Our travel camera gear

Best Camera Gear for Backpackers
Shot on Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera in Thailand

Planning to backpack around the world and wondering what camera gear to bring along to document your trip of a lifetime? You’ve come to the right place! Even if your trip isn’t a year-long or isn’t quite spanning the globe, we’ve got the travel-friendly camera gear for you!

We frequently are asked what we use to take our photos and videos so we’re sharing all of our gear here (including some wishlist items). Most of our gear is very affordable (especially considering the quality), although we have a few items that were well-worth the splurge.

Camera + Gear

Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera
Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera – our travel camera

Camera PANASONIC LUMIX G7 4K Mirrorless Camera, with 14-140mm Power O.I.S. Lens, DMC-G7HK – This is the camera we travel with and have really learned to love! It is lightweight, ultra-compact, and takes amazing photos and 4k videos (especially once you learn how to properly use the camera – we are always learning more). The video quality is unmatched for the price point and especially appealing if you want to make travel videos/vlogs. I opted for this mirrorless camera over a DSLR. I got this camera as a birthday gift from my dad before we left from Glazer’s Camera in Seattle (I held about 20 cameras in my hands before this one “felt right” in my hands haha among other things of course). Cost: $897.99 (with lens)

Dream Camera PANASONIC LUMIX GH5s Body C4K Mirrorless Camera, High Sensitivity MOS Multi-Aspect 10.2 Megapixels Sensor – If we were ballers, we would own this camera. One day… Cost: $2645.98 (with lens)

UNESCO World Heritage ruins in Butrint, Albania
Shot on Lumix G7 in Albania

Lens PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 14-140MM, f/3.5-5.6, MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS  This is our go-to travel camera lens (which I got in an added bundle with my camera). It has an awesome zoom (10x) so you can get great images of subjects that are far away (or be a creeper haha). We once used it to find out the name of a mega yacht that was far out in a bay in Costa Rica lol. Cost: $497.99

Lens 2 PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 14-45MM, f/3.5, MICRO FOUR THIRDS– This lens came with my camera but we rarely use it (although we probably should use it more). It would be a great portrait lens (which isn’t really our thing, but maybe we will incorporate it more into future shots). We debated not bringing this lens on the last leg of our trip since we never use it, but then figured it would be smart to have a second lens as a back up in case something happened to our main lens (luckily nothing did). We would recommend traveling with an extra lens for this reason. Cost: $349.99

Dream lens Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens for Micro Four Thirds Cameras – We have been dreaming of getting a wide angle lens, but they are pricey so we haven’t pulled the trigger yet. This is the one we would get. If anyone is ever looking to get us a gift… 😉 Luckily the GoPro has a wide angle lens so we can usually get away without having a professional wide-angle lens. Cost: $ll69.99

Camera bag Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 20 Camera Bag – We traveled with this camera bag around the globe and would highly recommend it. It fits the camera, battery charger & extra battery, ND filter, USB cords, and lens hood, among other things. Since I didn’t travel around the world with a purse, this kind of served as my purse. It isn’t flashy and I typically carried it in front of me across my body (or in my backpack or messenger bag). It also always held my hand sanitizer, chapstick, and occasionally an iPhone or wallet. Cost: $54.75

Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Shot on Lumix G7 in Brazil

ND Filter K&F Concept 58mm Slim Variable Fader  – At the beginning of our trip, we had never even heard of an ND filter (photography newbs!). The easiest way to explain it is like a pair of sunglasses for your camera. This is crucial for shooting on sunny days and most notably in our feed – waterfall shots. Matt ordered this one on Amazon when we were home getting my new passport so we brought it to the Southeast Asia part of our journey. It is relatively inexpensive (you’ll see what I’m talking about when I show you our dream option next) and gets the job done! Unlike most ND filters that are set to one level, this one can be adjusted to different levels so it’s like having several filters in one! We highly recommend purchasing this ND filter for travel. Cost: $22.99

Dream ND Filter B+W 58mm Neutral Density Filter – If we had the extra money, we would own a few of these ND filters at different levels. One day… Cost: $67.92 each

Aguinid Falls

Shot on LUMIX G7 in the Philippines, with a K&F Concept ND Filter and Amazon Basics Tripod – This photo wouldn’t be possible without an ND Filter and tripod (and I had to hold VERY still).

Tripod

Tripod Amazon Basics 50-Inch Lightweight Tripod – Although not the highest quality tripod, it gets the job done! It is lightweight (just over a pound), compact (folds to 16.5 inches), and cheap ($16.99) – perfect for travel. It comes with a bag with a strap that you can throw it over your shoulder or fit it into your backpack. We used one for the first nine months of our journey and it started to fall apart a bit, so we ordered another one when we were home to get my new passport. This one fell apart a little faster but still served its purpose. We highly recommend traveling with a tripod if you’re a couple or group so you can get shots together that aren’t selfies/groupies (and if you’re a solo traveler so you can have photos of yourself that aren’t all selfies). Yes, you can typically ask a nice stranger to take your photo, but we’ve found many times that when we hand our camera to someone else, what we get back wasn’t what we wanted (often a portion of the background is missing, like the top of Machu Picchu haha). A tripod is also mandatory for time lapses, and epic waterfall and night shots, among other cool photography features. Cost: $16.99

Dream Travel Tripod BONFOTO Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Camera Travel Portable Tripod – If we had the extra money, we would own this tripod and bring it along on our travels. Compared to other professional tripods that are in the triple digit price range, this one is still affordable. At less than 3lbs and 16 inches tall, it is a little heavier and larger than our current travel tripod but still lightweight and compact enough for long-term travel. It has great reviews so maybe one day we will upgrade. Cost: $65.99

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore at night

Shot on LUMIX G7 in Singapore with Amazon Basics Tripod – This photo wouldn’t be possible without a tripod because we wouldn’t have been able to have both of us in the photo or the effect of the blurred light reflection on the water.

Action Camera

GoPro Hero 6 fits in the palm of your hand
Our new GoPro Hero 6 (we traveled the world in 2017 with an old Hero 3 but recently upgraded in 2018 to a Hero 6)

Our world-trip action camera GoPro HERO3+ Silver – All of our GoPro photos, selfies and videos from our year around the world in 2017 were taken on Matt’s old GoPro HERO3. It was a few years old, but it got the job done (most of the time). If you’re traveling, you’re going to want an action camera that you can use to take on adventures where you’re likely to get wet (we had a waterproof case for our Hero 3) – it’s perfect for a beach day or boat trip! We took all of our underwater shots with this camera. We also would bring our GoPro out to parties where we didn’t want to take our expensive camera out but still wanted to capture footage. The GoPro has an awesome wide angle that can capture a ton of the background while keeping you front and center. We started to have issues with the waterproof case letting moisture in and the batteries not holding their charge as long, which is why we just upgraded this year. Cost: $203 

Our new action camera GoPro HERO6 Black – We recently (as in last weekend) upgraded to a GoPro Hero 6! There are many reasons we already love it more than our old Hero 3. The 6 is waterproof (so no need for a waterproof case!). It has a screen so we can see what we are shooting (no more guessing) and the screen is a touchscreen so it is easy to change settings (from photo to video, etc.). The photo and video quality have been seriously upgraded! The Hero 6 shoots 4k videos at 60 fps (frames per second) and has much more image stabilization. The quality of this footage will be on par with our drone and camera video footage for travel videos (there was a noticeable drop in quality in our videos when footage was shot on our GoPro Hero 3). Cost: $399 

Extra battery & charger GoPro Dual Battery Charger + Rechargeable Battery – We highly recommend having an extra battery for your GoPro when traveling. Cost: $49 USD
Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines

Shot on GoPro Hero 3 in the Philippines

Madrid Spain Go Pro shot

Shot on GoPro Hero 3 in Spain.

Drone

DJI Mavi Pro Drone
DJI Mavi Pro Drone

Drone DJI Mavic Pro + Fly More Package – Our biggest regret of 2017 is not getting a drone BEFORE we left on our year-long trip around the world. We debated getting one for a long time, deciding it was too expensive since we were saving money to travel. While we were traveling and saw more and more drone footage from places we had been, we kept reconsidering and eventually pulled the trigger nine months later in Germany (there was a DJI store in Frankfurt!). We selected the Mavic Pro over the Spark (the DJI Mavic Air, Fly More Package was not available yet) due to it’s better quality camera and ultra-compact design, despite its more expensive price tag (worth it!). It really up-levels (literally too haha) our camera footage and the types of shots we can get by adding aerial shots into the mix. Cost: $1299 USD

Drone bag DJI Mavic Portable Should Bag – This is the bag that came in the Fly More Combo, but we loved and used it so much we wanted to call it out here. It is great for carrying everything you need for your drone in a lightweight and compact bag.  Cost $54

ND Filters Polar Pro Filters DJI Mavic Filters – Vivid Collection – As we explained previously in the “camera” section, the ND filter is like a pair of sunglasses for your drone lens. If you are flying on a sunny day (or even a cloudy but bright day), the ND filters are basically mandatory to get footage that isn’t overexposed and washed out. We picked up these up at a drone shop in Singapore, but you can score them on Amazon. Cost: $79.99

Koh Phi Phi Thailand drone shot DJI_0014-HDR-2.jpgDJI_0025-HDR

Shot on our DJI Mavic Pro with ND filters in Thailand.

Mobile

Apple iPhone 7 – Matt switched to T-Mobile before we left for our trip so he would have free international data roaming and a new iPhone 7 (this was back at the end of 2016). The iPhone 7 has a decent camera that we used mainly for selfies to send to our families and friends to show them where we were and that we were alive! Very rarely when we would venture out without a camera we would take photos solely with his iPhone. The panorama mode is also a cool function that we used from time to time. We took short videos for our Instagram stories in addition to Boomerangs and quick snapshots. I brought along my iPhone 6 as well but only used it on WiFi mainly for social media purposes (the battery sucked on my phone). Cost: $424.79 USD

Shot on iPhone, big wave crashing on rock in Portugal

Shot on iPhone 7 in Portugal.

Unedited iPhone 7 selfie in Zakynthos, Greece.

Selfie shot on iPhone 7 (unedited) in Greece.

Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro 15″: 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 1TB – Matt has a Mac Book Pro, which he brought on our year-long adventure and uses to download and edit our photos in Adobe Lightroom and PhotoShop. As far as photo editing goes, Macs are preferred because they can read RAW files without converting them. I have an older Mac Book Pro that I opted not to bring on our travels because I personally felt it is too heavy for travel and it was slow (see what I got for Christmas instead below). Cost: $3379

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 Black 2-In-1 Laptop Computer – I love how lightweight this laptop is and that it has a touchscreen. I bought one at Best Buy before I left but the keyboard stopped working so I returned it for a new one before our world trip. Once we started shooting our photos in RAW (four months into our trip), I wasn’t able to view them on my computer without converting them, so we ended up using Matt’s Macbook for photo editing while mine was used more for blogging, travel research, and bookings. Cost: $796.99

Photo Storage

Memory Cards SanDisk Extreme PLUS 64GB microSDXC UHS-I CardYou’re going to need room for all of your gorgeous travel photos and videos! We use the Sandisk Extreme Plus 64GB for both our GoPro and Drone. We use the same memory card (but 32GB) for our camera. Cost: $49.99 each

External Harddrive Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive  – While this is a highly-recommended external hard drive to store all of your photos and videos, we do NOT personally recommend it! It is not very durable (something that is important when traveling) and after ours made a small drop from a dresser onto a pile of clothes (not even onto the floor) it broke, causing us to lose all of our photos from our trip. Luckily, we backed most up on the cloud so we didn’t completely lose them, but there are folders we missed uploading (in addition to GoPro footage). External hard drive recovery is very expensive and typically costs over $1,000 to recover your files. We still haven’t had ours recovered due to the enormous cost. If you are using this hard drive, make sure it is stored carefully in a protective case and use it with extreme caution. Cost: $54.99

Military Grade External Harddrive Apacer AC630 1 TB USB 3.1 Portable External Hard Drive – Without a working harddrive, we picked up a new one in a mall in Cebu City, Philippines. We wanted one that would be durable and military grade (and would survive a tumble off a dresser, or worse, without costing us thousands of dollars and losing our photos). We found a similar one available in the U.S. here:  Silicon Power 2TB Rugged Armor A30 Military Grade Shockproof Portable External Hard Drive

 

** Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click an affiliate link and purchase a product, we will be paid a small commission but your cost will still remain the same or less. We will always disclose this at the bottom of the post. We provide honest reviews of the products or services mentioned in this blog. 

 

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