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.
1. CANON 500D
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, but 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. CANON EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6S
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. CANON POWERSHOT ELPH 300 HS
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.
I once had a very crap underwater camera. It flooded when I was snorkeling, 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 has had the GoPro smug face plastered on non-stop.
5. Zhiyun Z1-RIDER GYROSCOPE CAMERA STABILIZER
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:
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 handlebar 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. POLARIZING FILTER
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. DSLR GORILLA POD
For a while, I traveled 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.
9. ODDS & ENDS
I use a card reader to copy my files onto a hard drive regularly. Each of my cameras has a 32GB Class 10 SD card. I also have two 1TB external hard drives on which everything is copied and backed up, kept in separate locations to be safe. My retouches are done on a 13 inch MacBook Air with only the trackpad. 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.