There is a common myth that to take good travel videos and photos you need lots of expensive gear. With this travel video gear guide I aim to disprove that. When I first started travel vlogging I didn’t really know where I was going with it (like most people) and it’s only normal not to want to spend lots of money on expensive cameras and accessories. This travel video gear list was updated in January 2019, since over time I’ve accumulated more bits and bobs that I felt I needed. If you’ve just started travel vlogging and want some cool gear to take beautiful photos with but don’t want to break the bank, this ultimate travel video gear guide is the place for you!
- 1 My travel video gear essentials
- 2 Travel vlogging gear – useful accessories
My travel video gear essentials
This is my main camera, and it does pretty much everything, from wide panoramic shots of landscapes, to close ups of food or people’s faces. I actually bought this before I began making videos, as it’s considered one of the best DSLRs for beginners, and it’s pretty easy to use. You can also change the lens, so it’s a pretty good camera to start with, then when you feel ready to step up your game you can just get another lens, such as a brighter one, or a more powerful zoom, instead of buying a whole new camera! I usually keep my camera in a simple camera sleeve, it’s a lot smaller and lighter than an actual camera case, and it does the job in keeping your camera safe when you put it inside a bag.
I use this as my action camera, and take it pretty much everywhere I don’t want to risk getting my Nikon wet or broken. You can take all kind of shots with a GoPro, I’ve used mine for example on sailing boats, kayaks, or when swimming. It comes with a bunch of basic screws and sticky bases that you can use to begin with. There are also a number of new GoPro models out, but if you don’t want to spend too much money on one you can start with an older model.
This was a later addition to my travel video gear, and became my travel vlogging camera. At first I filmed most things with my DSLR, and when I felt like I needed to do a vlog selfie type video I just used my phone. However if you can invest in a vlogging camera with a flippable screen it’s probably better, as the video quality will be better than your phone and it’s easier to carry around and film with than a DSLR if you’re doing active activities, such as cycling. I got a fairly cheap one but there are also fancier models if you want to step up your travel vlogging game.
The latest addition to my gear collection! I have been wanting a drone in forever and when DJI released the Spark just a few weeks before my birthday, I knew what my present to myself was going to be. The DJI Spark is a great consumer drone, it’s small and light, perfect for me to carry around during my travels, and really simple to manoeuvre. You can check out a video I made with it here, featuring lots of flying over water! Extra batteries are an essential for a drone. The battery for the Spark lasts only around 15 minutes, if you’re going to be out and about all day, having an extra one is pretty much essential! I bought the Fly More Combo, which includes a spare battery, the remote, and a couple other extras. It works out cheaper than buying the drone, a spare battery, and the remote separately, so definitely worth the value for money. If you’re looking for advice on what drone to choose, check out the best travel drones reviewed by travellers.
This is more of an accessory than an essential, however since I never go anywhere without it these days I would classify it as an essential. GoPro domes are used to take those epic half over and half underwater shots, without breaking the bank on an expensive DSLR underwater dome case. Click here to read my GoPro dome review and over / under photography tips.
Travel vlogging gear – useful accessories
As I mentioned above, one of the advantages as getting a Nikon D3300 as your main travel vlogging camera is the opportunity of removing the lens and swapping it with another. Most DSLRs have this feature but don’t take it for granted, some cameras have a fixed lens. You often see all over social media and magazines photos with a nice blurred background, that make the person standing in the middle stand out (this effect is known as Bokeh). Despite my best efforts I couldn’t recreate this with my DSLR, until I found I needed a different type of lens for it. This is where the Nikon f/1.8 35mm lens comes in. This is a fixed zoom lens, meaning you can’t zoom in and out but will physically have to get closer or further away from the object you’re taking photos of, but it will allow you to create this soft blurred background effect.
Whether it’s an extra battery for your Nikon D3300 or your GoPro if you’re planning on making videos, you will need another battery. Especially if you’re out and about all day without chance of recharging, you don’t want to be out filming and then your camera dies half way through an epic activity!
You will need also a memory card, I recommend you get a relatively big one, I have a 64GB memory card, since similarly to the having an extra battery, you don’t want to be out and about and run out of filming space.
If you’re planning on using your GoPro in water, a floaty backdoor is essential. It will ensure that when you drop it, or it detaches itself from wherever it is you have attached it (because it will happen) it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the ocean and you lose it forever. It’s nice and bright and orange too so it’ll be easy to find.
If you want to take shots with yourself in it at anything other than arms length, you will need a GoPro selfie stick.
If you want to get good underwater shots, especially when diving in tropical waters, you need this. I didn’t know this before and this is what my first scuba diving shots look like. It’s all blue. I got the red dive filters in preparation for my Bali trip and you can see below in the second photo the difference.
You will need to get a memory card for your GoPro, this is different from your DSLR card as it’s a tiny one. Again, you want to get a big one, 64GB or more, especially if you’re going to attach your GoPro somewhere and have it film a whole event or can’t retrieve it for a while. (eg. When I used it sailing I couldn’t stop to pause until we eventually went back to shore, a good hour and a half later!)
If like myself, you have a laptop with limited battery, you will need an external hard drive. This is also useful for backing up your data, you wouldn’t want to lose it after you spent so much time filming it! I actually have two external hard drives, when I first purchased one I went for 1 TB thinking it was huge and I’d never fill it up. Less than a year later I had to buy another and decided to go for a 5 TB one this time so it lasts longer.
I didn’t get a microphone for quite a while because I didn’t think I needed to, every time I filmed myself speaking the audio turned out fine anyway. Until I tried filming myself speaking outdoors on a windy day. Needless to say you couldn’t hear much, so I invested in a proper microphone and a dead cat (I’m not making this up, that’s actually what they call it!) to protect it from the wind.
Another recent addition to my gear collection! I should have probably bought this much earlier on, as it allows you to take many more and better quality shots. It’s got a convenient handle so you can spin it around and ensure your panorama shots are smooth, without the bumps you get by doing it by hand. Also, if you want to take photos that require a long exposure or shutter speed you can’t do it by hand, you’ll need a tripod. You know which ones I mean, the cool ones of cities at night with moving lights, or any shot of the night sky if you want to capture the stars. It’s also perfect for travellers since it’s very light and will easily fit in a backpack.
This is all the gear I personally use for all my travel photos and videos. If you’re just starting out with travel vlogging this travel video gear list is a great place to start, as I have tried to include cameras and accessories that won’t break the bank. Are you also a travel vlogger? What gear do you use? Let me know in the comments below! I hope you find this travel vlogging gear guide useful in creating your own epic travel videos! Also, if you want to see this travel video gear in action don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more videos!
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