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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!!