As a professional photographer for 12 years, I have created the ultimate travel photography kit. This list of travel photography gear includes the best backpacks for photographers and all the gear you need. This is how to pack like an expert!
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The Best Camera Bag
When you’re carrying around gear, comfort, security, as well as protection, are all important. A quality backpack should be your top priority. Lowepro and PacSafe bags have anti-theft features, and laptop/camera protection.
You can buy a rain fly separately if the bag you select does not include an attached rain fly. You can find similar bags or check out our recommendations.
Be aware that not all airlines allow you to bring a backpack with a lightweight design. This will mean that you can take your heavier equipment (typically camera gear) along.
The Best Camera Backpacks For Travel Photographers
Keep your equipment light
Compact and mirrorless cameras are great for reducing your weight. Point-and-shoots can be more practical if you don’t want to carry around heavy DSLRs. You can find our complete guide to buying a camera here.
Consider bringing your SLR with you. If you decide to take it, you should consider reducing the number of lenses. A zoom lens might be easier and require fewer shots, but a fixed lens will allow you to explore more of the area and get the perfect shot.
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If you are willing to carry the weight, only pack one. A quality, quick-release shoulder strap can reduce strain and help distribute your camera’s weight throughout your body. BlackRapid straps allow you to easily slide your camera up to your eye level with minimal effort.
My Travel Photography Kit
After years of researching the best equipment on the market, my ultimate travel photography kit has been created. This is my personal packing list, which I believe is ideal for minimalists such as myself.
- Sony a7ii mirrorless (or the Sony a7R II). Read our complete review: Sony a7ii Reviews.
- Sony 16-35mm F4 lens – My favorite lens.
- Sony 70-200mm F4 lens – This lens is only for wildlife photography.
Sony 24-70 F4 Lens– This lens was purchased by me recently to replace my 70-200. Although it has more range than my wide-angle, it is not as heavy as the 70/200.
GoPro Hero 7 – Waterproof up to 33 feet without a housing
DJI Mavic Pro Bundle: I think this bundle is worth $300 more. It includes three batteries, a compact charger with four batteries and lots of extras.
The Intervalometer is a must-have accessory for long exposure shots, timelapse and “selfies”. You should make sure it is compatible with your camera.
Attached to my backpack is a compact tripod.
Make sure to have plenty of SD cards and batteries.
Larger cameras may require lithium ion batteries that can be hard to find at retail stores. You should always bring extra batteries and a charger. They should be kept in your carry-on because some airlines won’t allow them in your checked baggage.
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Although SD cards can be bought on-the-go, they are likely to come at a higher price. An Eyefi card, which is an SD card that has wifi capabilities, can be purchased if your camera doesn’t have WiFi.
64GB SD Card Class 10, The faster the card will run, the higher the class. I recommend Class 10.
Eyefi 32GB Class 10 – I recommend a WiFi card for anyone with a camera that doesn’t have WiFi.
As much as possible
Nearly everyone is prone to packing too much, fearing that they might forget something. But in reality, less is more. Many photographers arrive at their destination with extra bags that are too heavy to carry around.
A tripod is an additional weight that you will need to decide if it’s worth it. Because I often travel alone, I always bring a small tripod with me on my trips. It’s the only way that I can get certain shots without having to be there.
Tip: Only bring what you are comfortable using and familiar with. You don’t want to be a tourist fumbling with unfamiliar equipment. You’ll be able to use your camera quickly and easily, and it won’t take you long to get by.
Raincovers are essential if you are going to get wet. All of these items are lightweight and compact! If you are going to need underwater shots, bring water housing or a GoPro.
- Camera Rainsleeve: You can also use a rain cap.
- If your backpack does not have one, a rain fly is a must-have.
- Lens Pen and Microfiber Lens Cloths: I can’t go to work without them!