What’s in my Camera Bag

6th October 2017

what's in my travel camera bag

I get asked pretty much daily what camera(s) I shoot my photos and videos with, so today I thought I would present you with an updated version of what is in my camera bag as a few things have changed since my last post. My approach hasn’t changed so much, however: I still do not put so much importance in my camera equipment and tend to cheap out wherever possible because breaking sh*t is a favourite hobby of mine and I do believe good photography lies a lot more in the eye of the beholder rather than in whatever expensive piece of equipment you are gagging to show me with so much pride (hint: don’t).

That being said, lately, I’ve invested in a GoPro for vlogging and a few other gadgets after shooting a lot of videos that all ended in the trash for being too shaky (cycling + filming = not awesome). So back by popular demand, here is what’s in my camera bag these days (I still don’t have a camera bag or any form of camera sling bag!) Just my plain old outdoor backpack.

best camera equipment for traveling

1. [easyazon_link keywords=”CANON 500D” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]CANON 500D[/easyazon_link]
I bought this from Craigslist in Montreal for $100 before I left two years ago and it is still going strong. Not only does it offer all of the options my other more expensive DSLR cameras have, it’s also a lot more compact and shoots 1080p video, which I use for my YouTube channel when I feel fancy. I know buying used electronics from classified ads can be very hit and miss, but a little digging and a close inspection on purchase can lead to finding little gems such as this. As this model is now discontinued, I’m linking to the equivalent most recent model here. The Canon Rebel range is a no-nonsense choice for a travel camera – sturdy, lightweight, and powerful. Although these days I’m thinking of shifting to a mirrorless camera, such as the Olympus Pen.

2. [easyazon_link keywords=”CANON EF-S 18-135mm” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]CANON EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 I[/easyazon_link]S
I recently traded my crappy 18-50mm and 55-250mm lenses for the slightly upgraded and less cumbersome 18-135mm. It clearly does not compare to my old 24-105mm f/4, but it is much lighter and honestly not bad for half of the price. For having started my photography career with a pro lens, this one does disappoint in some regards by comparison (the sharpness at longer focal lengths is not awesome and it doesn’t do so well in low light). For beginners, the budget-conscious or amateur photographer, however, this represents tremendous quality for the money and the focus is really quite fast.

3. [easyazon_link keywords=”CANON POWERSHOT ELPH” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]CANON POWERSHOT ELPH 300 HS[/easyazon_link]
This little camera is always in my back pocket when I’m too lazy to lug my big equipment around and is what I shoot most of my YouTube videos with. It also takes decent pictures when the conditions are right. It’s like my DSLR’s little sidekick. I know there are so many better vlogging cameras out there, but for now that does it for me.

4. [easyazon_link keywords=”GOPRO” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]GOPRO[/easyazon_link]
I once had a very crap underwater camera. It flooded when I was snorkelling, and everyone suggested getting a GoPro to replace it. I beat around the bush for quite a while on this, partly because of the exorbitant price and because it all felt a bit gimmicky – all the proprietary cases, filters, poles, straps, chesties and what have you. But then I started looking at photos and videos from all the smug GoPro owners out there and conceded that the photos were pretty awesome. So I caved in, and since that day have had the GoPro smug face plastered on non-stop.

5. [easyazon_link keywords=”Zhiyun CAMERA STABILIZER” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]Zhiyun Z1-RIDER GYROSCOPE CAMERA STABILIZER[/easyazon_link]
This weird thing is in fact a very tiny robotized steadicam for my GoPro that makes my footage a lot smoother while I’m in motion. It can be handheld or attached to various mounts unlike other gimbals that come with only one handle and it works wonders at removing most of the jitter, wobbles and bounce from handheld shooting. Here is some footage I did with it:


Ho Stevie GoPro mouth mount
This is another weird gadget that became super helpful when I started cycling! Originally made for surfers, the Ho Stevie! mouth mount is also great when riding a fully loaded bicycle at high speed, as holding the handle bar with one hand and filming with the other does feel a little unsafe sometimes. Now, I just pop this thing in my mouth, and, as an added bonus, the footage is actually much smoother that way.

7. [easyazon_link keywords=”POLARIZING FILTER” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]POLARIZING FILTER[/easyazon_link]
This is the one single piece of equipment that could have the biggest impact on your travel photos for the least money. I’m not going to lecture you on how to use it or how it works here, but a polarizing filter will make the sky of your photos look amazingly blue and the water as crystalline as you see it with your own eyes – just by spinning the filter around. A truly worthy investment.

8. [easyazon_link keywords=”DSLR GORILLA POD” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]DSLR GORILLA POD[/easyazon_link]
For a while, I travelled with no tripod, then I had an annoying large tripod, then I got rid of it. This is a good compromise. I can transform my bicycle, a tree, a fence, a car, or whatever is there into a base for this tripod and it is relatively sturdy. Read more on the best travel tripods here.


I use a [easyazon_link keywords=”card reader” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]card reader[/easyazon_link] to copy my files onto a hard drive regularly. Each of my cameras has a 32GB Class 10 [easyazon_link keywords=”SD card” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]SD card[/easyazon_link]. I also have two 1TB [easyazon_link keywords=”external hard drives” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]external hard drives[/easyazon_link] on which everything is copied and backed up, kept in separate locations to be safe. My retouches are done on a 13 inch [easyazon_link keywords=”MacBook Air” locale=”US” tag=”mostlyameli07-20″]MacBook Air[/easyazon_link] with only the track pad. Sometimes I wish I had carried my tablet and stylus…

And that is all my friends! Have you made it this far?

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links which give me a small cut if you make a purchase. This comes at no cost to you and allows me to continue  running this blog! Thanks for your support! I have received a complimentary mouth mount for this article. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

25 thoughts on “What’s in my Camera Bag

  1. Vilia - mindtgreen.com

    Thats a lot of equipment! I sometimes regret to bring my Canon DSLR with me (+ 3 objectives) because its so heavy and i think there are great alternatives on the market as well. Ever thought of changing your dslr completely? ….(I want to have this go pro mouth mount just because it looks so weird :-)) !!)

    1. Amélie Post author

      Sometimes, yes, but not because it’s heavy (my current setup is quite light), but because I have seen some incredibly sharp images taken with the Olympus OM-D camera (and, I hate to be like that, but this camera is just gorgeous!). I might swap for that when my current came dies, in fact. The only turn off for me, is that the viewfinder is digital and I have only used SLRs cameras with mirror.

      1. Vilia - mindtgreen.com

        I just saw your answer on that. But I totally agree with u! This Olympus camera is great! I have met travelers, using this one and i think to make a switch soon too. I am heading to germany soon and will get rid of some of my equipment 🙂

  2. Edmond

    . Wow, prize mouth mount is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂 Pick me, pick me! Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest. Starving artist here desperately needs the mouth mount to work and eat. A life changing exp.

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  4. Bradley Lauster

    I loved your first article and I am glad you wrote an update! Always great you are still finding ways to get those great pictures without always costing a big amount. I was looking for a smaller compact camera solution so you have given me even more great ideas. I was on the fence about getting a go pro too so I am so glad you settled that one for me as well. The mouth mount was interesting at the least but who knows maybe I will add it to my arsenal eventually.

    Then again I am not much of a cycler but may find another use for it if I need to use my hands.

    1. Amélie Post author

      Hey Bradley, thanks so much for your comment! 🙂 The mouth mount is a fun addition 😉

  5. Wandering Carol

    Interesting post. I’ve been considering a GoPro as well, and I’d never heard of a mouth mount! Too funny. I also have the issue with carrying a tripod – I wish they’d make a super light tripod that really worked and didn’t cost the moon. The gorilla didn’t really work for me but maybe I’ll rethink it.

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