Every day I get questions about the photography gear that I use as a travel blogger and how to start out when you have zero or almost no experience.
Well, let me start by saying that about 2 years ago I was in the same boat as you. I have always loved taking photos while I was on holiday but that didn’t mean that at the time I actually knew what I was doing. Before I purchased my first professional camera and lens I did a ton of research online. Cause I was unsure as to which camera would be a good fit for me. I wanted to invest in myself but not break the bank completely.
I have been using the same photography gear since the day I started my journey into travel photography. And in this blog post I will explain to you why I think this is the best photography gear for a travel blogger.
Don’t just expect a list of items with little to no description. No, I want to go into detail and give you examples with photos. This way you know exactly which lens for instance would work best for you and can help you create the travel photos of your dreams!
The Best Photography Gear for a Travel Blogger
Essential Photography Gear
So what I won’t do is bore you with technical information that you can look up on online stores. What I do want to do is explain to you why I love this camera so freaking much and why after using it for nearly 2,5 years I am still not considering upgrading!
I like to see my Canon EOS 6D Mark II as my baby. When I started out I didn’t know anything about camera gear. I had no idea which brand to choose or who to believe when it comes to recommendations. For me the most important things were:
- User friendliness
- Weight of the camera
So let’s look into these a little more!
For me personally this was the most important aspect of choosing a camera. Cause if I was about to invest in myself I wanted to be sure that I could use it properly with the knowledge that I had.
To start it off I love the fact that the Canon EOS 6D Mark II has a touch screen and that you can flip this screen as well. The fact that you have a screen that you can turn 180° and flip out makes it super easy to take beautiful photos at a low angle. You have a perfect vision of what’s in your view finder in every possible position! Plush when you’re shooting with a tripod you can actually just tap on the screen and it will focus in that exact spot.
It has Bluetooth and WiFi! Why is this an important factor for me? Well when I am traveling on my own I also want to take stunning travel photos and include myself in the picture. Thanks to the WiFi and Bluetooth function you can easily connect the camera to the free Canon app: Camera Connect. You can see your exact framing on your phone, choose your perfect position, adjust your settings and focus on yourself. All with a few taps on your phone screen!
Shooting in manual mode has never been easier! Thanks to the touch screen you can easily adjust your settings and take the perfect photo!
To be completely honest, I haven’t ever taken a bad photo with this camera. Thanks to the full frame sensor you will also be able to use every lens at it’s full capacity! Whereas a crop frame will cut off a part of your image. The easiest way of showing you the difference is by showing you two photos of mine. One taken with my Canon 6D Mark II and it’s full frame sensor. The second one is what that same photo would look like with a camera with a crop sensor.
This camera has been through rain and snow, has fallen down multiple times and even endured a sand storm. And the fact that after 2,5 years of usage and over 100.000 clicks it still works as good as new is a testament on it’s own I think.
Weight of the camera
Since I often go hiking on my trips and pretty much take my camera with me everywhere I go, I needed it to be not too heavy. With it’s 765g I can easily take this camera with me on any trip and even go on a crazy hike without my backpack becoming extra heavy!
The Canon 6D Mark ii for me was the best option when it comes to price-quality. I also preferred investing in a really good lens instead of spending all of my money on a more expensive camera body from the 5D range.
This baby is by far my favourite lens in the entire world and for the first 1,5 year I took every single photo with this lens! Thanks to the low f-stop of 2.8 you’ll be able to create that beautiful blurry background. The trick here is, the more you zoom in, the more forward your background comes and the blurrier it gets. Combine this lens with the Canon 6D Mark ii and you’ll be able to take beautiful and crisp photos, even during low light situations, without having to bump up your ISO too high.
This lens is perfect for beautiful landscape shots as it is for portraits! If there is one lens I could recommend to you it’s this one. Plus it’s THE go to lens for many travel photographers!
This wide angle lens is my latest investment since I wanted to focus more on landscape photography! But it’s not just amazing for landscapes! It also creates the possibility to capture some amazing perspectives. For instance if you’re standing close to a building and still want to capture it in it’s entirety, you need a lens like this. Let me show you some examples below!
I bought this zoom lens half a year ago and I am so happy I did! With a range that goes from 70-300mm you can create such beautiful distortion and take beautiful close ups! What do I mean with distortion? Well that you can bring a background significantly closer. This creates more depth in a photo and can make a boring landscape look stunning! Another great thing about this lens? It’s actually pretty cheap! For $449 you can have an excellent zoom lens that works like a charm with the Canon EOS 6D Mark ii!
Let me show you some examples of what this lens can do!
When it came to buying a drone I didn’t want to go for the most expensive option. By the time I was doing my research the second version of this drone had already launched but since I was a complete newbie at drone photography I wanted to start with the first version and see from there.
Having a drone can be a good extra leverage when it comes to negotiating with hotels, especially resorts. A drone shot can give a beautiful overview of the entire property but is also a way of showcasing a landscape in a different way.
If you’re interested in reaching out to hotels but not sure where to start I have the perfect email templates for you!
If you’re thinking about buying a drone I am not saying that this is THE go to one. There are cheaper drones out there but also take into account that they are often way lighter which makes the risk of losing it a lot higher. However, one thing I do insist on is that you opt for a fly more combo! The average battery life of a drone is about 20 minutes and I can assure you, those 20 minutes run out fast! If you’re out and about you can not always recharge this battery and you may loose out on a lot of beautiful photos. Whereas with a fly more combo you get 2 spare batteries and a ton of extra propellors, which leads to an average flight time of 1 hour.
Essential Photography Accessories
There is nothing more important than properly storing all of your stunning photos! Don’t make the mistake of only storing your photos on your laptop cause if it crashes all of your hard work will be gone!
Before I bought this LACIE hard drive I used another, cheaper one. The problem was that it often disconnected from my laptop right in the middle of uploading my photos. And I can tell you, there is nothing more annoying than having to start all over again with this process. This hard drive can hold up to 2TB of photos and has a 1.2 meter drop resistance, 1 ton of crush resistance and rain-ready water resistance. It’s safe to say that this hard drive can endure a lot when it comes to traveling!
SanDisk Memory Cards
My go to SD card is the SanDisk Ultra 128GB which can hold up to 3000 photos shot in RAW format. I always have a few back ups with me should I ran out of memory space though! Plus if the worst would happen and you would lose your memory card you will always have a spare one with you! These SD cards work for the Canon EOS 6D Mark ii, if you are looking into purchasing a different camera you might need to check if they also require an SD card like this.
A drone doesn’t work with an SD card but works with a micro SD. To be able to upload your drone photos to your laptop you will need a micro SD adapter.
When it came to buying a tripod for myself there were two things that were very important to me: the weight that it could carry and the minimum size.
I went with this Manfrotto tripod and so far it has always been my trusted steed when taking photos by myself! This tripod can hold up to 3kg and stays steady when using my 300mm zoom lens! The maximum height is up to 165cm which allows you to take photos on eye level. The minimal height is 44cm which makes it ideal to store in the side compartment of your backpack.
A question I often get asked is if I never have trouble going through airport security with my tripod. Well I always put all of my photography gear in my backpack (see below) and attach my tripod on the side. The ends of the tripod are covered which makes it fine to go through security. I have never gotten any questions about my backpack. The only airport I ever had a problem was Denpasar airport in Bali. There it is strictly obligated to check your tripod!
All of this photography gear comes with a lot of cables and chargers. And I can tell you that there is nothing more annoying than not finding the right cable at the right time! Enter this electronics organiser: it is super cheap and it does the trick! As you can see it can hold a ton of cables and it has a separate compartment where you can store extra batteries, SD cards , passport photos and even some medication!
Fjällräven is one of my favourite brands when it comes to outdoor activities! Their Ulvö backpack is made from waterproof and durable fabric and therefore perfect to take with you on a trip!
This backpack can hold my camera, 2 extra lenses, my drone + the 2 extra batteries and has side pockets to put my tripod in. There is a smart zipper in the front to store smaller items as well!
I have been carrying this backpack everywhere with me the last couple of weeks. I went on my short trip to Germany when it was snowing super hard and also had it with me on every hike in Madeira. Including the ones where it was raining cats and dogs and all of my equipment came out dry and in perfect condition!
Okay, okay, this item isn’t directly related to the best photography gear for a travel blogger BUT it is one of the best items to take with you when traveling! A lot of times life as a travel blogger on the road can become pretty hectic and it often happens to me that I will have to edit photos or answer emails on the go. Enter these headphones! They cancel out all of the noise and make it possible for me to focus. And okay, I admit, it also comes in handy when I want to listen to Disney songs again and don’t want to annoy my travel partner all too much ;).
When you are out and about taking photos your lens will get dirty from time to time and it is super important to clean it with the proper gear! If not you might end up scratching your lens and that’s the last thing you want! I have used this lenspen from the start and it always gets off any smudges and dust without a problem or without damaging the lens! First you use the cleaning element and softly turn circles on the lens and afterwards you brush off the dust while holding your lens downwards!
About five years ago I switched from Vaio to my MacBook Pro (I have the 13inch Retina), and honestly it was the best decision ever! First of all I don’t need an extra convertor for any of my gear! And second I can easily transfer photos that I edited on my desktop with one tap to my mobile phone! The fact that I can directly transfer my photos to my iPhone by using Airdrop makes sure that I maintain the original quality of the photo!
So, that’s a wrap on the best photography gear for a travel blogger! If I ever upgrade on one of these items or if I add something new to my equipment I will make sure to edit this post and keep you posted!
If you’re interested in blogging or you are just starting out I do have some other super interesting articles for you:
- 9 mistakes I made in my first year of blogging
- How to plan for a content creation trip
- 15 Tips on how to stand out as a travel blogger in 2020