Travelationship’s Photography Gear

By: Matt

You asked we answered! Photography is a big part of our travels, and with so many camera options out there how does one choose? We received several questions asking us what type of photography gear and software we use. As far as software goes, it’s a simple answer Adobe Photoshop CC. When it comes to our photography, this is what we prefer, because photography is a lot about preference. Looking for Photography tips, check here.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - Canon 5DS

Canon 5DS

I have been using Canon since before digital was an option. When the time came to replace my 5D Mark II with their new Canon 5DS, I was giddy with anticipation. I have been using it for five months now, and I continue to be amazed by the results. The excitement I get when transferring the images to the computer is palpable. The 50.6 megapixel Full Frame (the only way to go IMO) sensor delivers some of the best images I have ever seen. The details, depth and digital range that come out of this camera are off the charts. What this means is you can open one of your images and zoom in for miles and still find sharp details. I have taken one of my shots and cropped it down to less than 1/4 of the original image and still had a fully detailed and dynamic image with no loss of quality. Not to mention the video is National Geographic quality.

The learning curve was very quick when adjusting from the 5D Mark II; it had the same simple and logical menu design with a few new features thrown in. The only thing I was sad to see missing was the ability to lower the ISO from 100 to 50 (if your listening Canon that would be a fantastic thing to add to the first firmware update). One of the most notable and useful updates to the body is a lock button on the camera’s shooting mode selector knob. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled my camera from my backpack only to find the settings had shifted. Also, I must give them props for their improved weather sealing as it spent its first three months bouncing around some pretty dusty parts of Africa and I have yet to have to dust spot a photo.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - Canon 5DS

Live-View is a tool that can provide essential information for advancing a photographers grasp of the picture they are about to take, and how the controls will effect that photo. Given the chance throw your camera on a tripod and then flip the 5DS into Live-View mode and start to mess with the controls. You will be amazed at how much you can learn about photography. While Live-View is not exclusive to the 5DS, it is a tool that I believe deserves a great deal more discussion. Plus in the world of photography, one should never stop learning about the craft or their equipment.

In a nutshell, this is the world’s best DSLR camera for any situation that requires the highest image quality.

Lenses

While I would love to have brought every lens I own on this trip, I had to be reasonable with space and weight. So I choose to go with a three lens arsenal: An 18mm f/3.5 Zeiss Wide Angle, a 50mm f/1.8 Canon prime, and the 70-300mm IS USM Canon zoom.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - Lenses

The 18mm Zeiss Wide Angle is my favorite lens of all time. It allows me to capture the whole scene, which is something I truly love. It is a manual focus lens that puts you in complete control. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is my go to walking around lens. When we are headed to a market or doing some street photography, this lens makes my job easy. It is easily Canon’s best-kept secret. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t own this lens, at a fraction of the price of its competitors, it is all business. The 70-300mm Canon spends the majority of its time on the other side of 200 because you can never have too much zoom. The 70-200 L class may be all the rage, but it is big, heavy, and costs 5x’s more than the 70-300; plus the obvious lack of additional zoom.

Canon's best kept secret. 50mm f1.8

Canon’s best kept secret. 50mm f1.8

Sony RX100 III

Having a camera that fits in your pocket for a traveler is ideal, having that be a 20.9-megapixel powerhouse is outstanding! I would never do my Sony the disservice of calling it our second or backup camera. This camera is our go-to camera whenever we are exploring a new city, especially if it is at night. Not only does this camera give you amazing results in the daylight, but it is unstoppable at night time. If we are headed to a festival and want to get some video to go with it, the Sony RX100 has us covered. I photograph all of our street art finds exclusively with our Sony because I can always count on it to provide the most vivid color, even in dark alleyways.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - Sony RX100 III

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.

 

I began my Sony journey with the RX100 I and was blown away by its performance, so there were no doubts when I upgraded to the RX100 III that the dream would continue. Zeiss provides the tac sharp 24-70mm lens, that shines in all situations, especially when in macro mode. While 70mm is not a very impressive zoom, I find more often than not the wide 24mm is our most used setting. Plus the camera has a full manual mode allowing you to control every aspect of your picture taking.

One of the best, and often underutilized features on the Sony is its retractable OLED (electronic viewfinder). Though I have never had an issue seeing the LCD, even in bright daylight, the OLED provides a superior photographic experience. When looking through the OLED I find myself immersed in the picture taking adventure, it is bright and full of helpful information, which only helps to enhance my overall experience.

View through the OLED on the Sony RX100 III.

View through the OLED on the Sony RX100 III.

The Sony RX100 III is a solid performer, and often Heather, and I will hastily exchange it while trying to capture all the sights catching our eye. The Sony has rarely failed to perform to our high standards and easily puts in a full days work on one charge. I consider the Sony to be one of our best investments and highly recommend it to anyone.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - Sony RX100 III

GoPro Hero4 Black

Hitting the world by storm, and finding its way into our hearts, the GoPro has transformed the way extreme sports or any outdoor activity has been captured. Our GoPro HERO4 sees most of its action underwater, but it has been with us every time we signup for any outdoor adventure. While the GoPro can capture still photos, it truly excels at video. With the ability to record video in 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, or 720p at 240fps (ultra slow-motion) your possibilities are as endless as your applications.

Travelationship's Photography Gear - GoPro HERO4 Black

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.

The sheer size, when compared to its abilities, is still hard for me to grasp. With a footprint of just 3.9 x 9.6 x 3.9 inches and weight of a mere 1.29 lbs there simply isn’t any other camera on the market today that can compare. On top of that you can take it scuba diving with you, just too awesome!

To say it was without any shortcomings would be untruthful. Battery life is one that comes to mind straight away, but what gadget do you own that you don’t wish lasted a little longer. I wouldn’t complain if the still image captures were a bit better, but it is tough to be too upset as it is truly more of a bonus feature than anything. Outside of this, I find the GoPro to be an outstanding piece of technology.

Tripod

No camera kit would be complete without the trusty tripod, and for this trip I am using the Dolica TX570DS Ultra Compact Tripod. I needed something that was compact, light, and versatile and the Dolica has fit the bill at every corner. It might not be the fanciest tripod on the market, but it has done everything I have asked of it.

Smartphone

It has been said many times that the best camera is the one you have with you. That being the case, if there is one camera that we always have with us, it’s the one on our phone. I carry a Samsung Note 4 and Heather totes an iPhone 6. They both do a pretty decent job, and often we marvel at each others latest shot. We have noted the Samsung is better for night shots and the iPhone handles video better.

Any questions about the gear, please ask. Found the perfect travel camera, I would love to hear about it.

Comments 3

  1. Nice to know about your photography gear and preferences. We too are great fans of Canon and have been using various models of Canon for quite some time now.

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