People often ask me what camera gear I use, so I thought it would be fun to do a little write-up.
As a hiking and backpacking photographer, I have found myself constantly battling the pursuit of better image quality (higher resolution and better dynamic range) with the desire to carry smaller and lighter gear on my adventures. Every piece of camera equipment is some sort of compromise between the two and everybody has different goals and shoots with gear ranging from cell phones and point-and-shoot cameras to high-end dSLRs and expensive medium and large-format rigs. As a Nikon SLR shooter myself, I typically try to carry a standard zoom lens, an ultra-wide angle lens, a macro lens, and if weight permits, a telephoto zoom lens. (While I am Nikon-centric, Canon makes excellent gear as well.) I am also a big fan of Micro Four Thirds: a smaller mirrorless interchangeable lens system jointly supported by Panasonic and Olympus. Micro Four Thirds has an amazing selection of zooms and primes, all which are virtually weightless when compared to their SLR counterparts.
Whatever camera system you carry, if you're looking to do some long hikes, the weight of your camera gear is a major factor, so I recommend going as light as possible. Over the years, I have encountered many miserable photographers on the trail who have lugged their entire lens collection around on some of long routes. 20 pounds of f/2.8 zooms and f/1.4 primes can really weigh you down when you're trying to ascend 3000 feet up a mountain in 100-degree temperatures. (Many photographers have also confessed to me that they didn't use the majority of the lenses they lugged around.)
Some of my favorite cameras and lenses are listed below. For landscape and hiking/backpacking photography, I tend to favor light variable aperture zooms and f/4 zooms over expensive f/1.4 primes and f/2.8 zooms, especially since I usually shoot at f/5.6-f/8. Note that there are so many other great pieces of camera equipment out there; I'm just listing my personal favorites here.
For tripods, I typically bring two types on hiking trips: a big sturdy one for more "serious" work (like sunrise/sunset shots, time exposures, etc.) and a smaller, lighter one for use on strenuous hikes when keeping weight down is important. A big sturdy tripod can also make for a useful walking stick on stream hikes. In my quest to find the ultimate hiking tripod, I stumbled upon the SIRUI N-1004, an amazingly high-quality tripod from a relatively unknown company. This tripod is very lightweight, yet also quite sturdy, with several unexpected features like a removable monopod leg and interchangable center columns. As for filters, I sometimes use ND (neutral density) filters and polarizers. Polarizers can often make the sky more dramatic, bring out details in clouds, and remove unwanted reflections in water, but when overused, they can also make water look lifeless and turn the sky to an ugly dull shade of blue.