Tiny Urban Kitchen's Favorite Equipment

Hi!

Welcome to my favorite equipment page!

This page includes both my photography equipment as well as a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

CAMERAS
Many, many people have asked me what camera I use in my food photography, especially at restaurants where the lighting is really dark. I've shown below the two cameras that I use. For a full article about how I use my cameras as my thoughts about them, click here.

Sony DSC-RX1

I received this camera as a Christmas present from Bryan in 2012 and it has been my go-to food blogging camera ever since. Although it does not have a removable lens, the fixed 35 mm f/2.0 Carl Zeiss lens is an excellent lens and takes phenomenal pictures. It's one of the smallest full frame sensor cameras of which I am aware. I bring it with me all the time and most restaurant shots are taken with this camera.


(2012) Canon 5D MKIII 
When I know I'm going to a special event, or if I know I'll be in a very challenging light situation, I will bring this camera along. I swear, it can almost take pictures in the dark. We bring it along with us on all of our trips, and it's really versatile. It's biggest (and only) drawback is that it's HUGE. It's still worth it, though, This is an amazing camera that really takes seriously good photographs. I usually bring this one when I travel and I use it for most landscape and city shots, as well as action shots that require the zoom lens.

Bryan's Favorite Point & Shoot Camera
Bryan recently bought himself a pretty snazzy point & shoot camera. I have to say, I'm really, really impressed with this little Sony camera. It's small enough to fit inside his pocket, yet takes quite impressive food photos in pretty dark lighting. This is definitely Bryan's travel camera of choice for his business trips, and he takes it with him everywhere he travels.


24-105 mm f/4 lens
Another present from Bryan (such a generous guy!),  this is my favorite all-time lens as its zoom range is versatile. Although this lens doesn't quite have as low light capabilities, it has a wonderfully versatile zoom range and can still handle reasonably low light due to the fact that it has stability control. It is my favorite travel camera.

Bryan's favorite travel lens is the Canon 24mm f/1.4 wide angle lens. It takes wonderful sweeping shots of landscapes and cityscapes, and performs beautifully in low light conditions.

After raw files leave my camera (yes, I don't advise shooting in jpg! Please shoot in raw if possible!), I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 to catalog and work up my images. I absolutely love Lightroom because it makes photo processing so much easier! There are little sliders on the right side which allow you to fine tune parameters such as exposure, color, and clarity. Finally, there are all these plug-ins you can get that allow you to automatically upload to Flickr or post to your favorite blogging software all in one step. Definitely a time saver!

(2009-2012) Panasonic Lumix GF1

A birthday gift from Bryan in 2009 (soon after Tiny Urban Kitchen was christened), this was my carry-with-me-everywhere camera for three years, a bulk of this blog's life! It is small enough to put inside my purse and it's really light. I love the f/1.7 aperture, which allows me to shoot really nice pictures in extremely low light conditions (typically inside restaurants). It is seriously the ultimate food blogger's camera.  Click here to read more detailed thoughts about it.

(2009-2012) Canon 5D MK II

The Mark II was the camera I used from 2009-2012. It is still an excellent camera and performs gorgeously in low light situations (as well as many other situations). Click here to read more detailed thoughts about it.


KITCHEN

Jura-Capresso Impressa F9 Fully Automatic Coffee and Espresso Center
We absolutely love our espressos and cappuccinos. We drink them every single day.  We were sooooo lucky and found this machine selling at Costco for about 40% off retail. Sadly, we haven't seen it since that one time. This trooper of a machine has served us faithfully for the last two years. It is Swiss built and super reliable. We love that it's completely automatic (everything from grinding, tapping, removing the grounds) and you can choose whatever type of beans you want to put inside. No K-cups needed! 

This machine is quite expensive, but we've definitely gotten our money's worth and we absolutely love it. The espressos that it makes have excellent crema.  The cappuccinos are solid as well. I would highly recommend it!

Oster electric kettle

I use this electric kettle almost every day to make tea. Heck, I use it to heat up water for the pot when I want to boil pasta because it's so much faster. There's actually no particular reason why I own this one (mostly just because they had it at Target). I am going to guess that most electric kettles work similarly fast and effectively. I picked this one because of the way it looks. It does get hot, so definitely be careful!

Zojirushi Fuzzy Rice Cooker
I have an older model of this rice cooker and I love it! It makes perfect rice every time. I also like how it has settings for different kinds rice, and you can set different types of timer options. Seriously, after having tried one of these rice cookers, it's hard to go back to a normal one. :)

Lello 4090 Gelato Pro Quart Ice Cream Maker
Bryan got this for me as a birthday present one year and I absolutely love it. It has its own condenser so you don't have to bother with taking up precious freezer space for a huge dewar. Best yet, you can make ice cream on a whim just by turning it on. It makes luxuriously beautiful ice cream. You can check out some of the more unique ice creams I've made on this blog, such as avocado, olive oil, black sesame, simple lemon, and grape nut.

Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron French Oven
I can't believe it took me this long to appreciate how awesome cast-iron Dutch ovens are! I finally bought my first Le Creuset piece the summer of 2010 at an outlet store. I am still amazed at how evenly it heats everything and how well it retains heat. Seriously, it has made stir frying a breeze. I love the versatility of this pot. Yes, it's heavy and a pain to lift up, but it's totally worth it for the performance. It has become one of my default pots of choice whenever I want to stir-fry! Perhaps I'll look into a cast iron wok next!

Microplane Zester

This little gadget is surprisingly useful for so many things! Of course I use it to zest my lemons, but I also use it for shaving cheese, as well as chocolate! It's quite sharp, so be careful!

Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Hollow Ground Knife
For the longest time, this was my favorite knife. Bryan gave this to me one Christmas.  It far surpassed all the cheaper Tramontina knives I had in my starter set. I still swear by Japanese knives (I think they are among the best in the world), though I recently purchased some Masamoto Tsukiji knives (hard to get outside of Japan), which are nothing short of amazing. For a knife that is easily purchasable in the U.S., I still think this is a fantastic option. It's great for someone like me who has slightly smaller hands.

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you can contact me at: jen[at]tinyurbankitchen[dot]com
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