Best Camera Gear for Travel Photography 2023
Curating the perfect travel photography gear takes time. We all have our preferences, and by no means is there a one size fits all setup. What I can tell you is after years of refining my equipment, I’ve come up with an arsenal of cameras, lenses, and accessories that would have you covered in any photography situation. From aerial to underwater shots, it feels nice–very nice–knowing I’m ready to capture the spontaneity that inevitably comes while being on the road.
In this article, I’m going to share what I believe to be the best camera gear for travel photography. If you’re a new photographer, don’t feel like you need to rush into buying a whole expensive catalog of equipment. Take your time, slowly build it up, and master what you have. Cameras don’t make photographers; practice and time does.
Canon EOS R
As a photographer and videographer who posts on multiple platforms (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Web), I needed a versatile camera that would prevent me from having to carry around multiple bodies. The Canon EOS R has done just that and so much more.
It was released at the end of 2018, but it remains one of Canon’s top products. The full-frame mirrorless camera can shoot in 4k (60 fps) and capture high-quality images at 30.3 MegaPixels. For people who want to upgrade their kit and work with arguably the best camera for travel, the EOS R is a no-brainer.
Since it’s a few years old–don’t let that deter you–the price has greatly reduced since it was released. Check it out here for all the specs and details.
Go Pro Hero 10 (Underwater Shots)
Let’s face it, social media is oversaturated with travel photographers. If you want to make a splash online, you’ll need to stand out. The Go Pro Hero 10 is the perfect way to do that with underwater shots.
I’ve taken my device scuba diving, cliff jumping, and doing every other watersport you could imagine. Each time I use it, I'm taken away by the stunning photos and videos, which tend to be my most popular posts on social media. Here is a video I shot with the Go Pro Hero 10 to give you an idea of the remarkable opportunities the little camera opens up for you.
Keep in mind that it can go 33 feet underwater without needing a protective case.
iPhone 13 Pro
When traveling, the unexpected is bound to happen, and you might not be ready with your camera to capture it. That’s why I always have my iPhone 13 Pro in reach for those quick moments, and I even use it for vlogging.
Let me fill you in on a little secret, a lot of photographers on Instagram are just using iPhones, and that’s okay! Nowadays, smartphones can produce shockingly clear images and videos, and they’re a great tool to have in your photography toolbox.
The iPhone 13 Pro has been a wonderful way to add high-quality snaps to my Instagram stories while still maintaining a professional look. You can also use it to quickly upload shots from your camera, edit them in Lightroom, and share your creations with the world in a few taps. I can’t recommend enough having a phone with a competent camera for travel photography.
Canon RF 35mm Lens (Close Up Shots)
A lens is equally as important as a camera body, and you’ll want a few in your kit. The Canon RF 35mm is a prime lens that produces crisp macro (close-up) shots. It’s been a piece of equipment that I fall back on again and again to capture the details of nature and wildlife and to shoot stunning portraits. With an f/1.8 aperture, you’ll be able to focus on specific features and have a nice blurry background.
Don’t worry about finding space to pack the lens because the Canon RF 35mm is lightweight and compact–everything you could ever want in a travel lens.
Canon RF 70-200mm Lens (Sharp Long-Distance Shots)
A telephoto lens is crucial when you’re traveling. It allows you to capture moments from a distance without sacrificing image or video quality. I’ve tried a few over the years, and I can confidently say that the Canon RF 70-200mm has taken the cake. All Canon EF 70-200 lenses from the Mark 1 onwards have been amazing and as time passes by the new models get better and better. The Canon RF compared to similar models and its predecessors is lighter, smaller, and delivers more reliable results.
When you’re shooting at 200mm, stabilisation can be a challenge. But not with this lens because the built-in stabilisation technology does a fantastic job of ensuring you get the clearest images possible. Being able to shoot from so far away will keep you inconspicuous, which is crucial when capturing wildlife or when you don’t want people to react unnaturally to the camera’s presence.
Canon RF 15-35mm (Versatile Lens – Wide Angle)
Hands down my favourite lens!!! My first and only lens was the Canon EF 16-35mm which I used for about 4 years. As I upgraded most my kit to RF lenses, the Canon RF 15-35mm has been my go-to lens for quite some time. The lenses are relatively the same, and if you are using a Canon with EF lenses, go for the 16-35mm.
With these lenses, you can capture some incredible wide-angle shots that make the viewers feel like they’re in the moment. Whether I’m hiking in nature, shooting landscape, or walking through city streets, capturing buildings and people, the Canon RF 15-35mm is likely on my camera.
Feel free to scroll through our Instagram or the rest of the website to get an idea of the high-quality travel photography and videography all these lenses can produce.
DJI Mavic Air 2 (Ariel Perspective)
Shooting aerial photography is another great way to separate yourself from the herd of travel photographers. The DJI Mavic Air 2 drone has an incredible camera and video capabilities that I use whenever possible (drones are restricted in some countries and regions). You can shoot in 4k and make some very creative edits in whichever video editing software you prefer. Here’s a post we made with the DJI Mavic Air 2; I included an editing tutorial in the description.
After a few weeks of shooting images and videos with your drone and posting them to social media, you’ll be amazed at the improved look and quality of your portfolio. You’ll quickly catch the viewer’s attention and increase your chances of getting on the featured section of Instagram.
MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021), Apple M1 Max chip with 10‑core CPU and 32‑core GPU, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD
Now that you have the best camera for travel, a few lenses, and a drone, you need a computer to edit all that content. It’s no secret that Apple makes some of the best and most user-friendly products, and that’s why I rely on my MacBook Pro to touch up posts for social media and clients.
The laptop is powerful enough to handle applications like Lightroom, Premiere, Final Cut, Davinci, and every other image and video editing application you can think of. My favorite part about using an Apple laptop and phone is how easy it is to send files from one device to the other. That nifty little feature streamlines my workflow, and I don’t have to worry about being interrupted to painfully email and download documents.
All the content you capture needs a secure place to be stored. Images and videos quickly eat up space on a computer, and external hard drives can be quite bulky and slow. I’ve found that using the external SanDisk SSD is a foolproof way to store all my travel photography.
SanDisk designed this product to be easily portable for photographers who are constantly on the move. It’s water and dust-resistant and can be dropped from 2 meters without being damaged–you can expect drops to happen while being on the road. Some cameras can shoot directly to the SSD, but you’ll have to check the compatibility of your device.
Peak Design (Tripod)
Tripods are an important part of photography, but let’s be honest, they’re bulky, heavy, and likely not going to fit in your backpack. Well, that’s not the case anymore, because Peak Design made a tripod specifically for travel photographers. The product comes in aluminum (1.56kg/3.44lb) or carbon fiber (1.27kg/2.81lb). It’s so light and compact that I often forget I even packed it!
Some tripods can take a few minutes to properly set up, but not with Peak Design’s product. In seconds, you can have your camera mounted to the tripod, capturing whatever it is you want to capture–invaluable!
Yeti Panga Waterproof Backpack
Traveling is about adventure, and adventure sometimes means getting wet. Your camera equipment won’t always appreciate that. So, to keep all my gear safe, I pack it in the Yeti Panga a waterproof backpack. You won’t have to worry about any of your expensive products getting ruined while you’re kayaking, on a water taxi, or walking through a rainstorm. Without this backpack, I surely would have paid a lot of money to replace damaged equipment. Over time, it will pay for itself and more.
The best camera gear for travel photography isn’t always the most expensive option. Of course, you want to use reliable equipment that produces high-quality images, but your creativity and dexterity are far more important. I hope my list of gear was helpful and that you found a new product to add to your arsenal. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Keep creating! *Each item has an affiliate link to Amazon. I get a small kickback for every purchase, which helps support my travels!
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