The real voyage of discovery is not seeking new landscapes, but having new eyes. (Proust)
TOOLKIT: CAMERAS & LENSES
My cameras are an extension of my vision, providing both a record of observations and a path to art. The pages in this section include comments and reviews of equipment that are part of my photographic arsenal. Experience has taught me that redundancy is a good plan. Taking only one camera body on a long field trek can lead to a ruined trip and missed opportunities if that one camera fails. Most memorably, there was the time when the mirror fell out of my nearly new Canon 5D while I was changing lenses (and also teaching a class...) There was an awkward silence among the group as I reached down to pick up the small, shiny piece of glass.
Presently, I use Nikon DSLR bodies -- a D3x for large files, an indestructible body, and superb resolution; a D700 as a lighter-weight camera with great image quality at high ISO/low light, and a newly acquired D7000 that helps extend the reach of telephoto lenses, and is a staple for macro-photography. The Nikons are fitted with GPS sensors that tag all images with GPS data as they are shot. I also shoot with a Panasonic micro 4/3 camera, the GH2, which is lightweight, eminently back-packable, and provides surprisingly good image quality as well as great HD video. A Canon S90 is almost always with me. And there's always the cell phone if all else fails.
I have too many lenses. Those Nikkor lenses that are used most consistently in geologic imaging are the 24mm PC-E, 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 105mm 2.8D macro, and 50mm 1.8D.I am experimenting with a very lovely 85mm 1.4G as well. Some are older glass that still provide great quality images, and are not worth a whole lot in the used market. (The Nikon 35-70/macro comes to mind.)
At the end of the day, it matters little what lenses you have somewhere in your bag. The only thing that counts is what you have captured. Better to shoot an exceptional image with a point and shoot, than a worthless, poorly composed and lit picture with the best camera in the universe. Some of my best images were taken with an old Nikon Coolpix, or a Canon A640. Today, the cell phone is often the go-to camera.
So never be concerned that you shouldn't take pictures because you don't have a "good" camera. The eye trumps technology every time.