Our Travel Camera Gear

We get a lot of questions about which camera we use. A few years ago Spencer sold all of his high end (meaning heavy and expensive) Canon gear in favor of a new mirrorless camera and we couldn’t be happier with our decision.

Why mirrorless?

Mirrorless cameras are much smaller than traditional DSLR cameras but offer better image quality than a phone or point and shoot camera. They also have interchangeable lenses which allows for a wider range of shots. All of the camera brands now offer mirrorless models and we chose Fujifilm for the lens availability and the camera features.

Here’s our current gear:

Travel Camera Gear

Fujifilm X-E2 with 18-55 kit lens
The X-E2 is a couple years old (the latest being the X-E2S) but Fujifilm still releases software updates that make the camera feel brand new. We chose it mainly for it’s size, ease of use, and photo quality. Chelsea really likes that it can connect directly to your phone to upload photos to Instagram and Spencer likes the multiple exposure bracketing options. The other Fujifilm cameras to consider would be the X-T10 (newer but very similar features) or the XT-1 (a step up).

We shoot almost all our photos with the kit lens and have been happy with the range it offers as well as the built in image stabilization.

Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens
The other lens we own is a fisheye lens that Spencer originally got for astrophotography. Beyond taking photos of stars, it’s useful for close up shots where you want to get the full scene as well as fun shots of animals. The lens is a manual lens so you have to manually focus and set the aperture (sounds more difficult than it is) but the payoff are some really unique shots. This is certainly more of a niche lens and doesn’t get used often, but is great to have when you need it.

The Petra treasury lit up with candles and stars at night is a magical experience.
With the fisheye lens
With the standard kit lens
With the standard kit lens

If you want to learn more about astrophotography, check out The Lonely Speck for great tutorials.

GoPro Hero4 Silver
Speaking of fisheye… We love carrying our GoPro when we are scared of damaging our other camera, going in water, want something more discrete, or shooting video. The Hero4 Silver has a screen on the back which we feel is worth the cost over some of the other models. We have a couple different cases including the dive case plus a red filter (read more about colored filters here) and a GoDome for over/under shots (a novelty and probably not worth carrying) .

PacSafe Z2 bag
Chelsea found this bag when doing research and we are completely sold on it now. It’s literally the perfect size for our setup, but they make various sizes for other cameras. The security features such as the slash proof material and locking zippers are legit and give you peace of mind when in public. Pacsafe makes a range of bags and sizes that offer protection for more than just cameras.

Sea to Summit Dry Bag
We use this really lightweight and thin dry bag as storage for the camera when there is any chance of it getting wet (at the beach, on a boat, in the rain).

JOBY GorillaPod
If you want to take night photos then you are going to need a tripod. The GorillaPod is small, lightweight, and literally super flexible. It doesn’t always allow you to get the shot that a traditional size tripod would allow but it’s better than nothing.

Lots of extra batteries and memory cards
You can never have enough batteries or memory cards. They are cheap enough that there is no reason not to have at least 3 of each. Genetic batteries have worked fine for us but definitely go for name brand memory cards from legit retailers. Many photographers recommend multiple small size cards over a single large one in case you have a card fail.

Other random things we carry include a remote control for long exposures and a LensPen for cleaning the camera.

We visited the FujiFilm HQ in Tokyo where they were so friendly and updated our camera to the latest firmware for us!
We visited the FujiFilm HQ in Tokyo where they were so friendly and updated our camera to the latest firmware for us!

By no means is this a top-of-the-line setup, but it balances cost, quality, and usability. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!

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