Half the fun of being a landscape photographer is nerding out on camera gear. The other half is consolidating my kit so I can travel light as a digital nomad.
Here’s what my camera kit looks like for landscape photography trips—my clothes fit in there too!
- Canon 5D Mark III. Someday I’ll probably switch to a mirrorless like the Sony a7 III, but till then the 5D performs flawlessly.
- Magic Lantern. It’s free and replaces a shutter release, intervalometer and more. Just make sure to have an extra SD card in case it misbehaves.
- Canon 16–35mm F/4 lens with hood. I used the 24–105mm for the last 5 years, but it will stay at home now since I only travel with one lens.
- Lexar 1066x CompactFlash cards. Your memory cards need to be rock-solid reliable after thousands of miles traveled and dollars spent. And with Magic Lantern, these cards are fast enough to shoot gorgeous RAW footage. Still, I’m looking forward to a mirrorless camera so I can just use cheaper SD cards.
- CompactFlash card reader. Cheap readers can corrupt CF cards, so it’s worth spending a few extra dollars for a reputable one.
- 1 extra battery. The 5D’s impressive battery life usually lasts a couple days, but more than once I’ve forgotten to charge it.
- B+W CPL filter. I have the previous generation, but B+W recently released an upgraded polarizer that cuts out less light and is cheaper.
- B+W 6-stop ND filter. I own a 10-stop filter as well, but since it’s rarely called for I have stopped packing it altogether.
- Sirui T-2205X Carbon Fiber Tripod. I’ve been through three tripods, and this one strikes the perfect balance between stability and ultralight portability. And the twist locks are fantastic!
- Sirui K-20x Ball Head. Arca-style, rock solid, medium weight ball head that won’t break your camera or the bank.
- Peak Design camera straps (in testing). After hating on some cheap shoulder straps, I returned to Canon’s neck strap, but nowadays I’m testing out Peak Design’s straps. Keep an eye open for updates!
- Two microfiber cloths. Just steal them from an Apple fanboy.
- Compact 2TB backup drive. During photography trips, I keep three up-to-date backups of my photos. The hard drive usually stays at the hotel for safekeeping.
- Vallerret fingerless merino wool gloves. Fingers are the first thing to freeze, so I consider these part of my photography kit.
There are a few things you won’t find in my photography kit:
- Second camera body. If the worst happens and my camera drowns, I’ll have to expedite a replacement. Meantime, I’d rather travel light so my gear is less likely to be stolen.
- Multiple lenses. I own a second lens, but travel with just one. It’s just too painful to swap lenses out in the elements, especially when a single wide-angle lens covers 95% of my landscape portfolio.
- Lens cleaning kit. The polarizing filter pretty much lives on my lens, so I just make due with microfiber cloths.
- GPS module. Instead, I use my iPhone as a GPS logger.
- Shutter release or intervalometer. Thanks, Magic Lantern!
- Lighting equipment. I have flashes and modifiers for shooting portraiture, but when traveling I razor focus my shoot genre to landscape photography.
- Drone. Video drones are too big for my carry on and compete with my time shooting landscape photography. Perhaps the next version of the DJI Mavic?
- Tools. TSA frowns on multitools, so all of my equipment must go together and disassemble without allen wrenches.
That’s it! My camera gear lives in the same bag as the rest of my travel entourage—here’s the entire packing list.
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