The best camera is the one you have with you.
— Barry Staver

I don't really care about equipment, because I can't keep track or make sense of all those specifics. I also can't discern the visible differences between companies and models. That being said, here's what I can say about gear for travel production:

iPhone 5s

Like most humans, I always have a camera phone on me, so I try to make the most use of it. Lightroom has a great mobile app for editing phone images and syncing to your desktop version. I share iPhone images on Tumblr and Instagram. I suggest pairing the iPhone with a Lifeproof case to avoid water damage and enable underwater filming!

Canon Powershot

I believe a lot in the abilities of a Canon Powershot above all other makes and models for point-and-shoot work. Its screen is large with a nice user interface. I used mine throughout the STA World Traveler Internship to film and take photos, and I see a lot of big time YouTube vloggers using Powershots to create their content.

Canon 5D Mark II

This isn't a starter DSLR (and if you're looking for one, check out the Canon Rebels). I've had this model for 4 years, and I don't think I've used it to its fullest yet. I do most of my video work with the 5D. Make sure if you're getting a DSLR camera to budget for a high quality lens, or you're not going to get the photos your camera body is capable of. UV filters are a must to keep your precious lens scratch and blemish-free.

Sennheiser EW112P ENG G3A Wireless Mic

The audio for this postcard video was recorded using Sennheiser lav mics, which are relatively expensive for the consumer and hugely helpful for the prosumer.

Røde shotgun videomic pro

If I want to record more than one person and/or include the surrounding sounds, this Røde mic is the industry standard on DSLRs, so it would seem from Canon's filmmaker packages.

MeFoto Road Trip tripod

Don't be turned off by the bright color options; these aren't cheaply made. This tripod is compact, relatively lightweight for its sturdiness, and versatile with its ability to unscrew into a monopod (the original selfie stick). Both the Røde mic and MeFoto tripod made the Schooling Nomads series possible.

WD My Passport Wireless 2TB

Saving images and travel writing when you didn't bring a laptop (and even if you did) is very easy with a WD My Passport Wireless external hard drive, although you could also get by with just having a big USB stick for photography.

MacBook Pro

And the big kahuna of all my technology, my MacBook Pro. It's a beaut, a high-quality laptop with creative capabilities out the wazoo. I'd recommend this model if the following things are important to you: video production with either iMovie or an amped-up program like Final Cut Pro, photo manipulation on a screen with amazing graphics (I'd recommend using Adobe's Lightroom), integrating visuals into written pieces or other programs, easy transportation of the laptop, and much more.


Budget travelers save up for big things that they know will bring value to their lives: a big journey, a mountain trek, one nice hotel stay in between heaps of $2/night joints. We understand how to translate currency into value in a way that makes sense to us. We also find great merit in purchasing those quality items that will last through all the "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences. I'll tell anyone to go for the cheapest option on housing or transportation, but I can't say "just wear your old Keds" on a big trip. Wear Merrell Chameleon Arc Gore-Tex Trekking Shoes! I add good insoles, and my feet are never in pain, regardless of the activity. Throw on some Smart Wool Trekking Socks, and you'll be fine for months.

And now my backpack...I don't take this subject lightly. I also think a backpack should be an investment in quality. It doesn't matter if you're never going on any big treks with your pack, it needs to be good for weight distribution, have ventilation for the back, and be durable for the long haul. I bought my Deuter ACT Lite 40 + 10 Trekking Backpack while on a trip and put it to work immediately. I've yet to find a flaw in its design in three years. It's 50 liters of space, which is more than enough for a long trip, and I've actually slept with this backpack more times than I could attempt counting. It's comfortable and won't piss you off, which is great for a solo traveler who might very likely get attached to his/her only steady companion.