A travel photographer truly only needs one thing (besides their one way ticket and maybe their passport, that is!) – an excellent, trusty camera to capture the beauty they experience. Today, I’m sharing some of my top considerations for travel photographers to keep in mind when shopping for their perfect camera and gear.
Consider Your Needs & Style
The first thing all travel photographers should consider is their unique style of shooting and their individual needs to create them. The type of photography you’re aiming to create while guide your decision making. If you’re an advanced photographer aiming to dip their toes into videography, wildlife shoots, or action photography, you’ll have very different needs than a beginner hoping to take some clear and memorable photos for your personal social media or to show friends and family.
A big consideration is your camera’s flexibility and durability as well. Because travel photographers shoot in a multitude of environments, our gear has to be dependable and sturdy no matter the circumstances.
Weight Is A Big Deal
The nature of a travel photographer’s job is their ability to maneuver through their daily life with ease, and without being tied down. That being said, the weight of your gear is a very big consideration.
If you’re a traveler who truly values the ability to travel light, then you might need to look into the specifics of the camera body’s overall weight. After all, why invest in gear that only stays in your hotel room? I absolutely love my Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera from Adorama because of it’s a lightweight option that doesn’t skimp on image quality. Compared to some of its heavier counterparts, it’s really the perfect choice.
Again, this all comes down to your personal needs and style. If you require a camera for unusual shooting circumstances, or even if you’re happy to carry around more weight and gear for the sake of a specific look for your images, go for it!
Mirrorless Or DSLR, Cropped Or Full Frame?
The ultimate questions, as most photographers would tell you! DSLR cameras offer travel photographers a wider selection of lenses to choose from, more control over image quality and look in a sturdy body. However, today’s mirrorless cameras are compact, light, offer excellent video image stability. I believe some even rival the quality of their DSLR counterparts!
Full frame cameras capture a broader dynamic range and are a bit more trusty in darker lighting. Cropped cameras aren’t capable to capture quite as much, but they certainly are more affordable for budget or beginning photographers.
I would highly recommend writing down a list of the type of shooting situations you can see yourself shooting in, as well as adding some inspirational shots you’re inspired by. Do your research and shop around, read reviews and weigh your pros and cons.
What Lens Works Best
A great lens can change everything! This is where the real fun begins, in my opinion. Lenses completely adapt the feel of a captured image. Some things to consider when shopping for lenses are f-stop and focal length. These two elements should not be overlooked.
As far as f-stop goes, the lower the number, the better! These smaller f-stop numbers mean that more light is let into the camera, giving you more flexibility and control in all sorts of lighting circumstances. Light is the ultimate ingredient in all photography, so having a lens that gives you freedom to shoot in all situations key!
There are two types of lens focal length – prime or zoom. For travel photography, I would suggest finding a great zoom lens with versatility. Why? Simply to save room in your baggage and because it can be quite a nuisance to change your lens every time you’re in a new shoot.
I exclusively use two zoom lenses for shooting. One being the Canon RF 24-105mm F4 IS Lens (which came with my camera). I love its simplicity and sharp image quality. And second being my trusty 16-35mm Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens. I’m a huge fan of shooting wide to capture a dreamy location in its full glory, and this lens really does the trick! It’s also my go-to when I’m shooting interiors and smaller details while out and about.
Other Details To Note
Of course, there are many, many other details to consider when shopping for your perfect travel camera. Here are some key items to also think about.
Look into whether or not your camera is able to shoot RAW. This is a file format that gives you the ultimate control in the editing stage. JPEGs are still able to be tweaked and refined, but RAW files give you true mastery while editing. Many cameras are able to shoot both now, which is excellent!
Also ask yourself if you’d like to have an electronic viewfinder, or EVF. This allows you to see the scene in front of you as set by the camera sensor and settings you’ve chosen, not just what is in front of you. This gives you a nice preview of your final product before even pressing your shutter!
Finally, be sure to look into the megapixels your camera sensor has. The higher the megapixel numbers, the more crisp and clear your final images will be in larger prints and formats. If you’re intending on shooting magazine campaigns or large artistic prints, you require a camera with a pretty large megapixel capabilities in your camera sensor!
With these things in mind, I’m sure you have a lot to consider, but remember, investing in your perfect travel camera gear is one of the biggest purchases! Do your research and feel confident in your buy!
This post is sponsored by Adorama, my favorite one-stop shop for all things photography gear.