The gear you use to make a picture or write a story doesn’t matter, but people find this stuff fascinating, so here is a list of what I’m currently using – for both my editorial and photographic work.

You’ll find no affiliate links or sponsored listings here. This is just the gear I rely on to earn my living, no frills.

Pinnacle Editorial

Hardware

  • Apple MacBook Pro 13″ (2012). My main production machine is a relatively elderly MacBook Pro, chosen due to its ability to be upgraded by the user. I’ve maxed it out with 16GB of RAM, and added a 500GB SSD alongside the original 500GB HD (which now holds my Lightroom library). It’s starting to show its age for photo and video editing but still blazes through all other tasks. I keep a 2012 Mac Mini as a reserve machine and a selection of portable 1-2TB hard drives on the backup rotation.
  • iPhone SE (64GB). I like and have used both iOS and Android. Ulysses is only available for iOS, which is a big factor for me. I wish the SE were waterproof!
  • BenQ GW2765HT 27″ IPS monitor (2560 x 1440). A large and pretty decent IPS panel, good enough for photo editing. I have it mounted on an articulating arm next to the MacBook Pro, which I use as a smaller second screen.
  • Apple Magic Keyboard. I used to be a mechanical keyboard person, until I realised I could type about 50% faster on Apple’s bog-standard wireless keyboard. Haven’t looked back.
  • Apple Magic Mouse. It’s a mouse. Not much to say about it.
  • Apple Macintosh Classic (1990). Still working after nearly thirty years. I grew up using these computers and often fire this one up for a focused writing session.
  • Acorn PocketBook II (1994). A Psion-compatible palmtop computer, used for storing certain databases I want to keep on an isolated offline system.
  • Paper notebooks. Still a critical component in my workflow. I use paper for day-to-day task management, organising ideas, and composing rough drafts. My notebooks usually end up looking something like scrappier and less Instagram-worthy versions of the ‘bullet journal’.

Software

  • Microsoft Word. I don’t love Word, but the editorial world revolves around it. I spend 80% of my working day in Word.
  • Ulysses. The gold standard in Markdown text editors is now subscription-only, to my regret, but it’s an indispensable part of my workflow. I use it for both long-form writing and notes.
  • WordPress. The web runs on it… including this website and other sites I help edit.
  • Adobe InDesign and Acrobat. For editing magazine layouts and other documents, mostly from publishers.
  • Dropbox. How did remote workers even do anything before Dropbox?
  • Trello and Basecamp 2. For all my project management and collaboration needs.
  • ViewRanger, Gaia GPS and Garmin Basecamp. I use these programs for managing GPX files and digital maps. Each has different strengths and weaknesses.

Photography

Cameras

  • Fujifilm X-Pro2. I’ve used Fujifilm’s X-Series cameras since 2015, and the X-Pro2 occupies the top spot in the range along with the X-T2. I prefer the rangefinder style and optical viewfinder.
  • Fujifilm X70. This is my camera of choice for long-distance, ultralight backpacking, and also makes a handy secondary shooter in a range of situations. It’s highly compact and only weighs around 350g.

Lenses

  • Samyang 12mm f/2. This X-mount manual superwide prime lens excels at landscape and astrophotography.
  • Fujinon XF 18mm f/2. Not Fuji’s best wide-angle lens, but it’s very lightweight and compact, almost a pancake lens. I use it for street and general-purpose mountain photography.
  • Fujinon XF 35mm f/2. I’ve always loved the 50mm (full-frame equivalent) perspective. Fuji’s latest offering at this focal length is weather sealed and offers extremely good image quality.
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7. A vintage Pentax manual lens I’ve had for years. I don’t take it on the hill, but it’s great for product photography or the occasional portrait. Soft but full of character at maximum aperture. I use a Fotodiox adapter to mount K-mount lenses on the X-Pro2.
  • Fujinon XC 50-230 f/4.5-6.7. On the occasions when I need a genuine telephoto – basic wildlife photography and tele landscape stuff – this gets the job done. The slow maximum aperture makes it mediocre for wildlife but it’s actually a decent lens for landscape.

Other stuff

  • Adobe Lightroom. For image processing and photo organisation. It’s slow on my computer but I couldn’t function without it.
  • Lowepro Nova 170 AW camera bag. My latest in a lengthy quest to find a waterproof camera bag for tough mountain conditions. Yet to be field tested, but I like the large capacity and all-weather cover.
  • Mirrorless Mover 5 camera bag. This dinky camera bag is just the right size for a compact camera and a couple of spare batteries. I tend to use this one for ultralight backpacking.
  • Pedco Ultrapod II compact tripod. A miniature (~113g) tripod used for ultralight backpacking.
  • Slik Compact II tripod. A bigger tripod – still very light at 513g, but offering much more height than the Ultrapod.
  • Vanguard VEO 235AB. My biggest tripod, weighing a hefty 1.5kg but offering far greater stability.
  • Røde VideoMicro shotgun microphone. For my occasional forays into video.