Obviously doing a lot of travel photography, and blogging, I take quite a bit of tech stuff with me on my travels. Here’s what I take and why:
- Sony A7
For my main camera, I use a Sony A7. A couple of years ago, I swapped from a heavy DSLR, to a lightweight mirrorless. And quite frankly, it’s the best thing I ever did. I love my Sony and highly recommend it to anyone who’s wanting a serious camera, and travels around quite a lot, so doesn’t want anything heavy. See my post here about Mirrorless vs DSLR.
- Camera Lenses
Obviously I need lenses for my camera. I probably get asked more about what lenses I take, more so than what camera I have. I have a Sony 24-70mm lens, which is the kit lens that comes with the body. It’s actually a really good kit lens. Usually kit lenses are a bit naff and don’t get much use, but this one is actually pretty good for everyday stuff and I actually use it quite a lot. I also have a Sony 50mm lens. I met someone on my travels that had one of these for his Sony camera, and I borrowed it for a day and instantly fell in love and wanted my own. So I came home, and purchased my own! It’s really good for close up shots, and portraits. I’m also in the process of searching for a Rokinon 12mm or 14mm lens, as a wide lens for my night shots. People ask why I don’t have a huge zoom lens in my collection. I did buy a Sony 55-210mm and used it for a few months and then sold it. The quality was nowhere near my 24-70mm, so I favoured that all the time. If I wanted to get closer in to a shot, I actually had better quality zooming in afterwards on Photoshop, and cropping the image down. Sounds daft I know! Also I don’t really do a lot of zoom work. I haven’t really missed having a zoom lens, so I’ve never bothered searching for a better one than the 55-210mm.
- Go Pro Hero 4 Silver
I cannot recommend getting one of these enough. Anyone that goes travelling, whether you’re a photographer or not, should consider getting a Go Pro. They can be expensive, or I bought a used one off eBay. It was in really good condition, and I got a load of accessories with it, for still less than the RRP of a camera alone. The Hero 4 in particular is a great one to get, as you have the screen built into the back, so you can see what you’re shooting. With my old one, I believe it was the Hero 3, I had to buy a separate screen for the back, which was an extra £70. And even then I couldn’t use it in water. I will be doing a review post soon about my Go Pro, so keep an eye out for that.
- Macbook Pro Air
Because I do a lot of shooting, and editing, I take my laptop with me. If you do a lot of design work, like myself, I recommend looking into getting a Macbook. They are expensive, but they’re definitely worth it. In the past, in the space of 5 years, I went through 3 Acer laptops. They either died by virus, or couldn’t keep up with the amount of programmes I needed to use. At £300-£400 a laptop, I still spent more than what a Macbook would have cost me. My last Macbook Pro lasted me 5 years, and the only reason I got rid, was because I wanted something a little lighter to travel around with. If you don’t do a lot of design work, but wanted something bigger than your phone to use to browse the internet, search for hostels, activities, etc, then I recommend getting a tablet instead. Plenty of people take them, and being smaller than a laptop, they’re easier to carry around and store in a safe place.
- 1TB External Hard Drive
No one likes a slow running laptop, and the biggest cause of this is storing a load of files on there. I tend to store nothing on my laptop apart from programmes, such as Photoshop, Lightroom, iMovie, Word etc. This keeps my laptop running as quick as possible. All my photos etc, are stored onto an external hard drive. This way I can free up some space on my SD cards too. Even if you’re not taking a laptop, it’s worth getting an external hard drive if you plan to take a lot of photos/videos. That way, you don’t have to carry around a lot of SD cards, which are going to be a lot easier to lose. You can easily find an internet cafe, or hostels have public computers to use, so you can quickly transfer your photos across. It is worth noting, you should probably have a back up, such as storing them to your OneDrive, Dropbox or Cloud, just incase anything happens to your external hard drive. I’ve had mine 4 years, and touch wood, it’s never failed me. But if it ever did, I have years worth of photos stored on there, so if I didn’t have an online back up, I think I would actually cry!
- Portable Phone Charger
Really handy if you’re going camping, heading somewhere with no electricity or on a really long flight. This way you can keep your phone/camera charged. You can get all different ones, depending on your needs. Mine is a chargeable one. So I have to charge it up first to be able to use it, which is never a problem because I usually know when I need it, so I can plan in advance and charge it up ready. Then when I need it, I can plug my device in, via usb, and it charges that up for me. It has about 10 hours battery charge, and it’s actually pretty quick. So it can last me 2 or 3 charges on my phone. Others you have to use batteries, and I found they don’t last as long, and the charge is really slow. Depending what kind of batteries you use, depends how long they last and they end up costing you a small fortune in batteries. So although mine is a bit of a faff because I have to plan ahead, it’s still better in my opinion. The other option is to get a solar panel charger. So all you have to do is leave it out in the sun, and your device will charge. The ones I found, that were decent and actually worked, were really big and were around the size of a tablet. No good when you’re on a night out, and want it in your handbag to charge up your phone!
- Samsung S6
My trusty Samsung S6 has been with me for a few years and has never let me down. I’ve dropped it more times, and touch wood, the screen is still in one piece! My old iPhone was terrible for this. (I’m really terrible for dropping phones!) I only had to drop my iPhone onto something soft from a small height, such as a carpet, and it would smash. The camera is really good, so for those who don’t want to carry around a camera as well, this is great. Some of my photos uploaded to my portfolio have been taken with my phone, and no ones been able to tell the difference! Loads of storage, and the charge can easily last me all day, unlike an iPhone.
- Ipod Nano + Earphones
I’ve had this since a teenager, so you can imagine some of the songs that are on it! But it keeps me going and entertained for long haul flights. It’s always nice coming across a song you haven’t heard in years! It’s so tiny so can squeeze anywhere. And it’s better than filling my phone up with a load of music, and draining the battery so my phones dead when I arrive at my destination. For earphones, I just use some cheap Sony ones. My track record with earphones isn’t great and I can go through a new pair every couple of months. Therefore I tend to stick to cheap, otherwise it would end up costing me a small fortune!