Recommended Photography Hardware

DISCLAIMER: The links to online stores in this article are not affiliates. I do not get any form of benefit if you purchase from these links. The links are to B&H Photo in US Dollars unless noted otherwise.

Please Note: This article is not optimised for mobile viewing. Please consider switching to a desktop browser.

Recommended Hardware |

There's a group on Facebook called Computer & Technology Help for Photographers. I'm a co-admin of the group and I highly recommend you join up. It is free and full of helpful tips, tricks and other goodies. The reason I've brought it up is because quite often we are asked things like 'what's the best laptop for Lightroom' or 'I need to start backing up my computer, what's the best hard drives to use'. After seemingly answering the same questions time and time again, I thought writing an article on my recommended hardware would be a helpful 'first-step'. If you need further help understanding this article or want further help with the products I've listed, either leave a comment on this article or ask on the Facebook group, and link back to this article so I know which product you're talking about.

The links to purchase these products are for B&H Photo in America (unless noted otherwise). B&H Ships world wide and you can view the products in your chosen currency.

Below are some categories and products I recommend. Simply click the title link below to be taken straight to that section.

This Article Contains:

Professional Monitors

BenQ 27" Adobe RGB Professional Monitor |

BenQ SW2700PT 27inch Adobe RGB

This monitor is serious bang for your buck. 27 inches on the diagonal, Adobe RGB 1998 wide-gamut colour, IPS panel, 10-Bit display, hardware calibration and much more. Click the Learn More button below to... well, learn more.

Mizo ColorEdge CS2420 |

Eizo Coloredge CS2420

This 24" monitor is more expensive, but still good value for money. Eizo is the industry standard for professional monitors. The creative, engineering and medical industries use them widely. All the technology in this display is far more advanced than the aforementioned BenQ, is a more manageable size and has a higher pixel density and resolution.


[back to top]

Laptops are hard to recommend because they update so fast and so often. So below are the minimum and recommended specs you should look for when buying a laptop.


Intel Quad-Core i5

16GB (1600MHz DDR3)

1TB - 2TB 7200rpm Hard Drive
256GB SSD (for the operating system)

(minimum 2GB vRAM)


Intel Quad-Core i7

32GB (2133MHz DDR4)

512GB - 1TB SSD

NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon
(minimum 4GB vRAM)

Below are four laptops with recommended specs. Make sure you do your research, computer hardware changes often.
HP ZBook Workstation |

HP ZBook 15" G4

Windows 10 Pro
Quad-Core Intel i7 2.9Ghz (3.9Ghz Turbo-Boost (Kaby Lake))
512GB SSD (Z Turbo PCIe Drive)
NVIDIA Quadro M2200 (4 GB GDDR5 vRAM)
15 Inch sRGB FHD Display (1920 x 1080)

2018 15" Macbook Pro |

MacBook Pro (2018 model)

macOS High Seirra
2.2GHz 6-core eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor
Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz
Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory
16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory
512GB of SSD storage
True Tone Retina Display (2800 x 1800)

HP Omen 15" |

OMEN 15-ax238tx Notebook

Windows 10 Home
Quad-Core Intel i7 2.8Ghz (3.8Ghz Turbo-Boost (Kaby Lake))
1TB 5400rpm HDD + 256GB SSD
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti (4GB GDDR5 vRAM)
15 Inch UHD sRGB Display (3840 x 2160)

Cards & Readers

[back to top]

SanDisk ExtremePRO CFast |

SanDisk 64GB ExtremePRO CFast 2.0

525MB/s Read Speed
430MB/s Write Speed
130MB/s Min Write Speed (VPG-130 For Video Recording)
64GB Storage Capacity

SanDisk ExtremePRO CF |

SanDisk 64GB ExtremePRO CompactFlash

160MB/s Read and Write Speed
64GB Storage Capacity

SanDisk ExtremePRO SD |

SanDisk 64GB ExtremePRO SD

95MB/s Read and Write Speed
Class 10
64GB Storage Capacity

SanDisk Professional Card Reader |

SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Reader

USB 3.0
Data Transfer Rate - 500 MB/s

SanDisk Professional Card Reader |

SanDisk ImageMate All-in-One Reader

USB 3.0
CF, SD and MicroSD Cards (does not support CFast)
Data Transfer Speeds up to 500MB/s
Detachable Stand

Lexar Professional Card Reader |

Lexar Professional CompactFlash/SD Duel Slot

USB 3.0
Compatible with CF and SD Cards (does not support CFast)
Data Transfer Speeds up to 500MB/s
Supports UDMA 7

Please Note: Manufacturing for this product will end in September. If you're wanting to buy one, get one now, as after September supplies will drop.

Portable Storage

[back to top]

G Tech G-Drive 1TB |

G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE

Hard Drive
Thunderbolt 2

This slightly more expensive portable hard drive is still a super fast option. If the LaCie rugged is too bulky or orange for your taste, this G-DRIVE is a serious contender. It isn't drop resistant and it certainly isn't waterproof, but it is elegant and very quiet.

G-Tech 500GB Slim SSD |

G-Technology 500GB Slim

Solid State Drive (SSD)
USB C (3.1)

If you're after a super fast portable storage option you cannot go past the G-Tech 500GB USB-C SSD. This isn't a rugged design though, so be careful with it. SSDs are less likely to break due to there being no moving parts, but it's still better to be safe than sorry.

G-Technology 1TB Rugged |

G-Technology 1TB Rugged

7200RPM Hard Drive
Thunderbolt 2

If you need something a little more robust, this G-Tech rugged hard drive is a good contender. Protected in a rugged hardshell casing, you can drop it, knock it, throw it and it'll still hold up. HOWEVER, I don't ever recommend doing any of that on purpose with a hard disk because it has moving parts, moving parts means things can break.

HGST 1TB Touro |

Western Digital Elements 1TB

5400RPM Hard Drive
USB 3.0

The 1TB Elements external portable hard drive by WD (Western Digital) is one of the best portable USB-3 hard drives on the market. You cannot go past this drive, especially at it's $82 price.

Samsung T3 SSD |

Samsung T3 500GB SSD

Solid State Drive (SSD)
USB-C (USB 3.1)
USB-C to USB-A Adapter

This puppy is fast. That's all you need to know.

Desktop Storage

[back to top]

Western Digital Hard Drive |

WD MyBook Desktop 4TB

7200RPM Hard Drive
USB-3 Type A
256-bit AES Hardware Encryption
Windows and macOS Compatible

Reliable and Affordable Non-Professional Solution


G-Technology G-Drive

4TB - 10TB
7200RPM Hard Drive
Thunderbolt 3
USB 3.1 Type C

Reliable Professional Solution

LaCie 2Big |

G-Technology G-RAID

4TB - 12TB
7200RPM Hard Drive
USB-3.0 Type B
Removable Hard Drives

Reliable Professional Solution

Backup Storage

[back to top]

Western Digital MyBook Duo |

Western Digital MyBook Duo

• 4TB - 16TB Capacities
USB 3.0
RAID Configurable
Removable Hard Drives

This is a great option for budget backup. When the hard drives inside get full, you can remove them, keep them safe somewhere and put new hard drive in. For more info about this, ask about it in the aforementioned Facebook group. Higher capacities available.

Drobo 5C |

Drobo 5C (NAS)

Up to 5 3.5" SATA II/III Hard Disk Drives
Drive Hot-Swapping
macOS Time Machine Support
Supports Windows & macOS

Synology DS416 (NAS)

4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA III Drive Bays
2x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
3x USB 3.0 Ports
Drive Hot-Swapping

Colour Management

[back to top]

X-Rite Colour Checker |

X-Rite Colour Checker Passport

This is used to calibrate the colours that come out of your camera. You create custom camera profiles via software like Lightroom and CaptureOne. These are really only necessary if your photography is strongly colour critical, like product or fashion photography for example.

i1 Display Pro |

X-Rite i1 Display Pro

This is a monitor calibration device. This allows you to calibrate the colours of your monitor to achieve accurate colour reproduction. This is by far the best out there in this price range. If you're after something a little cheaper, the ColorMunki Display is the next best thing.

X-Rite ColorMunki Photo |

X-Rite ColorMunki Photo

The ColorMunki Photo is a brilliant device. This is used to calibrate the colour of your monitor, much like the i1 Display Pro, only this also calibrates your printer. You print off a colour card then scan the colours of that card with this device. If you print your own photos, this is a necessity.

Canon PIXMA Pro 10s |

Canon PIXMA Pro 10s

Adobe RGB 1998 Printing
LUCIA 10-Colour Ink
Prints up to A3 Size
Wireless Printing (Apple AirPrint)
CD/DVD Printing Capability

Epson SC-P800 |

Epson SureColor P800

Adobe RGB 1998 Printing
Epson UltraChrome HD Ink
Prints up to A2 Size
Paper Roll Support
Wireless Printing (Apple AirPrint)

Canon Program Pro-1000 |

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

Adobe RGB 1998 Printing
LUCIA Pro 12-Colour Ink
Prints up to A2 Size
Wireless Printing


Anything from ThinkTank

ThinkTank Photo have a huge range of camera bags. Check out their website and see what you think. Many photography retailers around the world sell these bags. Visit your local store and see if they have one.

Pro Runner 450 AW II |

LowePro Pro Runner 450 AW II

I recommend this particular bag from LowePro because I own it. It's a heavy bag, but fits all my gear, has chest and waist straps to help spread the load and has a dedicated laptop section that fits a 15" laptop.

Brenthaven Collins |

Brenthaven 15" Slim Brief (Collins Collection)

I bought this bag from Apple when they sold Brenthaven Products. Unfortunately this bag is now only available in the US. The quality of this product is unmatched to any other laptop brief I've used. Can't recommend it enough! It fits a 15" laptop in a dedicated padded section that sits above the bottom of the bag so it never hits the ground when you put the bag down. I've owned this bag for three years now and it still looks brand new.

Please Note: This bag is currently only available in the US.

Mercer Weekender |

Brenthaven Weekender (Mercer Collection)

This bag isn't a dedicated camera bag, but a beautiful weekender that can fit your clothes whilst traveling on a shoot, plus those extras like your laptop, portable hard drives and other accessories.

Fits a 15" Laptop
Tablet Pocket
Integrated Battery Charger

Please Note: This bag is currently only available in the US.

Roamographer |

Roamographer - An American Bison Leather Camera Bag

Perfect for that traveling photographer. It has a removable divider insert to convert this weekender from a camera bag to a regular bag. If you love leather, and love a duffel type bag, this one is definitely for you. Available in Brown and Black.


I hope this article has been an interesting and informing read. If you have any questions or comments to make, comment below. Also, if you’d like to receive an email every time I publish a new post, you can subscribe to my mailing list below.

Other Recent Articles