Being an adventure travel photographer seems like the outdoor industry’s greatest gig. At least in theory. Even as an amateur, photography is the perfect excuse to travel to some of the world’s most beautiful and coveted destinations. But landing the shot often requires sweating out days in the desert or early mornings violently shivering on windswept mountain peaks. We can’t help with that, but we can recommend gear that won’t let you down when the light is finally right.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera ($1,600)
It’s easy to suffer sticker shock when shopping for a new camera, but trust us, if you’re serious about taking great travel photos, this is your pick. “You want something with a full-frame sensor,” says photographer Jimmy Wilson. Why? Because it works better than a crop sensor in low light and creates less noise—the pixilated grain that can ruin an otherwise amazing photo. This entry-level 26.2-megapixel full-frame DSLR is compact and lightweight and comes with all sorts of features, including high-speed continuous shooting, an intelligent viewfinder, an extra-crisp touchscreen LCD monitor, water resistance, and 4K video capabilities, among others.
Zomei Z818 Professional Camera Tripod ($110)
Capture those timelapses and long exposures of the Milky Way with this lightweight, compact, easy-to-use tripod. It adjusts from 18 to 65 inches tall and clocks in at just 3.5 pounds, making it ideal for hiking or traveling.
Ethnotek Camera Bag ($310 Expected Retail Price)
Ethnotek is best known for working with artisans in Ghana, Indonesia, Guatemala, India, and Vietnam to source handmade textiles with traditional designs for its technical travel bags. Recently funded on Kickstarter, the company’s new rolltop 30-liter camera bag has all the bells and whistles, including a main compartment with dividers for holding up to two camera bodies, multiple lenses, and all your accessories. It also has a removable waist belt with zipper pockets, a side zip for easy on-the-go access to the main compartment, and another side zip revealing a padded laptop pocket. The Kickstarter campaign ends October 13, but the bag should be for sale soon on the company’s website.
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens ($1,100)
A good lens is as important as a good camera. Wilson recommends this versatile option from Canon, which allows you to capture everything from crisp wide-angle landscapes to telephoto zooms of distant wildlife without changing your lens. Plus, it has all the features to make you look the part, including a ten-blade circular aperture that creates sharp, evenly illuminated photos with perfect background blur and a weather-resistant design that protects the lens from everything from rain to sand.
Canon BG-E21 Battery Grip for EOS 6D Mark II ($200)
Long days shooting in the backcountry require long-lasting batteries. This one doubles as a tripod mount and comfortable grip designed for vertical and horizontal shooting. Bonus: At 12.5 ounces, it acts as a comfortable counterweight to large, heavy lenses.
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO V30 SD Card ($30)
All memory cards are not created equal. This 64-gigabyte version can store all the RAW photos and 4K video you can throw at it. Plus, it’s water-, shock-, X-ray-, and temperature-proof to keep your data safe. It also includes downloadable recovery software (good for one year) to restore corrupted or deleted images.
Summit Photography Workshops (From $1,600)
What good is all this expensive gear if you don’t know how to use it? From online classes to sports photography workshops in Denver and wildlife shooting sessions in Peru, Summit has options for every kind of wannabe photog. During these immersive four-to-12-day workshops, professional photographers and creative experts will teach you everything you need to know to strike out on your own.