There are a lot of lists with photography accessories on the internet. But none of them actually lists gear to travel with. Do you find yourself often wondering what you should buy for your next trip, or what can help increase your photo quality for a good price?
I made a list of my favorite camera gadgets in 2019. The things in here are portable and you can toss them in your backpack any time. Best of all everything you find in here is under $100!
1. Macro tubes
My absolute favorite accessories for photography are macro tubes from Neewer! If you ever saw a close-up photo and thought you need a special lens to achieve that, think again! You can buy a set of macro tubes for as cheap as $20 on Amazon. You mount them onto any lens you own. This turns it into a macro lens and you can make amazing close-ups with it. And best of all they are great for travel because they weight nearly nothing!
How do macro tubes work
They bring your lens further away from the sensor of your camera body. That gives you the ability to focus on subjects that are closer to your lens. In other words, you Decrease the minimum focusing distance of your lens.
It does not really matter what focal length your lens is. Personally, I found it worked best on my 50mm attached to my a7s full frame Sony camera body. Also good to know is that because there is no glass inside the macro tubes, the quality of your picture does not get influenced by them.
What is in the package
Most come with pins so they connect to your camera body. This way you are still able to use autofocus, image stabilization and get information to the camera.
There are two tubes in a set one of 10 mm and one of 12 mm. You can also use them together making a 22 mm tube. The more millimeter you use the closer you can photograph your subject.
2. Joby Gorillapod
I found myself a lot backpacking the last couple of years. When I was looking for a good tripod, I found it hard to find one that was portable and versatile. Until I heard about the Joby Gorillapod, a tripod with bendable legs, great for film and photography!
Why should you use a Gorillapod?
It is the perfect photography accessory wherever you go. It’s lightweight and it fits into your backpack easily. The thing I like the most about it is that you can attach it to any given object. You don’t need a tripod that can reach a height of 1 meter if you can just clamp your Gorillapod to a fence or tree.
Good to know before you buy it.
There are some different models of the Gorillapod. The one you need depends on the weight of your camera. Go to B&H to check how much your body and lens weight together or put them on a scale.
I’m using the Joby Gorillapod 3k with a Sony a7s and it holds it pretty easy. You can buy the Gorillapod for about $60 from Amazon.
After using the Gorillapod for some months now I start to notice the legs get a bit weaker. If you like the product (which I’m sure you will) You can keep the top part and just buy new legs when the time comes to replace them. This is a cheap alternative to buying a new tripod every time.
3. Anker power bank
Power banks are around now for a long time, and they get better and better. Maybe even more important, technology nowadays often allows you to charge your batteries with USB through a Power bank.
For example, the sony a7sII and the DJI Spark can now be charged with a power bank. This is great news if your traveling because your gear needs power and sometimes power is hard to find.
Anker portable batteries.
There is one clear “leader” in power banks, they are called Anker. Their power banks are from the best quality and they claim to have the smallest 10000 mAh battery available (the size of a pack of playing cards).
10000 milliAmp hours stands for the capacity of the battery. The amount of mAh your camera battery has should be written on the back of it. Divide 10000 by the amount on your battery, this way you can calculate how often you can charge your battery.
A power bank of 10000 mAh is a must-have travel accessory.
4. LaCie rugged mini
If you are backpacking sometimes you need to back up those precious photos you made. This is where, as you may know, a hard drive comes in handy. LaCie is a company that makes portable hard drives that are built to last.
They are shockproof, can survive a fall from 2 meters and some even are waterproof as well! This is the perfect hard drive if you are traveling a lot, and you want your data to be safe.
Capacity and speed
The LaCie rugged comes in a lot of different models. Every one of them with their own capacity.
Some common sizes are: 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. There is also a difference in write and reading speed of the drive. You can, for example, find a hard drive with Thunderbolt connection which is faster than regular USB.
A drive with Thunderbolt or USB 3, however, will cost you a lot more. The one I use is the 1TB LaCie rugged mini with regular USB 2.0, and to be honest, I never needed more.
Another good travel hard drive that is a little bit more budget friendly is the: WD myPassport. It’s a small and simple drive that weights even less than the LaCie. However, the downside is that it is less rugged.
5. Rode video micro
Maybe not a photography gadget but definitely a good addition to your travel technology. The rode video micro is a small, high-quality shotgun microphone.
Shotgun mic means it captures the sound in the direction it’s pointed in. This is great for travel because you can capture sounds even if there is a lot of noise around you.
Why audio is important
If you are into filming, you should know how important good audio quality is. Think about it, you can watch a video when quality is bad. Now think about watching a video where the audio quality is terrible. Everyone can agree that audio is a big factor in the result of your videos.
The video micro is a good investment and at a price of about $50, you can’t go wrong with this.
Taking care of your gear
When you are traveling it’s sometimes hard to protect your gear. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are some tips to keep your gear safe while you are traveling.
Buy a GOOD lock
A lot of hotels, hostels, and home-stays offer lockers. Most of the time you need your own lock for these. When you go out for a day-trip and decide to leave your photography gear in the hostel it’s a good idea to lock it.
It’s important to have a good lock because cheap ones will be easy to break open. If you really care about your expensive gear. Lock it good!
Camera bags and inserts
If I travel I always use a Camera bag insert. Inserts are great because you want to be flexible with which bag you are carrying.
If you pack economically it’s even possible you could do one bag travel using an insert! This way you don’t have to carry around 2 heavy bags. There are a lot of different bag inserts available and there is one for every photographer’s needs.
Keep your gear clean
Sometimes the places you visit can be dusty or dirty. It’s important to keep your photography gear clean. Some things I like to bring when I’m traveling are:
- Rocket blower keeps your camera sensor and other electronics dust clean.
- A micro cloth used to clean computer or smartphone screens.
- And a piece of Sugru. This is not for cleaning but more for fixing your gear if it breaks.
TIP: Budget gear hacks
Because who doesn’t want to save some money? 🙂
Use a lens filter
Maybe this does not sound budget in the first place but believe me, that in the long run, this works! By screwing a filter on your lenses you protect the front glass element. This way your lens will stay sharp and clean a lot longer.