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What's in your bag, Lytro's Eric Cheng?

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wiyb eric lead

What's in your bag? is a recurring feature where we ask people to tell us a bit more about their everyday gadgets by opening their bags and hearts to us. Show us your bag in this forum post. This week, we're branching out beyond the safe waters of The Verge to feature Lytro's Eric Cheng.

Eric Cheng is Director of Photography at Lytro, the company behind the next-generation Lytro camera. He also works as an underwater photographer and is owner and publisher of, a community website for underwater photographers, so it's no surprise he's got bags full of camera gear, accessories, and lenses. Follow him at @echeng.




These days, I spend about half my time at Lytro HQ in Mountain View, and roam around on business during the other half. I always need to be prepared to document something photographically. These two bags are the bags I almost always have with me.

In my work as an underwater photographer, I lead expeditions to remote places that sometimes last 40 days or more in length. Obviously, my bags look very different when I travel for that sort of work!


Incase Range Backpack

I used to carry around a messenger bag, but I eventually realized that I am not a bike messenger. Switching to a backpack eliminated lopsided soreness after long commutes on foot and on public transportation. The Incase is simple, but has a padded notebook compartment and plenty of space, while not being too bulky.

MacBook Pro 15" w/high-density screen

I use a Mac Pro at home, but rely on MacBook Pros when I travel. I hate waiting, so I replace optical drives with a SSD for boot, with a second (spinning) drive for storing big files. I don't even remember the last time I used a CD and never miss the optical drive.

The New iPad

Aside from the occasional National Geographic, I read exclusively on iPad. When I come across an article that looks interesting, I add it to my Pocket queue for offline reading. I also pretty much buy any book that someone recommends, unless it's not in the Kindle store, in which case I will probably never read it.

Eagle Creek man purse

I always have a camera with me, and this little Eagle Creek bag is packed full. It lives inside my backpack when I'm on a mission to get to a destination, but if I see a shooting opportunity, the bag comes out of the backpack and is slung diagonally over a shoulder. This tiny little bag holds a mirrorless camera with extra lenses, a Lytro camera, and accessories.


Two Lytro cameras for scenes with a lot of depth. One is a backup.

Eagle Creek pouch

All my dongles, cables, AC adapters, and USB sticks go in here.

Domke F-4AF Pro System Bag

For SLR work, I've been using this workhorse camera bag for 13 years. It's not padded, which means that it can hold a lot for its size. Inside, there is a camera compartment, 2 lens pockets, 2 large side pockets, and a long front pocket. You can work out of this bag quickly, which is key.





Canon 5D Mark III

I'm still most productive with a SLR camera. They are fast and can be operated by feel and gut. The Canon 5D Mark III just works, and produces beautiful images. These days, I'm carrying around Canon 50mm f/1.2L and Canon 135mm f/2L lenses, although I swap out with more versatile lenses when I need to do specific work.

Sony NEX-7

I love this little mirrorless camera. It produces great images, and is tiny. I hope the NEX range gets a better selection of lenses in the long run. At the moment, I carry around a 16mm pancake, 24/1.8 Zeiss, and 50/1.8.

Accessories I Love


Wide angle, fisheye and macro for iPhone!

Mini-tripod and Glif

Combined with the iPhone and Olloclip, I'm ready to capture stills, timelapses, Cinemagrams, and more.

Emergency USB sticks and SD cards

On an SD card, I carry around a Mac OS X Lion installer. I also carry a bootable Mac OS X rescue volume on USB stick, loaded with Disk Warrior and other utilities. I've had my Mac stop booting a couple times while on assignment, and these things totally saved me.

Full gear list


Incase Range Backpack
MacBook Pro 15"
The New iPad
National Geographic issue
Red/cyan anaglyph 3D glasses
Lytro business cards
iPad stylus
Microfiber cloth
Future Sonics earphones
MacBook Pro AC adapter
Short extension cord for AC adapter
Eagle Creek man purse
Sony NEX-7 mirrorless camera
Sony 16mm/2.8 lens
Sony 24mm/1.8 lens
Sony 50mm/1.8 lens
Lytro camera, Red Hot
business cards
tiny tripod
micro-USB cable
Glif w/rubberband
small notebook
Eagle Creek pouch
SD card w/Mac OS X Lion installer
USB stick, bootable rescue volume
More USB sticks
Elgato Turbo H264 USB video encoder
iPhone / iPad charging cables (2)
micro-USB cables (2)
mini-USB cable (1)
Firewire800 cable
mini-DP dongles for HDMI, DVI, HD15
iPhone AC adapter
iPad AC adapter
1-to-3 AC adapter
expired film (2 rolls)
Domke F-4AF
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 50/1.2L lens w/lens hood
Canon 135/2L lens w/lens hood
Canon 580EX speedlight
Lytro camera, Graphite
Extra battery
Microfiber cloth
4 spare AA batteries

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