My Cameras for Traveling – The Travel Photography Gear I Use

We all want to take great pictures, but often we are not comfortable choosing our photo gear on our own. While I’m not claiming to have written the ultimate guide to the best cameras for traveling, this simple guide is just an honest review of my photography gear, what I have been using for a few years, and why I like what I bought.

If my article can help you find the best cameras for traveling and help you go back home with great memories and images to share with family and friends, it’s a big plus. And, why not, also brag a little on social media!

My cameras for traveling – The photography gear I use for my travel photos

My DSLR – Nikon D7100

Even though it’s not a full-frame, my Nikon D7100 has been a truly loyal friend throughout my travels. Admittedly, I bought it a few years ago when it was launched but I really never felt the need to replace it with a newer model like the wonderful D7500.

Probably because it’s not a full-frame camera, it’s not bulky so easy to carry around even when I use it with a larger lens. I have been using my Nikon D7100 on every trip for almost ten years and it still takes fantastic pictures that for my needs are enough for now.

Professional photographers will certainly prefer full-frame cameras, even though travelers might argue that they don’t really make great travel cameras, as they’re large and bulky. That being said, the entry-level full-frame cameras for Canon such as their EOS 5D Mark IV, and Nikon such as their D850 and D6 are all great options.

If you’re serious about your photography and eventually want to go pro (or take pro-level photos), investing in a DSLR might be the right choice for you. DSLRs are heftier than their mirrorless counterparts, but there are often many more lenses to choose from, the battery life is often far superior because of the optical viewfinder, and the photo quality is generally excellent across the board.

Like with the mirrorless options though, once you invest in a camera you’re essentially buying into an entire lens system, so make sure that whatever you buy now lands you in the system you want to be in in the future. Luckily many lenses work for both full-frame and crop-sensor cameras, so you can start with a cheaper/smaller crop-sensor camera and eventually upgrade to a full-frame without having to lose your investment in lenses.

Find the best cameras for traveling

My mirrorless – Nikon Z6ii

I’m a big Nikon fan so when I decided to start making videos, even though I compared different brands and models, I finally ended up buying a Nikon Z6ii complete with two fantastic Nikkor Z lenses 50mm and 24-70mm.

In all honesty, the beginning of my relationship with my Nikon Z6ii wasn’t the smoothest. In fact, we had a pretty rocky start. I probably expected it to have the same settings as my D7100 and it doesn’t. So I had to go through the new options, settings, and millions of new opportunities this fantastic camera has.

While the videos were OK, the first pictures I took with my mirrorless Nikon Z6ii were terribly grainy, and I couldn’t figure out why since I had been using my Nikon DSLR with no problems for years. I was shocked because even though I bought the mirrorless mainly to make videos, sometimes I want to carry only one camera and I need to be able to take both videos and pictures with the same device.

So I went over some tutorials and realized I had to manually change some settings. Now my pictures are much better but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. At least I know it was me and not the camera!

Mirrorless cameras have come a long way over the last decade and now come close to equaling professional DSLRs in image quality, all in a smaller package. For many, it’s the perfect travel camera, being smaller than a DSLR yet having just about all the same features. You can even find a higher-end mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor to get professional-quality photos.

One thing to keep in mind with both the mirrorless cameras and the DSLRs—whatever system you choose is the one you’ll be investing in, as you’ll be buying lenses that fit that camera style. So choose carefully, keeping in mind what you might like to upgrade to in the future.

Pinterest image with a photo of a camera and a caption reading "All the photography gear I use for traveling and why I love it".

Our smartphones: iPhone 13 Pro and 15 Pro

Can you get by with just using your smartphone? Of course, you can! If you’re not wanting to tote around a dedicated camera and/or want a great backup camera, having a great camera phone with you is the way to go. They also have the bonus of being able to edit photos directly on the smartphone and share them on social media without having to touch a computer. They won’t come close in comparison to cameras with larger sensors in low light situations nor can they come close to the zoom ability, but for convenience and portability, they can’t be beaten.

I bought my iPhone 13 Pro a few years ago when it was launched and I love it. It takes fantastic photos and videos. They have great resolution both on mobile devices and on desktops.

Recently, my husband bought himself an iPhone 15 Pro and he’s so happy that he stopped using cameras altogether. The iPhone 15 Pro takes fantastic photos of all types and great videos that we use for both shorts and standard videos.

These two iPhones have so many options and features that we discover something new every day!

Our gimbals: Zhiyun Crane 2S for the cameras and DJI OM 4 SE for smartphones

Since we use both cameras and smartphones for work, we bought two different gimbals to take better videos.

For our cameras for traveling, we use a professional (and heavy) Zhiyun Crane 2S. It’s very heavy, so we admit we haven’t used it much yet but we have just launched our YouTube channel so we are planning to use it more often and we will update this post as soon as we have more comments and feedback about that.

When we use our smartphones, we use the lightweight DJI OM 4 SE hand-held gimbal. With this, my husband was able to take great videos as well as lovely fish-eye-like photos.

Image: Sayed using our smartphone gimbal we use as one of our cameras for traveling.

Which Travel Camera is Right for You? Choosing the Right Camera

For many of us, taking photos is one of the great joys of traveling, yet choosing which camera(s) to take can be a challenging decision. These days, there’s almost a mind-numbing amount of cameras on the market, and finding the one(s) that will best meet your needs will inevitably take some research. This article’s here to help you sift through the options and narrow down your search by both type and price.

Whether it’s for yourself or you are looking for the best gift for a friend who likes to travel, a lightweight, compact and versatile travel camera is truly a special item to include in your packing list.

While it’s true that the “right” camera is the one you have on you, it’s also true that different travelers take photos for different reasons. Some people take photos to bring their travel memories back home with them to share with friends or create their own travel scrapbook album. These folks are generally more casual about their photography. Others are actively documenting their travels – maybe blogging or vlogging – and want their photos to look good for a wider audience.

Then there are the photography enthusiasts – folks who take their photography seriously and really work to learn how to use their cameras and capture the best shots possible. Which category you fall into (or wish to fall into) will do a lot to determine what kind of camera you should choose.

Things to know before buying the perfect camera for traveling

There are a whole host of other factors to keep in mind as well.

How much gear are you willing to carry?

Every traveler knows that space is at a premium when traveling. There’s only so much stuff we want to physically lug around from place to place, and only so much stuff that will realistically fit in our bags. Loading oneself up with camera gear is a true nuisance, even for professional photographers.

So, while larger sensors mean better photos, they also generally mean larger cameras. (This is why it’s useful to have a dedicated camera—your phone just can’t pack in the larger sensors that dedicated cameras can.) Yet, since most of us aren’t professional travel photographers and often pack to travel with our family, we probably don’t need to go the whole hog with sensor size (i.e. a full-frame camera, which is a monster to carry around).

That means you’ll need to decide what image quality you’re willing to live with alongside how much gear you’re willing to carry and how much you’re willing to spend. The good news is that for most of our purposes, the smaller sensor sizes will work fine (and that means smaller cameras). But in the end, it will still come down to how much gear you’re truly willing to carry. Mirrorless cameras are expensive, but they are much smaller than DSLRs and have fantastic image quality.

How much effort are you willing to put into learning to use your camera?

Cameras, like most things, have a learning curve. The more you learn, the more you can get out of it. Yet not everyone wants to spend time diving into the depths of their camera—they just want to take pictures they’re happy with. If you’re someone who just likes to point and shoot, there’s no point in spending money on a camera whose primary value exists in a lot of features you’ll never get around to learning. If you have dreams of going pro, getting published on various blogs, or just taking the best photos you can, having advanced features on your camera will be important.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Will you be using your camera for video? If so, how often, and at what quality?
  • Is WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity important to you (allowing you to upload photos instantly to your computer or smartphone)?
  • Do you photograph in inclement weather often? If so, some degree of weatherproofing will be useful.


about me: Angela Corrias
About the author

I'm Angela Corrias, an Italian journalist, photographer, and travel writer located in the heart of Italy's capital. Welcome to my website, your comprehensive source for your travels and expert guidance for crafting your dream travel experience.

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