Because we’re making documentaries and videos during our travels, we carry on a bit more equipment than the average traveler. Over the last few years, we used a lot of different camera’s, electronic accessories, and laptops. So now what things are useful while traveling and which stuff you better leave at home.
To help you as good as we can, we decided to split this page into two parts. First, we tell you about the equipment we would recommend for every traveler. And later we go more in detail into the equipment we use for making our documentaries and videos. This part is useful for you when you also want to use more professional equipment and produce different videos.
So let’s first focus on the stuff we recommend for every traveler.
Best Travel Camera & Electronics
While we are traveling, we also try to pack as a minimum as we can. But there a few essential things we always bring with us.
GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition (check the latest price on Amazon)
We use both the GoPro Hero 4 and the newer GoPro Hero 7. Both cameras are perfect quality, and we love that you can use them in the water while snorkeling, diving or just having fun! We prefer the GoPro Hero 7 because it has a built-in stabilizer which gives you even smoother images and videos. We recommend buying a newer GoPro camera then the Hero4. The prices are almost the same, and with one of the newer GoPro’s, you buy a better quality camera.
A must-have accessory is a floating grip (check the latest price on Amazon), which you can use in the water. The GoPro Hero7 is waterproof without housing(up to 33ft / 10 meters). All the other accessories are depending on which way you’re planning to use the GoPro.
GoPro Hero7 Black Bundle Sport (check the latest price on Amazon) is the complete package we recommend when you want to use the GoPro intensively.
Solar charger Powerbank (check the latest price on Amazon)
We all use our smartphones during traveling. I’m an iPhone lover and use it extensively while on the road. Not even to go online, I like to be offline when it’s possible. But I use my iPhone, for example for navigation, and playing music. And I hate it when my battery dies while on the road. So we always bring a power bank with us. There are many power banks to find. We like to use this Solar Charger (check the latest price on Amazon) because it is easy to use, water and shockproof and it charges with and without using electricity.
JBL Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (check the latest price on Amazon)
We love our music. Everywhere we go we bring this small Bluetooth speaker from JBL. The sound is amazingly good, the JBL clip is waterproof, and the battery life is around 10 hours. A must-have for every traveling music lover.
We feel that you don’t need to bring more electronics or camera’s with you while just traveling around. To make beautiful photo’s you can use the GoPro. If you don’t want to use your GoPro at some point, your smartphone makes probably great pictures!
However, when you want to make travel videos or documentaries like we do, we recommend investing a bit more in your setup.
Recommended Setup for Making Videos
When we started with our new lifestyle, we knew one thing; we wanted to travel the world and capture the beautiful cultures we come across. So we did a lot of research in buying the best camera setup to make our documentaries.
We even started with a small camera, a DJI Osmo, which did the trick for the first few videos. But soon we found out it had a lot of limitations. So when we went back home after our first period of traveling, we rented a bunch of different equipment to find out what works the best for us.
The most important elements for our setup were:
- Easy to use
- 4K video quality
- Slo-motion 120frames per second
- Built-in Stabilizer
After some extensive testing this is our current camera setup:
Panasonic Lumix GH5 (check the latest price on Amazon)
We chose this camera because of the built-in stabilization, slow-motion function (180frams per second), and it is very easy to use.
A nice extra for us is its dual SD card slot, so don’t need to change the memory cards during filming.
Panasonic 12-35MM F2.8 Lens (check the latest price on Amazon)
For us, this is the perfect lens. It is wide enough to make beautiful landscape shots, and we have just enough zoom to make amazing close-ups. Also, with the light sensitivity of F2.8, we can film in really low-light settings.
Zhiyun Weebill Lab3 Stabilizer (Check the latest price on Amazon)
Our camera does have a built-in stabilizer which works perfect, but because we have a lot of shots with movement, we wanted to use a gimbal as well. It’s just way easier making those cinematic shots using a gimbal. We also tested the DJI Ronin S, but we found it too heavy and difficult to use. The DJI Ronin S (check the latest price on Amazon), is more expensive and weighs 3KG, which is to heavy to carry around all day.
We prefer Zhiyun weebill Lab. It is relatively cheap, weigh only 970g, which is just easier to carry around all day. And it has some excellent features such as a 360 option.
DJI Mavic Air (check the latest price on Amazon)
We’re still using a DJI Mavic Pro (check the latest price on Amazon), the first generation, which is a perfect drone. We’re recommending the DJI Mavic Air over the Mavic Pro because its smaller weigh less, but also has the same perfect image quality.
A thing to notice when buying a drone are the rules around flying with a drone. Legislation for drones is changing all the time at the moment. So make sure you know what the rules are for flying a drone in the countries where you want to use it. For a lot of countries, you need a permit for flying drones nowadays. Nonetheless, it is still awesome to make videos with a drone.
Rode Video Micro (check the latest price on Amazon)
Our camera has a great built-in microphone, but when we’re filming outside we learned it is better to use an external microphone. It captures the sound much better with less distortion. We use the Rode Video Micro, this perfect small microphone is easy to handle, it’s just plug in and record!
When we’re filming interviews we’re always using the Rode smartLav+ (check the latest price on Amazon). for Smartphones. This small wearable microphone is very easy to handle. Just plug it in your iPhone or smartphone and hit record on the Rode record app (you need to install the app separately). You can click the microphone on someone’s shirt. It is so small a lot of time you don’t even see its there.
We use this because it is much easier in the edit to have a separate audio file of the interviews, it improves the quality.
Manfrotto BeFree Tripod (check the latest price on Amazon)
This is the perfect travel tripod for us. It only weighs 1KG and has al the functions of a standard video tripod. We use it mainly when we’re filming interviews for our documentaries.
We also use a camera backpack so we can easily take all our equipment with us. Read our travel bag and camera backpack recommendations here
MacBook Pro 15 inch – for video editing (check the latest price on Amazon)
This is one of the best MacBooks for video editing at the moment. We use Final Cut Pro X as our video editing software, and because we’re editing long videos (+30 minutes) in 4K quality, we need a MacBook like this. However, we’re still working on an old MacBook Pro 2013 version (this is a link to a renewed Macbook Pro sold on Amazon – click the link to check the latest price on Amazon).
Which still works fine for us. But we needed to replace different hardware to make sure we could keep working on this MacBook. So it might be cheaper at first, but I think you’ll have problems video editing in the future when your shooting videos in 4K (or higher) quality.
When we’re going to buy a new MacBook Pro, this will definitely be our choice, unless there’s even a better one out there at that time 😉