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What’s in my camera bag

As a travel blogger with passion for photography its important to capture the essence of my travels. Surprisingly, the question I am most often asked is what’s in your camera bag?

Perhaps you’re heading on an overseas trip, or going hiking in the mountains or spending a day in the city to shoot cityscapes.  Think carefully about the photos you want to capture and take the camera gear you will need.

Plan ahead. You often can’t re-shoot if the photos aren’t perfect.  Consider which lens will be best suited for the shoot and make sure you take spare batteries and data cards.

Plan ahead and take what you need

Camel tour

I like to travel light so carrying around an extra kilos of camera gear in a backpack or camera bag is not my idea of a fun day.

My best planning tip is to put together some equipment basics which will cover most situations.  When you are planning a specialist shoot, change it up and swap in the gear you will need for the shoot.

Consider creating a list of the shots you want to capture to have a clear idea of the photos you want. This will also form a clear guide to the camera gear will you need to take with you.

Here is what is in my camera bag

Camera

Choose your camera to suit your purpose.  You don’t necessarily need the latest bells and whistles camera to take good photos.

If you simply want to share photos on Instagram or Facebook, your mobile phone will do nicely.  However, if you want to take quality family photos or sunrises or sunsets its a good idea to invest in a camera which will give you options.

The cameras I use are my mobile phone Samsung Galaxy S10 and my mirrorless Sony a6000.  Each have different advantages and will give different results.

For my blog, the Sony alpha 6000 ticks all the boxes. The Sony a6000 is the perfect camera for those who want an uncomplicated camera which produces exceptional photographs.   

The majority of the photos on AussieMob.com are shot with my Sony a6000 and, at less than $500 USD, this camera is excellent value for money.

Read next:  Let me show you how to use your Sony a6000.

Interchangeable Lenses

Choosing a lens is equally important.  The right lens can offer unparalleled depth to your photography.  These are my current favourite lenses.

Caving - low light photography
16-50 mm – Low light lens at Waitomo Caves, New Zealand – no flash

I prefer to buy genuine Sony lenses.  These are my current favourites.

The Sony lens 3.5-5.6/16-50 is part of the Sony A6000 kit and a great lens for low light photography and for capturing travel scenes, sunsets and street photography.

I particularly like it’s capacity for low light photography and love its capacity to handle sunrise, sunset and silhouettes.  Its also a great lens for indoors, poorly lit caves and forest areas which are often dark.

My other current favourite lens is the Sony Zoom lens F4 18 – 105.  With far greater flexibility and range, and I’m able to capture birds and other wildlife without disturbing them.

I tend to use this lens most of all because of its adaptability.  I can take a closeup shot of a bumble-bee on a beautiful flower and then pan to the distance to capture a landscape shot.

Nhulunbuy - Gove
Kingfisher in Arnhem Land, Australia

Tripods and MonoPods

A Tripod can be useful to include yourself in the foreground or reduce camera shake or hold your camera steady for long exposures or low light photography.  Have you considered a Monopod?  They’re great for action shots as they are lightweight and have a smaller footprint.

If you’re interested in buying a good quality Tripod or Monopod which is lightweight consider carbon fibre or aluminium.  Either will make it easy to carry in your backpack.

I use a Manfrotto Elements 5-section MonoPod because it’s light to carry and a great tool to steady my camera.  Because it’s aluminium it’s light to carry and easily fits inside my camera bag.

Using a tripod offers a different advantage.  With 3 legs, a tripod can offer much more stability.  Choose wisely.  It needs to be robust and sturdy.

I use a Zomei Carbon Fiber Tripod and love the flexibility it provides.

The biggest advantage of using a tripod is that you can set your camera up and walk away.  It’s an opportunity to get in the shot, setup a camera for shooting wildlife without being detected, or take long exposure photos or sequences from the same angle.

If you’re a solo traveler or couple and wish to include a human element, tryout my new pack and go Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod.

It’s easy to set up, place it on a table, steps or a ledge to get a different angle.  Super easy to get in your own shot.

Best Camera Bag for travel

Finding the right camera bag has been a challenge for me.  Camera BagI like to travel light so searched long and hard to find a backpack that wasn’t too bulky and sat comfortably on my back.

My current choice is a the Vivitar Camera Backpack Bag which has provision for my camera and lens and can carry my tripod and a few other essentials.

The beauty of a backpack is that it frees up both hands so I can walk with my camera ready to shoot.

Filters

All of my lenses are fitted with a Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter to help protect the lens glass especially in harsh environments such as the desert.

If you are taking a lot of water shots, a Hoya Multi-coated Polarizing Filter is a useful addition to your essentials.

Wrist Strap

Peak Design is a brand with a number of camera assessories worth considering.  Check out their range of camera bags, straps and other accessories.

The shoulder strap that came with my Sony A6000 wasn’t comfortable so I looked for an alternative and discovered this Peak Design wrist strap.  I love it.

It’s comfortable and best of all, doesn’t get in the way when shooting.  I can safely carry my camera safely attached to my wrist , ever-ready for that unexpected shot that I might need to take, quickly.

Extra Memory Cards

Make sure you carry sufficient memory cards ensuring you have adequate disk space for your photography needs.  Cards either run out of space or fail.  Be prepared for either!

It’s worth carrying a few extra cards in your camera bag for peace-of-mind.  My preference is to use SanDisk 64 GB Extreme Pro cards however there are other options – 32, 64 or 128 GB cards available at very affordable prices.

Spare Batteries

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been caught out with my battery running out of charge.  I recommend you keep 2 spare batteries on hand, charged of course!

There’s a certain peace-of-mind comes with knowing you have a spare battery on hand to wrap up the shoot of the day if your battery dies.  Invariably if you don’t carry an extra battery, you can bet your last dollar that you will miss the ‘photo of the day’!  It happens every.single.time!

Lens Cleaner

Clean lenses are essential to good photography. There are plenty of camera cleaning options available for cameras and lenses.

Keep a selection of  high-quality lens cloths with non-chemical additives on hand at all times.  Invest in a good quality Lens Pen which is especially useful for removing dust and loose debris from lens.

Be sure to back-up your photos

There’s not much that would ruin a trip faster than losing all your photos.

I take enough memory cards with me so that I can cover each day I’m away and a few additional cards incase I need more. At the end of each day I back-up my card onto a Seagate portable hard drive.

Always be prepared. Backing up your photos while on your trip is the smartest way to ensure they stay safe.  Your memory card could corrupt, or worse still, your camera could be stolen.  Don’t risk losing everything.

There are a range of cloud storage options available, so research which option is best for you.  I use portable hard drives and then upload to Google Drive high res for safe keeping.  I love the flexibility it provides.

Travel Insurance: insure yourself and your camera equipment

Make sure you have travel insurance whilst you are away to ensure you are covered in case your camera is damaged or stolen.

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

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What's in my camera bag

Take your camera everywhere with you.  You never know when you will need it!

What’s in my camera bag?   Let me know in the comments below and if you are looking to take your photography to the next level, subscribe here to keep up with our latest posts.