People often ask us what camera and lenses we recommend using while traveling. So, in this post we decided to explain our go-to travel pack, plus some tips and tricks we've learned along the way. Enjoy...and be sure to give us your input/suggestions.
Over the years, we've done a bit of traveling + shooting, and have narrowed our travel bag down to what we feel are the absolute essentials. Everything you see here allows us to capture high quality video + stills, without being too bulky or too heavy. In our experience, the lighter the better.
If you don't own any of this equipment, we highly recommend renting it though LensProToGo.com. We do this all the time, and it has been an amazing asset for our company and travels....
we consider them to be an essential part of our team now.
They have always been extremely friendly and super helpful/knowledgeable...so we urge you to check them out. The website is very simple to use and whatever you need, they will ship directly to your door. Check on shipping times in your area...we are lucky to live in RI because it comes to us next day...which is awesome.
If you want to give them a try, they are currently running a promotion for
10% off any rentals
for anyone referring to the title of our latest video,
1. log onto:
add stuff to your cart
3. during checkout, enter promo code:
Boom. 10% off. (US residents only)
Ok...now, lets get down to business:
Canon 5D MKIII 14mm 2.8, 24mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8 IS
Canon 5D mkIII.
This is an awesome camera to travel with for video + stills. It is very small, light weight, durable, and has a full frame sensor. This camera is just the perfect travel camera in our opinion.
***A neckstrap (
) can be very important for travel shooting***
The 14mm is the widest lens we travel with, and is one of our favorites. If you are going anywhere with huge landscapes, mountains, canyons, etc. You are going to want something wide enough to truly capture the size and immensity of these places....which this lens does very well. Plus it is great for any motion shots like out of a car window, train, boat, etc.
for full Specs & Info.
***16-35mm 2.8 could be a more-versatile alternative to the 14mm...and could cover the 24mm as well...but it will sacrifice the beautiful bokeh/low-light capabilities of the 24mm 1.4. Choose wisely, my friends :) ***
The 24mm might be the lens we use the most. This lens is absolutely awesome. It's wide enough to shoot hand held, and with an aperture of 1.4 you can shoot in very low light situations, which is amazing. If I were to travel with only one lens, this would definitely be it.
for full Specs & Info.
The 50mm is a ridiculously beautiful lens to shoot with. This is great for any portrait shots of people you may come across while traveling. With an aperture of 1.2, it has an extremely shallow depth of field and it is also extremely fast, so if you need to shoot without any light, this is going to be your best bet. We would just recommend using a tripod with this lens to avoid the jello monsters (aka: rolling shutter wackiness).
for full Specs & Info.
70-200mm f/2.8 IS ***
can be a perfect, lightweight alternative***
The 70-200mm is a great lens to have with you while traveling because of the long reach it provides. This is awesome for shooting mountain ranges, animals, and anything in the distance. Plus it has an image stabilizer, which really comes in handy. Awesome lens. Recently, we've chosen the
70-200 f/4 IS
for personal travel shoots + we really fell in love with it because it's waaaaay lighter....and for most things...we didn't need the F2.8 light sensitivity.
for full Specs & Info.
GoPro HERO 3
This bad boy is one of the best inventions ever. We always travel with a gopro, and it comes in handy on every trip. Jumping off bridges, snorkeling, hiking, etc. We typically travel with this, a few mounts, some zip ties, and tape...and you can pretty much mount it to anything. You never know what you are going to run into when traveling...so the portability and versatility of this camera is incredible....even though we are still trying to get
that is as good as anything in their promo video. Conspiracy? :)
for full Specs & Info.
Batteries + Laptop Charger
We normally travel with two battery chargers and at least (2) batteries...the more the better if you can afford it. The reason we like to travel with (2) chargers, is because a lot of time while traveling, it can be tough to find power outlets. A lot of hostels and hotels might not have working outlets...or you may run into power outages, or other issues with power. So when you do find a place with outlets, its always nice to be able to charge two batteries at the same time, so you can get up the next day and move on to the next destination...fully charged. For laptop charging...we've recently fell in love with the cord extension that comes with the Macbook power adapters. You will run into so many varying plugs in your travels and the plug extension makes it easier to deal with loose plug connections.
***Something to consider for international traveling is that you will need to get a plug adapter that will work in whatever country you are going to. We are not electricians/scientists but the chargers themselves take care of converting to varying voltages...but the plug adapters are necessary to conform our USA plug configuration to whatever fancy style the that **insert country** uses.
We recommend traveling with (2) 32 gb cards...either CF cards, or SD cards will work. We have recently started shooting with the SD cards, because they pop right into the side of our 13" macbook pro laptop for capturing footage...which is nice, because then you don't need to travel with a card reader. That's just one less thing you have to worry about. If you are buying your own cards, we recommend paying for some faster cards...60MB/S or up...and Sandisk has yet to fail us yet...so, we recommend them.
We always travel with a backpack that can fit all of our gear + laptop. This keeps everything in one place, and also allows for you to be extremely mobile while traveling. The bag shown here is a LowePro Runner 350 AW. It is a great option because it fits in overhead bins and has nice padded straps. LensProToGo has a similar bag that they rent called the Tenba Roadie II.
(or Gnerd Pouch...as we call it) is an incredibly useful companion for on-the-move shooting. Its simple design allows you to break down to the essentials for a day hike or walk around town...while having lenses/batteries/cards/etc. easily accessible. Thanks to @Stillmotion for that amazing recommendation a few years back...life changing :)***
For traveling, we wanted to find a super lightweight tripod, that was solid enough to shoot with a long lens...but light enough to hike and run around with. For this we found the Induro CT414 to be perfect. We highly recommend it for anyone looking to film while hiking. We combined these legs with the manfrotto 701 fluid head, which has worked out well. We always keep a quick release plate on the camera, so throwing a camera on the tripod is always quick and easy.
***Consider purchasing a
Compact Leveling Head. Its a bit funky + chunky...but it is a really convenient + semi-compact way to do leveling on the fly. It adds a few pounds (or kilos...depending on what country you are going to :)...but it is definitely worth the extra weight because it is a huge time-saver.***
The nice thing about the Induro tripod is the extender column that is built in. This is helpful with raising/lowering camera to frame your shots...but also acts as a great stabilizer. Simply flip the tripod upside down, and extend the legs to distribute the weight. This is an awesome way to add motion to your shots without having to carry around a steadicam. Its quick and easy...and very effective. Just takes some practice.
***We've found that the upside-down tripod trick works well for us...so, we can avoid the extra weight of another piece of equipment...but if you want something better/more conventional...
rents a bunch of cool options for mini-steadi equipment. ***
This exact package can be rented here:
Be sure to use the promo code
for 10% off your entire order (US Residents Only).
Other Options (NOT included in the travel package)
- even if you're not a timelapse expert...it's a fun thing to mess around with...and can add some interesting shots to your final edit. We recommend the $100+ Canon version because it has worked problem-free for us for a few years...but the cheap Amazon/Ebay models are pretty good (and really cheap) if you can plan for their inevitable quirks.
- sometimes 200mm just isn't far enough...especially with the full-frame sensor of the 5D...so this is a nice/small item to have in the bag. Definitely bring this along if you are filming surfing or any kind of wildlife.
Zoom H4N -
having the ability to capture good clean audio while traveling is another important consideration. The Zoom is an amazing tool for capturing cleaner audio than the camera's internal mic. It's extremely easy to use, and is great for live performances and impromptu interviews. If you really want to get serious, you can step it up a notch by adding a Sennheisser ME-66 (good) or 416 (better) shot gun mic + XLR & boom pole (or fashion one out of a stick). For the record, CHOICE was made without any audio equipment...all sound design and VO were added in post.
- Lens cleaner, ND filters, Leatherman multi-tool, watch battery for intervelometer
***One last thought that is REALLY IMPORTANT is hard drive management. If you are going to shoot all of this great stuff...the footage + stills soon become just as valuable as the equipment. No matter where you are in the world....
...and something that we always try to do is make sure that:
1. We have footage captured internally to the laptop (make sure you plan to have enough space internally for your specific trip)
2. We have a backup on a Lacie Rugged drive that is packed away in a ***different location*** so that if one bag gets stolen you at least have a backup safely hidden.
Thanks for reading. We hope this was helpful.
In the end, the most important thing is to let your curiosity lead you + always strive to capture the moment in the most unique + colorful way that you can.
In other words, chase the hocus-pocus and try to get it in focus. Safe travels.
Enjoy our new video...and feel free to post comments below and/or ask questions on
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. THANKS FOR READING.