The Best Travel Cameras, Lenses and Accessories for 2019
I’ve been traveling full-time on and off for almost two years. When I first left to travel, I wanted the smallest camera possible. I wanted something that I could fit in my pocket. I didn’t realize it, at the time, but I was talking about my phone! My phone is the perfect travel camera for that reason.
As I continued to travel, I wanted something better. My phone is still a valuable asset in my photography but I wanted something that allowed me to do more. I wanted better night shots and I wanted to shoot better views. I’ve outlined my favorite travel camera, lens and accessory picks for 2019.
Sony A7 II
Now is one of the best times to buy the Sony a7 II camera. Sony released the 3 generation of a few of the cameras, like the a7 III and the a7R III. The a7 II still holds its value and now the price has dropped significantly. Fun fact, we bought this camera in 2016 for almost $2000!
This specific model comes with the Sony 28-70mm kit lens that is an excellent range. You can shoot wide, at 28mm which is good to capture a lot of the scene around you. You can also shoot at 70mm, which is good for tighter detail shots. Our favorite focal range is around 50mm. We like it for portraits, landscapes and really anything!
SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 10 SD Card
A memory card is an important asset for any digital camera. Where would all of your travel photos go without a memory card?? Fun fact: Dan actually forgot a memory card once during a photowalk. Since then, he's never forgotten a memory card again.
You can never have too many memory cards. This 32GB SD card from SanDisk is a great backup. It's great to have in your bag if you fill up your primary card, need to lend a memory card to a friend or your main SD card fails. With this class 10 memory card, you can transfer files quickly but we wouldn't recommend using it for shooting 4k video or burst mode with uncompressed RAW files.
Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM
This lens allows for a bigger picture than using a standard 50mm, so you can take in much more of a scene while still getting crisp photos and background bokeh. This lens comes at a very manageable size and is lightweight, so it’s ideal for taking out with your camera body while on the go or when hiking, as to not weigh down your bags. Fun fact, its nickname is the pancake lens!
Canon EOS Rebel T6
One of the latest in Canon’s Rebel series, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 is a great beginner camera for anyone looking for his or her first DSLR! This camera body includes everything you need to get started in taking high-quality photos and video, too. The Rebel series is very affordable and adds great value for any traveler or budding photographer.
Rokinon AF 35mm F/1.4
This lens is a great addition for your Sony E-Mount camera. Because it shoots at f/1.4, you're able to take this indoors and shoot in darker locations. Concerts, events, weddings are all times when this lens excels. You can take this outdoors and shoot the stars and get great results when stopping down to f/1.4. Because it is 35mm, you're able to get a wide enough landscape to show some decent foreground and midground elements.
Rokinon has been producing quality lenses for a number of years and every iteration they come out with is better and better.
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB SD Card
This SD card from SanDisk is an excellent memory card. We use this memory card in all of our cameras. 64GB is a great storage capacity and will last you through several days of capturing photos and videos. In one of our newest cameras, the Sony A7 III, this card is dedicated to the second card slot and often used as a backup for JPGs. Sometimes, it gets promoted to the primary card slot depending on the day. We've noticed that in most applications, this memory card won't slow you down when shooting RAW burst mode or 4K videos.
If you're going on a long trip and don't have a travel storage backup system, a few of these cards will be great and last you for most or all of your trip!
Canon EF 50mm F/1.4 USM
Coming in at a very affordable price tag, this 50mm portrait lens from Canon is amazing in low light. The depth of field is shallow, so be careful when shooting portraits and faces, as to not miss the focus on your subject’s eye. We’ve seen that happen when shooting portraits with our 50mm lenses, when shooting at f/1.8!
This Canon 50mm is an okay choice for shooting star photos, but don’t expect to get a wide landscape. If this is the only lens you take on a trip, you can stitch photos together after shooting starry skies to make a cool composition.
Sony A7r II
The Sony a7R II is incredible when you think what is inside. It has a very high megapixel sensor that allows you to crop-in to images. You can also shoot with APS-C lenses in Super 35 mode and get images that are the same MP range as the rest of the Sony Alpha lineup. Because there are so many megapixels, when you scale the images down, I've found them to be a bit cleaner than looking at an image from the 24MP Sony Alpha cameras.
Aside from the specs, the price is great! Because of the new camera lineups, the price for the Sony a7R II as dropped a good bit.
Sony 50mm F/1.8 Lens
This Sony 50mm lens performs really well in low light. It is designed for a full-frame sensor and makes for a good upgrade from a kit lens. This is one of our favorite portrait lenses and you’ll see sharp photos with nice bokeh when you shoot faces or objects with this lens. It is designed for the Sony E-mount.
Canon EF 85mm F/1.8 USM
This Canon 85mm is an amazing portrait lens that we recommend (the standard lens size for portraits is 85mm). With this lens, you’ll find a good separation of the background, and most of the subject will be in focus, even at f/1.8! Additionally, the USM will give you silent autofocus. This is a good video lens for close details as well.
The Sony a6300 is the next logical upgrade from the a6000. There are a few notable upgrades but the one to mention is the images stabilization. Because of this, the video is drastically improved. Plus, you're able to save yourself a few stops when shooting photos because your images are stabilized as well.
If you're getting serious about photos and videos, the a6300 is a great camera to own.
The Sony a6000 mirrorless camera is one of the best travel cameras that you can buy. It's small enough where it won't weigh you down and powerful enough where you can get amazing images. It adapts all of Sonys latest and greatest lenses, which have been improving over the years. As for specs, you can find a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 11 FPS continuous shooting, Hybrid AF with 179-point focal plane phase-detection and much more! We own this camera and absolutely love it. It's been by our side and helping us get great images for a few years now.
The Sony a9 is the flagship camera of the Sony Alpha lineup. It's the best. Seriously, it really is. We were shopping for new cameras and highly considered the a9. We were held up on the price because it was hovering around $4000 at the time.
With this camera, you're getting it all. You have the updated Sony body with the newest battery. This battery gives you much more performance than the old Sony Alpha lineup cameras like the a7 series and the a6000 series. You get 20fps burst mode with no EVF blackout. This is great for shooting sports and action. You get excellent autofocus and you get eye autofocus that is helpful for shooting portraits.
If you're a serious photographer looking for your next upgrade, consider the a9!
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II has Canon’s new DIGIC 7 Image Processor, 4K Time-lapse Video, GPS and WiFi. It’s a solid choice for shooting video and has a tilty-flippy screen so that you can spin the screen around and shoot a video of yourself without an external monitor. Pretty helpful!