I hear the word "Gear" often in photography discussion, as in "camera gear". Does gear mean the equipment like the camera itself, lens, grey card? I don't find a definition for it anywhere. Please help me to understand.

  • 1
    bit of a gross stereotype...i've never used the term 'nice bit of kit'...but let's have some scones anyway lol Apr 3, 2018 at 9:41
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    As a UK based amateur photographer, I have been known to refer to my equipment as kit. Most of my setup uses M42 mount lenses, and although there are some lenses which I favour on certain bodies, it is in essence a kit of parts which can be used in various configurations depending on the specific task. I should also add that in many parts of the UK, it's mandatory to carry scones at all times or risk a hefty fine...
    – Alex
    Apr 3, 2018 at 11:58
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    @Alex ah, but do you pronounce it scones or scones? Apr 3, 2018 at 12:07
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    @laurencemadill Scones of course, certainly not scones....
    – Alex
    Apr 3, 2018 at 12:08
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    @laurencemadill To clarify, scones as rhymes with phones. That said, if somebody pronounces it as scons, I will probably say it the same way. I've never been too worried about the pronunciation as I prefer crumpets. They're less practical on a shoot though, you need the toaster and a car battery or generator to power it at least, not to mention the table, tablecloth, chairs and all the plates. These days I tend to take a sandwich just for practicality.
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 14:05

4 Answers 4


From Merriam-Webster:

gear (noun): supplies, tools, or clothes needed for a special purpose

That's exactly the sense used here. The term includes camera bodies, lenses, tripods, lighting equipment, camera bags, and (although out of fashion now) maybe a vest with a lot of pockets (once common wear for professional photographers).

Note that there is a sense of physicality to the word: one would not normally describe Adobe Lightroom as "gear", even though it or similar software (Darktable, Rawtherapee) is almost essential for modern digital photography. A laptop, though — that could be "gear".

Also, in some parts of the world where British English is dominant (as opposed to American), the word "kit" is used in almost exactly the same sense. In America, the word "kit" in photography means "came in a set with the camera body". This difference occasionally leads to some confusion!


"Gear" is any and all hardware used to produce photographic images.

This includes cameras, lenses, filters, tripods and heads, monopods, bean bags, camera straps/slings/holsters, flashes, light modifiers, reflectors, light stands, backdrops, batteries, bags, backpacks, cases, etc.


Camera gear, fishing gear, soldiers combat gear, this is the stuff that is used and carried to play the game. Supplies, tools, equipment, clothing, etc, the necessary stuff to play the part.


Yes, "gear" means equipment: the camera itself, lenses, camera bag, tripod, grey card, SD cards, flashes, and anything else related really.

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