Travel Camera Gear

You’re going travelling? Across countries, maybe continents, and you want to record your travels. In the best way possible . . Sure you can take pictures on your phone, and that might be great for day to day pictures, but are they really that good? Don’t you want real high quality images, good enough to publish?

You’ll need a decent camera for that, but it needn’t cost the earth. Here’s a few tips for what to get:

  1. You don’t need the newest model of anything.
  2. You don’t need a bulky SLR.
  3. You can get superb results from a premium compact or mirrorless.
  4. Make sure to get at least a 1″ sensor size and a fast lens – f1.7 or f2.0 (lower number = faster lens)
  5. Look at the Ricoh GR II, Sony’s RX100 series, Panasonic’s LX15, Canon’s G7X.
  6. Check out Camera Price Buster.
  7. Look at used camera sites too, like MPB

After you’ve picked your camera:

  1. Get a couple of spare batteries and a light travel tripod
  2. Get used to the ‘A’ mode for Aperture priority.
  3. Use the bigger aperture settings f1.7 – f2.8 (for that creamy out of focus background)
  4. Get an on the go adaptor, and use your phone to backup your SD cards.
Panasonic GM1 & Leica 15mm f1.7 is small and powerful

My personal choice for the past few years has been the Panasonic GM1. It’s super small frame means it’s genuinely pocketable. It’s tiny size might also trick you into thinking it’s a compact or entry level camera, but don’t be fooled. Inside this tiny frame is the same electronic widardry and the same powerhouse of a sensor as is inside its bigger brother, the GX7.

Even smaller than the GM1, the fit-in-your-pocket Sony RX100 series.

Twinned with the 15mm Pana/Leica (as pictured), or the Lumix G 42.5 f1.7, the GM1 is a fabulous camera.

GM1 + 15mm f1.7 at Seton Lake, Canada
GM1 + 42.5mm f1.7 at Offroad Orange in Spain
GM1 + 20mm f1.7 II at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan
GM1 + 15mm f1.7 at the Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
GM1 + 25mm f1.4 in Krakow, Poland
GM1 + 15mm f1.7 at Moraine Lake, Canada
GM1 + 42.5mm f1.7 in Connemara, Ireland

Do you need 15mm / 20mm / 25mm / 42.5mm lenses?

Do you really need a zoom lens?

No. I’ve found myself almost exclusively using the 15mm, even to the extent that I’ll go away travelling and only bring the 15mm as my do everything lens. Sure it’s got no zoom, so you might have to actually use your feet to frame your shot.. but so what. It works. And the pictures speak for themselves. The 42.5 is probably my favourite lens for action & portrait photos, as it captures scenes so effortlessly, even if it is a bit narrow as a walk around camera.

The RX100 IV has been a relatively new addition to my travel bag.. the 24-70 f1.8-2.8 lens meets most of my needs, but it’s genuinely pocketable size and that 1 inch sensor won me over. The Lumix GM1 and GX7s haven’t been retired or anything, the RX100 is just an addition, and pictures will be added in due course.

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