It can be really confusing to figure out what camera accessories are useful and essential, and which are a waste of money. This is what I love for travel photography gear, though what I actually bring along varies depending on the location and trip we are taking.
Some items on the list are for protecting your investment, others to help you with the quality of your photos (no blurry camera shake), and others to push your photography limits like never before. Start with the basics and build your camera bag up from there.
I have been using Canon products for the last 15+ years. Right now I have a Canon 70D that I bring with me on all of our trips. For beginner travel photographers, this may be too much camera. A great beginner option is the Canon Rebel; a great quality camera at a lower price point. I had the film version of the Canon Rebel back in the day!
Here is a list of my essential travel camera accessories to help you make the best choices.
Table Of Contents
Rubber Lens Cap
No matter the photography genre, you need to protect your camera lens — especially if you invested in an expensive lens kit. We recommend the KUVRD Universal Lens Cap 2.0. because they are guaranteed to perform under the toughest conditions nature might throw at you. This is important to us because with all of our adventures, our camera gear can take a lot of abuse. These fit 99% of lenses and offer Magnum and Micro size options.
When you are miles from anywhere, a portable power bank can quickly become very important to you. We would never want to be left without. The size and weight are a big consideration, as well as what you think you will be charging the most.
We love our Anker power bank to help us keep our phones charged. Keep in mind that most airlines will cap power banks at 20,000mAh, and this falls right within that limit.
Memory Card Holder
Memory cards are so small that I feel like I am always misplacing them. Since I bought a memory card holder, it has been so much easier to keep track of where my memory cards are. I have this SKOLOO and love it because it is waterproof and that is SO important to help protect your memories from the elements. There is nothing worse than losing or having a memory card damaged. Plus, it holds both my SD and Micro SD cards — a must have for me.
Extra Memory Cards
It is always a good idea to carry some back-up memory cards. Since we also drone and have a DJI Osmo Action camera, we also have to make sure we bring along extra Micro SD cards as well. We have had memory cards corrupt on us during our travels and were thankful we had extra for backup. Luckily, we could still at least access the photos on the memory card, but we would have been out of luck to buy a new one since we were on a big hike. Always bring extra memory cards!
The same goes for extra batteries I just mentioned above for memory cards. You do not want to be stuck without battery power; those are always when you miss the best moments! We recommend on a big adventure to have three batteries with you; that is what we find gives us peace of mind, especially when we are out shooting landscape adventures. Since I use a Canon 70D, I bring these along as a backup.
Memory Card Reader
If you need to transfer photos to your computer fast, a memory card reader is a must. It is adaptable to different types of memory cards, which is helpful when we travel with all of our gear. The reader is plug and play, so you do not need to install any software.
External Hard Drive
Do not make the mistake of having your photos in one location only. When you transfer them to your computer, also make sure you transfer them to a spare hard drive. Losing photos because you did not back them up properly is very painful. I’d even recommend going as far as uploading to something like Google photos as well. When you have lost photos before, you really learn how to cover your bases so it hopefully will never happen again.
My camera bag has to fit a lot of gear. It looks more like a backpacking backpack when I want to bring it all along. After a lot of research on bigger camera bags, I chose this one, the Endurax Extra Large Camera Backpack for outdoor hiking and trekking. I absolutely love it. It is very comfortable and spacious; there is plenty of room for all my gear. You may not need as big of a bag, and for that I would recommend the bag I bring when I have less gear coming along with me, a Lowepro Fastpack. I have had my Loewpro for years and it has taken a beating, but has held up impressively well.
I love to take photos of wildlife. There is nothing better than being out in nature, observing the incredible power of nature. If I know I’ll be shooting wildlife, I always bring along a telephoto lens like this one, to make sure that I am able to get an up-close look, but keep a good distance away so that the wildlife is not disturbed. You can also use an extender with it, if you need to increase the zoom even more. Always double check the compatibility on the lenses you feel will work best for you.
I have fallen in love with photographing the night sky when we are away from light pollution. There are few things better than laying under that blanket of stars woven by God. Lenses can be really expensive, so for this one, with how little it is used compared to other lenses, I opted for a compatible brand. I went with this Rokinon wide angle lens. I have not perfected my night sky photography yet, but this is a great lens to start with to learn.
I have had a few tripods in my time of travel photography. This is one item that you do not want to skimp on. You do not have to go completely top of the line. However, you do need to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of your camera with different lenses, while being small enough to pack and light enough to lug around. This K&F concept tripod works well for me.
I love having the freedom to escape the dreaded camera shake when I’m trying to take photos of the night sky. It is also beneficial when you’re shooting shy wildlife, and you will never have to quickly try to run into a group photo again.
It is common to use filters to protect lenses from scratches, thumbprints or dust. However, the real benefits come from the ability of filters to improve images. There are many different kinds of lens filters, most attaching my screwing onto the lens. To protect my camera lenses, I do always have a filter on the lens . I usually stick to a clear filter, or an UV haze filter.
Especially when you’re shooting outdoors, there will be several times that you have to wipe lenses down, your equipment gets dusty, or wet. I find that these cleaning cloths do the trick. They are also inexpensive, and work well on delicate surfaces.
I like to leave the cleaning to the professionals. However, there are times where I know what is likely causing the issue, and for that, a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster does a great job. My camera is especially dirty after photos at the beach and using one of these does the trick.
DJI OSMO Action Camera
We like to travel and play hard. I need to keep an adventure camera with me that can get beat up, wet (depths up to 11 meters) and who knows what else. I love the RockSteady stabilization that helps you capture every moment in smooth detail. If I am bringing along my DJI Osmo Action camera, you know we have set out for a grand adventure. The camera does not come with a lens cover, and this one fits perfectly. Also, for accessories this package comes with almost all of the accessories you could ever need to get creative photos.
We fly a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone, with a smart controller. If you do not want to jump all in with the large cost, another great drone option is a DJI Mavic Mini 2. Always be respectful when flying a drone, and know the rules before you fly.
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What are some of your go-to travel photography gear? Which camera equipment do you want to add into your camera bag next?