When you are traveling you want travel camera gear essentials that are going to hold up in incremental weather, can handle falls and are lightweight enough to carry with you everywhere.
We have purchased a lot of different camera gear and accessories over the past year and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t for our travel needs.
It is best to have a minimalist setup that you can easily carry around and use. And it should work for capturing the most beautiful landscapes and details you have ever seen.
We always love seeing what other travelers use for their travel camera gear and thought it would be great to keep an updated list of what we are using now.
This post is all about our favorite travel camera gear.
OUR TRAVEL CAMERA GEAR ESSENTIALS:
1. Photography Camera
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR has been a great camera for us while traveling. It’s a full-frame camera making it much better in low light (great for sunrises and sunsets). The body is not too heavy to carry around all day for a DSLR. It also has video functions, perfect for capturing those moments you need to record but don’t have time to switch cameras! I am absolutely in love with the Canon 6D.
2. A Go-To Lens
Our Go-To Lens is 100% the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens. Although a hefty price tag, it is well worth it! Having a zoom lens while traveling is especially useful so I don’t spend precious shooting time switching out lenses. We find this range to be perfect for our travels. 24mm has been wide enough for almost all instances and the 70mm adds a nice ability to zoom a bit closer. We seriously only have this one lens right now and are perfectly fine with it for both portraits and our landscape shots.
3. Vlogging Camera
Vlogging has been so fun for us for a bunch of reasons, but honestly the most important is that we get to capture all these memories and feelings on camera to watch back in a week or 10 years. The Canon EOS M50 Mark II Mirrorless Camera is the perfect vlogging camera for us. It is lightweight making it perfect to carry around all day and to hold outstretched for periods. The camera has a crop sensor so the kit lens of 15-45mm is more like a 24-70mm and that had worked well for us. But we have since upgraded to the Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM to have a wider angle that is much easier to vlog with. Plus it has a much better auto-focus. It’s also really nice that it has a separate shutter button for photos and a record button for video.
> Be sure to check out our camera in action on YouTube videos!
4. Action Camera
It is honestly a necessity to have an action camera while traveling. Our GoPro HERO9 is an incredible camera and perfect for any adventure (think snorkeling, ziplining, surfing, ATVing, paragliding, etc.) and especially nice for those waterproof moments (think swimming, beach days, or rain and snow!). We previously used the GoPro for all of our vlogging and it worked fine, especially with the stabilization ability (insane!) and the quality of the mic. The new GoPro 9 also has a screen on the front making it even easier to ensure you are in frame!
This is probably Nate’s favorite camera, the DJI Mavic Air 2. A drone can add a whole new level of videography to your videos and we love adding drone shots to our videos. This drone has been a great addition to our travel kit. It’s small enough to fit easily in our backpacks, the controller is a huge upgrade from the Mavic Mini, and the range is incredible! It can be hard to fly a drone with so many drone restrictions these days, but we have still been able to find places that don’t bother anyone and don’t break any rules!
I feel almost silly adding the unlocked iPhone 11 (128 GB) to our list of best travel camera gear, but I can’t exclude it. It is honestly so useful to us and we use it quite often. For those times that you can’t bring your fancy cameras or the time’s the batteries die, or if you just can’t access on record quick enough, the iPhone comes in extremely handy. We have even used it on purpose when our camera just can’t do the trick.
The newest iPhones are incredible in low light and we often use them instead of our cameras when shooting something quick at night. We also use it for the ultra-wide-angle. It is equivalent to a 13mm lens at its widest angle and both of our current lenses only reach 24mm.
OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL CAMERA GEAR ACCESSORIES:
7. THE BEST CAMERA BACKPACK
> Related Post: The Ultimate Travel Essentials List
8. Joby GorillaPod
This handy bending tripod, the Joby GorillaPod 5K, is perfect for setting up shots in just about any location. We use it most often to steady our video shots (as seen in the top photo), get shots of both of us, and take time-lapses. The legs will never quite bend back to perfect, but the ability to bend it makes it key to our travel camera gear essentials.
9. Camera Tripod
A tripod is an absolute must for photography, especially when traveling. We use the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Aluminium Camera Tripod for all of our couple’s portraits so we don’t have to ask anyone for help while shooting. It is also extremely useful for low-light and night photography. We have had a handful of tripods and this is by far our favorite. It is lightweight and compact (fits easily in our backpack) but still incredibly stable. And for quick shots, it is easy to set up and tear down. It also has an easy-to-use and stable quick release for the camera so I never have to worry about the camera falling out (trust me, it’s a problem you don’t want to have).
10. Vlogging Microphone
We use the RØDE – VideoMic Pro+ for the Canon M50 for our vlogging and the sound difference is amazing! It is small enough that it doesn’t add much weight and doesn’t stick out too far to get in the way. Easy to put on and take off for throwing in the bag. We also have the deadcat cover to prevent wind noise.
I honestly cannot find this product anywhere anymore and I am not sure if Rode discontinued the product. They do have a wind variety of mics and sizes, so I am sure that you will be able to find one that works for you!
11. DSLR Lens Filters
We only just started getting into lens filters and they are honestly such a game-changer. No matter what you should 100% get a UV lens filter for all of your lenses. It is a small expense to protect your expensive asset. I would much rather get a scratch on a $20 UV filter than my $2,000 lens. Please just get one.
Besides UV filters, we use a polarizer for both cameras which helps cut through glare on glass (a perfect road trip accessory) and increases the color vibrancy (perfect for beach days). I use the PolarPro Circular Polarizer Filter | Quartzline and it is fantastic for shooting in the car!
My favorite lens filter is the PolarPro Variable ND Peter McKinnon Edition II 2-5 Stop filter. This is essentially a pair of sunglasses for your camera and is fantastic for sunny days, of which there should be many on your travels. Having a variable ND filter allows you to change the level of darkness without having to change the lens filter every time. It also comes with an ingeniously designed case to put it on and off without touching it.
> Create a free account on PolarPro and you can get $5 off your first PoloarPro order!
13. Camera Strap
I honestly thought it was a bit touristy to get a camera strap for the DSLR but seriously what the heck am I going to do, carry it in my hand all day every day? No. This Tarion Neck Shoulder Camera Strap is a perfect and inexpensive solution.
I traded this out for the uncomfortable and loud Canon strap that came with the camera and it has been great. I can wash it and it fits nicely cross-body over one shoulder to ensure I don’t drop it or get it snatched off one shoulder. It is also a nice neutral color that Nate doesn’t hate using it. Lastly, it is really helpful to steady a video shot if you pull it tight out in front of you.
I also use the Peak Design Anchor Links so I can easily take it off to use on a tripod or if it is getting in the way of a shoot.
Since we have iPhone on the list, I have to include the PopSockets PopGrip. This grip is not only super trendy but so practical. It has saved my phone several times. I can better grip the phone and still record or take photos when on the back of a motorbike or leaning off the side of a bridge or cable car. Cheap and practical, my favorite.
OUR FAVORITE ACTION CAMERA GEAR ACCESSORIES:
15. Magnetic Clip
The GoPro Magnetic Swivel Clip has been a great addition to our GoPro accessories and we use it quite often. It’s perfect for anything metal (signs, poles, cars, walls, fire hydrants, etc.) and can swivel so you aren’t stuck with just one bad angle. It also uses the GoPro quick-release accessory which is perfect for switching accessories quickly and safely.
16. Suction Cup
Lastly, the GoPro Suction Cup. Sturdy and a bit bulky but you know that it’s not going anywhere if you install it right. This is great for use on plane windows for time-lapses and the car for unique shots!
17. Floating Hand Grip
Since the GoPro is the number one choice of camera for water activities, this floating hand grip is the perfect accessory. It allows to hold out the camera just a bit more to get great selfie shots. It also moves your hands off the body of the camera to help with audio. And the best part is, if you drop it in the water, it will stay floating! No more lost GoPros on the seafloor!
OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL CAMERA GEAR TECH:
18. Portable Battery Chargers
The battery chargers that come with the cameras are fine and work well, but they can only charge one battery and are usually only able to plug into a wall outlet. We prefer to buy additional batteries (because you will need them) that come with a 2-battery charger that plugs in via a USB cable. This way you can plug it into a portable battery power bank on the go and have even more battery life! We love the Homesuit Rechargeable Battery 2-Pack for the Canon 6D and the BESTON 2-Pack LP-E12 Battery Packs and USB for the Canon M50. We haven’t had any issues with these off-brand batteries or chargers and find they work just as well and as long as the branded ones.
19. Portable Battery Power Bank
This is essential for travel whether you have a million cameras or not. This Anker PowerCore Three USB Port Power Bank is a monster. It can charge your phone up to 6 times with one charge and has three ports to charge three different things at the same time (think two phones and a camera battery). We have two of these and carry them with us everywhere! We have also made plenty of friends this way.
20. External Solid State Drive
If you are taking as many photos and videos as we are, you will need more storage than your computer will allow. We love these SanDisk Portable Solid State Drives. They are lightweight and tiny so they won’t take up much space in your bag. They are also incredibly fast. We can download footage quickly after a long day and don’t have to worry about dropping or moving them while they work since they are solid-state drives. We can’t wait until these can hold more and more storage as they improve.
21. Hard Drives
Because we have so much footage and have lost footage before, we keep two physical copies of everything and a copy in the cloud. One copy is on our SSD and one on these LaCie Rugged 5TB Hard Drives. They are super durable for travel, especially so you don’t have to worry about losing data (just don’t move them while they are working!). And if you do happen to break one (like we did) they have incredible recovery services. We sent in our broken hard drive and they had the data recovered and delivered within a month (and just because of COVID quarantine measures).
22. Reliable Laptops
Laptops will be your best friend for researching travel and going through footage. We both have an Apple MacBook Pro – 16″ Display and 16GB of Memory. We chose the larger laptops even though they are bigger and heavier because we both work from our computers and the larger screen is so helpful when editing photos and videos. And the 16GB of memory helps your computer run faster for hard-working programs like video editors and photo editors. Plus they are Apple, so we feel confident they will last a long time and are as secure as possible. They are power horses and we love them.