A year ago, I had no camera equipment, no photography experience and no idea how to get started and so I thought I would write a blog with my personal recommendations of what to buy if you are thinking of venturing into the travel photography world and purchasing a new DSLR, drone, GoPro etc. Below is a list of the equipment I have accumulated over the last 12 months and I have provided my honest assessment on each.
After hours of research before heading off on our travels, we invested in the Canon mark iii. They have now released the Canon mark iv which is a level above the mark iii but both are very similar in terms of what they offer. I initially bought this and invested in a Canon because most of the bloggers that I really admired seemed to own and recommend this model. Either way, this kind of camera is perfect for someone who is just starting out as it very much falls into the category of “point and shoot” and so you don’t need to play around with the settings (if you don’t want to) in order to achieve professional looking content. You can switch it to auto focus and you will be able to achieve photos of stunning quality without any real photography experience. As time goes on, you can then begin to play with the different modes and take your photography to the next level and that’s another reason why this camera is perfect, both a beginner and pro and achieve excellent results relative to their experience.
The only downside to this camera would be its limitations in terms of video content but as I explain in my blog “7 things I wished I knew before I started my Instagram account”; try to become specialized in one area to begin with (ie photography) before you start to spin other plates and look at other areas like videography. For me, this is a camera which will cover you for at least a couple of years before you get the itch to try something else.
For someone who is in their first year or two of photography, I would definitely recommend the Canon – EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM Zoom Lens. You might sense a theme here that I like to choose equipment that will be effective in most shooting situations and this lens for sure is this that in a nutshell. If you are just starting out or wouldn’t class yourself as a pro, then I would say that this is a great lens for you as you can achieve amazing results but it’s not very difficult to figure out how to use and to use well.
The main advantage of this lens is that it has the capability to deliver the best possible results in a wide range of conditions. Therefore, when you could be shooting at a hotel one day, a waterfall the next and a expansive landscape view the day after that. If you only have enough money to buy one lens (like us!), then you need a lens that covers most eventualities and this certainly does that.
Tripod and Remote:
We often get asked who takes photos when it’s the two of us featured and the answer is…. A tripod! Initially we had pretty cringy feelings about using a tripod to take photos of us both but you soon lose those inhibitions after the 10th time of doing it! If you are a couple traveling or a solo traveler, a tripod is a must and therefore you should make sure you get the right one. I actually broke my first lens because my first tripod wasn’t sturdy enough to cope with both the weight of the camera and any potential bad weather conditions and therefore I strongly suggest you try to buy the correct tripod for your needs. After this first tripod, we then purchased a standard tripod that could stand up to the elements but soon realised it could only take landscape shots. As a result, we recently purchased the “Newer Portable 70 inches Aluminum Alloy Camera Tripod” which has enabled us to keep our camera safe whilst shooting in our preferred portrait style.
One of the most annoying things about using a tripod is putting the camera on a timer and running into shot. This looks unprofessional when you are doing a collaboration and you also just attract a lot of laughs and strange looks which Sophie cannot bare! Therefore, getting a remote is so important, you can take a larger quantity of photos and this enables you to achieve a far higher quality end product and a more natural looking shot. It also offers you the possibility of taking further away shots as you don’t have the issue of the 10 second countdown to run into shot. We opted for the “Pixel TW-283 N3 Wireless Remote Control” and has been worth every penny thus far.
Using a GoPro can really add variation to what you are able to create in any given location and so we have now invested in a GoPro Hero 6 for this trip. We will be looking to do a lot more in terms of video and this is perfect for that as well as getting this underwater shots which do so well on IG. There also is the GoPro Hero 7 that has come out recently but the Hero 6 can definitely do the job! From what I can tell, the main difference between the 6 and 7 iOS that it is better for social networks. This includes vertical shooting for photos and videos, livestreaming straight from the camera, clip length limits of 15 or 30 seconds and a self-timer for photos.
They have just released the DJI Mavic Pro 2 and so I whilst I can’t comment on this drone, I can say how much I adore the original, DJI Mavic Pro. We didn’t buy this initially and started out just taking traditional camera shots. When we decided to make the investment a few months into our travels, the game changed for us. It provided us with a completely different perspective to capture content and whilst your shooting may take a little longer, you get so much more more in terms of your end product. Added to this, we found that hotels were far more excited to work with us when we showed evidence of our drone content as it really showed off their resort in stunning fashion.
I’m not necessarily recommending you go out and buy all 5 of the above products straight away but I would suggest, if you can, to at least invest in the camera, lens, tripod and timer so that you have a good base to get started. If you are serious about doing this more full-time then I think that within the first 6 – 12 months, you should think about investing in a drone and then a GoPro. If you were like me and needed to learn how to properly shoot with a normal camera, then there is no point in getting a drone, GoPro straight away as you will just have too much to learn. As I have said in my previous blog “7 things I wished I knew before I started my Instagram account” choose one area, specialist in that and then once you have got a handle on that area, try to school yourself on other areas.