Our 15 Favorite Pieces of Gear for Travel Photography in Summer 2019

With the summer holidays almost upon us, we’re sure many of you have exciting vacation plans in store and will want to capture it all.

Photographers who plan on taking a vacation this summer will be happy to know there has never been a better time to look at the market. Not only are there tons of innovative and high-quality cameras out there, but there are also lots of great accessories. Best of all, these items won’t take up a lot of space or break your back while being hauled through an airport. So if you’re a photographer looking to vacation in Iceland, the Virgin Islands, Italy, or even somewhere more local, you’ll care about things like better color. When using something like your weather sealed Sony camera in Hawaii, the Datacolor SpyderX series of products could prove instrumental to getting better colors during your editing process. We’ve gone through our reviews index to figure out what items are best; here is some of our current favorite gear that you may want to consider taking with you for Travel Photography.

Cameras

Let’s be honest here; no one is making a bad camera these days. But what qualifies as a great travel camera? For starters, it needs to be well built. Except for a pocket camera, we’ve chosen options that have weather sealing tested by us in the field. Then, there needs to be a reasonable selection of lenses for the camera to remain compact while traveling. We know how tempting those huge 70-200mm lenses are, but they’re sometimes impractical for travel. Next, we’re keeping in mind the bags that we’ve chosen. When going through an airport, travel security will want your gear to be neatly packed when it goes through an X-ray, lest it causes confusion and they need to hand-inspect it all. So if you pack your camera, lenses, and flashes all in a camera bag in an orderly fashion, then they ideally won’t take up a whole lot of space. These options are some of our favorites.

 

Canon EOS RP

In our review, we state:

There is a lot to like in the Canon EOS RP. It’s a simple and fun camera if you’re more inclined to the world of automation. But even so, with the right settings and a bit of patience, it can be a great camera in the hands of someone who has a creative vision. You’ll just need to take your time with it. The Canon EOS RP is also really, stupidly affordable. With a full frame sensor at the heart, it’s going to appeal to anyone who says, “Oh well full frame is better.”

You can pick one up now for $1,299.

 

Fujifilm XF10

 

In our review, we said:

If you’ve been used to Fujifilm’s camera system, then the Fujifilm XF10 will be a familiar place. The menus are color coded and section coded. Of course, the menus are slightly customized to this camera. There is also Fujifilm’s Quick menu which helps when you want to go from Velvia to Classic Chrome. Combine all this with the fact that, in two weeks of using it every now and again, I never needed to charge the battery. The Fujifilm XF10 is fantastic when Wifi is off and the screen is dimmed. This is surprising considering that you really need the screen to use the camera.

You can pick one up now for $449.

 

Pro Tip: When the SpyderX begins calibrating your display, it shows a range of colors at various levels of brightness, as it measures the changes. You need to ensure that, ideally, calibration is done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. This is helped by SpyderX’s fastest-ever calibration speed of around less than two minutes, so it doesn’t prove to be a considerable task within itself.

 

Nikon Z6

 

In our review, we said:

The Z6 feels like an amalgamation of a Sony A7 series body and a Nikon D850 hand grip, and similar to a lot of the flagship Nikon DSLR’s that came before it, the Nikon Z6 features class leading weather sealing. During my time with the camera, we got to put this weather sealing through its paces, and the Z6 passed with flying colors, having survived numerous heavy rain storms and near arctic temperatures in New York as well as Massachusetts. The Nikon Z6 didn’t skip a beat, and I didn’t notice any significant degradation in battery life despite the low temperatures.

You can pick one up now for $1,796.95.

 

Sony a6400

 

In our review, we said:

If you’ve used any of the other Sony APS-C cameras, particularly others in the 6000 series, the A6400 will feel pretty familiar in your hands. The Sony A6400 utilizes the same menu system found in the rest of the company’s mirrorless cameras, which may take some getting used to for photographers not familiar with the Sony ecosystem. The handgrip feels a bit more robust when compared to Sony’s older APS-C cameras, which is certainly welcomed given the diminutive size of the A6400.

You can pick one up now for $898.

 

Bags

Three bags really make our choice for traveling in the summer. There has been a general trend towards backpacks, but then there is a need for a bit more variety. In the case of the Blackforest K2, we believe a smaller messenger bag style bag is ideal. It will force you to be minimalist, and while you’re doing that, it won’t weigh down your back. Portage Supply is a favorite of our Editor in Chief because of the versatility it allows him on a trip with sectioning his gear. And while there are great options from the likes of Tenba and others, WANDRD’s duffel makes a lot of sense for travel.

Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition

In our review, we said:

The Blackforest Bags K2 Leather Edition, despite its appearance, is a very well built camera bag. There is a ton of padding inside that is bound to make your camera gear super cozy, and there are pockets and dividers which are very much needed. You can stuff keys, Polaroids, eye drops, eye glasses, and lots of other daily essentials in here. Plus the design lends itself to being weather sealed. I genuinely cannot complain about the build quality here.

You can pick one up now for $159.99.

 

Portage Supply Kenora Backpack (4th Generation)

 

In our review, we said:

The Portage Supply Kenora Backpack went through rain with me during my testing. All the gear inside remained dry. In addition to that, the waxed canvas and padding inside stood up to a number of big bumps along the subway and even while hiking. There are times when I’ve come home exhausted and I simply threw the Portage Supply Kenora Backpack on the floor. The bag and all the contents inside were perfectly fine; nothing suffered. I have to commend the 4th generation Portage Supply Kenora Backpack for how well built it is.

You can pick one up now for $159.99.

Pro Tip: One important SpyderX feature is the ambient reader at the top of the device, which enables the monitor to adjust dependent on light changes within the room. Users should be making the most of this feature, as it ensures that your Spyder will make the necessary adjustments in the case of any light changes.

 

WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel

In our review, we said:

The WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel is made out of weather resistant materials with weather resistant zippers. I flew back to JFK while using this bag right around the time Hurricane Florence was bombarding the East Coast of the US, and it kept everything I had inside the bag safe from the elements while I was waiting for my driver to arrive. (I wish I could say the same about the clothes I was wearing.) The carry handles on all four sides of the bag are nicely padded and comfortable to hold, and the unique design of the hybrid tote/backpack straps are my favorite of any backpack I’ve tested to date.

You can pick one up now for $259.

 

Accessories

While there are necessities like straps, tripods, filters, and disk drive space, the unsung hero of this list is the Datacolor SpyderX Elite. When editing photos on the go, you’re going to run into different locations that affect the way you see your screen. Try editing a photo on your MacBook in the hotel room or AirBnB you’re staying at with the light on, and then with the light off. The experience will be significantly different. You’re probably used to editing an image, going away, and then coming back again to finish up. But with the Datacolor SpyderX and its ability to calibrate your computer screen to a neutral white point in less than two minutes, you’ll save time so that you can get back out to photo walking and the travel experience. Think of it like this: you wouldn’t edit an image on your phone with Night Mode activated, would you? Then why risk doing it with your laptop? Datacolor SpyderX makes this easy with a few questions and clicks to get started.

 

SpyderX Elite

In our review, we said:

For the most part, the Datacolor SpyderX Elite stayed on the desk in my office tethered to my iMac from 2015. About once a week or so I took ambient light measurements, which tells you whether or not you’re editing in what Datacolor deems to be an ideal environment. Also around once a week, I did a recalibration of the display. There’s a difference between a full calibration and a ReCal. The full calibration doesn’t take very long–in fact I’m very pleased to say that this is the fastest Spyder I’ve ever worked with and is true to the company’s claims. It’s a major breath of fresh air. The ReCal is even faster.

You can pick one up now for $269.99.

 

Stroppa Flat Camera Strap

In our review, we said:

When you sling the Stroppa Flat Camera strap and a camera around your neck, you’ll be amazed at how much natural padding there is. Because it’s designed to be so incredibly solid and thick, it allows the skin underneath to breathe.

You can pick one up now for $36.44.

 

Tap & Dye LEGACY Classic Wide Camera Strap – Nero

 

In our review, we said:

For what it’s worth, the strap feels incredible and is super durable while maintaining a soft-to-the-touch aesthetic. It’s a work of art, and you realize this from the moment you take it out of the packaging.

You can pick one up now for $168.

 

Neewer Complete ND Filter Kit

In our review, we said:

The filter rings themselves are built surprisingly well. They’re not Sigma, Hoya, or B&W quality, but they’re far better than anything you’ll get out there for super cheap.

You can pick one up now for $21.99.

 

Irix Light Pollution Filter

Irix Light pollution Filter

 

In our review, we said:

The filter screws on smoothly every time it’s placed on the lens, and it comes off incredibly easily when you’re finished with it too. I have used aluminum filters in the past and have needed a filter wrench to get them off, but the Irix Edge Light Pollution Filter doesn’t need to be bullied; it glides off as easily as it goes on.

You can pick one up now for $73-$116:  67mm72mm77mm82mm, and 95mm

 

Vanguard VEO 2 235CB

 

In our review, we said:

What I seriously enjoy about the Vanguard VEO 2 235CB is not only its solid build quality, but how simple it is to use. Vanguard gives you a head that just works without any fuss, legs that are quick to deploy, and a tripod slim enough to fit onto the bottom or the side of most photo backpacks.

You can pick one up now for $146.09.

 

Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod

 

In our review, we said:

There’s a whole lot of praise to be given to the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod. It’s sturdy, well built, nice to the touch, lightweight for travel, and gives photographers a whole lot of what they need at a fair price. The photographers who will enjoy this tripod are landscape photographers and adventure shooters. So, if you’re a photographer who goes about traveling a whole lot, then you’ll enjoy something like this.

You can pick one up now for $131.36.

 

SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column

 

In our review, we said:

I really like the SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column. Paired with the right ballhead, this system is going to be simply the most solid tripod system you’ll ever use. They’re not incredibly heavy or unwieldy, they’re just really simple. The SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column also don’t have the marketing or pizzaz other brands do. Instead, they’re modest. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

You can pick one up now for $729.99 & $164.99, respectively: SIRUI SR-3204 Tripod and SR-66C Column

 

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (1TB)

 

In our review, we said:

There isn’t a single moving part on the outside of the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD. It’s a solid piece of data storage; I’ve dropped it a few feet and it kept working. I’ve taken it through TSA, X rays, etc. and it continued to have no problems at all. I can’t complain about the build quality. For what the product is, it simply works.

You can pick one up now for $179.98.

 

Editor’s Note: This post is partially sponsored by Datacolor.