Travelers have it hard when it comes to photography. If you’re going the simple route and want a good high quality photo with limited angles and adjustments, GoPro has put out several cameras over the past few years that have amazing results.
However, for the serious photographer, a GoPro or cellphone style shot just won’t cut it. You want a DSLR camera (Digital Single-Lens Reflex), some lenses, batteries, media cards, and some sort of travel bag. BUT, you’re also traveling and can’t be lugging around 16 different things.
Sooo, what should you bring? Which lenses? How many lenses? Which camera? How should you edit the pictures? Here’s my personal suggestions for capturing amazing shots for any travel accommodation.
The Best DSLR for Photography Money Can Buy
Most people either think Canon or Nikon when it comes to purchasing a high quality entry level DSLR. There are actually many different brands out there that aren’t well known to most consumers. When I purchased my first DSLR, I researched night and day to find the best deal and best value for my dollar. I demanded a lot from my search and I believe I have found the ultimate entry level DSLR.
The Pentax K3 was, at its time, the best deal I could find. I’m still using it every time I go anywhere because of multiple reasons.
When I was searching, I had several criteria and this camera met all of them and exceeded.
- I needed more than one media slot (this camera has two slots of the most common, SD cards)
- Excellent battery life
- Depth of field preview (yes! this camera has that)
- Rugged body that could take a beating and get wet
- Shoot 1080HD video
- At least 16 megapixels (has over 24)
- Image stabilization (this camera uses sensor based stabilization which means any lens attached is automatically stabilized)
- Microphone as well as Headphone jacks (not just a dual jack, great for video recording with external mic and headphones)
Here’s a detailed list of the specs this camera comes with. One of the best things about this camera is that Pentax hasn’t majorly changed their mounting ring for lenses since the ’80s so any film or digital camera lens from Pentax from then on will work! And there are some really awesome fully manual glass out there for really cheap.
The Best Lenses for Serious Photography
What you want is to cover what most situations will require. You don’t need everything, just the select gear you’ll need that will accommodate most situations comfortably. A 50mm lens on a crop sensor is considered to be what your eye naturally sees in focal length comparison. For this reason, 50mm photography has a very natural look and is among my all-time favorite lenses.
In most cases, a 50mm prime lens will give you a great starting point for portraits, closeups, single subjects, even landscapes. A cheap 50mm prime lens will usually come with a fast aperture (f2 or less) that gives great depth of field and bokeh (the quality of the out of focus areas).
I would also suggest bringing along some type of wide to medium focal length lens as well. A kit lens usually is 18mm-55mm and can do great for getting those wide angle landscapes as well as some control over how much you want to see. The aperture is not as great, but for a lot of settings, it will probably be your best bet.
These two lenses together and you should be set. I usually also take with me a 35mm prime lens because it’s a little wider and the one I have is great for video and has awesome lens flares!
The Best Photography Manipulation Software
When you edit your awesome photos, you want software that can take your RAW photo to something you can truly be proud of. The location may have been awesome, the lighting was there, you captured the moment you envisioned, now you just need to process it. For $69, Luminar is my go to for all my photo needs.
Luminar has amazing capabilities as you can see on their website. The results are just as good as what you see online. No gimmicks here! I have been blown away by how amazing this software is and how easy it is to use. One of the best photography purchases I have made to date!
So these are my tips for the serious photographer who also has a budget. Stay tuned for more travel tips and check out our recent blogs below!