Post Summary: This blog will give you a breakdown of all the photography gear Scott and I use!
As a travel photographer and blogger, one of the biggest questions I get asked is, “What gear do you use?” I never saw the point in investing more money into photography gear until I decided to make photography my full-time job. To capture great content, you need two things: your unique point of view and the right gear. The right camera gear can help us bring our imaginations to life. I know camera equipment can be an investment, and I completely understand not wanting to throw a bunch of money into objects like this. That’s why I took my time to purchase all of these items.
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What’s In My Camera Gear Bag as an Influencer
If you’re looking to upgrade your gear bag, are a photography hobbyist, or are merely curious as to what photo gear I use, then keep reading! Below is the full list of photography gear Scott and I take with us when we travel.
I also want to make it clear that while I recently switched camera systems, I have included my old gear (that I still stand by) in the blog for you to check out!
Disclaimer: This blog contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of every purchase at no cost to you.
I started my full-frame camera journey with a Sony a7II. While the Sony a7II served me well, I fell in love with Canon DSLRs after shooting with friends’ cameras. So say hello to the 5D Mark IV! This camera is a beast. Its body is lightweight compared to most DSLR bodies, and it is entirely waterproof- ain’t no rain ever scared me! The weather sealing component is what sold me on the camera. I also love that the 5D Mark IV has a user-friendly menu. The cherry on top? It has a touch screen which you can use to select your focus point, and even set to “touch to shoot.”
*The Sony a7III has come out and has some major upgrades compared to the Sony a7II.
Pros: The 5D Mark IV is excellent for professionals and serious photo lovers who want a beast of a camera with 30.4-megapixel images. It’s also an excellent choice for aspiring videographers, or outdoor lovers like myself, who need photography gear that will not die in some light rain.
Cons: A DSLR, in general, can be cumbersome because the bodies are typically more massive than those of a mirrorless camera. While 30.4 megapixels is excellent for photos, the file sizes take up lots of space on my hard drives.
For the savvy shopper: If a 5D Mark IV is a bit out of budget or you’re a hobbyist and don’t need a camera with as many video options or insane resolution, your best bet is the Canon 5D Mark III.
Still, want a great full frame camera but would instead go mirrorless? Look no more. The Canon EOS R is the one for you! Take all the camera components of the Canon 5D Mark IV, shove them into a lightweight, rapid-firing, mirrorless camera body, and this is what you get. With Canon’s Mount Adapter, you’ll still be able to use the Canon DSLR lenses you love the most! That’s a massive bonus if you ask me. And a HUGE advantage of going mirrorless is seeing a preview of what your photo will look like with your current camera settings by peaking through the viewfinder! This allows you to adjust your settings accordingly at a faster speed than you might be able to do with a DSLR.
Pros: This camera is best for professionals and serious photo lovers looking for a lightweight, full-frame camera body.
Cons: The reason I didn’t go with the EOS R was because of the weather sealing. While the camera still has Canon’s weather seal standard (which is fantastic BTW), it isn’t comparable to that of the 5D Mark IV.
The EOS Rebel T7i is one of Canon’s best entry-level cameras. The camera sports a 24.2-megapixel sensor that also performs better in situations where one may need a higher ISO. This camera body also has a great touchscreen feature, which adds ease to a workflow!
Pros: The Rebel is an excellent choice for enthusiasts and beginners looking for a beginner body with high image quality.
Cons: The camera does not shoot 4K video, which can be a bummer for some video enthusiasts.
Just want something to take pictures with that isn’t your iPhone? The Canon PowerShot is for you! This compact camera shoots at 20 megapixels and 8x optical zoom and is an excellent option for photographers on a budget.
Pros: The PowerShot is ideal for beginner photographers and travelers looking for a compact point and shoot.
Cons: This camera does not shoot video in full HD and doesn’t have the resolution you’d get with a more professional camera.
It’s no surprise that GoPro makes the ultimate gear for photo lovers on the move. If you love high-intensity sports but don’t want the “fish-eye” look that comes with traditional GoPro, then the GoPro Hero7 is for you. This upgraded model also includes “HyperSmooth” video, which majorly reduces the shake on footage! I also love that you can use voice control to operate it.
Pros: GoPros are great for adventure photography, videography, and an ultra-wide view
Cons: Like most GoPro cameras, this is not a replacement for a higher quality DSLR or mirrorless camera body. The GoPro doesn’t have nearly as many features, nor does it have the most high-quality sensor.
I was never really into the concept of aerial photography until I gave a drone a whirl. Now I love it! Droning, when done correctly and legally, is a great way to find new perspectives and diversify your photography/ videography portfolio. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is equipped with a high-resolution camera and compacts down to a reasonable size for when I travel. Please make sure you do your research before droning to make sure you are doing so legally and safely. For example, you cannot use a drone in a National Park or State Park. If you find yourself visiting these areas quite a bit, this might be a tool you can pass on for now.
Pros: Drones are best for travelers looking to get into aerial photography and videography.
Cons: Drones are not allowed in most places I visit, so I do not use it as much as I’d like to. Replacing them, if they get damaged or lost, can be expensive too.
When I snagged my first wide angle lens, it was a complete game changer! I love being able to capture massive landscapes in a single photo. The 16-35 f/4 has served me well, but if you need more low light capabilities, you can snag a 16-35 f/2.8. Keep in mind that the f/2.8 version of the lens will be more expensive. If you want something even wider, you can snag a Canon 11-24 f/4 lens!
*For my Sony system, I was using this 16-35 f/4 lens. Super sharp and was my go-to!
Pros: Great for shooting landscapes and in tight spaces
Cons: Some wide angles can distort images
Most folks I know use a 24-70 as their go-to photography gear, and it’s not hard to see why! The Canon 24-70 is a great all around lens. Scott and I use it for our landscape imagery as well as product shots. The 2.8 aperture also creates beautiful bokeh, which I love. You can also opt for the Canon 24-70 f/4 if you want a great lens at a lower cost.
Pros: Great for photographers who need a no-brainer, go-to lens
Cons: 24-70 is what I consider a “happy medium” range. If you need to capture fairly vast landscapes or want to zoom into a scene for a tighter perspective, you’ll need some other lenses too.
I didn’t realize just how much I love photographing mountains until I got my hands on my Canon 70-200! Telephoto lenses are great for those “zoomed in” shots you typically see landscape photographers get. Lenses at this focal range also compress a scene, meaning objects in the distance appear larger. After trying the 70-200, I am keen on giving the Canon 100-400 f/4 a try! Out of all my photography gear, I think my telephoto lens is my favorite.
*You can find the Sony 70-200 f/4 lens here.
Pros: Great for compressing a scene and getting up close and personal with a landscape
Cons: If this is the only lens you bring to the party, you’re going to have to stand pretty far back to get most of the scene in the image. Telephoto lenses can run heavy too.
Editing in Adobe Lightroom had a significant effect on my photography. I previously was editing jpeg files on free iPhone apps but decided it was time to give RAWS a try and switch over to Adobe software. I’m happy I did! To edit all of our photos, Scott and I use a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Lightroom is great for your “basic” edits. That includes tones, colors, sharpness, and more. Photoshop is a much more powerful tool that can be used for a whole slew of things, but we use Photoshop to clean up an image and remove distracting objects. You can get both programs with Adobe’s Photography Suite.
I LOVE my Mac. It has become a staple part of my photography gear. I was previously a PC user but switched over because MacBooks are faster and have more capabilities when it comes to what we creative folks need. The 15″ retina display also assures that I am viewing my images to the highest quality, allowing me to make the best edits possible. If you need something a bit smaller, you can go for a 13″ Macbook, which fits in most travel bags.
For a long time, Scott has relied on his F-Stop Lotus bag to carry all of his camera gear. F-Stop bags comfortably hold a massive amount of camera equipment as well as the extra gear you may need for hiking. This bag is also waterproof, so you know your equipment will be protected! I have always found hiking bags to be more comfortable for me, so I use small cases (below) for my gear, and place everything in my Osprey Kyte 36L hiking pack. When I’m not hiking, I use my WANDRD bag!
I LOVE this camera bag. It has been a recent addition to my gear, and I can tell you right now that it is ten times better than any other camera bag I have owned. The WANDRD PRVKE holds my laptop, camera body, lenses, hard drives and more. I have the 31L and Scott has the 21L!
Scott is the one that first turned me on to Ape Cases. Think of them as packing cubes you can adjust to your needs. Each case has a Velcro wall inside that you can move around. While Ape Cases have a use for a variety of photography gear, I use them to hold my camera body, lenses, SD cards, and more.
Gizmos and Gadgets
Do you know what bothers me when I hike? It’s the need to take off my pack to get something from the inside. Ugh! The horror of having to stop what I’m doing to dig through all my belongings to find out that what I needed was in my hip belt this whole time. Jokes on me, right? This Peak Design clip removes your camera from this equation. The holder slips over any backpack strap, tightens, and secures your camera to you. Now you’ll never miss a moment because your camera is at the bottom of your bag! Peak Design also makes a great camera strap that safely holds my 5D Mark IV. The strap is made out of a seatbelt- how cool is that?
Scott and I don’t use tripods very often. They can be bulky, and our style of photography doesn’t usually require that we use one. However, MeFOTO tripods are great for taking travel selfies and couple’s photos. You can also use tripods for astrophotography (something Scott enjoys) as well as long exposure images. Ever wonder how some photographers make waterfalls look milky? A slow shutter and a tripod!
If you’re shopping for an ultra-light tripod for travel, I can’t recommend the JOBY Gorillapod enough. Its legs flex and bend so you can take it anywhere. We have been able to use ours for a variety of things like vlogging. You can also purchase this phone mount and use the tripod with your smartphone.
SD cards are essential to photography. You can’t take photos without one! Scott and I have used these 64G SanDisk cards for the past couple of years now. We find that they write very fast (write = images are captured and processed). You can also grab the Sandisk 32G cards if you don’t think you’ll need as much storage.
Since my image files are so large, I don’t store them on my laptop. If you take a ton of pictures and do not want to clog up your computer, I recommend grabbing an SSD. SSD stands for “solid state drive,” meaning it does not have a fragile disk inside that will crash the drive if it gets banged around. I always load images onto my SSD and edit them directly on the drive, then back them up to an external hard drive later (listed below).
If there is one thing I learned over the years, it’s to always backup your photos. I have had several hard drives fail on me. It still sucks! Scott has had the best luck with these 4TB hard drives and uses them to store everything. Hard drives are probably the one piece of photography gear you need to buy.
When your camera gets dusty, this little guy is the best cleaner, especially if you don’t have a clean cloth around.
There you have it folks! That’s everything in my camera bag. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!