The Best Photo Gear for Travelers
The following photo-centric gear collection has something for everyone, whether you’re a slightly above-average (or even below-average — hey, we’re not here to judge) smartphone shutterbug or a dedicated professional.
We tapped our resident photographers and photo editors to put bags, tripods, accessories, and cameras to the test. Ahead, their favorite photography essentials for every budget and skill level.
Check out the full line-up of 2017’s Ultimate Travel Essentials.
ONA Leather Prince Street
The branded bag that came with your camera is a magnet for thieves. This one looks sharp and travels under the radar.
To buy: amazon.com, $389
Killspencer Precision Pocket Modular Camera Bag
Kit out this stylishly spare bag with the matching pockets, inserts, and attachments to suit your gear.
To buy: killspencer.com, $750
Joby GorillaPod 3K
The flexible legs of this travel-ready tripod are designed to wrap around a rail or tree branch without sacrificing sturdiness. It's hardy enough to hold a DSLR or external flash weighing up to 6.6 lbs., and a built-in level will help you shoot straight.
To buy: amazon.com, $80
Snap on Moment's phone case and you can quickly switch between macro, wide-angle, and telephoto lenses for more creative captures.
To buy: shopmoment.com, from $90
YI 4K Action Camera
As far as action cameras go, this one's a steal. If the clean, unfussy interface, high-resolution video and stills, and long-lasting battery (up to 120 minutes of recording per charge) aren't impressive enough, you can also sync it with your phone via wifi to edit and share right away.
To buy: amazon.com, $249
The compact Cyber-shot is a big step up from most phones — compare the 10x optical zoom with the iPhone 7 Plus’s 2x — but without a glut of features that’ll overwhelm a beginner. You'll love the low-light performance and the intelligent panorama mode.
To buy: amazon.com, $198
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 4K
This is not your average pocket-sized camera, with its DSLR-like exposure control and crystal-clear Leica zoom lens. It takes stunning macro shots and, most impressively, allows you to refocus after you've taken the photo by tapping the spot you want to sharpen.
To buy: amazon.com, $700
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
For an entry-level model, this mirrorless camera from Olympus offers a surprising amount of creative control. Hobbyists will appreciate its versatility and lightning-fast, 81-point focus; newbies will love its lightweight retro build and intuitive functionality.
To buy: amazon.com, $799
MeFOTO RoadTrip Classic
This little guy weighs less than four pounds and fits in a carry-on, but can extend to five feet and support your heaviest DSLR setup, up to 17 pounds.
To buy: amazon.com, $199
It’s waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, so it can go wherever you do for the same price you'd pay for high-end camera housing. And it has a surprisingly large sensor given its compact proportions.
To buy: amazon.com, $3,295
GoPro Hero5 Black
If you need solid sound and don’t want to futz with waterproof housing, this is a step up from our budget pick. It makes smooth, professional-quality video simple to capture and easy to edit on the go.
To buy: amazon.com, $399
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
This surefire crowdpleaser takes colorful, scrapbook-worthy instant photos. It's a step up from the popular Instax Mini 9, with adjustable shooting modes and a high-powered flash that determines brightness by gauging the subject's distance.
To buy: amazon.com, from $113
Fujifilm has outdone itself with this high-powered unit for the pros. The electronic viewfinder is best-in-class. There are 325 (no, that's not a typo) autofocus points. The shutter is incredibly quick, 14 frames per second, and delivers low-noise shots even with the ISO cranked up to 51,200. It has two SD-card slots to enable the longer shooting sessions required of timelapses and video. Should we go on?
To buy: amazon.com, $1,899
Canon EOS M6
If you plan to take both manual shots and quick snaps in auto mode, snag this mirrorless, 24-megapixel camera. The LCD monitor tilts upward a full 180 degrees and downward at 45 to help you see things from a different angle.
To buy: amazon.com, from $779
The best camera is the one you’ll actually take with you, so they say, and the DXO One is the ideal way to travel light and still snap great photos. It fits in the palm of your hand and plugs into your iPhone, outfitting it with the capabilities of an entry-level DSLR.
To buy: amazon.com, $500