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One of the most common questions I receive is “What camera gear do you use?”
This often leads to a conversation about what I believe to be the best cameras for travel blogging and the different features that define the best cameras for blogging as a whole.
There are several factors to consider when making your blogging camera purchase, including what kind of content you shoot, your budget and your skill level.
If you have no idea what kind of blogging camera you’re looking for, perhaps these questions will point you in the right direction:
- Are you a travel blogger always on the move? You probably want a somewhat compact and lightweight camera that still produces high-quality photos.
- Are you a lifestyle blogger capturing food, fashion or everyday life? You’re probably looking for a mid-level DSLR that produces sharp photos, but doesn’t need to necessarily have all the bells & whistles of pro equipment.
- Are you a beginner blogger? Your best option is a beginner DSLR, which is affordable and ideal for learning more about photography.
I’m personally the proud owner of a Sony a7 III — which in my opinion is one of the best cameras for travel blogging. Let’s delve into why the Sony a7 III is such a great blogging camera, as well as other top options on the market.
Top 5 Best Cameras For Travel Blogging
Below you’ll find the 5 most popular cameras for travel bloggers. The list includes both mirrorless and DSRL options, with prices ranging from $1,400 to $2,500. If you’re not familiar with mirrorless cameras, continue reading for a full explanation.
Best travel blogging camera: Sony a7 III
- Compact & lightweight
- Touchscreen LCD
- Reliable battery life
- Can be used with a huge range of awesome Sony lenses
- Learn more about the a7 III
Best travel blogging camera: NIkon d750
- Professional-level autofocus system
- Built-in WiFi
- One of the more affordable high-level full-frame cameras on the market
- Learn more about the D750
Best Travel Blogging Camera: CANON 5D MARK IV
- Touchscreen LCD
- One of the most popular cameras among professional travel bloggers
- Produces soft, warm colors
- Solid camera build
- Learn more about the 5D Mark IV
Best Travel Blogging Camera: CANON 6D MARK II
- Touchscreen LCD
- Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS capability
- More affordable than the Mark IV
- Perfect for nonprofessional yet advanced hobbyists
- Learn more about the 6D Mark II
Best Travel Blogging Camera: FUJIFILM X-T4
- In-body image stabilization
- Touchscreen LCD
- Weather-resistant body
- Great video capabilities, perfect for someone who often switches between still and video capture
- Learn more about the X-T4
What Is a Mirrorless Camera?
A mirrorless camera is different from a traditional DSLR camera in that it doesn’t use a mirror to reflect the image onto the viewfinder. This means you’re able to see a live preview of your image exactly as it will be exposed through the rear LCD screen or electronic viewfinder of a mirrorless camera.
Also, since it doesn’t have a mirror, a camera like the Sony a7 III is generally smaller and lighter than its DSLR competitors. The lack of a mirror also allows a mirrorless camera to function quieter than traditional DLSRs.
For these reasons and more, mirrorless cameras are increasingly replacing traditional DSLRs in the photography industry.
What Is a Full-Frame Camera?
A full-frame camera has a full-frame sensor, meaning that the camera has the ability to capture the entire scene with no crop factor.
To understand what this means, we have to talk about cameras that don’t have a full-frame sensor. Called “crop sensors” or “APS-C,” these cameras crop into the scene your camera is viewing. This means you need to calculate this “crop factor” when buying lenses.
For example, my first camera was an APS-C Nikon, and it multiplied the focal length of my lenses by 1.5. This means that my 35 mm lens actually acted like a ~50 mm lens. It basically zoomed into the scene 1.5 times.
Aside from having not having to calculate a crop factor into your lens purchases, there are many other benefits to having a full-frame camera, including better image quality and having more control over the depth of field.
Full-frame cameras are, however, a lot more expensive than crop sensors.
Why I Believe The Sony a7 III Is The Best Camera For Travel Blogging
I upgraded my camera to the Sony a7 III right before I became a full-time travel blogger and content creator. That was late November 2019.
The Sony a7 III is a full-frame mirrorless camera that’s pretty compact and easy to pack — which makes it the perfect camera for travel blogging. This also makes this one of the best cameras for bloggers as a whole.
Now if the $2,000 price tag scares you off, I completely understand. Truth is, buying professional level camera gear is very expensive, and growing as a photographer requires quite a bit of financial investment.
Considering photography plays a big role in my career as a travel blogger, I knew that upgrading from a beginner DSLR to a professional mirrorless camera would take my photos to another level. I could hardly contain my excitement when I was finally ready to make the investment! It was so, so worth it.
Still, it took me some time to get to this point. I used a beginner DSLR camera for nearly three years before finally making the leap to Sony.
Fast-forward to 2021 and I can’t imagine shooting with anything else.
Why Did I Choose Sony As My Travel Blogging Camera?
I watched hundreds of YouTube videos before finally deciding on the Sony a7 III.
I originally wanted to switch over to Canon and was thinking of buying the popular Canon 5D Mark IV, which is what many travel bloggers use in the industry.
But the more I started looking into the benefits of owning a mirrorless camera — how compact it was for travel; the weight; the simple, streamlined look — the more I stumbled onto the Sony name. The reason Sony’s name kept coming up is that the brand is at the forefront of the mirrorless camera revolution.
Sony mirrorless cameras have the power of traditional DSLRs without the bulk. For me, that’s beneficial in more ways than one. A smaller camera doesn’t garner as much attention, which is a plus when traveling in places like South America, a continent I plan on exploring more of in the next few years.
While there are more advanced models than the Sony a7 III, my research told me that this was the best fit for me right now. The $2,000 price point was also the highest I was willing to go for the upgrade.
Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with my decision. I love my Sony a7 III so much! It has helped elevate my photography skills to an entirely different level.
Plus, the Sony a7 III also has fantastic video capabilities, which is something I plan to explore in the future.
5 Great Entry-Level Cameras For Beginner Bloggers
The best camera for beginner bloggers that are just starting out is an entry-level DSLR:
- Nikon D3500
- Learn more about the D3500 here
- Canon EOS Rebel T7i
- Learn more about the Canon Rebel here
- Nikon D5600
- Learn more about the D5600 here
- Canon 90D
- Learn more about the Canon 90D here
- Sony A6000
- Learn more about the A6000 here
These cameras are available at a much more accessible price point than advanced full-frame DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and if you’re just starting out, you probably don’t want to be spending thousands of dollars on a camera body and lens.
Entry-level DSLRs also have less functions than more advanced cameras, which makes it easier for beginners learning to shoot manual for the first time. It’s a good idea to learn the basics of shooting manual on an entry-level DSLR before you spend thousands of dollars on more expensive gear.
It’s a good idea to stick with the camera brand you plan to continue investing in. For example, if your goal is to work your way up to the Sony a7 III, then you can start with the Sony A6000.
Best Camera for Beginner Bloggers: What I Started With
Nikon D-3200 camera body & 18-55 mm F/3.5-5.6 Kit Lens
I wasn’t always the proud owner of a Sony! I spent three years shooting with two entry-level Nikon DSLRs before upgrading to my current setup. This is what used to be in my camera bag.
This is the setup where I grew comfortable shooting in manual and gained a better understanding of how to use ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings to properly expose a photo. Overall, it was a great camera and lens for a beginner blogger like myself.
Unfortunately I damaged my Nikon D-3200 during my travels in South America. The cost to fix it was higher than getting a new camera, so I decided to “upgrade.”
Since I was traveling full-time at the time, I didn’t feel financially comfortable investing in an expensive advanced camera like the Sony a7 III just yet. Instead, I purchased the Nikon D-5600, which is a small step up from the D-3200.
Looking back, I probably wouldn’t have made the same move. Replacing a beginner camera with a slightly more advanced beginner camera doesn’t make much sense if you plan to pursue travel photography on a professional level.
However, I wasn’t sure what would become of my travel blog and Instagram at the time — and I really just needed a new camera for my Southeast Asia travels.
Nikon 35 mm F1.8 Prime Lens
With my new camera body I decided to invest in a new lens. I was looking for a lens with a good bokeh, so I purchased a 35mm F1.8 prime lens for my Nikon D-5600.
Since my camera had a crop-sensor, though, the 35mm acted more like a 50mm. The lens does create a beautifully blurred background, which makes it a wonderful portrait lens. But it wasn’t the best for travel and landscapes, and I often found myself missing a lot of the scene due to the zoom factor.
Still, I was able to create beautiful photos across Southeast Asia with this setup.
View photos from my Europe, South America and Southeast Asia trips below:
Nikon D-3200 & 18-55 mm F/3.5-5.6 lens
10-20 mm F/4.5-5.6 Wide Angle Lens
When I moved to NYC I decided I wanted to invest in a wide angle lens that could capture more of the city than my 35mm (which acted like a 50mm). I purchased a pretty cheap wide angle, the 10-20 mm F/4.5-5.6.
I loved the wide angle effect this lens brought — elongated legs and ability to capture a full scene – but I truly hated the quality. I’m not sure if mine came defected but after a few months I noticed a lot of grain in my images, unless I was shooting on a bright sunny day.
Overall, I feel that I should’ve held off on buying this lens and invested in a more advanced full-frame camera body. But the lens served its purpose at the time, and I was able to capture plenty of unique NYC scenes with it.
View a few photos I took with this setup:
What Lenses Are In My Current Camera Bag?
I currently shoot all my travel blogging with two lenses: a wide angle prime lens and a zoom lens. This setup meets all of my blogging needs, and I’m very content with my purchases!
Sony’s 24 mm F1.4 G Master Lens
I purchased a single wide angle lens with my Sony. After weeks and weeks of research I finally decided on Sony’s 24 mm F1.4 G Master lens.
First let me say that I’m sooo happy with this purchase.
The lens is incredibly sharp, super lightweight and produces the dreamiest bokeh I’ve seen on any lens!
The reason I chose to go with a prime wide angle lens is because I was chasing a specific photography look. I wanted a wide angle lens to capture unique city scenes in New York as well as scenic landscapes while traveling. But I also wanted full control over the depth of field.
I wanted a lens that would give me that wide angle look with a beautifully blurred background. In hindsight, this was the perfect lens to invest in right before the pandemic as it’s perfect for lifestyle photography — which is certainly coming in handy now that I’m not traveling as much.
The 24 mm lens is widely popular among Sony photographers, and I can understand why. It’s the kind of lens that lets me capture urban and landscape scenes alike, with the added bonus of a gorgeous bokeh.
It also performs beautifully under low light situations, which was very beneficial for shooting inside my low-lit apartment during quarantine. The low aperture has also allowed me to use it for several product-focused photoshoots and content creation campaigns. I just love the versatility of this lens.
Sigma 24-70 mm F2.8 Art Lens
I most recently invested in a second lens for my Sony a7 III: The Sigma 24-70 mm F2.8 Art lens.
While I love my 24 mm wide angle, I always planned to make a zoom lens my next lens purchase.
Having a zoom lens is especially useful for scenic travel photos as the zoom allows you to magnify the background for a dramatic effect. You can make mountains appear larger than they actually are by zooming into the scene – something you can’t do with a prime lens.
Since my future travels will likely involve scenic nature-centered destinations (especially now with COVID), this is the perfect zoom lens to start working on my landscape travel photography.
I originally planned on purchasing Sony’s version of this lens — the 24-70mm F/2.8 G Master — but it clocks in at $2,100. That’s $1,000 more than the Sigma. I read enough overly positive reviews of the Sigma lens that convinced me to save the extra $1,000 at this time, especially when there’s so much uncertainty in the travel market.
Bonus: The Best Travel Tripod For Travel Bloggers
I travel with a Vanguard VEO carbon fiber tripod, and I absolutely love it. It’s small enough to fit neatly into my carry-on once folded up. It’s also not too heavy, but at the same time I’ve found it to be sturdy, even in windy situations.
The tripod and ball head give me a lot of control over the position of my camera, which I find especially useful when shooting in awkward or tight spaces.
Here are additional specs:
- Folded height: 15.875″
- Extended height: 57.1″
- Weight: 2.63 pounds
- Learn more about the Vanguard tripod
I hope this camera guide helps you make your big decision! As always, feel free to DM me on Instagram or ask me any questions in the comments below.