Travel Blog Camera Gear
One of the most important aspects of The Passport Pair is our travel blog camera gear. Without it, our Instagram and blog posts wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. We have made careful decisions for what type of gear we use, while simultaneously being as budget conscious as possible. I’ll be the first to admit that there is better gear available, but it really comes down to getting what you can with the money you have and just getting out there to create content. Below I’ll break down the gear we currently use, as well as our wish list.
Our Main Travel Camera
No travel Instagram is complete without the tried and true DSLR. Extremely versatile, easy to upgrade with different lenses, and durable, the DSLR is the perfect companion to any travel. They shoot amazing photos as well as video, and nothing beats the control you get with a DSLR. While the battle between Nikon and Canon continues, the truth of the matter is that they really are quite equal. I only chose Nikon because it was what I was familiar with.
We purchased the Nikon D3200 bundle from Amazon which came with an entry level 18-55 mm zoom and a 55-200 mm zoom. While there are better lenses out there, these were a great start for us and manage to the job in 99% of applications. For our memory card, we spent a little bit more to get a 128 gigabyte. When you are on the road, you don’t want to be constantly worrying about having enough storage, so we went as big as possible.
Update: We recently purchased a new lens for our camera setup, and it has been quite the game changer! Our new 35mm F/1.8 Prime Lens makes for amazing all-around and portrait photography. The F/1.8 allows for some great portrait effects and bokeh, so we’ve been practicing with fun depth of field stuff.
While our DSLR is our primary camera, it is not always feasible to bring it into every situation. We use an iPhone 7 to fill in the gaps, and the picture quality is amazing. To be honest, I prefer the iPhone 7 when shooting landscapes, and the new portrait mode simulates Bokeh quite nicely. Check out our run down of best travel apps to keep on your iPhone.
Our Nikon D3200 does have a built-in microphone, but the sound quality is not all that great and you get a lot of extra noise from the camera itself. To compensate for this, we purchased a simple and cheap Takstar external mic on Amazon that simply mounts on the flash mount. We also picked up a Rode wind muff for those extra windy days in Cape Town.
My personal favorite camera accessory is our Joby Gorillapod. The bendable tripod will mount your DSLR to just about anything, and it also works great as a handle for shooting video. The quick mount allows you to quickly attach and detach your camera while on the go.
We wouldn’t have much of a couples travel blog if our photos didn’t feature both of us, but stopping to ask someone to take a photo is not always possible. Our Neewer DSLR remote shutter works on RF, so you don’t have to have line of sight with the camera. It works far away, so you can easily snap photos from behind your back without anyone knowing. It also works great for those artsy shots where you don’t want to disturb the camera while holding down the shutter.
For our more adventurous shots, we have a GoPro Hero4 Silver. The waterproof and shockproof action camera is a great addition to our gear, allowing us to take video pretty much wherever we may be. Although not a great still camera, it is fantastic at taking video, and we are just beginning to explore the possibilities.
A GoPro is not complete without the necessary accessories. We have a hand grip that doubles as a tripod, a car mount for great road trip footage, and a head mount for when we are hiking. We have even used the car mount on kayaks and paddle boards, allowing us to expand our footage collection.
Photography Gear Bag
Camera bags are often clunky and uni-purpose, but I wanted something inconspicuous and practical. Our Lowepro Photo Hatchback was the perfect option. The 16L all weather backpack has a built-in rain fly to keep your gear protected
Camera Gear We Are Buying Next
We would like to upgrade our camera gear to expand our capabilities as soon as possible. While I dream of owning a Full Frame camera (Nikon D810, Canon 5D Mk IV, or Sony A7R II), I think our next upgrade will most likely be better lenses. A portrait prime lens, either 35mm or 50mm f1.4 will really allow us to capture fantastic portraits and explore our artistic sides. As our trips often center around animals, a telephoto in the range of 500mm would also be a great addition. Until we can afford to drop $3,000-7,000 on a professional DSLR or Mirrorless camera, a simple lens upgrade in the range of $200-800 will greatly increase our ability to take quality photos. After all, a camera is only as good as its lens.