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How To Make Travel Videos: Beginners Gear Guide

There is a common myth that to take good travel photos and videos you need lots of expensive gear. By showing you examples of shots I have taken myself, and talking you through this beginners gear guide, this video and post will disprove that.

My travel video & photo gear guide

Main camera: Nikon D3300

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.

Cala Soraja, Italy, shot on Nikon D3300

Cala Soraja, Italy, shot on Nikon D3300

Extra batteries

If you’re planning on making videos, you will need another battery, you don’t want to be out filming and then your camera dies half way through the day!

Sunset in Phuket, Thailand, shot on Nikon D3300

Sunset in Phuket, Thailand, shot on Nikon D3300

Memory cards

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.

Porto Faro, Italy, shot on Nikon D3300

Porto Faro, Italy, shot on Nikon D3300

GoPro Hero 4 Silver

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 so many different GoPro accessories it really depends on what you want to use it for, the main ones I have found useful are:

Snorkelling in the Similan Islands, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Snorkelling in the Similan Islands, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

GoPro floaty backdoor

If you’re planning on using your GoPro in water, this 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.

Sailing in Sardinia, Italy, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Sailing in Sardinia, Italy, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

GoPro selfie stick

If you want to take shots with yourself in it at anything other than arms length, you will need this.

Maya Bay, Thailand, taken on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Maya Bay, Thailand, taken on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

GoPro red dive filter

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 last shots from scuba diving look like. It’s all blue. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet as I only just got it in preparation for my trip to Bali in May, so stay tuned to see how cool those shots will turn out!

Swimming with turtles in the Similan Islands, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Swimming with turtles in the Similan Islands, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver without a red dive filter

We found Nemo in the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand!

Nemo in the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver with a red dive filter

Memory card for GoPro

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!)

Snorkelling in Malindi Marine Park, Kenya, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Snorkelling in Malindi Marine Park, Kenya, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

External ShareDrive

If like myself, you have a laptop with limited battery, you will need an external sharedrive. This is also useful for backing up your data, you wouldn’t want to lose it after you spent so much time filming it!

Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, shot on GoPro Hero 4 Silver

Rode Microphone & wind protector

I didn’t get this for quite a while because I didn’t think I needed to, every time I filmed myself filming 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.

Sunset over Florence, Italy, shot on Sony Compact Camera

Sunset over Florence, Italy, shot on Sony Compact Camera

Sony Compact Camera

This is another piece of gear which I didn’t get till recently, since 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 one it’s probably better, as the video quality is 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.

Cycling in Copenhagen, Denmark, shot on Sony Compact Camera

Cycling in Copenhagen, Denmark, shot on Sony Compact Camera

Manfrotto Compact Tripod

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.

Light trails at St Pancras International, London

Long exposure shots at Kings Cross Station, shot on Nikon D3300 & Tripod

DJI Spark (Fly More Combo)

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.

Our boat, the Blue Rider, floating in clear blue water.Our boat, the Blue Rider, floating in clear blue water.

Drone footage over water, taken with my DJI Spark

GoPro Dome

The newest piece of my camera gear is something I have wanted for a very long time, and considering how cheap it is, I’m surprised I didn’t get one earlier. I recently bought a GoPro dome to take epic half over and half underwater shots. I haven’t actually travelled with it yet as it’s quite bulky and takes up a lot of space, but the shots you can take with it are pretty epic. Click here to read my GoPro dome review and over / under photography tips.

An over / under water photo taken with a Telesin GoPro dome

An over / under water photo taken with a GoPro Hero 4 Silver & Telesin GoPro dome

This is all the gear I personally use for my photos and videos, and it’s a great place to start if you want to start making travel videos too. I hope I managed to disprove the myths that you need lots of expensive gear to do so, and I hope you found this useful.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these products, I have added a link to where you can get them on Amazon. You’re probably thinking that, and yes the links here are affiliate links, and if you purchase any of these products through my link I will get paid commission. I’m not promoting them for the commission, I’m promoting them because it’s the gear that I personally use, and I believe it’s the best for beginners. Purchasing your next camera from this page is one of the best ways to help me support travels and blog, so that I can keep creating good content for you to read. Also, if you want to see the gear in action don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more videos!

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Want to take awesome travel videos and photos but don't know where to start? Check out this beginners gear guide!

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    | HOW TO MAKE TRAVEL VIDEOS: Beginners Gear Guide
    April 10, 2017 at 9:48 am

    […] found it useful! Check out the blog post for a full description of each camera, and photo examples: http://gretastravels.com/how-to-travel-videos-beginners-gear/ And don't forget to SUBSCRIBE for […]

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