The Travel Camera Gear I Love

camera-gear

I’m pretty sure that the absolute best souvenirs from a trip are the pictures you take! It’s fun to share with your family and friends, to look back on and reminisce years later, or to frame around your house. Needless to say, a camera is always the first thing on my packing list.

So, let’s get this out of the way first… you don’t need a fancy camera to get great pictures these days. Some of my favorite pictures from trips were taken on my iPhone. Like the old saying goes, the best camera is the one you have on you!

Since I’ve gotten more into photography in the last few years, I’m always interested in what camera my friends or fellow bloggers are using. Just in case you’re in the market or curious about what I’m using, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite travel camera gear.

I suppose I should give a disclaimer at this point… While I’ve done plenty of research before buying my camera and accessories, I’m definitely not an expert.

Cameras

When it comes to thinking about what camera to buy, I would ask yourself three questions.

1. What kind of trips will I use it for (adventure, city, nature, etc.)?

2. What is my budget?

3. How big is too big and how heavy is too heavy?

Point and Shoot

The first few cameras I owned were point and shoots and they’ve come a long way over the years. My Mom still uses one and she gets great photos. I’ve used this Canon, but if you’re looking for a little better quality then this would probably be a good option too. These cameras are reliable, budget friendly, and compact–which is perfect for travel.

DSLR

Camera Body

About five years ago I bought my first DSLR camera and I’ve never looked back. While they are bigger, heavier, and more expensive, they produce incredible pictures that a simple point and shoot camera just can’t compete with. My first DSLR was a Canon EOS Rebel T5 and it was a great first DSLR camera. I recently upgraded to the Canon 70D because I wanted video capability (my Rebel version was pretty old at that point it didn’t have that feature). The Canon 70D is a really awesome camera, but if I’m completely honest I don’t think it is that much of a step up from the Canon Rebel cameras. If I was going to do it all over again I might have waited a year, saved a little more, and upgraded to the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.

Now, if we’re talking DREAM camera, it would be pretty awesome to have a full frame Canon EOS 6D or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, but the price point is so high I don’t know if I could ever justify it. Plus they are bigger and heavier, which isn’t so fun to lug around when you’re exploring a new city.  Another thing is they don’t have automatic flash, which I think can be useful sometimes. So, I’d be curious to know your thoughts on the full frame cameras if you happen to use one.

Lenses (for DSLR cameras)

From my experience, if you’re traveling you definitely don’t want to bring more than two lenses. Any more than that and they will likely weigh you down and they may not even get used. I think having a great zoom lens (Canon EF 24-105mm (I have) or Canon 24-70mm  (I’d like to try)) should cover you on a trip. It can handle both distance and closeup shots. But if you’re into portraits and food shots, having a prime lens can be nice to have as well (I think the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens works really well and is almost as good as Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 but for much less). Keep in mind that a prime lens is fixed, so your zoom will come from your feet (i.e. moving closer or further away from the subject). This is one more reason a zoom lens can be better in crowded touristy areas where you may not be able to move around to get the perfect shot!

On a side note, mirrorless cameras seem to be gaining popularity as well. I don’t know a ton about this kind of camera, but could be worth exploring if you’re planning to get a new camera.

I know I only mentioned Canon cameras and let me tell you, I’m super biased about their superiority!!!! BUT I have plenty of friends who use Nikon, Sony, etc. and love them too!

Fun Stuff

Now for the fun stuff. If you’re into gadgets or having toys to play with then you probably already have a GoPro. But if you’ve never used one, these little cameras are the perfect thing for water and adventure activities. Another fun camera to bring along is a Fujifilm Instax Mini. Nothing beats instant gratification!

Accessories

Is it just me or are Selfie Sticks are the best?! They really seem to have caught on for all ages! Sure, they are a little cheesy, but they are cheap and do the trick! I have brought a tripod on a trip before, but to be totally honest, I think they are more of a nuisance than helpful. I much prefer just to ask someone to take my photo. That said, if I was filming wildlife in Alaska or on a long trip by myself a Camera Tripod could definitely come in handy.

Protection

If you’re going to spend the money on a nice camera, then you really should have the proper protection as well.

I don’t use a traditional camera bag, so I put a Padded Camera Insert into whatever bag I’m carrying with me (this Camera Liner Bag also looks pretty nice). I’m also thinking of getting this Neoprene Pouch Set to protect my lenses.

And last but not least, I would definitely get yourself a cleaning kit. I would recommend buying this off amazon, as the last time I was in a camera store the prices were a total ripoff! I have this Cleaning Kit and find it really useful after a trip to the beach to get the pesky sand out of its crevices.

Bags

Like I mentioned above, I don’t use a traditional camera bag and usually opt for my trusty Longchamp bag and keep the camera in a padded liner. If I’m doing something active, I’ll carry it in this backpack. If you’re looking for a traditional camera bag, I think the ONA Palma bags look nice.

Okay, so now that you know what I use, I’d love to hear what cameras and accessories you use or what I SHOULD be using!!

Happy Travels!

Jenny

15 thoughts on “The Travel Camera Gear I Love

  1. courtney barr

    Thank you for this! We have an upcoming trip to Europe and I’m looking to buy my first DSLR camera. A friend suggested the Nikon D3300 but she also has a Canon T6 (I think) and says they are both phenomenal. I really needed the reminder about the padding and such, so thanks again for that part! I am so excited to be starting out with my first DSLR and if you have any tricks/tips/suggestions for a recent Point and Shooter to this fancy fangled thing I would greatly appreciate it! lol

    Reply
    1. Traveling Chic Post author

      Glad this could help, Courtney! I hope you have an amazing trip to Europe! One of my good friends just got the Nikon D3300 for a trip to Australia and loves it. I’m sure you’d be very happy with that camera or a Cannon T6 (or even a less expensive Rebel model). It might be worth going to a store and holding both cameras to see which feels better to you. But I would double check prices with amazon, to make sure you get the best deal! I think taking the time to practice with your new camera is the biggest thing. Fortunately the automatic setting is usually really great with any DSLR, so if you don’t get much practice in before your trip, you’ll still have great photos even if you rely on automatic! I’ll probably do a post on shooting tips one of these days, although I’m still a pretty big novice myself! Happy Travels!

      Reply
  2. Peta

    I’ve recently brought the Tamron 18-270 lens and can’t wait to to take photos when I’m in Phuket for a week. I’m having so much fun playing with it around home. I’ve been contemplating taking my 50mm with me but after using the zoom lens think I’ll just take that one.

    Reply
  3. Marlene Rossi

    I never travel without a camera. I have a small Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4 point & shoot which takes awesome pictures. I use this one when I really don’t feel like carrying around my heavier DSLR. For when I feel like taking pictures in manual mode I use my Nikon D3000 – I’ve had this camera for 6 years now, may upgrade soon. I usually take the 18-55 kit lens which works for most situations without the added bulk of a telephoto lens, but I also have a 55 prime lens I sometimes take. I always have a UV filter on my lenses (protects your lens from dust and scratches) and for super bright sunny days I use an ND filter if I want to take photos at slower shutter speeds. If you don’t already have a UV filter, I recommend getting one. I use the B+W brand which can be found on Amazon or at a camera shop.

    Reply
    1. Traveling Chic Post author

      Hi Marlene, Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to check out the lumix for a point and shoot. I’d like to have one for when I don’t take my DSLR. I’ve always wondered about UV filters, I’ll have to try that out soon!

      Reply
      1. Marlene Rossi

        Absolutely! One thing I like about the LUMIX point & shoots is that many come with integrated Leica lenses so the photo quality is awesome for such a small camera. Mine has 10x optical zoom (some models go up to 20x optical), as opposed to digital zoom which can look grainy the more you zoom. Most point & shoot only have between 3x – 5x optical zoom with digital making up the rest. I would recommend getting a point & shoot with a high optical zoom as your pictures will be much sharper. 🙂

        Reply
  4. Kim C.

    The Canon Digital Elf is a great alternative to the heavy DLSR cameras. I also use a 60D with a Tamron zoom lens 18 – 270mm, it works great for versatility without having to carry around too many lenses. If I don’t want to carry my heavy DLSR around I use my Canon Digital Elf 360, I find I use it more when on vacation, I use the DLSR when I want to be creative, get great night shots or need to zoom farther.

    Reply
  5. Karen W.

    My daughter and I are headed for Italy in 2 months! I have been debating whether or not to take my Canon T6, due to space and weight. I love the camera, I just wonder because we’re doing only carry on, but I think I would be so disappointed if I don’t take my DSLR. I have a Kodak bridge camera but I’m just not as comfortable with it.
    Thanks for all your tips and I’ll let you know what I decided when we return.

    Reply
  6. Mike Lee

    It seems we have a lot in common when it comes to camera gear except for maybe the fact that I am a Nikon person. Love the Instax Mini and just like you I am exploring the possibility of investing in a mirrorless. Also a big fan of the GoPro which is an excellent addition to the photography arsenal.

    Reply
  7. Courtney

    Great post!

    I’ve been shooting a Canon 6D for over 4 years and have found it no more heavy then the average xxD Canon models so out of curiosity threw it in to the comparison feature on Canon’s website against the 70D. On the issue of weight, the 6D is only 0.2oz MORE then the 70D; which is something imo you won’t even feel. As much of a pain it is to pay out that price for full frame, I doubt I’d ever ever crop sensor again, but mirrorless keeps sounding like a better and better option.

    I definitely agree with the 24-105mm f/4 being a solid workhorse, but that 24-70 f/2.8 is where I want to be next.

    Reply

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