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.
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.
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.
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.
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?