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What’s in my camera bag

travel camera guide

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write this post, considering “what camera do you use?” is one of the most frequent questions I’m asked.

In fact people ask me this so much I usually ignore it. It kinda annoys me. Why?

Maybe because now that I spend a lot of time around Instagrammers and photographers, I see a lot of people rely more and more on equipment instead of composition or creativity. My friend Stu from Peace in 10,000 hands (which is an amazing art photography project) were talking about this the other day, and he reminded me of a book called The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You – true story, right?

Does having the best camera mean you’ll take the best photos? Definitely not. You can have the most expensive kit in the world and it’ll do you no good if you don’t know how to take a photo and they are people out there taking the most mindblowingly awesome shots with just their phones.

travel camera guide

Granted, I am a turtle when it comes to change but it took me almost 10 years to slowly progress through the entire Canon camera range before I decided it was worth investing in the top-end professional DSLR.

I’ve always been a loyal Canon girl since I was 18, fiddling around with my dad’s film cameras growing up, and it will take a lot for me to switch brands, especially now that I often work with Canon Australia.

My first camera was a Canon Powershot my dad bought me as a high school graduation present. A few years later I invested in my first SLR in the Canon Rebel series for Christmas before a college trip to Rome. I sold that a few years later and upgraded to a Canon 60D (a good midrange camera) when I quit my job to travel and on my first blog trip to Jordan in 2012. This is the camera that brought me fame on Instagram and was the beginning of my journey to becoming a professional travel blogger.

travel camera guide

Where I am I going with this rambling? Anyways, when someone says they like my photo and flippantly asks me what camera do I use or my settings, it can annoy me because it implies that the camera took that photo not me. Does that make sense?

While I can rattle off a list of gear I’ve used over the years, for me it doesn’t matter as much as the skills I’ve worked on. What matters is my journey as a photographer, something I am very proud of. Every year I have worked harder and harder to improve how I take photos, learning new techniques, and really pushing myself on becoming more creative both in camera and in post-processing.

I’ll talk more about this later below, but one way in which I have been improving is doing an in-depth landscape tutorial course – Photographing the World with Elia Locardi. Teaming up with, he takes you around the world and shows you not only how to shoot in all types of locations but also how to edit them in post processing. (Click here to view more details). Why didn’t I do this sooner?!

travel camera guide

I am always trying (and failing) at new things, some do well and some bomb spectacularly. But I think it’s really important to work on your composition and try new things because that is the only way you can grow and improve. And I am sick of seeing people copy each other, especially on Instagram, but that’s a rant for another time.

Personally, I was never going to upgrade to a full-frame camera unless I was comfortable and quick shooting on manual, something that didn’t happen until this year.

Of course the better the camera the better quality results you’ll find, but just like most people don’t learn to drive on a Ferrari, it makes sense that your first camera or the camera where you learn is a friendly, easy one to use, and not a 5D Mark III.

travel camera guide

The line between compact point and shoot cameras and bigger DSLRs is changing a lot, so you will really have to ask yourself what you want to get out of the camera before investing. Here’s a great article about this that’s easily digestable and not too techy.

I don’t pretend to be an expert, so it took me years of practice, research, asking a hell of a lot of questions to begin understand what I currently know about cameras, and trust me, I still have a lot more to learn. But I thought I would share with you what’s in my camera bag (and what HAS BEEN in my camera bag in the past).

I thought it was finally time to put together a comprehensive list of gear I use on the road, from cameras to equipment to editing tools, in the hopes it might help you all in choosing products to use. Hope it helps, enjoy!

travel camera guide

Cameras and lenses

Canon PowerShot SX600 – SHOP HERE – $170

For people who just want to take pictures without any fuss.

This Canon PowerShot is probably the closest point and shoot camera to my first PowerShot back in 2006. This was the camera I used when I moved to Spain for the first time, and it traveled with me all over Europe when I was 19 until someone drunkenly dropped it one night in Salamanca at the end of the year. Not me, of course.

By the time I got home and sent it to Canon, it had been replaced by a newer model, which they sent me. It’s super cheap, only $170 and it’s a great first camera. Things have changed since I used cameras like this and the SX600 comes with built-in wifi so you can move images directly on your phone and you can share them immediately.

travel camera guide

travel camera guide

Canon PowerShot G7X – SHOP HERE – $599 

For video enthusiasts and as a back up to a DSLR or a higher end compact camera.

I use this camera now and I love it! The PowerShot G7X is a popular camera among bloggers and especially vloggers, mostly because of its flip screen so you can watch yourself if shooting with you in the video and for selfies, of course. This is my recommendation for a small, point and shoot style camera though it costs a little more coming in around $600.

It has built-in wifi, shoots great HD video, and has a much larger sensor (20 megapixel). It does very well in low light and has a great zoom and has a low aperture at f/1.8 (this means it will give you that nice blurred background, read more here). It is a small but powerful camera.

I use this camera as one of my main cameras in my kit because of its high-quality performance and size. Depending on where I am and what I am shooting, I don’t want to carry a huge, heavy DSLR kit or sometimes I can’t even bring it with me. This is the perfect alternative because it fits in your pocket and still takes great images.

travel camera guide

Canon Rebel T5 – SHOP HERE – $399

The perfect intro DSLR camera.

The Canon Rebel T5 is probably the closest thing to the Rebel XS which was my first DSLR camera way back in the day from 2009 to 2012. It’s the perfect beginner or budget DSLR camera coming in at an affordable $400. If you are interested in photography and want to step up your game, invest in one of these. They are great travel cameras and are pretty sturdy. I dropped mine all over Europe and it never broke.

This is a camera that will help you get off shooting in auto and without going into too much nitty gritty it has a much bigger sensor than the point and shoots which will take higher quality images. It shoots HD video and it’s cheap for a DSLR. I’d get it with the kit lens (18-55mm) that it comes with but know that it’ll work with Canon EF-S lenses (crop).

travel camera guide

Canon EOS 70D – SHOP HERE – $899

A great mid-range semi-professional enthusiast camera.

The Canon EOS 70D is one of my favorite cameras, an upgrade from the Canon EOS 60D which I used for 2 years before. Even though I have upgraded now to the 5DM3 I use this as my backup and secondary camera on trips, and if you look at my Instagram feed or anything on my blog from the past two years, pretty much everything you see was shot with this. It’s weather resistant and tough as nails, the perfect travel camera.

It has built in wifi and touch screen technology but it has an amazing autofocus, especially on video which makes it popular for vloggers, plus the pop out screen. This is my favorite mid-range crop sensor camera. Don’t buy it with a kit lens. If you are stepping up to a 70D you need a good lens for it.

travel camera guide

Tamron 17-50mm F/2.8 lens – SHOP HERE – $489 

The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens along with the Canon 60D made up my camera kit for 2 years before I finally upgraded. It’s a kickass all-purpose lens between being a wide angle (17mm) and zooming into 50mm, and it’s cheaper than Canon’s equivalent. Tamron makes great lenses and they have awesome customer service and a 6 year warranty.

I’m going to add I think it’s really important to have at least one solid go-to lens for your kit that’s not a super wide angle or a telephoto that drops to f/2.8. I don’t really want to go into here, but this article here explains aperture and depth of field easily.

Note – this lens is for crop sensor cameras only (so it won’t work on full-frame cameras) but it’ll work on pretty much the whole Canon line.

travel camera guide

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 – SHOP HERE – $779

The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 could be the lens you buy FIRST to go with the 70D if you can afford it. Again this lens is for crop sensor cameras only (denoted by the EF-S). Canon leant me this lens to use last year and I have refused to give it back because it’s so awesome.

This is the lens that is always on my camera – it’s my go-to lens. Because of the 2.8 aperture it works great in low light and gives that stunning blurred background. Again most of my images within the past year are shot with this lens, I probably use it around 70% of the time.

travel camera guide

Canon EF-S 10-22mm – SHOP HERE – $599

I started renting Canon EF-S 10-22mm way back in the day on my Canon Rebel camera in 2010 and waited until I had saved enough to splurge on it, because, it is a splurge. A 10-22mm lens is so wide it borderlines being a fish-eye lens, which for some reason I love.

This is a great lens for architecture and buildings or when I am shooting in an enclosed landscape like a river gorge, and it’s really awesome at night for astrophotography because you can often get a huge part of the Milky Way visible in it.

It’s not to everyone’s taste but I don’t know what I’d do without having a super wide angle lens with me. It is an EF-S lens for crop sensor cameras so it won’t work on my new 5DM3 which means I will likely leave it on my 70D for backup.

travel camera guide

Canon EF 70-300mm – SHOP HERE – $1,249

This is even more of a splurge but when I found out I was going to Africa this year, I knew I couldn’t go on a safari without a solid telephoto zoom lens – hence the Canon 70-300mm. Generally the 70-200mm f/2.8 is everyone’s dream telephoto lens but I figured I needed that extra f-stop LESS than an extra 100mm zoom. Also I would save an extra $800.

I’m glad I did because most of my safari shots were taken at 300mm. This is a heavy piece of equipment to cart around with you, but I find I use it more and more, enjoying the challenge of shooting with a zoom. Also it can be used on both crop and full-frame cameras (denoted with the EF instead of EF-S).

travel camera guide

travel camera guide

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 – SHOP HERE – $308

I honestly hate carrying so many camera lenses around, but I LOVE having one lens that has such a large aperture – the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 is SUCH a fun lens! At first it’s a pain in the ass to use because the focus is so fine and it’s very easy to screw up – you have to make sure the eyes of the portrait subject are in focus because it’s so fine that the nose will blur. My friend Mark Clinton helped me pick this lens out and I am beyond grateful. You’ll definitely be seeing way more of this lens on my site soon.

And it can be used with both crop and full-frame cameras on Canon.

travel camera guide

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – SHOP HERE – $2,499

For the pros, top of the line.

I’ve only recently upgraded to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III but I can already tell you, I’m in love. This is a full-frame camera for serious photographers who want the highest quality gear possible. To be honest, I put off upgrading for years. Not only because of the rather significant price jump (EEEP!) but because I wasn’t sure I could handle it. I wanted to be truly confident with shooting in manual and really feel like I needed this camera. It’s a whopper to carry around just as a hobby.

Now that I sell and license my images and I am hired frequently as a professional photographer on travel campaigns, it was time to make the switch.

Otherwise I can only imagine if any of you guys are interested in buying the 5DM3, you don’t need any of my advice because you probably already know what I would say.

travel camera guide

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 – SHOP HERE – $1,799

The 5DM3 needs a powerful lens to go along with it, and since neither of my go-to mid-range lenses will work on a full-frame camera, I needed to upgrade and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 is a powerful, kickass lens. I don’t have this lens yet but have just ordered it on Amazon (sorry credit card) and can’t wait for it to arrive before my next top-secret trip in January!

travel camera guide

The rest of my camera stuff

Landscape photography course  

Basically everything I know about photography I taught myself, watched on YouTube, or learned from hanging around other photographers. I knew there were gaping holes in my knowledge base and there were things I was doing that were just to scrape by.

I have been meaning to take a photography class for years, and finally took the plunge after my friend Elia Locardi told me about his new online course with Fstoppers – Photographing The World: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi. With 12 hours of video content on location and later in processing, I’ve already learned more in a few weeks than in years. What took me so long?

If you splurge on one thing on this list, this is probably the most valuable!


If you are going to own expensive camera equipment you must have insurance. I am not a responsible person but I have all my crap insured because I am unlucky and clumsy. I have a property insurance policy with Clements which gears towards travelers and expats and it’s totally affordable.

Memory cards 

I don’t know why but memory cards are always significantly cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else. Universally cheaper. Like they cost 50% less there. No idea why but it’s spoiled me and I only buy cards on Amazon. My friend Matt Vandeputte helped me pick out the best cards (he’s my go-to gadget friend) and now I use the Lexar Professional 1066x 32GB Compact Flash Card for my full-frame camera and the Transcend 64GB SDXC Class 10 Memory Card Up to 90MB/s for everything else, the standard size card. And after I lost my 5th memory card I finally invested in a memory card case.

travel camera guide


If you take photography seriously, you’ll need a tripod, and a relatively good one too – they are a necessary evil. If you do anything that requires a slow shutter in low light situations, a tripod is usually essential, especially if you want to learn to shoot the stars or do any nighttime photography.

I have three main tripods. My first one is the which is the perfect travel tripod – the new Vanguard VEO 265CB Carbon Fiber tripod. It’s small and light and easily portable. My second tripod is a monster – it’s huge and a pain in the ass to carry around but it’s the best so I use it when I can – it’s the Vanguard Alta Pro 254CT Carbon Fiber Tripod with the BBH-100 head ball on it. Finally I have the JOBY Gorillapod which is an awesome tripod you can hook onto anything.

travel camera guide


Everyone always asks me how I take photos of myself. It’s easy, here’s my secret – I use a remote and timer and put my camera on a tripod. My friend Melissa Findley recommended the Hahnel Giga T Pro 2.4GHz Wireless Timer Remote for Canon and I’ve been using it ever since. Sure, it looks funny if anyone is watching, but it’s worth it. Now if you look closely in some of my photos, you’ll probably see the remote scrunched up in my right hand unless I’ve photoshopped it out. Busted!

travel camera guide

Camera bags 

I have two main camera bags, neither of which look like camera bags, something really important to me. My first one is the ONA Brooklyn Camera Satchel in Chestnut, which I usually use as a purse with one camera, an extra lens and my usual purse essentials. The other is also by ONA, the Camps Bay Backpack in Field Tan. I can put my entire kit in here plus anything else. This is usually my carry-on on planes, and no one ever weighs it because it’s a backpack (secret). It’s mostly waterproof and I can fit a tripod on the top.

travel camera guide

travel camera guide

Action cameras 

Sometimes I physically can’t (or don’t really want to) bring my nicer cameras on some of the adventures I go on, especially where water is involved. In those cases I’ll bring a waterproof action camera. I’ve used GoPro for years and they let me down all the time (remember those damn firmware updates in 2013?) and I’ve destroyed more than one, but I tolerate them because I haven’t found anything better.

I have the GoPro Hero 4 Black after someone filched my Hero 3 when I was in Spain this year. I also just started using the TomTom Bandit camera which I am really starting to enjoy and I have high hopes for. I’ve written about it here.

travel camera guide

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop 

If you are going to take fabulous photos, you need to have a fabulous editing program to match. Every professional photographer I know uses Lightroom. Now for $10 a month you can have Lightroom and Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

Hard drives 

You’ll need to make sure you are backing up your photos regularly in multiple different locations. I have so many external hard drives but I find I prefer the tougher grade ones with at least 1 TB of storage such as the Silicon Power or the Transcend Military Drop ones. On trips I usually bring 2 with me and store them in different parts of my luggage.

PHEW! Are you interested in photography? Have I covered all my bases? Have any questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll answer them all!

travel camera guide

Heads up – some of these links are affiliate links which help foot the bills. Thanks!

91 Responses to What’s in my camera bag

  1. Michelle December 18, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Wow, that’s a lot of gear! Your photos are amazing!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      I don’t really have most of this anymore, I just wanted to make a list of everything I have used over the years for all levels 🙂

      • KS December 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

        So if this is what you’ve had over the years, what do you actually use now? What is your go to? I spent ages trying to decide between canon and Nikon, I’ve always used canon but I surprised myself and went with Nikon recently.

        • Tyler February 5, 2016 at 4:09 pm #

          You made a wise decision, Nikon basically blows Canon out of the water with nearly every model. Nikon’s D3300, an entry level SLR (less than $500 in Aus) takes superior images to that of a $3000 Canon 5D MK III.

          That link there, by DXO Mark, the legit reference for image quality, lists all the best cameras in terms of image quality. No surprise that Sony and Nikon dominate the field.

    • Caroline Alice December 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

      Perfect timing Liz, as I have been looking at so many different DSLR cameras in preparation for my next trip to India. I have been an avid anonymous reader of the blog for a while now, and this post clarifies why i’m still reading! thank-you for this useful information! On my last adventure I cant believe that I used my crappy HTC phone to take all of my pictures! I will definitely be investing in some worthy Canon equipment in the New Year! Thanks again & Merry Christmas! Caroline Alice

  2. Mara December 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

    Thank you! As I strive to become a better photographer this is truly invaluable information. You’re photographs are amazing and now I have a little insight of my own on how to accomplish just a little of what you do.

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm #


  3. Claudia December 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    I will need to read this post a few times before I digest all of it. I am new to blogging. Everyone keeps saying I need a decent camera (I have a compact at the moment). I am so out of this photographing game that I have discovered snapseeds a couple of weeks ago. I know I have to buy a decent camera, and more importantly, I need to learn how to use it. This post comes in at a perfect time for me – I suppose I will opt for an intro to DSLR kind of camera such as the one you suggest here.

    Thank you for this!!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

      Hope it helps!

  4. Victoria | Girl Tries Life December 19, 2015 at 1:45 am #

    And… this is the moment where I feel like a fool because of course you use a timer for your photos! Here I was all, “she must travel with a lot of friends”. Yeah… blame the baby brain. Thanks for that share! Getting more and more acquainted with my camera, but it’s baby steps. Really hoping to up my game this year. We have a Canon Rebel T3i and I think it’s good enough for what I know how to use it for. You’re right, unless we learn to properly use what we’ve got, we won’t improve. No point buying all the gear until we’ve put in some time and effort to improve the skills. Thanks for sharing!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      hope it helps!!!

  5. Madi | The Restless Worker December 19, 2015 at 2:57 am #

    I have used my Iphone 5s for the past two years to take pictures when I’m travelling and I had always been happy with the result. A few months after I started blogging I realized I needed a camera to give me better quality photos – not better photos. I love how you say that, it’s not the camera it’s the photographer first and foremost. I completely agree. Being a photography newbie I needed a camera that was easy to use but would allow me to grow as I learned more. I bought the Olympus OM-D E M10 and have never loved something so much. It’s so easy to use, and when I want I’ll be able to shoot manual as well.

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      Good luck!

  6. Maria December 19, 2015 at 4:57 am #

    Great post. Gear is important, but only if you’re willing to do what it takes to learn about the art (just like you said.) I’ve used Canon EOS 70D for a long time, it’s not my primary camera now, but I really liked it. I like the consistent performance, and color quality. I think the most important question to ask oneself before buying expensive gear is, what am I actually going to take pictures of? Buy a decent camera body, and add lenses as you go. Thanks for an inspiring post!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

      Totally agree!

  7. Chris December 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    What do you think the best camera (or a good one, at least) would be for someone who’s not a professional photographer but still wants to be able to take really nice, high quality photos? A lot of the digital cameras I’ve used in the past were absolute crap, but I’d also rather not spend $1000 on a super nice camera that’s intended for a professional photographer.

    I guess I’m more wondering what kind of price range should I be looking at? Or to be super specific – around what price do the diminishing returns start to really set in for an average user?

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

      You can definitely get something good for under a grand, I’d look at the G7X or one of the Rebel ones.

    • Jeff December 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

      I’d echo the recommendation for the G7X. It allows you greater control over the creative process than a point-and-shoot, but is still something that can be dropped in a pocket–unlike an SLR. And if you decide to upgrade down the road, the G7X will remain a worthy camera to take along when you don’t want to carry the “heavy” kit or risk it in the rain or sand.

  8. Brooklyn December 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    I’ve really been wanting to take my photography to the next level and learn more.
    This was a really helpful post, thanks!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm #


  9. Victoria@ The British Berliner December 20, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    I really like this post Liz and as you say, it’s not about the equipment, it’s about the photographer.

    I do actually have a very nice Canon camera but I hardly ever use it as it’s a bit bulky and honestly speaking, I don’t really know how to use it’s value!

    I went on a photography workshop at TBEX and talked to Gary who said, use what you’re comfortable with. I’m more comfortable with my iphone which is with me at every moment and light and small even to carry in one hand or in my lady jeans pocket lol!

    Having said that, a professional photographer friend of mine has offered to give me a mini break-down of how to use my camera in return for dinner. I might take it up and see where it leads me lol!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

      You totally should, once you get the basics it’s easy to improve, but it’s definitely a jump off the deep end for sure!!!

  10. Ron December 20, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    I have a few questions about your gear and technique.
    1) Do you use a polarizer filter?
    2) Do you save all your photo’s in RAW format?
    3) Do you shoot with the lens stabilizer ON or Off?
    4) Do you lock up the mirror (live mode) before you shoot?
    5) Do you take any special precautions (prevent dust from getting inside the camera body) when changing lens?

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      Yes, I usually use a cheap polarizer, probably going to invest in something nicer soon, I save my files in RAW and JPG both, I add the JPGS straight to my phone on trips so I can edit on my phone and Instagram, and use the RAWS for my blog and for clients 🙂 I keep the stabilizer on, normally I don’t shoot in live mode usually only when I’m doing portraits. I am a bit reckless changing my lenses and I’ve dropped and broken just about every piece of equipment I own, but I usually carry one of those dust blowers to clean and I service and do sensor cleans as often as I can 🙂

  11. Will December 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    That is one hell of a lens you have near the top of the post! As for me, I get on fine with my trusty little Samsung point and shoot – it really does come down to the person holding the camera!

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm #


  12. Chester December 21, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Insightful post.

    Ever tried using the Leica M9/ME? Its a bit expensive but the images are crisp as they use glass lenses not plastic. German technology.

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      My friend Stu I mentioned uses Leica and loves them!

  13. Amy | Toothbrush Travels December 22, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Love that you’ve written this post – it’s always been one that i’ve been interested in using, and not because i think you piggyback off of technology – the opposite in fact. I prefer talking to people whom are truly talented and honest as they give the best advice on what will work with which camera and which won’t xx

    • Liz December 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

      Hope it’s helpful!

  14. Rafiqua Israel December 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    I also recently wrote about my favorite camera gear. I personally enjoy using Nikon and LOVE my 24-70mm and 50mm. I’m pretty sure once you start using your 50mm more often that you will love it too!

    Great post. I am desperately in need of a new camera bag.

    • Liz December 23, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      I love it!!!

  15. Suz December 22, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    I’m slowly building up my hoard of camera bits and it is good to see where you use all the different lenses. I am just debating whether it is my 70D (who knows which lenses will come with me) or my G1X Mark2 which come trekking in Patagonia in February! I have given up on my GoPro and now use the G1X in a waterproof housing – works really well when water and sand/dust are an issue. This was really helpful – thank you!!

    • Liz December 23, 2015 at 9:03 am #

      I need to get a housing for mine!

  16. Natalie December 23, 2015 at 1:18 am #

    I may have missed this as I skimmed this AM and am going back later tonight, but how are you backing up to your external drives on the go? Or do you? (i.e. wait until you get back from an adventure then back up to external drives). I haven’t found a good mobile solution that doesn’t involve my laptop and often times that isn’t feasible. Also, what canon glass are you using in that safari shot? Love this article, btw.

    • Liz December 23, 2015 at 9:02 am #

      I usually bring two small sized external hard drives with me, the ones I listed in the post, and back them up as I go on the road every time I do a photo dump off my memory cards. I’m using the 70D + 70-300mm telephoto

  17. Jenna December 23, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    This is an awesome post. I have just started getting into photography in the last year when I finally brought my canon 600D and I have been following Elia Locardi for a long time. I have the kit set lenses and I am still learning so don’t want to up grade my camera body yet as I still need to learn more, however I would love to get some better lenses, what would you suggest? Your stuff is amazing and I personally am trying to work towards making travel photography my main focus. Thanks for being an inspiration!

    • Liz December 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      I would chose one of those mid-range lenses that go to f/2.8, like the 17-55 or 24-70

  18. Debbie December 23, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    I really liked this post. I used to have a Pentax, back in the day, but it was a film camera. I now use a point-and-shoot and my phone, but have been longing for a decent DSLR. Found lots of good helpful info here.

  19. Jeff December 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    I definitely understand the frustration with “what’s-your-camera” questions. Beginners always focus too intently on the gear. New shooters always want to know what pistol you’ve got in your holster. A wise old Marine once said, “Owning a pistol doesn’t make a man a gunfighter any more than owning a piano would make him a pianist.” It’s really all about developing the skills. That said, a good carpenter still understands the value of quality tools. And it is good to give a thoughtful and patient response to a genuine inquiry. If you help someone sort through the decision and choose equipment that fits their needs, you help make their entire experience more enjoyable. Good post.

    • Liz December 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

      Totally agree, thanks!

  20. Neil Gratton December 25, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    I’ve seen your photography improve hugely over the time I’ve been following you, and been curious about your gear choices. (It’s not what people use, but what they think and say about their equipment that I find interesting). There was a while when Canon and Nikon were pretty much the only serious choices, but these days there are so many options and choices can be much more personal than they were.

    I think if I travelled like you did, I might have gone for some lighter weight gear though! The 5d3 and the 24-70mm are beasts!

    I used to own the Canon 10-22mm, but these days I decided I prefer the fisheye look so much I own a couple of diagonal fisheye lenses and no ultrawides. I’d recommend getting an actual fisheye – some of my favourite landscapes have been shot with mine. The Tokina 10-17mm is very versatile.

    • Liz December 27, 2015 at 4:35 am #

      Cool tip, thanks! I love fisheyes!

  21. Kye January 4, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Hi Liz, I loves your photos so much. I hope you could give a few piece of advices.
    I am going to travel for 3 weeks and currently struggle to make a wise decision between 70D (with the kit lens 18-55mm + 50mm f1.8) or get a Sony A7/A6000 or Fujifilm X-A2.
    Basically, I could not decide between a mirrorless and DSLR. I intend to buy the 70D for a long time but was worrying about the size. I hope you can help me with this!

    • Liz January 18, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      The 70D is big but it’s such a rad camera. I dont use Sony or Fujifilm and I’ve heard good and bad things. I think you have to decide about the size.

  22. Alan January 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    What a great article. Started following your blog. I’ve just recently moved to Zimbabwe so need to get one of those telephoto zoom lenses to add to my collection.

    • Liz January 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm #


  23. Arkapal January 12, 2016 at 6:43 am #

    Nice information Liz . Thanks 🙂

    • Liz January 18, 2016 at 12:29 pm #


  24. Rebecca Line // January 17, 2016 at 7:16 am #

    wow – and i thought my camera bag was heavy – but it is nothing compared to yours. I’m inspired – and would love to get my hands on some of the great gear your recommending..

    • Liz January 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

      haha thanks

  25. Sarah Attaway January 19, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    Hi Liz!

    Thanks so much for all your tips! I have been thinking about playing around with video but didn’t want to invest in an expensive camera so you’re tips are really helpful with different price ranges! What software would you suggest for editing videos (hopefully not crazy expensive!)?

    Thanks so much!


    • Liz January 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      You can start with free software like imovie but most people I know use Final Cut pro, not sure how much that costs but there are plenty of free or cheap options to get started with

  26. Jill Arden January 20, 2016 at 4:29 am #

    Hi Liz, My husband and I are going on our dream trip to New Zealand in April!
    He’s a serious amateur photographer and is getting scared because of the weight limits on carry-ons.
    Virgin Austailia and Air New Zealand both have a 15 lb. wt limit. As you might guess his camera gear weighs a lot more than that. He usually uses a wheeled carry on that easily fits into the overhead compartment and a backpack that will fit under the seat. Any suggestions? We are SO excited to go to New Zealand!

    • Liz January 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm #

      put all your camera gear in a backpack, airlines almost never weigh backpacks, I’ve never had mine weighted and its so heavy I can barely lift it into the overhead bin

  27. International Honeymoon Packages February 13, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    My personal experience about camera It never feel you alone, you take pictures and show your creativity…..

  28. Jeff February 23, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    “Now that I sell and license my images and I am hired frequently as a professional photographer on travel campaigns, it was time to make the switch.”

    Curious – How did you get started selling images and to whom do you usually sell? Thanks in advance.

    Long time follower from CT 🙂

  29. Stephanie February 23, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    I used to get peeved whenever people asked me about my camera after seeing an image, but then I realized that legit professionals don’t immediately ask that question. But a full frame or a great lens can be as alluring as a nice filter applied to a shoddy shot. Both are nice on the surface but deceiving to the untrained eye.

  30. JT February 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    Great post, many thanks! Wondering if safety is a concern when you’re traveling with expensive gear? (Not sure how to ask this.. for example, do you lock up your more expensive gear when you’re bringing the smaller, lighter camera? are you always able to lock it up, and what do you do if you can’t? etc.)

    • Liz February 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      Usually lock it up and don’t carry an obvious camera bag and all my stuff is insured

  31. Richard Ng March 6, 2016 at 6:36 am #

    Pretty impressive gadgets aside, it is the creative composition and having the eye for creating the ultimate shots that counts. Impressive indeed.

    • Liz March 6, 2016 at 8:01 pm #


  32. David March 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    Nice to see a fellow Canon user! Not many travelers are using Canon’s most Nikons.

  33. Masini Ieftine April 19, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

    I have a Nikon 3300 and for first camera is ok.

  34. Bradley Lauster May 6, 2016 at 3:10 am #

    Thanks for the insightful article! Love how you laid out your personal steps in choosing a camera as your experience got better and better.

    This is an article that many will find useful as I did. Each of the cameras you gave great information on and gave the important information. This is a great example of where someone who has been there can give their advice, because they know what they are talking about.

    Enjoyed finding out which camera is the best and for what, makes deciding on which on so much easier. Especially if you don’t feel like spending hours debating.

  35. Kristina@maptrotting May 14, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    This is a great pot, thanks for writing it! You are so right saying that it’s not the camera that does the job really, it’s the skills of composing a shot.

    I once went on a one day shooting course in London and the teacher said ‘your eyes are your real camera and your camera is just a tool to capture what you see.’ This stuck in my mind and I am trying to remember this when taking photos 🙂

    I used Sony cybershot for years and really loved it, but a year ago I decided to start using a DSLR and got a Canon.

    I really love it and especially love shooting with 50mm lens, it challenges me everytime I use it. I prefer shooting close up shots and details of the places I visit as opposed to big landscapes.

    Canon PowerShot G7X sounds great, thanks for advice. We currently record videos mostly with our iPhone and GoPro equivalent, but would be nice to just use one thing and not switch between gadgets 🙂

  36. Holly June 14, 2016 at 1:38 am #

    So what kind of laptop do you use? I hope I didn’t miss it some place on your blog.

    • Liz June 16, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Macbook Pro 15 inch with all the extras!

  37. Brown June 23, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    Hi Liz – great site! I have been following for a few months and have really enjoyed the content. Love that you’ve written this post – it’s always been one that I’ve been interested in using. I am going on a 7 day back country adventure through the Rocky Mountains in mid-August and I am looking for any DX gear. I am hoping to catch some night photography shots and some sunrise and sunsets.

  38. Roshan August 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi Liz
    Really enjoyed your discussion on the practicality and why you need to invest in something that you love and enjoy doing it
    I got myself a new Nikon Dslr D 5300 with 4 lenses and all other bits it came with
    Only the bag was not that good so am looking for a bag to carry my stuff in
    Your article not only discuss the pro and cons of proper tools but advised e keeping too.
    Thank you for inside information
    Keep on the good work

  39. Andrew Cariboni October 28, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    Nice arsenal! That 17-55 is a great bang for your buck! I always regret leaving it behind when I do, especially for the image stabilization when shooting video.

  40. Jimmy Rey January 14, 2017 at 12:24 am #

    Awesome photos and great work. I really appreciate the insight here in this post. Thanks for sharing all the information and your perfect experiences.


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