Since I’m a photographer, you’re probably wondering what kind of camera gear I bring along with me when I’m traveling right? Well… it’s a lot, but not that much if you compare me to more serious travel photographers. I physically can’t carry that much anyway — I’m a petite 5’1″ hobbit!
Let’s start off with my main camera – the one I use for work! I use the Canon EOS 5D Mark II which, yes I know, is an old camera but hey instead of using that money to upgrade my camera, I use it for traveling instead. Priorities 😀 There’s a new version of my camera, which is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Yes that’s right. I have the II and there’s a IV out. That’s how old my camera is haha! Like most DSLRs these days, this camera takes both photos and videos. Now let’s move on to my lenses.
Many people think it’s the camera body that takes the nice photos, when your lens is what matters more. I bring three lenses with me. I’ll show you what they can do below.
The one I have on my camera a majority of the time when I’m traveling is the Canon 17-40mm f/4L. It’s ultra wide, which makes it perfect for capturing full buildings and architecture from both the inside and outside. I also use it for videos since it can capture everything!
Another lens I bring with me is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 which is great for portraits or focusing on a subject. I like to use this lens for my b-rolls in videos. It has beautiful bokeh (when your subject is in focus and the background is blurry). SO GORGEOUS. It also works beautifully in low light. The thing that confuses non-photography people about this lens is the fact that it’s a prime lens (also known as a fixed lens), meaning it does not zoom. If you want to “zoom” in or out, you physically have to move closer or further away from your subject. “Why would you want a lens like that?!” You may ask. Well, prime lenses are sharper and give you more quality photos, that’s why!
My favorite lens (and also the biggest and heaviest, ugh!) is Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L. “But you said prime lenses are better quality!” Yes, I know, but you also get what you pay for. This lens is not cheap. Maybe mine is slightly cheaper because, just like my camera, it’s old. The newest model is Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. It costs more than a lot of people’s camera bodies alone. It’s big and clunky and oh so heavy. I hate lugging it around, but I love how great the photos turn out. I mostly use this for portraits (this is my “work” lens) but I use it for landscapes and architecture too. I try to talk myself into leaving this at home since it’s so heavy, but that little voice in my head always asks, “But what if you see that moment and you need this lens for it?!” So I lug it with me for those “what if” moments.
So what happens if I want to take photos of myself but no one is around to help?!
I use this thing. It’s the Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller. I just set my camera to self-timer, position myself, then press this wireless remote controller to take the photo! But this may not work on all Canon cameras, so check to see if your camera is compatible.
I actually don’t bring a tripod with me. It’s SO BIG. I don’t know how other people can carry those around without feeling annoyed, but I do bring a Gorillapod with me! It’s a mini flexible tripod. You can use it as a normal tripod and stand it up on a table or the ground. You can also wrap its legs on whatever you can find to get the best angle of yourself and that landscape behind you.
DSLRs not your thing? Want something smaller? Something more simple? Get the Canon G7 X (again, my gear is old. The newer model is Canon G7 X Mark II but there’s really not that big of a difference. Save your money and just get the Mark I like me.) It’s a point and shoot! But it’s a beautiful point and shoot. There’s also manual settings on it too so if you’re feeling ambitious, you can adjust your own settings. Honestly, when I’m traveling, I don’t bother taking my DSLR out unless I feel it’s a “let’s be creative day.” If I’m just walking around enjoying my day, I’ll use this or my phone to take photos. This is the type of photos it takes:
And also, if you’re a vlogger or want to take selfies, LOOK:
The screen flips over so you can see yourself!! This is actually my favorite camera. Just go buy it now.
One more! Do you go on epic adventures while you’re traveling? Skydiving? Surfing? You’ll probably want this thing.
Again with the old gear. Mine is the GoPro HERO2 but the new version is GoPro HERO5. I use this when I’m at the beach or swimming. It comes with an underwater case so the camera is nice and safe in there. You can also buy different mounts for it depending on what you do (like a mount to put it on your bike or a mount for your surfboard, etc). It takes both photos and videos in HD! Plus it’s so compact and barely weighs anything. Before I got my Canon G7 X, this guy came with me everywhere!
If you’re not looking to be a professional photographer but still want DSLR quality photos but at half the size, I suggest getting a mirrorless camera. A great option if you’re just starting out with photography and traveling is the Sony Alpha a6000. It’s about the size of a point and shoot camera, has an automatic option, but also manual settings if you want to get more advanced.
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm and 55-210mm Power Zoom Lenses
And for memory cards, good size memory card to have for all of these cameras is 64GB. I usually bring two of these and an external hard drive to back up my photos on since I’m usually gone for months at a time. My photos are precious! I don’t wan to risk losing them!
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SDXC UHS-I Memory Card (SDSDXXG-064G-GN4IN)
So that’s all the camera gear I bring with me when I travel. I also bring my laptop and they all get stuffed in my backpack. Yes, I’ve gotten very strong and muscular from carrying these around with me all over the world. I can open jars now because of this… but anyway, I hope this post has been helpful to those of you who have been wanting to get into photography or just want to have nicer photos while you’re traveling. Please do let me know if you end up getting any of the gear I mentioned above, and also please do SHARE your photos. I’d love to see what you capture! 🙂