Are you interested in travel photography or looking to get a new camera this year? Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your gear, this list is my go-to.
One of the most frequently asked questions for the blog is centered around photography. There’s even an entire tab on the home page dedicated to it. A popular question asked is what gear do I travel with. So I wanted to answer that question specifically. Each year the list changes a bit, so this is the updated one for this current season.
Below you’ll find the full list for all of the camera gear I use to travel with and use for travel blogging. My travel photography gear bag has changed and grown over the years. My number one goal? Keep it light and easy. I don’t lug around many lenses and stick to a few that I know will work for everything. Keeping it concise has meant that I don’t need to check an extra bag and have kept it simple to travel with.
Here’s my complete travel photography gear list!
Before We Get Started
Photography is different for each person. What works for me may not work for you. This list is what I have used over the years and have grown to love. For instance, I switched from Nikon to Sony early on as I found Sony worked for my preference. As photography is personal, I’d recommend leaning into what you enjoy photographing. This for me has been the biggest joy of it all.
Where to Source Camera Gear
With a world of online shopping, it’s now easier than ever to source camera gear. Over the years we’ve trusted B&H who is now one of our partners for gear. We’ve almost exclusively bought all of our cameras and lenses from B&H before we even worked with them and here’s why:
- They are product specialists. If you have a question, they have an answer. The teams at B&H know their tech like none other and I always trust their opinion when I have a question. There are many questions to be answered when choosing gear and I like to know I’m getting an expert opinion.
- Free and quick shipping for qualifying orders with secure packaging.
- Trust in ordering authentic camera parts. In a world of digital shopping, I want to verify that I’m purchasing authentic lenses and bodies.
- The ability to buy pre-owned gear. This has been huge for us as we can’t always afford to buy the newest gear. They offer a range of pre-owned bodies and lenses at a lower cost and give insight into item condition, plus have been reviewed by a team member.
Links to Frequently Asked Questions
A few quick links to frequently asked photography questions:
- How I Edit My Photos (my no-fuss editing process)
- 5 Photography Tips To Up Your Travel Photos
- How I Photograph Myself When Traveling Alone
- How To Take Travel Photos And Not Disrupt Your Trip
This is the camera body I primarily shoot on. It’s the “R” series from Sony and it has been worth every penny. I like how light it is, the image stabilization, the button layout, and more. It’s a mirrorless camera which means it weighs less than the standard DSLR.
This is my everyday lens and the one that is always on my camera body. It’s the most diverse to shoot everything from landscape to city. My only regret is not buying the sharper f/2.8 lens so I upgraded to this lens thanks to B&H this year. We’ve rented the f/2.8 before, so I’m excited to be transitioning to this sharper lens this year.
The buttery effect to the photos from this lens is magic. I love how small the lens is, making the camera feel discreet. The sharpness from the low aperture is incredible. It’s great for photographing people, places, and large rooms.
While the two above are the ones I have with me at all times, I do have two other additional lenses as backups. The first is the kit lens that came with the body we purchased. (Kit lens 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6) I can’t say I love it, but it does do the job. Something I’m always looking at is how low the aperture or f-stop is as that determines the crispness of a photo.
The other lens we have for photography is 35mm f/2.8 prime lens. It’s a good prime lens for shooting portraits (also love it for food photography). In exchange, the crop on it is tight.
Ultimate Pocket Camera – Sony DSC-RX100 IV
If you follow along on social, you’ll know I always talk about this camera. It was an investment I made last year and one of my favorites thus far. I wrote an entire blog post on the Sony DSC-RX100 IV. It’s smaller than a passport and does the job with its sharp aperture and high resolution. I bring it with me everywhere. I even did an entire trip to France with only this camera last summer, leaving my big DSLR set at home. There are several newer bodies that are much more expensive but the IV does the job.
Accessories for the Camera
These are the things you don’t want to forget.
- NEW: Vanguard Alta Pro 2 263AB100 Aluminum-Alloy Tripod
- Sandisk (high powered and fast) Memory Card. When using a DSLR camera, you need to have a memory card that can write the files fast enough. I always recommend using an Extreme Pro for Sony.
- A Memory Card Holder.
- Hard Drive by La Cie (store your photos safely)
- Travel Tripod (this one is light and easy to pack).
- A Cleaning Kit to keep dust out (under $10!)
- Leather Camera Strap (love to use these instead of the kit)
Camera Bags for Travel
I could write an entire blog post for the different kinds of camera bags there are. We’ve had many over the years (and a drawer full of them!). Here are the two we come back to when needing to store the gear in transit. We use entirely different bags for when we take our cameras out for the day as it’s not necessary to carry everything.
This is my number one. It’s multi-pocketed and padded for cameras specifically. The zip-open back makes it so easy to reach for all your gear. I feel confident throwing this one up in the overhead compartment on a plane.
Though it’s technically not a camera bag, I use it often when I’m only bringing one small camera and a lens or two. I’ll wrap them in their own protective case in place it in the center of this backpack.
Day Bags for Cameras
I love how discreet this bag looks. You’d have no idea there is a camera in it. The leather is strong and there is some padding as well. Fits most DSLR’s as well! Read more about the bag on this post I did.
I’m not going to say this is the most protective bag for your camera but it is what I use every day that I’m on the road. I pack it in my suitcase as it packs completely flat and I take it out when I get to my destination. It works as my purse and I can put my camera in here when I need to.
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: