A Peek Inside Our Travel Camera Bag

A Peek Inside Our Travel Camera Bag

A few of our readers have requested more information about what other photographers carry in their travel camera bag, so here’s an in-depth look at what camera gear we carry on all of our trips.

After buying and selling a lot of camera lenses and camera bags, I feel like I have finally come up with a close to perfect camera kit for my travels.

Every photographer has different wants and needs, so keep in mind that what works for me, may or may not work for you. Feel free to use this as a guide if you are having trouble deciding which lens, SLR body or camera bag to buy for your travels.

A Travel Photographer's Camera Kit

 

Canon T2i Camera Body

I upgraded to a Canon T2i camera body from a Canon Rebel XS SLR and I absolutely love it. A few of the pros of this camera for me are the HD video capabilities, 18 megapixel sensor and a price tag below $400 USD. (Since I wrote this post, I’ve upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark II. You can read more about it here.)

 

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens

At around $100 US, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 has proven to be a great buy. I use it for portraits, close up shots and low light conditions. You can spend a little more for the slightly faster Canon f/1.4 lens if you prefer, but if you are on a budget or you would rather spend your money on multiple lenses then I highly recommend buying the 50mm f.1.8 lens.

Another plus to this lens is the bokeh it produces. Here is an example:

A Travel Photographer's Camera Kit

 

Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens

The Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens quickly became a favorite of mine after purchasing it a few months ago. It works well with cameras like the T2i with a crop factor. If you have a full frame camera body, then you will want to get the Canon 16-35mm wide angle lens. The 10-22mm is too wide for a full frame camera.

I shot this photo in Aruba with my Canon 5D Mark II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

A Travel Photographer's Camera Kit

 

Canon 70-200mm f/4L Telephoto Zoom Lens

I love the Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens for surfing and wildlife photography where it’s tough to get in close to the subject. It is arguably Canon’s best value “L” lens. It’s also very light compared to the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L.

I shot all of my puffin photos with a Canon 70-200 lens.

The Ultimate Travel Photography Camera Kit

 

Lowepro Fastpack Camera Bag

I’ve been through quite a few camera bags in the past ten years trying to find the perfect fit for my needs. I really liked the Tamrac 5547 Photo Backpack, but I got tired of carrying my laptop separately. I tried Tamrac’s camera/laptop bag, but it was just too huge and bulky.

I currently use the Lowepro Fastpack backpack, which has a compartment for my laptop, enough room for my camera body with wide angle lens attached plus two to three more lenses, a tripod attachment on the side, an attached rainfly, and I can fit a water bottle in the side pocket. I switched from the F-Stop Black Box camera bag — which I used for several years — mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t carry a water bottle or attach my tripod to the bag.

 

Canon G16 Point and Shoot Camera

This point and shoot camera gets great reviews by many photographers. For certain situations, it’s nice to have a small point and shoot camera instead of a large SLR with multiple lenses. The G16 offers many of the same functions that an SLR camera offers such as the ability to change the aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Here is an example of what this camera can do.

A Travel Photographer's Camera Kit

This list includes all the big items in our travel camera bag. We also carry extra batteries, a lens pen, remote, and filters. For more information about the travel camera gear we use, visit: How to Take Great Travel Photos as a Solo Traveler. We’ve also written a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best travel camera.

 

Have you tried any of these lenses or cameras? If so, what is your experience with them?

 

Everything in this post is a product that we personally use — not a paid placement. Some of the links are affiliate links, which means we earn a percentage of the sale, however, the price stays the same for you.

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36 Comments

  1. Dalene - Hecktic Travels says:

    This is very timely for us – as we are about to upgrade and take our first steps into SLR-dom. We are pretty sure that we are going with a Canon as it’s what we’ve been using all along. Thanks for this!

  2. swgraphic says:

    Wow, I have Canon T2i too, I also have the 50mm 1.8 lens. It’s a gem! I love how prime lens are so light and easy to use and works well in low light. No wonder ur photos are always awesome.

  3. Wow this last photo is fantastic. I have a G11 and so far I like it because it has video and also the screen which you can flip out when you are shooting from odd angles. I have to figure out how I can take a photo as good as yours =)

  4. That’s crazy! We just got our first camera for photography! We got one extra lens. They are so expensive!!

  5. Wow, that lagoon shot is awesome. Do you do post-production to your pics, ie. photoshop?

  6. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler.co says:

    @Dalene – How exciting! I have always used Canon also, so I have to say good choice! πŸ™‚

    @swgraphic – Wow! Thanks for such a lovely comment!

    @Grace – Practice, Practice! Scott took the bottom photo. I bought him the G10 a couple years ago and he loves it!

    @Jeremy – I know!! I have been into photography since high school and when I realized how expensive it is to keep everything up I sort of gave up on it for a few years. Now I’m happy I have a kit that I hopefully won’t want to upgrade anytime soon. I did just buy a $150 filter though!! πŸ™‚ The spending never ends.

    @Roy – We don’t do a whole lot of post production besides the necessary adjustments before converting from RAW format to JPG, such as contrast, saturation and sharpening. When you take a photo in JPG, your camera does this automatically for you, so a lot of times photos taken in RAW are not appealing unless you adjust some things.

  7. jill - Jack and Jill Travel says:

    I went through a photography phase a while back but somehow gotten myself out of it. It’s a very expensive hobby.

    We’ve even decided not to take our dSLR on our rtw trip. We might regret it so we have it packed and ready to be shipped by a relative if we ever changed our mind πŸ™‚

    Seeing these great pics u’ve taken – it’s possible that’s what’s going to happen.

  8. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    It’s getting time for me to throw down and get a grown-up camera. I had a point and shoot Canon for 10 years and it was like a tank. So sad to see it float away that day…

    Any suggestions on a more entry-level DSLR? Anyone had any experience with the Olympus PEN series?

    Thanks!

  9. So much to carry but obviously worth it for your gorgeous photos!

  10. Michael Figueiredo says:

    These are some spectacular photos! I made the upgrade to a DSLR camera last year, but really need to learn how to use it. I think my point and shoot is so much easier to manage!

  11. I’m with Nikon. The reason: Nikon is much cheaper in Korea than Canon. I have no idea why. I do like my 50mm lens, but don’t use it enough. My point and shoot is a Fuji. My first digital was a Fuji and I really got like their optics.

    Camera bags can be your best friend or worst nightmare. I use Loweprowe and am usually happy with them. What I really do need is a caddy to carry all the stuff around. Golf courses have golf caddys, why not camera caddys for photographers……….:)

  12. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Jill – It’s definitely an expensive hobby if you get into buying multiple lenses and filters. It deterred me for a while also.

    @Michael – Thank you! There is a lot to learn, but it’s worth it! It has taken me years to learn what I have and I feel like I will always have more to learn.

    @Raymond – I don’t have any experience with Olympus, but Canon does have a few entry level DSLRs.

    @Andrea – Thanks for the compliment! πŸ™‚ It is a lot to carry, but it’s really not that heavy.

    @Nancie – I can see why you would want to stay with Nikon then! That would be awesome to have a caddy! I was talking to Scott about how I can see why many pro photographers have assistants! πŸ™‚

  13. The NVR Guys says:

    We finally got a big boy camera, and just in time. Prague is a shot a moment kind of city. I do think we will be one lens kind-a-guys for a while though.

  14. Average Traveller says:

    How do you find the Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 for indoor shots? I’m concerned that it’s not fast enough to shoot inside w/o a flash.

    Right now I mostly use my 50mm f/1.4 on my T1i to shoot in low light but it’s not really wide enough for many shots. I dream of one day getting a 16-35mm f2.8L, but the 10-22mm is half the price.

  15. Very very similar to my own kit although my stuff is Pentax. It’s a great formula for travel photography – a good slr, a decent point and shoot, and glass to take you from super wide to reasonably strong telephoto, preferable in less than three lenses.
    I have a cable release too but it’s worth pointing out that you can use the delayed shutter release on your camera as well.
    I have an ND filter too, I don’t see mention here of a polariser – you must have one!

  16. adventureswithben says:

    Your camera bag resembles mine – more equipment than I care to carry around! But the shots in the end remind me how it’s worth it.

  17. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @NVR Guys – So you think. πŸ˜‰ hehe

    @AverageTraveller – You know, I haven’t used it all that much indoors since I do most of my photography outdoors, but the few photos I have taken it seems to work pretty well. I obviously can only do so much though, since it’s not a super fast lens.

    @Robin – Yes, I use my camera’s timer most of the time to take long exposure shots. I like having the remote because I don’t have to by standing my the camera to take the photo. This is good in some cases. I got rid of my polarizing filer because I didn’t like it and never used it! πŸ™‚

    @AdventureswithBen – This seems to be a great kit for travelers. I would love to have more lenses but I’m forcing myself to stick with 3!!

    @Ayngelina – Any ideas on what lens you will be getting instead of the 17-85? I really love my 70-200. I didn’t think I would use it much at first, but it really comes in handy.

  18. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    I’m actually not sure how much it weighs. It doesn’t feel that heavy, but I’ll have to weigh it on my next trip. I may not want to know. πŸ˜‰

  19. Nomadic Matt says:

    WHOA! That’s a lot of stuff! How much does that stuff weigh?

  20. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Bryan – It definitely has way less padding than a bag that is specifically made for camera gear. I just put my camera (& whichever lens is on the camera when I put it away) in that small Opteka case that you see in the top photo and put that inside the Osprey pack. I also have cloth bags for each of the other two lenses, which gives those a little extra padding.

  21. Christy @ Technosyncratic says:

    We have a Canon t2i as well and LOVE it!

    We carry separate laptop bags and a camera bag (which only holds the camera and two lenses), which I’m sure will be a huge pain when we start traveling sans RV.

    I just haven’t been able to find a good bag that would fit the camera AND Kali’s 17-inch laptop, and I’ll be damned if I’m carrying my 13-inch and the camera as well. πŸ˜›

  22. I’m glad you guys did this post. I think your photography is great and I’ve always especially liked that lorikeet shot! I have the xTi and carry the kit lens and cheap telephoto, plus the 50mm f/1.8 (and a Lensbaby to play!). I’m crazy about the bokeh the 1.8 can produce. The 70-200 looks like a great wildlife lens!

  23. Kristin Glenn says:

    I LOVE the photos on this site! Glad to see what you’re shooting with.

    I think we’ll do a similar post with “what do we wear for months on the road?” Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Michael Hodson says:

    other than the Canon thing…. nice bag πŸ˜‰

  25. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Christy – I used to have a 17” laptop and had the same problem. I’m stoked on my 13” now.

    @Laura – Thank you! I really want to try out a Lensbaby.

    @Kristin – Thank you for such an awesome comment! I think that’s a great idea for a post on your site!

    @Amer – It really doesn’t feel that heavy. The bag is super light so that helps.

    @Michael – Don’t be hatin on Canon! πŸ˜‰

  26. Do you carry all of your kit, wherever you go? I’m travelling with nothing but my G10 because it’s portable, inobstrusive and – I hope – less likely to get stolen. Reason one didn’t make up my mind, but two and three seemed enough, because I’m passing though some sketchy places.

  27. Scott @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    @Ian – Me too and I guess I hadn’t decided that I liked taking photos enough to buy an SLR. Even now I like it’s portability. I am giving some filters and lenses for the G10 a try. Thank you Amazon!

    @Norbert – Thanks but your probably talking about Christy’s shots LOL! I bought Christy the 50mm f/1.8 for Christmas, so I guess she has to say good things about it, but seriously it takes some getting used to. For $100 though it’s amazing for the price.

  28. Cathy Sweeney says:

    So that’s how you get such great photos (along with having talent, of course)! Thanks for sharing your camera bag tips. I still haven’t bought a new camera, but considering the Canon G10 Point and Shoot Camera that you’ve mentioned.

  29. Lindsay Hogg aka @_thetravelle says:

    I want your camera bag! haha… I’m totally gonna look into the Canon G10 Point and Shoot Camera. I usually carry a good SLR and a crappy small camera in fear of drunkenly dropping it

  30. Summer Travel Jobs says:

    it’s worth carrying them all around when you get high-quality photos. at the end of the day, you just have to take a look at the pictures that you took and you forget that you were even tired.

  31. Rick Moss says:

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find a canon commercial instead of something useful. How about the non-camera stuff that we could benefit to know?

    Things to put in your travel bag: a camera and some lenses. No Sh*t!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Lol. It’s a post called, “A Peek Inside Our Travel Camera bag.” It’s pretty clear what is going to be in the post.

  32. This is a pretty nice list. I recently got the T2i and I love it! I have the 18-200 lens and so far it’s been great for me. I’m looking forward to get the 10-22 in the next few months. Still debating about getting the 50mm f/1.8.

    Right now I’m learning how to use the different filters… so I’m giving myself a filters and shots crash course.

    Btw… your shots look great!

  33. Fantastic article. I’ve recently upgraded to a dslr after a few years with a good (but not great in low light Leica dlux) point and shoot camera. I’ve always wondered how many photographic items would a traveler carry around with them in order to take great pictures. This is a great insight, though it does look a little heavy to carry.

  34. Great info, and it’s nice to compare to see what we carry as well. I have the 70-200 f4 and love it. To me it’s totally worth the extra weight. I’m not happy with my bad though, so I’m looking for something new. How much padding does your day pack have for your camera and laptop?

  35. Ayngelina says:

    We have such similar bags. I have the Canon 40D which is a massive beast and I should probably gone with the Xsi which I hear is just as good.

    I have the 50mm 1.4 and I love it so much,
    10-22mm which I use in cities quite a bit
    17-85 but I’m going to swap it for a better all purpose lens.

    I had the 70-200 but it was too heavy for me and I realized I’m not much of a wildlife photographer.