Deciding on what photography equipment is best for you and your goals can be overwhelming. I have been getting a ton of questions in regards to what camera I use to capture my photos on the blog and Instagram. I figured it was time to breakdown all the gear I have and why I think it’s the best photography equipment for bloggers and travellers alike.
First things first. The best camera for blogging
Fujifilm XT-20 with 18-55mm F2.8 lens— C$1,549.99
When I first started getting serious about blogging, I researched photography equipment for months. It seemed like everyone and their dog was buying the Canon Mark 5D. I figured I needed it to. I went to the store and took one look at the price. Yikes. I then picked it up and let out the same grunt as I would picking up a bowling ball. I thought, “people really lug this thing around when they travel?!” It was SO heavy and bulky.
I left feeling defeated and made it my mission to find something more practical that would still take incredible pictures. After talking to a few of my mentors and chatting with photographers whose work I deeply admired, I found out a lot of them were using the same camera! I was shocked to hear “Fujifilm” over and over again. To be honest I had never considered them a contender. I was a Canon girl and if I ever strayed I thought it would be towards Nikon or Sony. However, I quickly realized Fujifilm is leading the charge in the mirrorless camera department, the wave of the future for DSLR’s.
I went back to the store and discovered that the Fujifilm XT-20 camera could realistically fit in a purse or even a pocket. The body was so lightweight, and the 18-55mm kit lens rivalled many lenses you’d see on the market in the over $1000 range. I bought in on the spot. I truly believe it is one of the best travel cameras you can buy.
What’s the difference between the XT-20 and the XT-2?
Not much except price and weather resistance. If you are going to be shooting in a lot of severe weather conditions, I’d recommend opting for the XT-2. If you’re like me and just using the camera for travel and lifestyle shots, you can’t go wrong with the XT-20. I’ve taken my XT-20 into the desert, jungle, mountains and along the coastline and it has worked like a dream.
Prime Lens for Portrait and Lifestyle Shots: Fuji XF 50mm F2.0 WR C$599.99
I have had my Fujifilm XT-20 for about a year now, and naturally have started adding a few lenses to my kit. While many people opt for the 35mm for portraits and lifestyle shots, I bought the 50mm as this is the lens I used and loved when I was a Canon girl. The only downfall with the XT-20 Fujifilm camera is that they do not offer a nifty-fifty lens (most brands like Canon offer a cheap and solid 50mm lens for under $200). This lens was $599.99, but worth every penny. Unlike the other nifty-fiftys on the market, it is built to last. It is very easy to shoot in manual, and is the lens I take 90% of my photos with. Definitely recommend adding this to the list of photography equipment for bloggers out there!
Wide-Angle Lens – Fujifilm 10-24 XF F4.0
I dropped my 18-55mm in the mud when I was in Zion National Park, and had to get it serviced by Fuji. I was about to leave for Europe and didn’t want to rent another one, and had always wanted to add a wide-angle to my kit, but the price tag deterred me. This was a great excuse to bite the bullet and purchase it, and I’m so glad I did. I opted for the 10-24 as I wanted the option to zoom in and out (this feature has helped in a variety of situations where I can’t get close enough or want to tighten up a shot). When I asked around, most people agreed this was the wide angle to buy based on zoom capabilities and it’s track record as being one of Fuji’s most popular lenses. This is another great lens for blogging and perfect for those in the travel and landscape photography space.
If you are shooting alone, in low light or lots of action shots, I highly recommend buying a LIGHTWEIGHT and compact tripod. This tripod folds down really nicely and can fit into the side of a camera backpack fairly easily. Every time I leave my tripod at home on a trip I regret it as there is always a photo op that is missed when there is no one around to take a photo. These are great for lifestyle shots around the house as well. Sometimes I put it on a chair or stool to get those overhead shots of me when a drone just isn’t an option. Speaking of drones…
DJI Mavic Pro Drone
DJI is a leader in the drone space for a reason. Their drones are incredibly durable, intuitive yet compact and easy to navigate. The camera is unbelievable, especially given the various conditions they fly in. If you are thinking of creating video or want to up your travel shots, I highly recommend buying a drone. I still haven’t become fully comfortable with all the functionalities, but it is something I’d like to practice more this summer as the results are worth it!
Keeping your lens and equipment clean is vital for taking clear shots and protecting your camera equipment. Below are the two cleaning tools I use regularly:
Seagate Back up Plus
Backing up your photos is a must! Photos (especially if you are shooting in RAW) can take up a ton of space on your computer’s hard drive. You will definitely need to invest in an external hard drive to store your photos on. I have this one and love it! It’s very easy to use and I back up my laptop files on it as well.
128 GB SD Card
I never realized how much the SD Card plays a roll in the functionality of your camera. It’s important to buy a fast SD card. I recommend 128GB with a speed of 95 MB/s or higher like this one:
Now that you have all the equipment, how are you going to protect it? I waited WAY too long to buy a proper camera backpack. Now that I have one, I can’t imagine travelling without it. It makes it so easy to access all my equipment and has room for my laptop and all chargers, back up batteries and personal items.
I found this Lowepro backpack that was fairly reasonably priced and although it’s not SUPER stylish, it makes up for it in it’s ease of use and functionality. You can move the storage compartments around to fit your camera equipment, and can take out your laptop easily when going through security at the airport.
Softbox Lighting Kit
If you plan on shooting indoors and don’t have access to a lot of natural light, this kit will be your best friend. With these lights you can shoot gorgeous portrait and product shots without awful shadows or white balance issues. This especially comes in handy in the winter when it starts getting dark at 2pm (*cringes*). This is ideal for anyone taking a lot of self portraits as you can set it up with your camera tripod and snap away! I have this one:
Photography CC Adobe Membership
While setting up a great shot and buying the best camera equipment within your budget is important, editing plays a HUGE role in the overall look and feel of your photos. If the photography gear is the cake, editing is the icing, ice cream, and fresh berries on top. Might be fine without it, but it significantly adds to the experience. I use Lightroom to edit all my photos.
I started out by using The Blonde Abroad presets. There are so many collections to choose from and they are perfect if you are a travel blogger or landscape photographer. My favourite collections are Fire and Ice, Into the Wild and Tropical Escape. However, it depends on the type of locations you are shooting in most so keep that in mind!
Now that I am getting more comfortable with Lightroom, I have begun to play around with my own presets. As you can tell if you scroll through my instagram feed, the style continues to change as I tweak things to my preference. It has been so much fun to experiment with temperature, colour hues and the tone curve to find out what I like and what works for me!
There you have it! The best camera equipment for bloggers based on my research and personal collection! My biggest advice is to start small. An entry level camera and kit lens is the perfect starting point to learn the basics of photography. I would also highly recommend learning how to shoot in manual as soon as possible. I shot in Auto for way too long and definitely regret it! These cameras are meant to be shot in manual, and are capable of so much more than Auto mode! Manual will make you a better photographer and allow you to develop your signature style.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this photography equipment for bloggers!