What's In Jonathan's Backpack

Anytime I start becoming captivated with a new vlogger, filmmaker, or photographer's work, one of the very first things I think to myself is "I wonder what type of equipment they use?". Often that question is not answered on any of that artist's platforms, but whenever they do answer that question (ESPECIALLY when they explain how they often use outdated technology that is significantly cheaper), the gear-nerd inside of me eats that junk up! So I figured "Hey, maybe someone might wonder the same thing about me?"! If nothing else, this is an opportunity to indulge that side of me and geek out in a brief tech exposé of the things that I know and love to use. So here's a list of what I use and a bit of reasoning behind why I use it!


The Everyday Backpack by Peak Design - This backpack is AMAZING! As Samantha and I were taking inventory of the equipment we would need to take to Budapest, Hungary we realized that neither of us had good quality backpacks to carry our equipment comfortably. We also had nothing that would offer sufficient protection for our equipment. This became quite a concern for us as we began to consider what our life will be like in Budapest. With no car, we will be walking or taking public transportation everywhere we need to go and carry all of our equipment with us. Knowing that with the life we have chosen as missionaries there wouldn't always be money to replace equipment if something happens, we decided it would be invaluable to choose quality protection for our gear.

As I do with every purchase I make, I researched and researched and researched for days before I came across the Everyday Backpack, one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns to date. I then proceeded with further research for weeks (literally) comparing it against every other bag out there at every price point finally realizing "This is the one!". Samantha and her mother combined forces (Samantha having to sell a few things to help with the purchase) and they surprised me with it for my birthday!

I told myself I would do the same for Samantha; however, my curse of the need to research everything so thoroughly caused me to be nearly 2 1/2 months late with it (and ending with selling my first electric guitar for the money). I knew style was a little bit more important for her so finding a balance of style with functionality AND at a decent price point was TOUGH, but this thing is seriously incredible and the company that makes it Atlas Supply Co. is great too. Go check them out!

*** DISCLAIMEr ***

We have absolutely no relationship with either of these companies and weren't asked to recommend their products; HOWEVER, if anyone reading this has connections with either company you should totally introduce us, because their products are the bee's knees!


Cannon T4i - So for my camera body I still have the same Cannon T4i that I have had for the last four years. We REALLY hope to be able to upgrade at some point to the Cannon M5 as this is the camera we use for vlogging and it gets a little heavy (and it's not that great at handling low light situations). With that being said, I still love this camera. It has served me well and has never given me problems. It carried me through three photography courses in college, many funny video shoots for our youth ministry, three youth camps, several missions trips, a few Christian Biker rallies, and on several video shoots as a backup camera during my time on staff as the Video Producer at Church at the Mall. It has been to the Dominican Republic, New York, Daytona Beach, Philadelphia, Alabama, Georgia, and it's very ready to return to its favorite place again: Budapest, Hungary.


I still have a kit lens (18mm - 55mm) that I never use but it still sometimes manages to show up in my backpack as a backup just in case.

Cannon EFS 10-22mm - This is my widest lens and it is what we use in the vlogs. 

Tamron 24-70mm - my favorite lens of all time, purchased used. This thing has never once performed less than flawlessly. The image stabilization is a revelation and crucial to shots that I can actually deem as somewhat professional. The only lens I use when it comes to more serious projects.


DJI Mavic Pro - equipped with a set of Polar Pro Cinema ND filters and a couple of extra batteries. I love it!


Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Mic - I've had this microphone for years and it has never let me down! It is great in MANY different situations!

Shure FP Wireless System - For every other situation I have a lapel and a handheld wireless mic system. I got them a few years ago and they still work awesome!

Memory Cards - Several memory cards of varying capacities SDs and Micro SDs and lots of flash drives.

Two 128gb Memory Cards - Sam and I each have one of these that we got for Christmas and we use them mostly.

LaCie 2tb Rugged Thunderbolt HDD - I literally work straight off of this. All of my video files are sourced from here and it still preforms at brilliant speed even with large format 4k video files. Keeping my files off of my computer allows my computer to continue to run smoothly and quickly and forces me to organize my files (before my LaCie my desktop was a mess).

2014 MacBook Pro - This joker has made it through A LOT! Through countless incredibly strenuous video editing projects, graphic animation, website designing (projects that really should be done on a more powerful desktop), getting slower and slower as time moved on. After narrowly surviving a short drop of about 1 1/2 feet onto carpet just months after the 3 year warranty ran out the display cracked slightly behind the glass sending a series of black and purple lines down the top left side of the screen. This was something that I have worked around for the past 3-4 months as it progressively creeped further and further down the screen, my top menu bar was something that I had to grow to be able to navigate through from muscle memory as my cursor would disappear behind the glitched out corner. Finally after months God provided! My Dad played golf in a charity event and as a thank you the sponsors extended a credit to everyone who participated through their website! This didn't pay off my new computer by any means but it all0wed me a head start on a new MacBook Pro. 

2017 MacBook Pro - While I do still have my old glitchy MacBook Pro as a backup I realized the necessity of purchasing this before our move since I will need to use this machine to train ministry minded marketers come September. Along with this computer there are also a few adapters that were necessary to allow the new machine to work with older equipment.

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Personal funding for new equipment is very tight so please pray for the protection of all of these devices as we travel and explore a new city, a new country, a new continent in faith with an ambition to use all of this equipment to advance our Father's kingdom.