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My Travel Photography Gear + Beginners Camera Recommendations

March 19, 2020
the diary of a nomad travel photography camera gear
Photo by Lukáš Platinský

One of the questions I get asked the most is “what camera do you use?” So I’ve decided to lay it all out in this article – from the camera and lenses I use to other photography equipment that I can’t travel without! Because I’ve been doing photography for over 15 years, my gear is quite advanced and can be pricey. If you’re just starting out in photography, you can find my beginners’ camera recommendations towards the end of the article!

Disclaimer: This awesome, free article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. No pressure to use these links, but I really appreciate it when you do!

Camera Body

the diary of a nomad photography gear nikon d610

Nikon D610 I’ve been using this full-frame camera for over 6 years now, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an upgrade from a beginner’s camera. What I love most about it is that it performs very well in low-light situations, which has proved to be very handy during my travels as I often take photos just before sunrise. I’m always impressed that I can often bump the ISO up to 800 and not notice any noise when I’m editing!


Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 – This is the lens I use the most during my travels. It’s super sharp, has a good zoom range that’s versatile for many different situations, and I love the fact that it can go down to f/2.8 – perfect for low light situations! It also has image stabilization, which helps you capture motion without blurriness. If you’re looking for a sturdy, professional lens for your full-frame camera – look no further!


Tokina AF 16-28mm f/2.8 – This wide-angle lens has come in very handy during my trips to Uzbekistan, Iran, and Oman, where the architecture is super majestic and a normal lens simply wouldn’t do it justice. Its f/2.8 feature also makes it a useful lens for low-light situations. I highly recommend it!


Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G – I’ve always loved a good prime lens, and this one is perfect for full-frame cameras. I use it especially for nighttime photography to take advantage of its f/1.4 feature. This lens is also my go-to for portrait photography as the bokeh it creates is stunning, and the focus is super sharp. This is a must-have if you’re looking to experiment with prime lenses!



the diary of a nomad photography gear manfrotto element traveller tripod

Manfrotto Element Traveller Tripod (Ball Head) – When I travel alone, I always bring my tripod with me so that I can still create content on my own. My equipment is quite heavy, so I need a very sturdy tripod for it. This one is perfect – it can hold up to 8 kg of weight and is also very lightweight (1.6 kg) considering the amount of weight it can support. You can also easily fit it into your backpack because it’s really compact (42 cm closed length). I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a sturdy, small and lightweight tripod!

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    SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO – I’ve tried many types of SD cards throughout the years and can say that this one is by far the quickest and most efficient. Upgrading to Extreme Pro has proved to be a really good idea for me – your photos really do load a lot faster and it does make a difference especially if you’re shooting under stressful conditions!

    LaCie Backup Hard Drive – This is one of the most valuable photography accessories you can get; it ensures your hard work is backed up and not lost! I recommend this brand because I’ve tried many other brands of hard drives and LaCie is by far the fastest and most efficient one I’ve come across. I no longer spend hours waiting for my photos to get transferred, and given my busy schedule, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster – One of the most useful accessories for photographers; an air-blower that blows off dust from your lens. I use this a few times a day to keep my lens clean when there’s no need to clean it further with wipes. I highly recommend this simple tool to protect your lens!

    Camkix Lens Cleaning Paper Tissue – I use these lens cleaning tissues to wipe away any dust or dirt on my lens. They don’t cause any scratches, which is very important to me. They also come with a double-sided cleaning cloth that you can use to clean glasses, smartphones, tablets and LCD screens!

    Beginners Camera Recommendations

    Sony A6400 – This is truly one of the best beginner cameras for travel photography as it’s very lightweight, portable, and compact. It’s also great for a variety of everyday shots as well as street and landscape photos. I love the image quality as well as the razor-sharp results it achieves, but the best thing about this camera is that it’s very easy for beginners to use, yet produces professional results. This camera comes with a 16-50mm kit lens, but is compatible with a very wide range of Sony and third-party E-mount lenses!

    ➢ Read my best lenses for the Sony A6400 guide to discover the wide range of fantastic lenses you can pair this camera with. It includes a variety of wide-angle, prime, portrait, macro, and telephoto lenses!

    Nikon D3500 + DX 18–55 VR Kit – This is a great entry-level DSLR with really good image quality and performance for its price. It also has an interactive ‘Guide’ shooting mode that takes you through all its settings, and does a neat job at capturing movement as well – with a burst rate of 5fps! I recommend getting it with its standard 18-55mm kit lens.

    Canon EOS Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D – This is one of the most affordable DSLRs out there, and it’s a great first DSLR to practice with. It’s got good image quality and produces noise-free images at up to ISO 800, but has an 18MP image sensor rather than the regular 24MP one. That should be enough though if you’re just starting off and want to learn photography without breaking the bank.

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    Welcome to my travel blog!

    I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer and writer who has no idea where to call home. What I do know is I'm most in my element when I'm in a new country, immersed in a new culture. To me, it's one of the most humbling, educational, and valuable experiences one can have! I've lived in 5 continents, visited 60 countries, and plan to never stop. I hope my detailed guides and itineraries will be useful in helping you plan your next big trip! Make sure to subscribe if you don't want to miss my new articles. Happy travels! :)

    x Jiayi

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