As a travel & lifestyle photographer who is constantly on the go and hopping on and off planes, boats, trains, etc, I have tried to streamline my equipment and what I bring with me! These are my tried & tested equipment that I take with me EVERYWHERE. I go for quality over quantity and try to be as minimal as I can. Most of my equipment I have been using for 2-4 years MINIMUM but I have been a long time canon user. More below!
I am OBSESSED with the mirrorless Canon EOS R. I love this camera so much. It is soooo much lighter than an equivalent DSLR but still full frame (Canon 4D Mark IV). I honestly was between the two (they are the step under the most expensive canon model which is the Canon 1DX). I got this camera body June of 2019 after a much needed upgrade from the canon rebel series (a cheaper starter series model) and debated at the camera store for a good hour after hours of research (I didn’t know many other travel photographers using this since it was pretty new).
I was sold on the lightness (for travel) and equal video quality. I felt like the mirrorless would be better for video than the Mark IV as well, with being able to shoot slowmo at 100fps (almost as good as the 1DX at 120fps).
The other things I love are the touch screen (you can tap to shoot or tap to auto focus on your subject, a huge plus if you need someone to take your photo who isn’t experienced) and the screen flips out which is great for self shooting or vlogging.
Lastly, I love the wifi and bluetooth connections for this camera. I can quickly connect my phone to the camera to self shoot, or transfer my images wirelessly to either my phone or computer, really speeding up my workflow and eliminating the cords I need.
The speed of the shooting is great, and I love this camera so much, I am so glad I went with it. I think it’s great for both professional photographers as well if you’re just starting out If you’re ready to make the investment. While I didn’t know any of my peers or photographers I follow get one when I did initially (except some of the pros I know that get every new camera to try ?), at the end of 2020 I’m seeing so many other travel photographers hopping on board the eos r mirrorless train. ?
Don’t forget to get multiple batteries (the last thing you want is for your camera to die in the middle of a shoot!). You’ll most likely need the mount to use with other non canon lenses and don’t forget to get a good size memory card (don’t skimp and get the smallest, it’ll be annoying to constantly delete photos to make space).
My go to camera lens is the Sigma 24mm 1.4 f Art Lens. I love this lens sooo much. It gives such a nice creamy and dreamy bokeh (shooting at the lowest aperture of 1.4) and handles low lighting well. I prefer this over using a 35mm because you get a wide enough angle (think shooting across from someone at a cafe table and still being able to see the food) without the distortion you get with a super wide angle. This does great for travel and lifestyle since I can capture enough of the scene.
My additional lens is the Tamron 85mm Lens
This lens gives the dreamiest portraits, or is great for really amplifying a crazy landscape that is far away (on the 24mm, if I say am shooting near some mountains, they will look small, but with this lens they turn out so grand). I love the quality of the images and also does well for really creamy product shoots without any distortion of the subject (if you do super close up on the 24mm, you’ll get a little bit of distortion). This lens shoots subjects very true to life.
I use the Peak Design Tripod and this thing is not just sleek and pretty, but QUALITY. This was one of my more recent investments and I love the design of this. It is a super sleek design with a compact case and not *too* heavy (although you need some weight so your camera does not blow away if it is windy). This has been ideal for shooting more night photography (when you need the camera to be absolutely still) and self shooting using the bluetooth feature.
I use the DJI Mavic Air. While this is the more entry level yet high quality drone, this little guy is super super light and small which is such a bonus when you are short on space (compared to the Mavic Pro). I absolutely love the extra avenue of content you can create with using a drone, especially for destination content. The image quality is amazing, but the video quality is good enough is the only downside.
I suggest getting the whole kit (drone bag, remote control with case, charger, and at least 3 batteries because the flight time is less than 30 minutes and you WILL always need more than one battery a session).
Safety Reminder: Please ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings – I recommend flying within a radius you can see your drone (we have almost lost ours this way) and use Airmap to check out your surroundings, it can be dangerous if flying too close to where lighter aircraft fly. Always check the regulations about where to fly as well (some parks do not allow this, as well as some countries like Morocco or on cruise ships for example). The last thing you want is to hurt anyone, end up with a huge fine, or have to figure out what to do with it at the airport. Be sensitive about other people’s privacy and flying too close to anyone (especially if anyone you don’t know is nearby).
I use the Sony RX100 and I love this little guy. The QUALITY you get for such a small camera is amazing. You can do amazing slow-mo video (120 fps), the screen flips out for easy vlogging, and the video quality at low lighting or at night is INSANE. If I am vlogging, I prefer to use this over my eos R because it is soooo light and small and easy to use with great quality. It also works as a great backup camera with the ability to control the aperture (always good to have backups, especially when you travel!).
This guy also has the ability to send the images and videos right to my phone or computer via wifi, so again, loving the streamlined and simplified workflow.
I use a LaCie 4TB Hard Drive and this one is the BEST especially if you travel with its durability. It is WORTH every penny (I have had horrible experiences with breaking other types of hard drives because they were cheaper…). The last thing you want is to lose the data and files you worked so hard to create, and always back everything up. It is also a best practice NOT to store your files on your laptop if you are working with large photo files (a great way to quickly eat up all your storage and slow down your laptop!) Trust me, just get it (I waited too long and learned the hard way 🙁 )
I also always have with me the Anker Portable Chargers and yes I have 3 of them. They hold SO MUCH more charge and again, another example of you get what you pay for. After so many cheaper portable chargers dying on me, or only holding enough for 1 charge for my phone, these are so much better. The downside is it takes hours to charge back up (but you can get 4-6 full charges minimum out of them).
I hope you found this helpful in your hunt for your next upgrade. Happy creating and safe travels!
Love and sunshine,
Traveler, Content Creator, Influencer, and UI/UX Designer empowering you to explore the world and make money while doing it.