You can put padlocks on it for protection from humans.

It's so waterproof you could throw it in a lake, not that I plan to ever do that, but sitting out in a heavy rain is just fine. Since it's airtight, it needs to be able to deal with altitude/pressure changes, so it also has an automatic valve that adjusts depending on my elevation, which can change drastically in Colorado. I also got the lid insert to organize cables and other small accessories. These big Pelican cases are kind of big and bulky, but if you want the best protection for your gear, Pelican is the way to go. Just ask the military.

I see they now have a newer version out. It's the Black and Orange picture on the left. I really like the way this new one looks and the new interior organization.

Pedco UltraPod Lightweight Camera Tripod
Out of all the mini tripods I have, this is easily my favorite. It is one of the most compact, and certainly the most versatile of the small tripods.

Use it as a mini tripod, or use the attached Velcro strap and attach it to a tree branch, fence post, railings, or anything else you can wrap the strap around.

Made with Fiberglass reinforced nylon with aluminum threaded components. Weighs two ounces and folds down to four inches for easy packing. Worth every penny!

Pixel Addix PA-TR1 5-in-1 Multi Camera Lighting Triangle Reflector with Grip, Tripod Mount and Carrying Case
There are many reflectors like this one, but almost none of them have a tripod socket, which makes using this single handedly a breeze. Long gone are the days when I had an assistant to hold things for me during a shoot. I'm on my own now and a tool like this allows me to modify light without needing an extra hand. It folds up nice and small, so also good for storage in a cramped van.

Choose your preferred surface to achieve the look you want: Translucent, White, Black, Gold, Silver, and White. The 29" x 30" reflector collapses down to 12". A carrying case is included for easy transportation and storage.

Neewer Photo Studio Multifunctional 32x32"/80x80cm Softbox with S-type Speedlite Flash Bracket Mount and Carrying Case
Want studio lighting on the cheap, while being portable enough for van life? For this product, you'll need to have an external flash and a way of triggering it remotely, but if you have that capability, then this is a great way to go to up your portrait or product photography game. The bracket has the added benefit of being able to use any of the Bowens Mount accessories. I also got a 7" reflector (Bowens Mount) that came with a Soft Diffuser Cover and 60 Degree Beehive Grid.

Vidpro WB-24 White Balance Disc Dual Sided 18% Grey Front & Reflector 24 Inch
Getting a good white balance is crucial, especially if you're doing portrait work. It saves so much time later when editing the image. This is also true when shooting video. This is another good example of how handy a folding product can be. It's 24 inches, so not so small you need to be right on top of it to get your readings. Collapses to a compact 8 inches diameter. Since it's 18% gray on one side, it's also great for getting a good exposure. The reverse side is white and makes a good reflector. Either side can be used to achieve a white balance. I always like products that serve several functions.

ESDDI 79inches Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod with 360° Panorama Ball Head, Monopod and Carry Bag
I was given this tripod by the seller (ESDDI) and truthfully, I wasn't expecting much. But once I got it and had a chance to use it, I'm actually quite impressed. The quality is surprisingly good and it can be converted to a damn nice monopod. The included ball head is really nice, too.

Now this seller is selling a tripod that is available under many different names. Sometimes the accent colors are different, but they are all basically the same exact tripod from some unknown Chinese manufacturer. And it's available under many names, such as GEEKOTO CT25 Pro Craftsman, ($110), Neewer 79 Inches Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod ($110), PHOPIK 79 inches Carbon Fiber Camera Tripod ($126), and I'm sure others. At the time of writing this, the price for this one is only $88, so they are the most competitive price-wise. They also have great customer service and reply quickly to emails. This is a killer deal for a super compact and versatile carbon fiber tripod.

Matin M-6296 2X View Finder
I mainly shoot outside and sometimes it can be very difficult to see the camera's screen to confirm an exposure, composition, etc. Having a loupe like this is invaluable when shooting in the field with bright sunshine.

When I'm shooting, this loupe is hanging around my neck pretty much the entire time (That's me on the left). The 2X also helps see the image better, especially for older eyes. For me, this is a mandatory piece of equipment and I wouldn't dream of not having one in my bag.

Hoodman also makes an excellent loupe, though a little more expensive.



The Stuff I Recommend...

Everything on this list is stuff I own and have used. I have only put items on this list I feel comfortable recommending and have excluded many items I own that I'm not real happy with. If I list it, it's the good shit!