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Camera gear can be a minefield. The amount you spend really depends on how much you want out of photography, and also how much cash you can invest. I believe this list below is the best travel photography gear on a budget.
This does not, by any means, mean this is the cheap option. This is my set up that I spent time researching to get the best value travel camera equipment I could, and this list will hopefully save you some time or help with what is genuinely a really tough decision.
I chose this setup as I was on a limited budget (so spending £2000 on a body and then £1000 on various lenses was just way out of my budget). However, I also didn’t want a camera that I would outgrow as I begin to advance with my photography skills and knowledge. So this setup became a happy medium for me which I have thankfully not regretting.
And realistically, the main thing to get better photographs is to simply learn the basics of photography.
Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Camera
This is Nikon’s first mirrorless DX/APS-C sensor camera and is also incredible value for money. While this mirrorless camera costs slightly more than a DSLR, the image quality and weight beat all the DSLRs at a similar price point. I decided I did not want the additional body and lens costs of a full frame camera.
The camera body only weighs 395g so the camera feels super-lightweight which is perfect for travelling. I love the touchscreen and EVF (electronic view finder) which shows what the camera is about to capture. This makes it super easy to tweak the image before snapping.
The menus are really easy to navigate, offer information about what each setting actually does (great for beginners).
For the best deal on the Nikon Z50, this camera can be bundled with the two lenses I have listed below. This is the option I recommend and can save you hundreds in the long term of purchasing lenses. This give you the wide angle and also a telephoto lens which are both really good for starting out.
These two lenses combine to gives you a focal length from 16mm, up to 250mm. This is going to cover effectively everything you require in a travel camera.
It’s worth noting that this camera is a Z-mount camera. Meaning the F-mount lens for the DSLR range will not be compatible straight out of the box. I purchased the FTZ adaptor which converts the F-mount lens to be compatible with this camera.
NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
This zoom lens is ideal for a travel lens. The lens is almost a pancake lens it’s that small! You can see how little it protrudes out from the front of the Nikon Z50 in the image above.
The variable aperture ranges from 3.5 at 16mm to 6.3 at 50. This is not the most amazing specs, but the auto focus is quick and super sharp for a lens of this price.
NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
The 16-50 is my go to for travelling around a city etc. However, sometimes you need just a little more reach. That is where this lens comes in handy.
Benro Slim Carbon Fibre Tripod
The reason I opted for this tripod was simple. With a reverse fold design, this can fold down to 31.5cm, which is tiny for a tripod. However, the Benro Slim still has a max height of 145cm. It only weighs 1kg but is perfectly stable. This suits me for being out a walk or travelling abroad, as I know it will easily fit in a bag.
I need a lightweight tripod that is stable and easy to use. For its price (around £100 / $150), I would say this is the best value tripod for travellers.
FotoPro UFO2 Travel Tripod
This is essentially the same as a GorillaPod and is ideal for smartphones and cameras with a light lens. This tripod is portable and easy to attach to almost any surface. This helps me get pictures when there is no one else around to take them or I want a longer exposure, but means I don’t need a larger tripod.
It’s super portable and easy to use. Wrap it round a pole or tree branch and you are good to go with a stable platform.
Gobe 46mm 10 Stop ND Filter
Ever wondered how photographers get that silky smooth water running down a waterfall? Neutral Density (ND) filters accomplish this. They limit and give control over the amount of light entering the camera.
This particular filter reduces the incoming light by 10 stops (a lot!), meaning a long exposure is required. This captures the movement of the water and gives that amazing effect.
This ND filter is a pretty cost-effective way to get started with ND filters and long exposures and, again, is really good value for money as it does not affect the overall image quality.
Environmental Bonus: For every filter that Gobe sell, they plant 5 trees.
K&F Concept 46MM Polarising Filter
This was the cheapest polarising filter I could find that is also from a well-known brand. This can reduce glare from windows and wet objects to saturate colour, and also reduce reflections across a body of water.
At under £10, this filter was a no-brainer for me to add to my kit.
All these images were shot with my travel photography gear mentioned above.
Note: I am not claiming to be an advanced photographer. These images are simply to show what you can achieve with the above camera gear, even with little experience of photography.
If you have any questions about this camera gear, do not hesitate to contact me and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
I’d love to hear if you have any other photography essentials you pack on your travels, or check out my travel destinations.