My Camera Travel Gear – How I take my Travel Pictures and Videos

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There are two things I always pack when I’m traveling: My camera(s) and my cellphone. I love capturing moments and sharing them with you, and well, you know, a picture says more than thousands words. People often ask me which camera I use for my pictures and videos while traveling and in this post I will tell you exactly which cameras I use and why. And I will also tell you which programs I use to edit my pictures and videos.

My DSLR – Canon Rebel T5i (700D)

When taking a camera on your travels it needs to be handy and light, that’s why I switched from Pentax to Canon a while ago. My first DSLR was a Pentax and I really liked it but I realized after a few trips that it’s just too heavy to carry around all day. One or two kilos can make a huge difference. I switched to Canon because I was playing around with the EOS Rebel T3I (600D) from a friend and I really liked the handling and the quality of the pictures and videos, and for sure the weight.

camera travel, camera travel gear

Now I really got used to Canon and can’t imagine to switch to another brand anymore. Probably also because I’m not really into all the technical stuff and I’m unable to cope when things don’t work the way I’m used to. But I also would never switch to a higher-end Canon camera like a 5D or 7D. Two easily explained reasons for that: Weight and (again) technical nick-nack I have no idea how to use. I need a camera which is easy to handle, simple and intuitive to use, which takes awesome pictures and which is light enough to carry around. And the Canon Rebel T5i (700D) got it all. And I also really like the vari-angle touch screen, which is awesome to take pictures and videos from all angles you can imagine.

But I have to admit that even the light-weighted 700D sometimes is too heavy to carry around all day. But I haven’t found another (lighter) camera yet which can provide the same value for money.

Lenses I use with the Canon Rebel T5i (700D)

Canon provided me for a while with a EF 24-70/2.8L II USM for testing purposes, a really great lens I did enjoy to use, especially for portrait photography. But this lens has two cons for me: For one thing it is really heavy (think I’ve mentioned it before how important it is to me to travel light) and on the other hand is doesn’t come with an image stabilizer, which is essential for great travel videos in my opinion.

kamera reise reisefotografie mauritius portraitfotografie

Now I use the EF-S 17-55 IS USM and I’m super happy with it as it meets all my requirements (mostly, as it is still pretty heavy). But it’s perfect for travel photography AND travel videos.

My cellphone(s) – iPhone 5 and OnePlus One

I never thought I would switch from iPhone to Android. But now I have both, an old iPhone 5 and a fancy OnePlus One. Especially while traveling I find it very useful to have two cellphones as I can use one with my regular SIM card and the other one with the local SIM card. That’s how I always stay connected but also always available. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it isn’t.

When it comes to taking pictures I rarely use my cellphone nowadays, but it’s perfect for photo editing. (Especially for Instagram). I solely use the app “Afterlight” for this. My favourite filter is “russ” and I do love to give my pictures a faded, bleached look.

kamera reise bali tulamben
Bali, Tulamben – Picture taken with my OnePlus One
kamera reise bali tulamben
Bali, Tulamben – edited for Instagram with Afterlight

Cellphones are also pretty useful while traveling when you don’t want to write down information you may need later, take a picture of the name of the restaurants or instructions and there we go.

Underwater footage – GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition

Since I started diving, taking underwater photos and video is my next big challenge. I did toy with the idea of buying an underwater housing for my DSLR but in the end I went for a GoPro Hero3+. And I’m pretty happy about this decision so far. Or, let’s put it this way: I’m pretty happy about it by now. While I was still unimpressed by the pictures I took while diving with sharks in Costa Rica, I finally found the trick of it. I bought a red filter for the GoPro and bamm, now I have more contrast and better colours.

Test GoPro Hero3+ redfilter underwater diving

On the upper left side you see the original picture WITH red filter and on the upper right side WITHOUT red filter, below that you see the respective versions of the pic edited with Lightroom 5, adjusting tonal value and white balance “automatically”. Extreme difference, right?

For better comparison watch this video (and yes, I know something’s wrong with my diver’s watch but I have no idea how to change that annoying beeping)

I think a GoPro is also pretty usable above water, for example during Songkran in Bangkok.

Which programs do I use to edit my photos and videos?

For editing my pictures I mainly use Lightroom. I found some cool presets by Trey Ratcliff, I often use and adapt for my pictures. But sometimes I’m not satisfied with Lightroom and do edit my picture with Afterlight on my phone. When I want to add text to my picture I normally use Pixlr Express, which is easy to use.

I edit my videos with Final Cut Pro X on my MacBook Pro (2010), although I wanna switch to a lighter version sooner or later, as my old MacBook is getting really heavy to carry around. But as long as it’s still working I will keep it (yes, I’m Swabian and don’t like to spend money if I don’t have to).

Music for my videos I normally find on these pages:

Sometimes it takes longer to find the right song than to edit a video btw…

My latest travel video – King’s Day in Amsterdam

I found a really great overview on which camera to use while travelling on pinterest. Here you’ll find some great tips and tricks to help you decide which camera is the best for you.

Which camera are you using when travelling for photography and videos?

Disclosure: Canon provided me with cameras and lenses for testing purposes. Some links in this post are affiliate links, if you pay something through this it doesn’t cost you more but my holiday fund gets some extra cents. Great deal, isn’t it?

Hi, I'm Yvonne. Travel addict. Guilty as charged. Right now I'm probably falling off a camel somewhere in a desert, getting a new tattoo from a monk in Thailand or am carrying my luggage through a river in the jungle. But just as well I could be sitting on my sofa in Berlin, in my pyjamas. Good girls to to heaven, bad girls go everywhere. Everywhere sounds much more promising. So be travelous and follow me!

Discussion22 Comments

    • RIGHT? I was sooo happy when I finally bought one! Could bite my ass that I didn’t had one when diving with Sharks in Costa Rica. DAMN IT!

    • Hi Jessica, for snokerkling you don’t actually need a red filter. Red gets absorbed under water at a depth of around 5m. When filming with a red filter under water while the color red is still “there” you actually get a red color grading to your footage which is worse to edit than adjusting the maybe a bit too blueish (or greenish) color you get on your footage while snorkerling. A red filter for your camera makes mostly sense when you’re scuba diving. But then it’s a must in my opinion.

  1. Hi Yvonne – I’m about to head off on a big trip and am considering which of my cameras to take. I have a shock proof underwater camera and the older version of your Canon… but I am concerned about carrying them around with me when I am out sight-seeing because of a)safety and b)weight/annoyance of carrying too much. How do you pack your cameras for a day of sight-seeing?

    • Hi Helen, this is actually a very good question! I’ve just recently partnered up with Pacsafe and I highly recommend their Camsafe camera sling bag http://amzn.to/1JRpcSd
      Three reasons: you can wear it on your back (which is better for weight/annoyance than to carry your camera in a “normal” bag), but with the built-in anti-theft features you don’t have to be scared that someone is stealing your valuables “behind your back” AND it’s pretty easy to access your camera (easier than with a “normal” backpack).
      Have fun on your big trip!

  2. I can’t move onto any other brand other than Canon, absolutely adore it. Love the post, especially the video. You should write a post on your video processing too.:) I have figured out editing my pictures but the videos are still a shame.

  3. Great information !
    I use the Nikon D90 .. I’ll have to check it’s weight against the Canon.. As you say weight can be a problem.
    Thank you
    Bruce 😉

  4. Yes I am a Canon fan as well. I also struggle with lugging it around all day- so have decided it is time to update my phone so I have a lighter option.. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I feel you about traveling light, it’d definitely going to be hard when I leave (backpacking style).

    I will be packing the Canon 70D, 18-35 Sigma 1.8, a tripod, and a glidecam. Phew!! PLUS, all of my other gear, clothes, tent, etc…going to be crazy, but , I’m going to make it work somehow lol

  6. Have you ever tried a mirrorless camera? I hear you can get really high quality ones that are a lot lighter/smaller than a DSLR. Also I recently tried the red filter for the goPro and it really does make a huge difference. I’m looking to try a small underwater light as well at some point, ever tried one?

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