I get a tonne of questions on Instagram about what my content creation kit consists of, so I wanted to share my entire list of camera gear that I take with me while travelling. Note: I’m obsessed with gadgets so this list grows quite often, I’ll try and update it each time I add something new!
What camera do I use?
I’m a huge Lumix fan for my travel photography, and this is my second camera from the Lumix family. My first one, the GF7, is an entry-level mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, a fold out screen for selfies and WiFi for easy transfer of photos to your phone, super handy when you’re Instagramming on the road. Last summer I upgraded to the GX85 which is higher spec but still super compact. I can take the camera AND three lenses in a small camera bag made for one DSLR! The GX85 has a 16MP micro four-thirds sensor, 4k video and excellent image stabilisation while being only 430g. Perfect for exploring without taking up tonnes of room in your luggage.
What lenses do I use?
I’ve got four lenses for my GX85: the 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, the 25mm f1.7, the 42.5mm f1.7 and the 35-100mm f4-5.6 kit lens. I mostly use the 25mm for general day-to-day photography with fantastic detail and depth of field, and the 12-32mm for wide-angle landscape shots. The other two come out in more specific settings every now and then so I don’t have them on me at all times. The 42.5mm is perfect for portraits and is super sharp with gorgeous bokeh (blurry background), and I use the 35-100mm if I want to zoom into a scene to get close up shots. I’ve also got an ND10 filter for my 12-32mm which means I can slow the shutter speed down even during daytime, which is how you get shots like waterfalls with blurry water.
What drone do I use?
A wise woman once said ‘One drone is never enough, buy another’. That woman was me. My Phantom 4 Pro came into my life at the end of 2016 and has been my most-prized possession ever since! DJI completely owns the drone market and is years ahead of competitors in terms of technology, software and features, and the Phantom 4 Pro is probably the highest spec consumer drone available (as the time of writing, 21st Jan 2018). It shoots 4k video at 60fps and 20MP stills, has 30 minutes of battery and has a ridiculous range of 4km.. It literally changes the game of photography and gives you access to create content from an angle that hardly anyone else can get to. It’s also just super fun to play with!
Unfortunately, it’s also pretty bulky and noisy, not the best option if you’re wanting to travel light. Last year DJI released their smallest consumer drone, the Spark, and I HAD to get one. It’s only 300g and 14cm wide and long, so perfect to take in cabin luggage for a weekend trip. It connects to your phone using WiFi but you can upgrade to the remote if you want extra range and more control, I just got one for 129GBP on Amazon. It’s got 1080p video and 12MP stills, around 18 minutes of battery life and is significantly cheaper than the Mavic or Phantom at only 519GBP, but also has some cool features like PalmControl and automatic video modes to really up your drone game.
Update: At the end of January 2018 DJI released a Mavic Air, which is almost as small as the Spark but with higher spec and about a third more expensive. I haven’t flown it so can’t comment from experience but I think it would be worth looking into as a first step into drone-parenthood!
What GoPro do I use?
My travels are often water-related so a GoPro is an absolute must-have. I used a GoPro Hero 3+ for a couple of years but upgrading to the Hero 5 with a screen is a massive game changer, and I definitely recommend it if you’re a big GoPro user! I’ll use the GoPro on boat trips, ATV exploring and snowmobiling, basically anywhere where I’m too scared to take out the camera. I tend to film in linear mode so it doesn’t have the fisheye distortion, because I use the footage alongside camera footage and don’t want it to look too GoPro-esque.
What GoPro accessories do I have?
So many that they deserve their own paragraph! I was lucky enough to win my GoPro before moving to London last year along with a Karma drone and a Karma gimbal (you use this to stabilise the GoPro while videoing). I didn’t need to take two drones to the other side of the world so I sold the Karma and used that money to buy all kinds of GoPro goodies. Here’s a breakdown of what I have and how I use each of them.
Probably the best thing you can own if you’re serious about GoPro videos, this gimbal keeps the GoPro totally stabilised when you’re walking, driving or riding camels in the Sahara Desert. It’s an expensive piece of equipment at 299GBP/$519 NZD but cheaper than most camera options, so still worth it.
I first heard about GoPro domes after seeing this photo on Instagram, and I think I bought one the next day! You can get professional-quality domes like this one for around 70GBP/$130 NZD but I just went for this cheapie on Amazon for 35GBP and it’s been totally fine. The trick with these is to take video at the highest setting so you can screengrab a still shot; the water line is constantly moving so getting a photo at the perfect time is basically impossible.
Everyone who takes underwater photos knows how disappointing it is to see the green-tinged images after a snorkelling trip. Clip this on to your GoPro when you’re snorkelling or diving up to 10m to keep the reds, oranges and yellows and show the full colour range as you see it.
I’ve got this GoPro carry case to keep a hold of all the bits and pieces.
Dual battery charger with an extra battery
Super handy if you’re going on a day trip that’ll require more than a full charge.
Full disclosure, I actually haven’t used this once since I bought it so I guess it’s not that useful? I use the GoPro app on my phone for remote control, so I should probably just sell this! It’s a lot smaller than a phone so might be worth it in that sense, but I’m going to put mine on eBay as we speak.
What phone do I have?
My phone is pretty damn incredible for photos and videos, and means that I can still capture high-quality content if I don’t have my other gear with me. I use Google Photos to back up all original photos and videos too so I can access all of the footage on my laptop when necessary. I’ve also just announced an epic partnership with Moment phone lenses along with my buddy Levick Photography, we’re taking four of their insane iPhone lenses around Iceland to create some epic content. Stay tuned to see how it goes.
What bags do I have?
I’ll do a full breakdown of my luggage in the next couple of months but in short I’ve got a Poler camera bag for day trips, Manfrotto D1 drone backpack if I’m taking the Phantom, this Spark case for the baby drone and my trusty Tripp hard-case cabin bag.