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All The Gear Needed For Travel Vlogging – 1 Complete Detailed List

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The gear needed for travel vlogging

 

Welcome!

If you’re here you may have been directed here from my post about packing for around the world travel as a content creator, but in case you’ve missed it I’ll explain the differences.

The other post is the bare bones, stripped back version. A pure list of sorts with brief descriptions. It is intended as a quick overview and if you desire then it can be used to make sure you haven’t forgotten something.

This post you’re currently on is more in depth, looking at the gear needed for travel vlogging and blogging and ignoring clothing and other stuff not related to vlogging, or being a digital nomad. However I have a separate detailed post about all the clothing and travel accessories I use. That post and this provide a complete overview of everything I carry.

What this post is trying to achieve is to give you a look into my bag, the things I carry might not be of importance to you, but I’ll give you my reasoning for why I travel with it, which may help persuade or dissuade you from taking something similar for your own trip.

 

If you don’t want to read this blog, I have also written all of this up on kit.co, along with all of the item descriptions (the descriptions might be partially copy and pasted for time saving purposes).

*Disclaimer

Affiliate links may be present on this page. These are links to websites such as Amazon, where if you decide to purchase something, then they will offer me a tiny commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and is just a way for me to try and support myself and the blog. I only link to the best of the best with careful consideration, thank you.

It should go without saying, but there is my disclaimer. Just know that a lot of these clicks are links to Amazon.

If you want to see the latest prices for these items then click the name of the product and you will be taken to your local Amazon website.

I will briefly explain my methodology towards what I decided to link to and why just below the list of gear. You will find it towards the bottom of the page. I just like to get this personal disclaimer out of the way though, instead of trying to hide it at the bottom of the post.

Use the table of contents if you’d like to see the information regarding my links for this particular post.

Things to consider about all this gear needed for travel vlogging

 

I want to clarify a few things here;

  1. This list is an example of someone travelling the world and living out of bags while trying to make videos and write a blog. If you are going on a dedicated holiday for one week to some location strictly to film, then obviously you can take a lot more gear! You could take faster and heavier lenses, prime lenses, bigger gimbals, bigger drones, the list goes on. This list isn’t really about that.
  2. The title is very misleading, you don’t “need” all this gear. I tend to travel heavier than most and you may have different baggage weight goals or have a bigger or smaller budget than I had when I got all of my gear. Everyone is different and that’s perfectly fine.
  3. This gear is for those not only making videos, but also taking photographs and running blogs. It’s for content creators in general, not just vlogging. 

With all of that said let’s get underway. This post will be detailed so feel free to skip to the section you like using the table of contents at the top of the page 🙂

Gear Needed For Travel Vlogging – Main Items

 

I will break this down into the main items and then further down the accessories. In here are the core items, the things you use to get the job done and the bags that you carry them in.

Cameras

Main Camera

Sony A7R III

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Pros

  • Longer battery life than the older A7R II due to new larger batteries
  • Incredible camera for photography
  • Eye AF is great
  • Better AF than most cameras
  • Dual memory card slots with one being UHS-II
  • Shoots 4k at 24, 25 and 30fps (100mbps)
  • 1080p up to 120fps (100mbps)
  • Is a smaller body than a lot of DSLRs and cameras like the Panasonic GH5 making it lighter and easy to travel with
  • Very high resolution allows lenience in cropping images in post
  • Image stabilisation of a full frame sensor is good
  • 10fps burst shooting
  • 14-15 stops of dynamic range
  • Can still shoot 18MP photos using APS-C crop mode
  • Very high quality EVF

Cons

  • Uncompressed raw photos are 81MB a piece
  • The above makes timelapses very hard to capture due to memory required
  • Has a 30 minute video recording limit
  • Doesn’t shoot 4k at 60fps
  • People complain about the menu set up of Sony cameras
  • Has less autofucus points than the cheaper Sony A7 III
  • LCD screen does not flip 180° for filming yourself, it only tilts outwards
  • Only records videos in 8-bit

 

My thoughts: The 30 minute video limit to me is basically nothing, unless you’re filming weddings there’s very few other occasions you’d need to record that long non-stop anyway.

I don’t really see the issue with the Sony menu because I’m used to it, I love the customisability the camera offers.

Why I Chose It

When I first started planning my trip I originally thought it would be photography which would be my primary hobby and my way of getting out and exploring. This is one of the major reasons I wanted the A7R III.

I wanted something with 4k capabilities that was a small body size, and would allow me the lenience to crop in post until my composition skills were better. The added bonus to this was also being able to perhaps have a shorter focal length and therefore smaller lens, while still capturing detail in the distance.

I also had very little interest in DSLR camera as I saw the future to be in mirrorless cameras moving forward.

With the Sony A7R IV now on the shelves it’s a good time to buy the A7R III, you should find a good price. To me it’s better value than the bigger and beefier A7R IV, which is also much more expensive.

It’s capable of shooting amazing photos but also great video. It will shoot 4k at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second as well as 1080p at an awesome 120fps for slow motion. It’s generally considered to shoot better 4k video in crop mode for those that want to know, but the differences aren’t too large that it’s super important.

Advantages over the A7R II include a better ergonomic design, touch screen for focus, larger NP-FZ100 batteries, more contrast auto focus points, higher resolution viewfinder and monitor, two memory card slots, faster processing for burst shots and plenty more!

When comparing it to the A7 III you really need to ask yourself whether you want the extra megapixels for photography purposes or if you only want to shoot video and/or don’t require 42MP.

I won’t talk anyone away from the A7 III as it’s a good camera. The main advantages of the A7R III are obviously the photographic capabilities as well as the better viewfinder and monitor, besides that they’re very similar cameras.

As for the A7R IV. If you need that camera you’d know. Most people don’t need anything that extravagant, nor are they going to enjoy the larger file sizes that come with it. If you need it you already know, if you’re unsure then it’s probably overkill for you.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

If I’m being honest, the number of people I’d recommend it to would be very few. Now don’t get me wrong, I would still recommend it to a few because it’s an incredible camera in nearly every way.

If you love photography but also want to shoot 4k or 1080 120fps then this camera is perfect!

It is however a photography based camera that can shoot 4k video, but for me if the photography side of things is of little interest to you I’d recommend the following;

Sony A7 III

The reasons for this is because it’s cheaper, has marginally better autofocus, is the same small bodies design and will perform marginally better in low light video situations.

It is still limited to 8-bit video and the pictures won’t have the same detail but for its price the A7 III is one of the best bang-for-your-buck cameras on the market!

 

Panasonic GH5 or the Panasonic GH5S

These two cameras offer true 4k (also called cinema 4k which is 4096×2160 pixels) as well as 10-bit internal colour recording and 4k at 60fps.

Basically they’re the best consumer level cameras for video recording that I am willing to recommend. Just note that 4k60 is at 8-bit colour, only 4k24 is filmed in 10-bit.

It’s also worth considerinng both your laptop’s power, as well as the digital storage space required to film with these cameras. They shoot at 400mbps as opposed to the Sony cameras shooting at 100mbps.

What this means in laymans terms is that the GH5 / GH5S will record 180GB for one hours footage, whereas the Sony will record 45GB for one hour of footage shot. This adds up if you’re travelling and can’t offload to an array of SSDs or HDs at home.

The “S” version is basically a more video oriented version of the GH5, they have reduced the sensor size, removed the IBIS (for professionals who use gimbals and sliders) and added some more true 4k frame rates at 25 and 30fps.

See this review if you’re not sure which is better for you.

 

If you are just rolling in money and what the newest camera for photography that shoots 4k

Sony A7R IV

This is a beast of a thing that you should only buy if money is no issue. The tradeoff here is the much larger photo sizes using up memory, but if you’re shooting video mostly you’ll save a ton of digital memory compared to the Panasonic cameras mentioned above.

In exchange you get a top of the range camera and well rounded camera with all of the latest Sony has to offer. I’d buy one if I didn’t have a camera already and they weren’t as expensive as they are.

See here for a more detailed analysis.

 

OTHER BRANDS

I’m afraid I don’t know enough about cameras such as the Canaon EOS range or the Nikon Z series of cameras to either recommend them or say anything about them at all.

In the same vein, I know nothing of DSLR cameras so I won’t add any affiliate links for any of these products as I haven’t used them or done any research into them, so my information wouldn’t be honest or helpful.

Fuji, Nikon and Canon are all very capable brands and I’m sure there’s the right camera out there for you, I don’t buy into the brand bashing or anything, go find what works best for you.

Action Camera

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Pros

  • Tough
  • Waterproof
  • Mounts galore
  • Hypersmooth
  • Slow motion
  • 4k footage

Cons

  • Really annoying to set manualy, it’s not worth it
  • Auto white balance needs to be very carefully monitored for those that don’t want to set their own
  • Randomly freezes under normal conditions
  • Drains the battery even with all wifi, voice activation and bluetooth turned off
  • No screen on the front to see what you’re shooting

Why I Chose It

This is the one I use anywhere where there’s water involved for obvious reasons. It’s waterproof to 10 metres before you even get around to putting on the dive suit, and with the new Hero 8 out you should get one cheaper than ever before!

Don’t let them up-sell you on every accessory under the sun, I’ll link the ones I take with me that I’ve found to be worth the space in carrying around in my bags.

It shoots great 4k footage that I can easily match to my other cameras in post using a simple Alex4D plugin for Final Cut Pro X. If you don’t want to go down that path you can also use 2.7k linear mode at the expense of some field of view.

This is the go to camera for mountain biking, scuba diving, kayaking, rock climbing and anything where that slow motion is needed or weight is a premium.

The hypersmooth will sort out the rushed footage for you. Just remember to buy extra batteries and I always take them out overnight because I’ve had this thing chewing through for no apparent reason even with all wifi, quick capture, voice control and bluetooth switched off.

Highly recommended!!

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I would 100% recommend the GoPro Hero 7 Black as a second hand option, otherwise the Hero 9 is by far the best choice.

For those who don’t have any action cameras or are on model 5 or lower I’d go for;

GoPro Hero 9 Black

The GoPro Hero 9 Black is the newest addition to the GoPro family and it comes with a screen on the front to help frame yourself, it shoots 6k footage, it has a bigger battery life and improved hypersmooth!

There isn’t much reason to look past this one if you don’t already own one and cost isn’t an issue. I personally haven’t upgraded from the Hero 7 Black, because I am happy with 4k, already own multiple accessories and batteries, and if it isn’t broke, then why bother?

Don’t upgrade for the sake of it, unless coming from a very old model. But if you’re in the market, then this is the one to go for.

GoPro Hero 8 Black

Wait for a special and get the newest model, just be warned that the old batteries won’t fit the new model so you’ll need a new charger as well as new batteries. If you take your GoPro diving you will need the new protective suit for the Hero 8.

If you want a screen to film yourself like the DJI Osmo Action offers, it will set you back at least $100.

 

DJI Osmo Action

I think it’s great that GoPro has good honest competition to keep their prices down.

The main advantage here for DJI is the fact it has a small forward facing screen to help with shot composure, the stabilisation is probably better than GoPro’s Hero 7 stabilisation and it’s quite a bit cheaper as well!

360° Camera

Insta 360 One X

Pros

  • You can shoot yourself with the selfie stick which is otherwise very hard to do
  • Capture 360° footage and reframe in post to 1080p
  • If you want you can upload the 360° and let people use your footage as VR of sorts
  • Very lightweight
  • Unrivalled stabilisation due to the way 360° footage can stabilise on nearly every axis

Cons

  • Fragile exposed lenses
  • Tiny battery
  • Red flare appears in footage
  • Stitch line is sometimes noticable depending on how the sun hits the lenses
  • Not waterproof or even resistant
  • Not an action camera as advertised
  • Footage is pretty average due to the reframe only being 1080p but also due to the tiny sensor
  • Personally find the tiny planet options as a gimmick unless done very well, which is rare

Why I Chose It

The power of using a camera like this is not the 360° footage, which to me is still a massive gimmick.

The reason I bought this is because it gives you the ability to re-frame your footage in post by taking a 1080p section of the 5.7k full FOV.

Be aware that it’s not the highest quality 1080 out there, it’s 8-bit off a small sensor so don’t expect miracles here.

The lens is very exposed and needs constant looking after, this isn’t really an action cam by any means despite being advertised as one.

Battery life is poor and you can get a red flare in footage, so be warned it’s far from perfect but it has stabilisation powers and unique creativity options you can’t find anywhere else.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I wouldn’t recommend the GoPro Max so I won’t link it here. I think it’s way overpriced compared to what I picked up the Insta for.

However it wouldn’t be fair to not mention that it is waterproof to 5m without a case and has the touch screen to help film and setup the camera.

I can’t recommend it to most people though for the price. I think if you want to wait 6 months you will have the next Insta 360 which will hopefully be either a full 8k read out or maybe have a bigger, cleaner, sharper sensor.

Lenses

Wide Angle Zoom

Sony FE 16-35mm f/4

Pros

  • Optical stabilisation
  • Lightwight enough for small gimbals
  • Strong build
  • Small size for travel
  • Great range for a variety of shooting with 16-35mm

Cons

  • f/4 is considered a bit slow to many people
  • Pixel peepers will prefer the f/2.8

Why I Chose It

Why not the G-Master f/2.8?

Cost, size and weight.

I’m not made of money and the GM version of the 16-35mm range is also too heavy for my small gimbal to balance properly. Combine that with the extra weight you will be lugging around if you did a multi day hike and the stress of having it stolen and it seems like a bridge too far for me for around the world travel.

This lens is great, it covers me for the wide angle range but also for shooting video off a gimbal due to it being just light enough. Build quality is top notch. it’s less difficult to find adequate insurance for it as well because travel insurers have ridiculous sub-limits that group lenses and cameras together as single items.

Another advantage is that the f/4 lens has OSS which isn’t in the GM lens, although this is only relevant if shooting handheld.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I think this is a great lens, but there are a few alternnatives out there within the Sony FE mount universe that I will briefly touch on, I won’t comment on other brands because I have only ever used Sony.

I’ll try break these down into possible frames of mind, or types of mindsets of different travellers. Although I sort of dread having a lens worth $3,000, not everyone stays in hostels and is travelling for years at a time, so I’ll try include some other points of view.

 

For those who want an even cheaper and lighter lens;

Sony FE 24-70mm f/4

I own this lens myself but decided against travelling with it in the end after much consideration. It is super small and light for a handy focal length range, it weighs roughly 425 grams.

However I prefer the angle of the 16-35mm personally, although it’s a bit bigger and more expensive. This lens will make a good first lens without being exceptional.

Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8

This lens is for those that want to spend less to get an f/2.8 lens. It weighs in at 550g (so actually 30g heavier), which is good for a lens that fast, but do note that to keep the size and cost down they have not gone down to 24mm.

There is a difference which some will notice, others might not. If you do decide to buy it you will save yourself a lot of money. If you don’t want the f/2.8 I’d definitely recommend the 16-35mm f/4 over this lens though.

The zoom and focus rings are back to front which can make changing between lenses annoying as your muscle memory will get confuded. This lens is all about saving dollars.

 

For those who want even wider angles!

Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG DN Art

This lens is wide!

If you like to have a wider than 16mm focal length, while still letting in good light at f/2.8 then this is a great choice. Just beware though that it does weigh 790 grams.

Another potential downside to this lens is the fact that the front element is a bulbous shape and therefore any circular filters you have will not be able to be mounted to the lens. So shooting in lots of light will require stepping down your aperture a lot to compensate for not having an ND filter. This also means it’s not so good for shooting video with the 180° shutter rule.

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G

This is a fair bit more expensive so be warned!

If you want to be super creative, or really want to get some nice architecture shots and 16mm isnn’t wide enough thenn this lens might be of interest.

Remember though that the front element is bulbous and you won’t be able to use regular filters, you’ll need specialist equipmennt for this lens specifically.

 

For those who want to travel with a one lens solution!

Sony 24-105mm f/4 G

You might think it’s crazy but I was a hair away from travelling with just one lens myself. The advantages of knowing a lens back to front, never changing lens to get a dirty sensor and the size and weight savings are all good reasons.

This is the lens I wanted before I finally gave up and bought some others. It has really good image quality and allows enough zoom to be the perfect travel lens, giving good compression at 100mm.

I plan on buying this one day still along with the 12-24mm.

 

For those who need faster than f/2.8 and don’t care about zoom!

Sony FE 24mm f/1.4 GM

This is another one that will greatly appeal to a few but in a way has less functionality. It is a prime lens, and a bloody good one. I am only including this as it falls in the wide angle category, which is what we’re meant to be comparing here.

For the absolute sharpest images at this focal length, with the shallowest depth of field, or for astrophotography or night time videos etc … you get the idea, this is onne bad motherf**ker!

 

For those with the money who say size and weight be dammed!

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 For Sony E-mount

I’d personally recommend spending a bit more and getting the lens below if you’re happy to carry around this size lens and have the money for either.

My reason for that is that the 16mm focal range opens up a whole new world, quite literally.

But I’d recommend this over the Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 (which I won’t link to as I don’t recommennd it) because it is essentially as good a lens for about half the price. That’s value for money!

Don’t get me wrong, the Sony 24-70mm GM is an incredible lens, but I’d recommend people get this instead, it just makes sense.

See this awesome video from Gerald Undone, which compares the Sony 24-70, the Sigma 24-70 and the Tamron 28-75.

 

Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM

In a perfect world where money wasn’t an issue and I wasn’t living in hostels, this is the lens I would have.

It only comes so late as a recommendation due to its price which is too much for the general person, but if you love your wide angles and shoot Sony, this is the best lens they have made I think.

If you want to see a size comparison between this and the f/4 version, check out the first picture of this post.

Pros

  • Good focal range
  • Reasonable price point for versatility
  • Good build quality
  • Packs away very small for the focal range

Cons

  • Does not come with a tripod collar
  • Not a constant aperture
  • No internal zoom

Why I Chose It

Now here we have a heavy lens (for travel purposes).

So this is my only other lens and it weighs 850g. But when compared to the possible competition it comes out alright;
70-200 f/4 = 840
70-200 GM = 1,480
100-400 GM – 1,395

Now for me the GM lenses are automatically out of the equation for size, cost, weight and difficulty to have adequate insurance. If you need those lenses you don’t need to be reading this as you probably have a specific need for them that outweighs the cons and that’s perfectly fine.

For me though it was out of the 70-200 f/4 and then the one I ended up with, the 70-300mm.

I don’t think one is better than the other, each has pros and cons. My reasons for buying the 300 was because it gives me the extra reach, it packs away smaller for transport and it does look slightly less professional without the white exterior.

The advantages of the 70-200 f/4 if you decided to go down that path are the constant f/4 aperture, the internal zoom and the fact it has an included tripod collar.

Keep in mind this is unnecessary weight if you only do video, I want it though for not only the reach but also the compression available from telephoto lenses.

Build quality is fantastic from what I’ve experienced so far.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I’m only going to cover one other alternative here, I won’t include the GM range of lenses for there price and weight is too much. If weight is no issue then Sony also has a 200-600mm lens, but that’s not very practical for travelling with.

The weight and size of those lenses rule them out of the equation for long term travel, whereas the GM wide angles can still be reasonable in size and weight, these lenses are monsters.

So as far as I’m concerned, the main competition is;

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4

I would have got this lens had the right one popped up. The internal zoom and the fact it comes with a tripod collar are two advantages, the other main factor is the constant f/4 aperture.

It is a touch bigger than the 70-300 for storage purposes and loses that last 100mm of focal length but these two lenses are very close to equal quality depending on the weighting you assign to different aspects.

You can’t go wrong with either.

Pros

  • 1″ sensor
  • Changeable aperture
  • Sensors all around
  • Good flight time
  • Propellors sound better and less annoying
  • 10-bit colour
  • Hyperlapses
  • Stability
  • Remote controller has a switch to tripod mode
  • Remote controller has a bigger battery
  • Remote controller has removable joysticks

Cons

  • Maybe the cost, but I honestly think this is the best drone there is and is worth the cost.
  • There is some barrel distortion that will need correcting in post
  • If you shoot 10-bit D-log M you will need a computer or laptop that will handle the HEVC codec

Why I Chose It

Let me firstly say that I used to own the original Mavic Pro, so believe me when I say that THIS is the one you want if you’re travelling.

The main reasons for me are;
Adjustable aperture allows you to carry a smaller number of filters to try get the perfect shutter speed as you can stop down and maintain beautiful 4k quality to around f/8

The improved sensor being 1 inch allows for quality footage even when boosting iso to around about 800. Combine this with the play in the aperture above and your looking at a drone that’s adaptable to the changing light that we often need to deal with meaning less time having to land it for filter changes and more time flying.

Controller with a larger battery that will easily outlast the three batteries you get in the flymore combo.

Controller joysticks are removable which means it packs away easier, the cord for you phone can basically live in the new controller until it needs charging so you never lose it.

There is a switch on the new controller to change between Tripod, Sport and Positioning modes without needing to look through any menus.

The drone’s gimbal protection seems so much better as opposed to the original which felt cheap like an afterthought.

Longer flight time, better sensor set up with front, rear, side and below facing sensors and a MUCH better sounding less annoying noise when close to the ground.

Just be warned that if you plan on shooting video in D-Log M that you’ll need a computer or laptop capable of working with HEVC codec footage.

A better charging solution with the fly-more combo that has a smaller footprint and built in leads.

One of my favourite purchases ever but be sure to research drone laws of each country before you go. Laws are strict and countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Morocco will even confiscate your drones at customs.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

This is my recommendation, I’d strongly urge you to consider this drone if you want to travel with one. However there is one major competitor that I will list below, as well as a few cheaper older DJI drones that you can pick up cheaply.

DJI Mavic Air 2

This drone is even smaller than the Mavic 2 Pro!

It also flies for longer, shoots 4k at 60fps and now comes with occusync technology for a much better connection when flying!

The only reason I prefer the Mavic 2 Pro is due to its sensor being twice the size, and the variable aperture. Basically it means better photos, better low light videos, and the ability to compensate for changing lighting conditions on the fly, without needing to change iso.

The Mavic Air 2 would be my recommendation for the majority of people, but if you truly want the best video and photos, then the Mavic 2 Pro is still the king.

So that’s the main competitor, if that doesn’t float your boat then I’d still stay in the DJI family and recommend;

DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Fly More Combo or DJI Macic Pro Fly More Combo

These are essentially the same thing, but the platinum version will get you slighlty longer flight time thanks to a redesigned propellor and a tweak to the motors.

I owned this drone and it is a super handy thing with a price that’s getting slowly more affordable as time goes on. Defintiely get the ‘fly more combo’ as the extra batteries will be a necessary.

 

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Fly More Combo

This would be my recommendation above the two drones mentioned above, assuming the mavic 2 pro is out of your price range.

It will stay in the air longer, comes with the better controller, has more crash protection and has the ability to zoom mid flight. You can get more compression in your images and reframe your composition a lot easier.

Pros

  • 1.5kg
  • Extends to 180cm
  • 41cm when folded up
  • Detachable monopod

Cons

  • Would prefer lever locks
  • Will blow in the wind a bit as it is a lighter wight tripod

Why I Chose It

I wanted good quality with a good working height but didn’t want to pay massive amounts of money either and I landed on this tripod.

It weighs in at 1.45kg which is decent given the extendable size is more than most people will ever use. This isn’t a necessity, some people could do without the weight and size constraints.

Only consider packing a tripod for the chance to to long exposure or bracketed exposure shooting, or maybe for a stand for filming yourself, ask yourself if it’s worth the weight and size.

Don’t buy something cheap but also don’t get the bees knees of tripods for taking around the world in case something happens to it!

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I can recommend the 3LT Brian without a second thought. It feels beautifully made and hasn’t let me down yet. It has a great height and strength for its weight and is priced correctly.

I really like what I got for my money from 3 legged thing. Unfortunately this isn’t a subject I know a whole lot about so I can’t link you to anything helpful myself. 

If you have more money then gizmodo are a very good brand.

I’d avoid the Peak Design Tripod, way overpriced in my opinion.

Here’s a good post from people with more knowledge than me.

Pros

  • Small form factor
  • Lockable axis for travel and balancing
  • Quick release plate
  • Lockable arms to allow easy balance again if you use the same set up often
  • Quick release (sold separately) to quickly change to underslung mode
  • Vortex mode
  • Follow trigger
  • Triple click for selfie mode
  • Can charge your camera
  • Is now very cheap to purchase
  • Change settings in the gimbal menu without needing the app

Cons

  • Can wobble if you’re not used to how to use it
  • ZY Play app is not as good as those provided with DJI gimbals
  • Does not come with image transmission. That is a separate purchase, or purchased as part of a package.

Why I Chose It

I originally had the Weebill Lab gimbal, which was the original of the small form factor travel gimbals that had enough strenghts for Sony mirrorless full frame cameras.

The Weebill-S improves in a number of ways, like more clearance to the rear motor, stronger motors, the ability to change settings without the app, and better locking levers.

The only downside is that it doesn’t come with image transmission which costs extra.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

DO NOT BUY THE WEEBILL LAB

That’s my recommendation. I had one. I have now purchased the Zhiyun Weebill S.

HOWEVER if you already own the weebill lab, don’t upgrade for the sake of it. If you’ve gone this long with it you know what it can and can’t do, unless you really want to balance a heavier lens, I wouldn’t upgrade just to have the latest and greatest.

So with all that being said, for first time buyers I’d check out either;

Zhiyun Weebill S

This would be my next pick unless things change when I need to buy one. It is an improvement on all the things I dislike about my current gimbal whilst retainning all the best bits.

Improved motor strength, motors set further back, better functionality all aroud really.

or

DJI Ronin SC

The main competitor. It weighs about 100g more than the Weebill S, so is very comparable. It does have a chunkier look to it but it can be disassembled. See the video below for a comparison.

 

Edit: The DJI Ronin SC 2 is now available and is a major improvement.

 

See this video for old mate’s comparison video of these two recommended gimbals.

Pros

  • Extremely good quality build
  • Great screen with my preferred 16:9 ratio
  • Can be charged from a powerbank using usb-c
  • The best trackpad on any laptop I’ve used
  • Quite powerful processors
  • MacOS is my preferred OS
  • Sleek design is perfect for travel and minimising weight
  • Can edit 4k on the go using FCPX

Cons

  • This chassis is too thin to use the power of the processors
  • The graphics card is rubbish (mine is Radeon 560x)
  • Overpriced SSD and RAM, Apple gouge you
  • Keyboard is trash, I’ve had to use my camera blower to get grit out otherwise I can’t use certain keys

Why I Chose It

My reason for using Apple is the 16:9 aspect ratio, build quality, MacOs, slim design compared to performance and the fact I want to edit on FCPX which does not have a subscription based purchase model among other things.

The keyboards are not the best but I’ve never had a problem that hasn’t been fixed by simply blowing the dust out.

However that in no way excuses the poor design of the keyboard for a machine this expensive.

It comes down to personal preference with operatinng systems. I’m not anti windows, I don’t have the time to argue over why one company is better than another, I just try get what I think works for me.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

Don’t buy a 15 inch old macbook pro!

The exception to this is if you get a very good deal on a laptop with Vega 20 graphics, and only the 2019 model for less chance of keyboard issues.

My recommendation to all is to get the new 16 inch Macbook Pro.

The reasons are;

  • Bigger display is nice if size isn’t an issue
  • Apple have lowered the price of SSD storage
  • The base model has a graphics card comparable to the old top of the line model
  • Improved airflow gets more performance out of the same CPU
  • The keyboard won’t break from a tiny spec of dirt anymore

The GPU is where the majority of your power will come from if you edit videos so I’d recommend anyone editing videos to just upgrade to the best graphics card, as well as the 32gb RAM.

32gb of RAM is for those who plan on using multiple apps at once or if you work with Lightroom which will max out a laptop with 16gb of RAM and create a bottle neck.

When it comes to the SSD, I wish I could have the 8TB model while I travelled but the smartest route is different for everyone, dependign onn budget. It is cheaper to get external SSDs than it is to upgrade the internal storage.

I am stuck using a 2018 MBP, 2.6ghz 6-core i7, Radeon Pro 560X, 32gb RAM, 1tb SSD. It isn’t worth upgrading for me at the moment as I don’t like to be wasteful, but I can’t wait to get the better graphics cards!!

Headphones

Sony WH1000 XM3

Pros

  • Great noise cancelling
  • Swipe gestures to change song, pause, change volume or mute ANC to talk
  • Extremely good battery life
  • Comes with the adapter for aeroplanes
  • Customisability for music as well as ANC levels

Cons

  • The only thing I can think of is that the Bose QC 35 IIs are more comfortable but that’s if I’m being picky

Why I Chose It

Almost universally regarded as the best noise cancelling over ear headphones on the market and that’s my experience as well.

I came from Bose headphones which were the most comfortable but the Sony has more customisability, longer battery life and is plenty comfortable for long haul flights. It comes with the splitter required for use on airplanes, has the cord if you want to save the bluetooth and is a nice compact design when packed away.

If you’re ever editing video and want to be sure the sound mix is right but are in a hostel or on a plane then headphones are essential and these are the best I’ve tried but you also can’t go wrong with Bose who I’ve also used frequently.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I would say, even if you are a Bose fan, that these are the headphones to get.

However if comfort is your ultimate goal for longhaul flights or journeys on public transport you could also consider the Bose QC 35 II headphones.

*Bose have since released the Bose 700 headphones but I have never tried them, I am sure they’re good but the WH1000XM3 is still my pick.

Bags / Cases / Accessory Pouches

Main Camera Bag

Shimoda Action x50

Pros

  • Almost waterproof.
  • 1.9kg when empty.
  • Routing for water bladder.
  • Best harness of any camera bag. Period!
  • Beautiful zippers, big, beefy, smooth and weather sealed.
  • Rolltop allows for quick access and extra storage.
  • Side pocket mesh for tripods or large waterbottles that is easy to clean and stow away.
  • Tough as nails.
  • Straps on the outside for camping gear.
  • Plenty of options for those in the mountain to store ice picks, snowboards, skis etc.
  • Adjustable torso height fit.
  • Fully lockable zips.

Cons

  • Side access for me is not the best and adds an entry point for theives
  • May be a tight fit for those who use the new 16″ Macbook Pro.
  • Not designed for humid environments and can get a little bit sweaty compared to true hiking backpacks with netting across the back.

Why I Chose It

I love the company and what they’re trying to make. I have supported them on kickstarter for their new Action X range to get early access to this beautiful bag.

This bag is as weatherproof as they come, it can take a beating, it’s super lightweight and ultra comfortable.

I use it with the Medium Core Unit at the moment and can then fit in the DJI Mavic 2 Pro fly more kit just above that medium core unit with ease, all safely padlocked away from thieves.

I also have the Peak Design Travel bag which is brilliant in its own way but I left it behind in favour of the Shimoda bags because the Peak Design bag is for urban environments and would not be suitable for long multi day hikes for comfort reasons despite its great build quality.

I do use the Peak Design dividers in my core units as I love the folding shelves on offer.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

 

The benefits of this bag are too many to list so I will redirect you to this youtube video made by Ian Millar, the creator. 

My only other recommendations outside of the Shimoda Action x50 are the following two bags which I also own.

 

Shimoda Explore 40L

This was the original kickstarter campaign that put Shimoda on the map. The bag is lighter than the Action x50 range, coming in at a nice 1.3kg when empty!

The bag has amazing weatherproofing, equal to that in the Action X range of bags. The harness system is equally as good, but it doesn’t come with the rolltop, instead having a top compartment that is lockable, and has a floating lid with zippered storage for storing things you want to grab quickly.

The biggest disadvantage of this bag is the lack of water bottle and tripod options, but it is not a deal breaker by any means. The bag is the lightest and most comfortable option on the market because of its design.

 

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

This thing is like a swiss army knife. The features and usability just amaze me, the thought that has gone into it by the designers is evident everywhere you look.

In my opinion that Peter Mckinnon bag that was released is basically just this bag with them making some tweaks. Anything with his name on it will be a touch overpriced.

The reason I didn’t tale the Peak design bag with me was purely because it’s an urban bag. The comfort of carry is good for say 3-4 kilometres while you walk to a hotel or hostel, but I would never have been able to hike with it.

The build quality is more than enough for hiking, it’s only the straps that aren’t, and that’s perfectly ok because it was never intended to be used that way.

Seriously good bag for more urban people and it holds A LOT!!

Pros

  • Solves all your problems
  • Holds a bunch of cables without them ever getting tangled
  • Holds a whole lot of spare batteries
  • Holds a massive 27,000 mAh powerbank
  • Holds SD and MicroSD cards if you don’t have a separate case
  • Would keep your gear dry for a long time before water got in if something leaked in your bag
  • Stands upright when open, showing you all the contents

Cons

  • It is a little bulky, but it is so tough and protects your stuff so well that it is worth it

Why I Chose It

Incredible. Incredible. Incredible.

I don’t like Peak Designs day bags much, or their tripod, but this is honestly the best organisational tech pouch I’ve ever come across!!

Not only that but it’s arguably the best gift I’ve ever received from all the kickstarter campaigns from any company. If something happened to mine I’d buy one again in a heartbeat.

I don’t think it’s revolutionary but it is evolutionary. The elasticated pockets make sorting out my cables and spare batteries a joy. It improves my workflow because everything has a place and therefore can be found or noticed immediately. You’re also likely to notice something missing.

It’s tough, stands upright, holds a ton of tech gear and keeps you organised.

It will last you for life if you manage not to lose it. The zippers will outlast you.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I don’t have any other recommendations really because this is one of those products I think is just brilliant in any way.

I’d recommend you head down to a shop and see one in person to get a feel for it, even take shit to the shop to hide it in there, it will hold a lot for you.

Stuff doesn’t move or come loose, it’s always right where you left it.

Pros

  • See through window to see what’s inside
  • Almost a waterproof design, close to it
  • Has internal organisational zippers and compartments
  • Has a large area for bulky accessories

Cons

  • None, as far as accessory pouches go this does everything

Why I Chose It

This holds all of my GoPro accessories in the one place. The colour reminds me personally of water and the build quality is such that I would use the case around the water without any stress.

Therefore it made sense for me to pair this with my GoPro gear which is the camera that comes out for water sports.

#coolstorysteve

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

No recommendations here guys, this is up to you, any old case will get the job done.

Pros

  • Holds 8 circular filters
  • Has a slim profile for travel
  • Very good quality build
  • Offers good protection for your filters

Cons

  • I don’t have 8 filters so there’s a bit of dead space

Why I Chose It

It’s just a brilliant bit of kit from a trusted manufacturer. I am slowly realising it’s more for photographers, I don’t use my filters much but I like having them protected and in the one spot.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

Choose whatever suits you and the type of filters you have. If you use a square filter kit than it should have come with its own protective case.

Camera Bag Core Unit

Shimoda Medium Core Unit

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Slim
  • Lightweight
  • Coomes with a bag for storage, or for using the core unit as check in

Cons

  • Not as wide as I’d like
  • The dividers aren’t as good as Peak Designs

Why I Chose It

I use this size core unit in my Shimoda Explore 40 with a bastardisation set up of Shimoda and Peak Design dividers to best suit my needs.

On top of this will be my Mavic 2 Pro Fly-More carry bag when travelling as it fits perfectly in the remaining space.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

This depends on your bag really as all the brands have their own stuff.

If you plan on using a hiking backpack and throwing a camera core unit inside that, then check out the Peak Design Camera Cube as an alternative to the Shimoda ones.

They are about 3cm wider which allows you to have 3 lenses in side by side more often than not. Something that is hard to do in the Shimoda bag.

Peak Design also have the best dividers with their foldable shelving system that I think exist right now. The downside is it is heavier than the Shimoda core unit, but it has a zippered lif so it will be protected from all angles.

I use the Shimode one because I use their bags and the PD one is too wide, but I still use PD dividers. 

Camera Bag Liner

Sea To Summit 35L Dry Bag

Pros

  • Almost waterproof
  • Gives you peace of mind if your gear is exposed to heavy rain for extended periods, it won’t penetrate the bag and then the dry sack inside

Cons

  • Can be annoying if you need to access your camera gear

Why I Chose It

Super lightweight and imo better than a rain cover for your bag if you know that you’ll be exposing your gear to the rain. However a rain cover might be easier to take on and off depending on how your bag opens and how easily you can access the roll top of the dry sack.

I bought a 35l version which is surprisingly big and keeps everything bone dry. These aren’t meant to be submerged but are essentially waterproof from anything barring a full submersion, even then the water would take a few seconds to work its way inside to your camera gear.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

Not necessary for everyone but handy in Southeast Asia or Central America where it is tropica; and can rain bullets.

It takes longer to set up than an external rain cover for your backpack but is basically foolproof.

Memory Card Case

Pelican 0915 SD Case

Pros

  • Protect your memory cards from extreme impact
  • Weather resistant
  • Holds MicroSD as well
  • Good price
  • Holds all your cards in one place to make finding them easier

Cons

  • Tiniest amount bulkier than a wallet type holder

Why I Chose It

I tried to convince myself that this was an unnecessary item until I finally bought one. After having tried sorting my cards in a different manner before I can happily admit I was wrong.

Not only is it tough but it speeds up my work flow a great deal. Don’t lose it though or all your memory will be gone.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I can’t recommend anything else. There are wallet type designs but they don’t securely hold MicroSD cards as well.

Then there’s things on Amazon that look very similar to the Pelican 0915 case, so if you want to try them you can go down that path.

I like sticking with the pelican brand.

Audio Gear

Ambient Sound Recorder

Zoom H1N Recorder

Pros

  • Small
  • Enough customisability to keep all but the most advanced users happy
  • Lo-cut filter
  • Limiter
  • Gain knob
  • Auto setting for gain control if needed
  • Can record .mp3 to save space or .wav for better quality
  • 10 hours recording time
  • AAA batteries are easy to find anywhere in the world
  • Helpful display shows recording time left for SD card as well as audio levels

Cons

  • Not suited for professionals
  • Plastic body can be fragile and feel cheap
  • Be careful not to handle the microphone during the recording as the sound will be picked up on the recording
  • Need to buy the deadcat separately if you want to use it outdoors

Why I Chose It

I use this because it’s lightweight plastic and unobtrusive but gives further quality enhancements when recording dialogue or getting sound effects for your videos.

There’s plenty of quality options to choose from as well as noise limiters and lo-cut filters.

This can be handy for getting your own sound effects if the right sound isn’t available online, or used to record dialogue using limiters to stop excessive audio peaks ruining a bit of footage.

I do recommend buying the “deadcat” and plosives protector for it if you’ll be speaking directly into it or recording in windy scenarios.

See this video for a good setup guide.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

You don’t  technically need these types of sound recorders.

If you have a subsccription to something like Epidemic Sound, then you can downnload sound effects from there. It is good to get ambient sounds like a stream flowing, the noises of a night market, or the motor of a longtail boat.

I also enjoy using it to wire up my Rode SmartLav + so that all my audio comes from one of two devices – the H1n or the Camera. This makes it easier to organise in post processing.

I’d not recommend any of Zoom’s own bigger recorders for travelling long term with, unless sound design is your thing, in which case you will know a lot more than I do anyway.

Shotgun Mic

Rode Video Micro

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Comes with deadcat
  • Lightweight
  • Uses camera battery so won’t ever go flat

Cons

  • Obviously the quality isn’t quite the same as that of a more professional microphone
  • No gain controls or customisability, just plug in and shoot

Why I Chose It

This is a mix of good size and small footprint, it’s far from the best on offer by Rode but it’s easily the most practical for travel.

For speaking roles I’d recommend a lavalier microphone anyway and a lot of footage will just be B-roll with a soundtrack playing over the top, this is a good backup option that doesn’t require its own batteries.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

This is a good travel size option, unfortunately I haven’t researched the competition for the same size microphones.

However if you carry less cameras and want to get the best audio I can recommend the following from Rode.

Rode Video Mic Pro +

It’s bigger, but not by that much really. It turns itself off with the camera, it has the best audio quality, it has high pass filters, gain control and more customisability on the back of the microphone as well.

It can be charged with a rechargeable batteries or 2x AA batteries. You can get over 100 hours of audio from the batteries.

If I had more space in my bag and wasn’t already hauling too much gear as is, I’d buy this one.

Lavalier Mic

Rode SmartLav +

Pros

  • Tiny form factor
  • Cheap to buy
  • Can record straight to your smartphone

Cons

  • Will require an adapter to match up with other recording devices

Why I Chose It

I chose this because I liked the idea of being able to record clear audio to my phone when I was in noisy areas. This can be adapted to other recordinng devices with a cheap adapter.

The form factor of lavalier microphones makes them nice and inconspicuous, and I wanted to have that option.

They also help to eliminate ambient sound to focus on dialogue as they are positioned right near the chest of the person speaking, the wind can be blocked out by the person’s body.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

I think any Lavalier microphone will do the trick here, I like the SmartLav + because I can record to my phone, however I had to buy an adapter to record into my Zoom H1N.

Now while the following product isn’t necessarily an alternative, as the two can be used together, it is derfinitely the thing I am keeping an eye on should any of my audio gear break on me and need replacing.

Rode Wireless Go

Talk about super lightweight!

This thing looks incredible to use for its size. This makes it ideal for travel. You get 7 hours off a full charge and it is good for about 70m distance if you maintain a line of sight.

This can be used in conjunction with a lavalier microphone, or simply to get ambient noise from something instead of getting out the Zoom H1N.

An example set up of my Shimoda backpack, the set up has since changed, as well as the bag that I use.

Gear Needed For Travel Vlogging – The Accessories

 

So these are the accessories, but don’t mistake them for being “extras”. They are needed to make the core items function as best as possible. Some of them are essential, others it depends on how you intend on using your gear.

Pros

  • Can still be taken on flights
  • Can charge my phone battery 8 times over
  • Can charge my camera batteries all at once and have plenty of juice left over

Cons

  • Weight
  • Size

Why I Chose It

I actually use this one;

alsterplus.de/100w-usb-…

However they’re very similar. I don’t carry any smaller ones at all just one big mumma for all the charging needs.

It would charge my camera multiple times if it ever had to on a hike and wouldn’t be close to flat unless I tried to charge my laptop or something.

I went with a big one because I already had it and I thought buying more things I didn’t need is wasteful, but it allows me the leniency to forget to charge it all the time and it has so much juice it doesn’t matter.

The downside is thaat it’s hard to attach to your camera for a timelapse or something due to the size and weight (approx 500g).

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

For clarifications sakes, I actually didn’t end up taking the Anker Power Core 26,800 as I had intended.

In the end I took the AlsterPlus, which was a kickstarter project that I backed. That link is not an affiliate link, just a link to their website. I really do like it though as it has USB-C charging and power delivery so I can charge my Macbook Pro through the AlsterPlus as it charges itself.

It also allows me to carry only the one power brick for the two devices, this saves weight in my bag. It also charges in about 90 minutes, which is incredible.

If you prefer the smaller sized ones, I’d rcommend getting two of these Anker Core 20,000 mAh power banks. It will weigh more than the single 26,800 mAh but not by too much and you will have great flexibility in how you use them.

Pros

  • Has an 18% grey card for setting white balance
  • A row of the primary and secondary colours helps get colours perfet every time
  • Small form factor
  • High quality manufacturing
  • Skin tone chips
  • White, 40% IRE grey and black chips

Cons

  • Cheap plastic build is pathetic for this price point
  • Overpriced for the build quality, it really should be about $100US for this plastic build with questionable hinges

Why I Chose It

This thing is a godsend for matching different cameras!!

If you can get it in your shots, you can use the 6 colour tabs to perfectly match the colours of your cameras in post processing.

This was the main reason I wanted it, the passport version for its size, the X-rite for the trusted brand name.

To use this in run and gun shooting is very hard as you can’t always get it in every shot you take to fix in post processing, but if you manage to get it in a few shots then you can use those colour balances as a starting point for things shot in the same location.

Without this matching things like an Insta 360 One, a GoPro and a Mavic 2 Pro can be very challenging. This takes away the error in human eyes, match this with vectorscopes and luma waveforms in post for the right white balance and colours every time.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

This isn’t a necessity, especially for those who are just having a bit of fun and not trying to match all of these cameras to make a smooth edit in post.

It’s also cumbersome to get it into every shot if you do travel style films because you might not have the time to use it.

I still recommend it though, but try wait for it to go on sale because it is overpriced purely because they’re the brand name that everyoen associates with colour accuracy. I managed to get one for 20% off by being patient.

Before using this I had a little set of 3 cards from Amazon that I sometimes used but the quality was questionable. They’re cheap though and take up no space at all, if you don’t like them at least you didn’t waste too much money on them.

Pros

  • Light wieght
  • Smalll form factor
  • Remote shutter to 50m
  • Intervalometer
  • Set advanced programs
  • Exposure bracketing features

Cons

  • Sometimes irrelevant if your camera has a built in intervalometer feature
  • I have heard of other products that will remote shutter from even further away if 50m isn’t enough for you
  • A bit of a learning curve if you don’t use it frequently

Why I Chose It

You can use this for any number of reasons. Primarily used for setting up timelapses before Sony implemented their built in intervalometer via a firmware update.

However owning an A7R III is sometimes not beneficial for shooting timelapse sequences due to the massive file sizes of uncompressed raw.

So this baby can be used with the RX 100 III which does not have the built in intervalometer nor the issue of filling a whole memory card with a single shoot.

Also this is ideal for taking photos of yourself from long range as it has a 50 metre range. Connecting to your Sony camera with your phone won’t achieve anything close to that. You can set up timelapses or bracketed shots from afar and include yourself in them for fun.

It uses normal AAA batteries. Has never failed me and weighs next to nothing while taking up almost no space in my bag.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

Read this review and see if you think this is the one for you. I don’t really know a lot about shutters as this was the first one I came across and it did the job perfectly.

Sony has since updated the firmware of the higher end cameras to have built in intervalometers so this sees a lot less use now. Hoever it is good for remote shutters.

I have heard of some remote shutters working up to 100m away, but I can’t rememeber which ones. I personally would hate to be 100m from my camera, unless you were out in the wildrness and wanted to get yourself in the shot and were sure your tripod wouldn’t blow over, I wouldn’t see any other situation I’d consider being that far away.

Travel Power Point Wall Adaptor

Zendure Passport Pro

Pros

  • USB-C outlet
  • 3x USB-A outlets
  • Interchangeable for every single country (except Japan I think where you can buy adapters for it as needed)
  • Ressttable fuse so you don’t need to worry about replacing it

Cons

  • Some might not want the earth pin

Why I Chose It

I chose it because it is a necessity for travel, plain and simple.

This is a little more expensive than the ones on Amazon that appear under all sorts of names, but it is well worth it to me to never have to worry about needing new fuses in countreis where power supply is intermittent and spikes can happen.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

If you want to see the full range then check their website. There are options for those who don’t want the version with the earth pin and prefer the two-pin design.

Filters

Pros

  • Discount for buying a combination package
  • Very good quality filters
  • Minimal to no colour cast
  • Circular filters take up far less space than the square and rectangular filter systems

Cons

  • Tedious screw on design

Why I Chose It

I chose Nisi after seeing how good their 10 stop filter performed, it has minimal colour casting compared to a lot of other brands.

This particular combination works well for me as the two lenses I travel with are both 72mm threads.

This kit comes with an ND8, ND64/CPL and ND1000

It’s a great place to start and Nisi are a really good brand that will save you money if you buy in packs like this.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

If I was buying filters now I would not recommend these, I think magnetic filters are the way to go moving forward.

My nnext purchases should these Nisi filters break, will be;

Freewell magnetic filter system

The benefits are obvious. They come with a UV filter for protection that you can pull off quickly to take a photo, then put it back on.

They can be swapped out with ease, come with a lens cap, don;t fall off and in my opinion are priced well for their functionality.

Unfortunately I already had a set of filters when I found out about these, but they’re on my wish list.

See this video by Mike Smith to get a greater understanding of the system.

Pros

  • Great quality filter
  • No X pattern at any point in the range
  • Is good enough for photography as well
  • Decent price

Cons

  • 5.5 Stops won’t be enough for people who want to shoot at very wide apertures

Why I Chose It

I got this for shooting video. Conditions can change in a heartbeat and this makes it easy to dial in the absolute best settings so I can follow the 180° shutter rule and get good motion blur.

This does only go to 5.5 stops, which only works for me because my lenses are f/4. It won’t work for everyone.

This filter though is great for my uses and doesn’t produce an X pattern at all. I can shoot at 16mm without vignetting from memory but it’s been a while since I’ve tried to shoot at 16mm so don’t take that as gospel.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

For me this works just fine, but I really like the work of Freewell lately and they will be my next purchase. 

 If you want to shoot at apertures below f/4 you will need a bit more than the 5.5 stops on offer with this lens.

Freewell Variable ND All Day 2-5 Stop + 6-9 Stop

This set is good value, they are very good quality and so much cheaper than the PolarPro Peter Mckinnon versions and will get you the same results.

The Freewell would be my choice over the PolarPro for value for money in a prodcut that’s basically the same.

CPL Filter

Nisi CPL Filter

For photographers only, I can’t say whether one brand is better than another but Nisi filters have proven to be great for me so they’re worth considering.

CPL filters are a must for those who want to eliminate glare in a way that can not be replicated with post processing.

GoPro Scuba Diving Filters

Polarpro 3 Pack Dive Filters

For those who are unaware, when you start to dive down to depths, certain colours of the light spectrum disappear before others. If you go below 5-10 metres it is good to have a red filter for your camera to bring back the missing colours and add life to the videos or photos.

PolarPro are a very highly regarded brand who make great filters. Remember to tether them to your mount, so when you’re not using it it hangs there and is easily accessible. You can buy the filters separately according to the type of water that you dive in.

Drone ND+CPL Filters

Polarpro Filters 6 Pack

Although the Mavic 2 Pro does have a variable aperture in mid-flight, you will still need these filters. The advantage of the aperture and the 1″ sensor means you can skip some of these filters as the quality won’t drop if you bridge the gap with iso or aperture.

This is the only drone this applies to though (for travel sized drones of course).

I actually bought the above set of 6 as well as this set of 4 filters from PolarPro and and came up with the following list of filters to take;

  • Original lens cover / ND0: For low light situations
  • ND4/PL: For sunrise or sunset over water
  • ND32/PL: Middle of the day flights over water
  • ND64/PL: Middle of the day or extremely bright conditions over snow, sand or water
  • ND8: Overcast conditions
  • ND16: Partially sunny conditions
  • ND32: Bright conditions where the PL version is causing too much colour cast

You’ll notice this is 7 filters, 6 in a case and one on the drone. Be careful flying with PL filters and panning as the footage can look weird. The sky may change colours depending on the polarisation as you pan.

UV Filters

Nisi UV Filters

Some people will say that this is pointless as you ruin the quality of your photos. I personally like them for running around getting quick snaps and only take them off in controlled conditions like on a tripod.

Especially handy in dusty or sandy places to protect your much more valuable lens, I’d risk a slight drop (if any) inn picture quality for the protection offered.

Digital Storage And Transfer

Portable SSD

Sandisk Extreme Portable

For those who travel, these are small, tough, cheaper than buying more SSD for your computer and have super fast transfer speeds. These are fast enough so that you can edit 4k footage from them. The only other one I’d recommend would be the beautifully designed Samsung T5 range of SSDs.

SD Card

Sandisk Extreme Pro 128gb 

Stick to reputable brands such as: Sandisk, Samsung and Lexar.

Be wary of fakes on Amazon, always test your SD cards with a speed tester, then try fill them up to their stated storage value to guarantee you won’t get a nasty surprise as you’re in the field recording footage or taking photos.

The fakes will read to your computer as having “128GB Available” but will rarely get past 16GB in reality and will be very slow to do so. I am yet to receive a fake myself and Amazon have saved me tons of money compared to buying in camera stores.

You don’t need UHS-II for 4k!

The Sandisk ExtremePro will write at 70MB/s consistently. A camera like the GH5 shooting 4k at 400mb/s will still be covered by this speed. Allow me to show you

1MB (megabyte) = 8mb (megabits)

400/8 = 50MB/s

The only reason you should buy UHS-II cards is if you want to shoot burst photography and allow yourself a much bigger buffer. Alternatively if you have heaps of money, you can buy UHS-II cards, with a UHS-II memory card reader and enjoy faster transfer speeds to your computer. Not many people fall into that category.

MicroSD Card

Sandisk Extreme 128gb MicroSD

For the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, the GoPro, Insta 360 One X and for sound recording devices. These little things are used for a lot of what you use when you travel.

Anything bigger than 128gb may not work properly as it fills up, manufacturers often set a limit on the size of card that is compatible with each device, I find 128gb to be a consistently safe number.

Memory Card Reader

Satechi USB-C UHS II Memory Card Reader

For me, using my Macbook Pro which does not have an SD card slot, this thing is the handiest bit of kit. It’s USB-C so it has no dongle requirements and it will do both a microSD and a normal SD at the same time. This particular one is UHS-II compatible if you use those cards.

Bonus tip: On the Satechi website you might be able to leave the item in the “cart” overnight, then receive an email from them offering 15% off the next day for items in your cart. This is what happened to me because I was pondering the decision so hadn’t ordered, then they gave me this and the below item for 15% off.

USB-C Hub

Satechi Multi Port Adapter USB-C

This is just one of those things for Macbook Pro users that you need. This one hub has everything I need, including the plug in internet jack for places that are yet to have wireless (which is rare now).

The only thing I don’t like about this is the MicroSD card slot goes in too far and you need to use another card or something small to poke it back out. By combining this and the above card reader I can have 4 SD cards simultaneously uploading.

GoPro / Insta 360 Accessories + Mounts

Dive Housing

GoPro Super Suit (Hero 5/6/7)

I can only recommennd the official goPro dive suit because I have never had water come in at depths of up to 30m is as far as I have tested.

I’d try and stick to reputable brands for something like this because you don’t want to lose your camera just to try save $20 on a scuba diving case.

Remember to wash this with fresh water, make your own anti-fog inserts because GoPro will rip you off for their branded ones, and store the super suit without the door latched closed. This helps the rubber seal last longer.

Bar Mount

GoPro Handlebar/Seatpost/Pole Mount

Heaps of different brands and no name cheapies out there. I’ve only tried the official one as it was quite cheap and offered a variety of bar sizes to mount to. This is good for mountain biking, riding a scooter, or attaching to thin roll cages of buggies etc.

They do have a larger size mount for bigger poles like big roll cages.

Chest Mount

GoPro Official Chest Mount

This is a little bulky for most people to carry, but will give you good perspective for anything where you are on a motorbike, or bike of any sort. I find it quite useless outside of that because the vantage point is incorrect for just walking around with it.

Mouth Mount

GoPole Chomps Mouth Mount

For surfers mostly, but I like the ability to have a head high point of view while keeping your hands free to cross bridges, or climb something and film it.

Your neck acts as a natural gimbal.

GoPole Floating Grip

GoPole Bobber Floating Hand Grip

This is just a great, robust, and small handheld grip that can help when underwater scuba diving to give you something to smoothly pan your footage.

GoPole make good quality stuff, I have had this for 3 years and it is going strong, it comes with a high torque locking mechanism which is easier to do up tight and undo with wet hands.

Selfie Stick

Insta 360 One X Invisible Selfie Stick

This is arguably the only Insta accessory that is reasonably priced. Reports on its quality are varied, I think Insta have poor standards but I haven’t had an issue with mine yet.

As a solo traveller the ability to film myself fro unique angles is a godsend, this thing helps me to acheive that and therefore I do recommend it for those in the same boat as me.

Batteries + Chargers

Sony Batteries + Chargers

Sony NPFZ100 Battery

Don’t buy cheap rip offs here. If you spend thousands on a camera I think it’s worth getting the proper batteries, wait for a sale and buy two spares. Label them with numbers and rotate them as you go.

 

Sony BCQZ1 Battery Charger

This is the fastest way to charge a battery but unfortunately it requires mains power and is a little bulkier. However I still travel with it for the times I need a quick charge.

 

Newmowa Dual Sony Battery Charger

This is a convenience item only. It is SUPER SLOW but it can charge with a simple USB connnection and charges two batteries at once. Just plug it and leave it overnight, it will take about 6-7 hours to charge two fully flat batteries.

The size of it is tiny though and it weighs next to nothing so I carry it around without guilt.

GoPro / Insta 360 Batteries + Chargers

GoPro Battery Hero 5/6/7

I’d recommend 3-4 of these total. They don’t last long in 4k. Take them out of the camera when resting for long periods between shoots as they drain. This is true for me even when wifi, voice activation and bluetooth are turned off.

 

GoPro Dual Battery Charger Hero 5/6/7

So you can use your camera and still charge batteries. Otherwise you can only charge the one battery in the camera.

 

Insta 360 One X Dual Battery Charger

As above, to give you the ability to still use the camera you need this way overpriced dual charger. This is a massive rip-off from Insta. They don’t give me a lot of customer satisfaction when they charge things like this for the most basic of accessories.

Straps + Adapters + The Rest

Straps

Peak Design Slide Lite v3

This obviously is a camera strap but I also use it as the strap for my Mavic 2 Pro Fly More Kit bag for days when I’m exploring with the drone.

I find it better to have this performing multiple tasks than for every bag to have its own straps. This saves weight and space but it’s also a very versatile strap by design due to the quick release system that it’s based on.

It is smooth to adjust sizes and looks mint as well. Buy extra anchors to attach it to multiple things. Straps are handy for smooth panning shots when you’re without a gimbal.

 

Peak Design Cuff v3

This isn’t a necessity by any means but it’s peace of mind for me from quick snatch and run opportunists.

You could use any wrist strap you like but this one works for me due to the fact I already have the Peak Design anchors on all the cameras and a few extra on some bags too.

Brackets + Clips

Smallrig L-Bracket Sony A7 III / A7R III/ A9

This is for landscape or tripod photographers primarily who will know all about its benefits.

It also forms the beginnings of a cage system for those wanting to expand it for video purposes.

Although RRS has a great product alternative, their prices are ridiculous so this would be my recommendation for you.

Another added benefit of this L-Bracket is that it gives the small camera body a larger DSLR feel which those with larger hands tend to prefer. For me I like the camera body either way.

It comes with an allen key smartly stored below by magnets so you’ll always have it on hand.

 

Tripod Collar Sony 70-300mm

 You won’t need this unless you specifically have this lens.

Sony weren’t intelligent enough to include one and it’s quite a front heavy lens at the 300mm focal length when fully extended.

Peak Design Capture Clip v3

If it’s your first time hearing about these you’ll fall in love. This is the product that made Peak Design what it is today.

It’s a camera holder basically, the plate goes onto your camera, this then clips in to the capture clip from all 4 different angles and is locked in place until released.

So essentially you clip your camera to your backpack strap or belt for easy access.

I’d not recommend using this in certain areas but on a hike or in safe cities it’s brilliant. Very small so easy to travel with.

The Rest

Zhiyun Weebill Transmount Quick Adapter

This is for switching quickly between regular mode and underslung mode with the Weebill range of gimbals by Zhiyun. As backwards as this sounds you have to order TWO of these to be able to use them for a quick switch back and forth.

I don’t know why they don’t include two in the box it’s a massive oversight.

 

Rode SC3 Adapter TRRS – TRS

You’ll need this for getting the Zoom h1n recorder to work with the Rode SmartLav +. If you have a different lavalier microphone then it should be fine without this.

 

Zoom H1N Windshields

Self explanatory and quite cheap to purchase as well. Use these for protection from popping noises or wind. When people make the “P” sound it can sometimes pop in the sound recording, the foam cover is used to  prevent this.

The deadcat is used on all microphones outside to reduce or hopefully eliminate wind noise. 

 

Camera Cleaning Kit For Travel

I have a similar kit to this. Really though if you’re using a Sony mirrorless especially, you’ll want a blower to carry around.

I use a small one like this in a kit for convenience sake but any will do. The lens brushes are handy too as long as you don’t use any of it on your sensor and only on filters or your lens element.

Things I Took and Then Sent Home

 

Below are two of the things that I originally took with me, and then decided to post home. The item and the descriptions have been left unaltered, so that you can see what my original justifications were in taking them, and then compare that with the reasons for sending them home that I am about to list.

You always realise things once you start travelling that are really hard to hypothesise correctly before you leave home, you move the goalposts of what you consider necessary depending on how your travel style evolves.

Anyway, this isn’t to say that these two items aren’t gear needed for travel vlogging, it’s just that I found a workaround for one, and the other I increased the amount of risk I was willing to take. So the reasons I sent them home (followed by the original descriptions of why I was taking them) are;

 

AYEGEAR V26 VEST:

The vest served its purpose very well, but I decided that once I was in Southeast Asia I could alter a jacket that I wanted to take for reasons beyond ‘beating airline carry on limits’, and turn it into a dual purpose jacket.

So I took my Kathmandu Fleece Jacket and went to a local tailoring shop, I asked them to stitch in extra fabric across the back seems, as well as some side pockets on the seems running down the side of the jacket. Obviously this changes from jacket to jacket in where they can sew without it being a visible stitch on the outside.

So I now had a large pouch across the back, capable of holding my laptop, two new pouches on the side capable of holding lenses, and as luck would have it the Kathmandu Fleece also already had a side pocket large enough to hold a DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

I had then engineered my own version of this purpose built vest, but in a jacket that served other purposes and was lighter in my bag as well.

This was dirt cheap to do in Southeast Asia, but I don’t know how much it would cost in the western world.

 

Insta360 Venture Case:

The insta360 venture case is ok, I used it a few times, namely when I wanted to attach the insta360 to a GoPro mount, and then again when I was around water.

That being said though, I didn’t use it enough to justify the weight and size of it. So I kind of just started accepting more risk when using my insta360 without the case in the interest of ease of use, and to get better image quality.

The software can stitch well, but it can stitch a 360° image a lot better when the footage is shot without the case. Couple this with the fact that I began to find the insta360 One X more and more gimmicky as I travelled, it began to lose its value as a camera, let alone the annoying case it needed for protection.

So although I still consider the Insta360 OneX as gear needed for travel vlogging, I don’t really consider the case to be a part of that anymore, because I am willing to just the camera more and not have the nuisance of a ruined image due to the case, or have the camera overheat due to the case and the file save be ruined.

This doesn’t mean I am reckless with the camera, I always have it in its own neoprene sleeve between shooting, but I am not afraid to use it around a little bit of water.

 

HERE ARE THE ORIGINAL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE TWO ITEMS LISTING WHY I CHOSE TO BRING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE;

Photography Jacket

Ayegear V26

Pros

  • Reasonable fabric quality
  • Waterproof (haven’t tested myself and it is a vest so not overly helpful)
  • Holds a 15″ Macbook Pro (I haven’t tested the new 16″ version but there’s a fair bit of room so I’d say it would fit)
  • Holds a Mavic 2 drone
  • Vests are better for hot climates where you catch planes

Cons

  • Overprices, however it does technically pay for itself by avoiding fees
  • Zippers are low quality and get stuck
  • Laptop should sit vertically and not horizontally because it looks stupid

Why I Chose It

Yes it’s a jacket, however it’s a specific purchase for people who need to try play the game of airlines who try the old money grab of charging people who are over the ridiculous 7kg carry on limit.

I’ll get to the airlines in a minute but just know these sorts of jackets are not the best items of clothing in their own right but will pay for themselves after a few flights.

So in this jacket you can fit a 15 inch laptop, two camera bodies, an ipad, two lenses, a Mavic 2 Pro or whatever else is quite heavy and simply wear it on the plane.

You will look like an idiot since the laptop sits horizontally instead of vertically and your vest will be bulging but it’s a small price to pay to keep your valuables from being checked, plus because of what’s outlined below it’s kind of required by the airlines own admission and / or sometimes to ensure your things are insured.

My Recommendations To You - (Alternate Options)

The main competitor is SCOTTeVEST but I wouldn’t support him because he appears to me to be a complete tool. Lots of people have very strong opinions about his behaviour and some of the reviews that get left regarding him made me steer clear of that company.

There’s plenty of photographers vests, but they often look stupider than this one. I would wear this vest in public without feeling dumb, but the big cargo style pockets of some vests woudln’t provide me the same feeling.

In saying that though, I rarely wear vests ever, it really only comes out to do its job and then it gets packed away.

Insta 360 One X Venture Case

I try to shoot without this on as much as possible, but when you need that added protection or want to mount the Insta to a GoPro style mount this will come in handy.

The downside is your camera can get hot, it adds an extra layer to the lens that can cause flare, and the stitch might not be as good. The case itself can also be scratched easily but it’s better than the lens getting scratched.

Use this around water for splash protection, it says waterproof to 5m but I’d be super wary of believing them after their track record. Do some tests of your particular case in a sink, with paper towels inside the case and see if moisture gets in.

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A Discussion About The Gear Needed For Travel Vlogging

 

OK, I hope that was somewhat enlightening, it has taken me over three days on and off to come up with this list and try and provide some insight into why I travel with what I do, as well as list the things to watch out for. The gear needed for travel vlogging will change for everyone, some people will be happy with one camera, with the best lenses and microphones and just really honing their art in that way.

Others, like me, want to dabble in everything. This isn’t necessarily the best approach as you can lack focus, but on the other hand you can provide yourself with good options to get the shot you want. Like always there are pros and cons to both.

So your list of gear needed for travel vlogging might be different to mine and that’s perfectly fine. Prime lenses are definitely something I need to consider for example, but this serves as a unique look into my justifications which can be helpful for some and may guide you down a different path.

It also shows how much can be carried even while living out of a bag and travelling. For those who were wondering if they could fit X amount of gear, this in collaboration with my list of clothes and other accessories for travelling around the world will help you visualise your possibilities.

 

A quick word about the links I have used and how I choose them

I have linked to a lot of stuff here, but I won’t link you to anything I’m unsure of, so apologies if you were hoping to find a particular brand here that I haven’t covered. I know nothing about Canon or Nikon, except that they are great brands with a very good track record.

The list is the things I own and travel with at the time of writing (except the powerbank which I decided to go with another, equal sized alternative).

The recommendations on the other hand are not always something I have owned, but are things I have researched in great detail as I hope to buy them myself one day, or are things that I would have got in hindsight.

Due to my Sony camera though, it is only the Sony lenses that I truly understand, however the good news it that the equivalent lenses for Canon and Nikon are cheaper for the same quality!

This means that when I don’t have a recommendation, there will be no affiliate link. I won’t add one for the sake of having one if I don’t think it’s something I really know about.

Thank you for reading this far, if you feel like I’m forgetting something or you have other recommendations of products get in touch.

Good luck!

Safe travels!

See The Other Packing Lists Here!

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