"Essential" gear is a relative term. Each situation and budget has its own necessities. But this video of noted photog Chase Jarvis explaining his core kits is a solid breakdown of how to be ready for any situation.
Just like the tip videos we posted yesterday, it's worth nothing that there are tons of gear videos like this around the web. Why post this one? Because it is relatively succinct and covers various "tiers" of readiness. Jarvis starts with the bare bones photo kit, moves on to the video kit, then ends with the more hefty production kit.
Of course, few have the cash to spring for even a portion of the equipment Jarvis is sporting in the video. We are talking thousands and thousands of dollars. But it gives a really solid overall perspective of what works and what doesn't. I also really like how Jarvis favors things like weight and size when picking his gear. For lenses especially, people tend to automatically go for the fastest, highest quality lens possible, when that glass might just be needlessly weighing you down.
Take a look for yourself! Is there anything you think could be improved about Chase's kit? [ISO 1200]