Being a tech and travel blogger means that I’m always creating video or photography content, and until now I’ve relied on my smartphone to get me by. The camera quality on smartphones are so good nowadays that it’s easier than ever to create professional, high quality content and I’ve been pretty pleased so far.
That said, I wanted to step up my game in 2017 — so I’ve started travelling with some better quality video gear and smartphone accessories that will help me create better content.
iPhone 6s Plus with olloclip
My iPhone 6s Plus continues to be my go-to camera option. While it struggles in low light — especially indoors — it’s a problem with most smartphones and for most intents and purposes, the iPhone captures fantastic photos and videos. Throw on an olloclip wide angle lens and it’s a perfect duo for getting those more creative shots.
KitVision 4KW action cam
If a GoPro action cam is beyond your budget, there are a number of lower-cost alternatives and mine is the KitVision 4KW action cam. Despite its name, the 4KW doesn’t record good 4K footage at all however it does do a good job at standard 1080p at 60 frames per second.
Canon 550D DSLR camera
My sister bought this for herself a few years ago and rather predictably it started gaining dust because she never used it. Ever since I started travel blogging on FabMeetsWorld.com, I’ve tried to take it away on as many trips as I can in order to capture the best high quality images I can. It isn’t great for video recording or vlogging, but it can take some amazing photos.
Rode VideoMicro microphone
I picked up the Rode VideoMicro from Amazon before travelling in Portugal earlier this year. It’s an exceptionally well built microphone for the price — the main unit is made of metal and comes with a wind protector — and the sound quality is definitely a step up from the in-built microphones on my DSLR or iPhone. One of my favourite things about this microphone is just how light and portable it is; you’ll hardly know it’s there.
In-ear headphones: Apple EarPods
My Apple EarPods have been good to me. If I’m vlogging on my iPhone for instance and need a quick way to capture good quality audio (without a professional lav microphone), these in-ear headphones do a fantastic job. Best of all: they’re so light and small that they can fit anywhere!
Tripods & support
Manfrotto Pixi Mini tripod
The Manfrotto Pixi Mini tripod makes a great companion because it’s compatible with all of my devices: my iPhone, action cam and DSLR. It’s light and compact enough to slide into any bag without issues, and it’s versatile enough to justify its space. You can hold it like a hand grip for vlogging mode just like you can open its legs to take a time lapse video, landscape photos or general video footage.
Olloclip Pivot hand grip
Designed by olloclip, the makers behind the wide angle lens I mentioned earlier, the Pivot is their self-made hand grip to make video recording easier for creators. Sadly it’s as strong or versatile as the Pixi Mini, but it does have a cold shoe mount to attach the Rode microphone — giving me a full video recording setup.
Manfrotto Befree tripod
The BeFree tripod by Manfrotto was an absolute pleasure to use while I was travelling in Portugal. In fact, this video I made for the Four Seasons Ritz in Lisbon was recorded entirely using the Manfrotto BeFree tripod. Folding down to just 32cm when folded, the BeFree takes up little space in a hand-luggage suitcase and can comfortably fit into a backpack too.
Manfrotto Befree Live fluid head
Paired with the Befree tripod, the Manfrotto Befree Live fluid head makes recording smooth video a breeze. The fluid head allows you to pan and tilt with varying levels resistance, there’s a built-in leveller to help you balance our your shots and it’s super compact and lightweight too (0.38kg) — making it easy to travel with.
TYLT Energi battery case
My TYLT Energi battery case allows me to continue taking photos and shooting video while I’m on the move — without having to plug into a power source with a cable. It’s a lot less messy and although it makes my iPhone bulky, it’s a compromise worth making for convenience.
Power banks are a must when I’m travelling with tech; everything from my smartphone to camera batteries rely on power-ups every so often because I’m taking so many photos. I don’t have a particular favourite, but I usually carry the larger 20,000 mAh batteries I covered in this roundup.
DSLR batteries & USB charger
If you’re using a DSLR the last thing you want is to see a dead battery icon and no way to continue shooting. That’s why I invested in a USB charger and spare DSLR batteries, so I now have 3 in total to keep me going. The USB charger can simply plug into one of my battery packs to recharge, then I’m good to go.
Brinell SSD external hard drive
I reviewed the Brinell SSD a few years ago and it has been my primary external drive ever since. Packing powerful performance it’s ideal for storing larger files I need to access quickly, and with its incredibly slick wooden design, it’s an eye catcher whenever I take it out of my bag.
You can’t record video on a DSLR without SD cards, so I carry around a couple: one from Sandisk and another from Eye-Fi. The Eye-Fi SD card in particular is pretty cool because you can transfer content wirelessly from the card onto your devices using the Keenai app. No cables; no mess.
WD My Passport Wireless: spare hard drive
As a secondary larger capacity hard drive, I’ve been carrying the 1TB My Passport Wireless by Western Digital. It has ample storage for all of my video footage and thanks to an integrated SD card slot, I can easily upload my files onto it using the dedicated WD MyCloud application.
So there you have it guys and girls, that’s pretty much the whole list of tech I travel with to create photography and video content. Hope you enjoyed it and please, don’t forget to use the Amazon links below if you choose to buy anything!