It is relatively rare that we would update our Gadgets for Travel Blogging because we always ensure to buy the equipment we need at the time. Where our focus is always on 3 factors, affordability, specs and size, as devices have to be within our frugal budget, they have to create the footage necessary, and they must be small enough for a handbag or pocket. As we are otherwise not overly savvy when it comes to RS Components and the various specs of equipment. And we just don’t want heavy, bulky, expensive equipment ruining our travels. As our passion for travel will always come far before the coverage we can create along the way.
At the same time, it is the journey that makes great travel footage, rather than the gadgets for travel blogging, and one of our most popular videos on YouTube to date (above) was taken on little more than a simple point and shoot camera. Although, I do still ask myself how footage could have maybe been much better given proper professional equipment. Regardless, we will always look to simplify and minimize our equipment and baggage, and here I share a quick list of the gadgets we use most for travel blogging.
Sony Alpha Mirrorless Camera
I did feel guilty when I bought this camera where before the time I had always used Nikon DSLRs with the various lens. And this is kind of the problem with DSLR and mirrorless cameras where the base with kit lens is likely the first purchase for an ongoing relationship with one camera brand only. Given lenses end up being the more expensive purchases and they’re only ever compatible with the one brand you committed to at the beginning. But the mirrorless camera has the obvious benefit over DSLRs where it is small enough to take in our pockets, instead of lugging around camera bags and lenses when out exploring new destinations.
DJI Spark Drone
I wanted a drone from the very first moment I saw one. And there were so many times that I was sitting on the fence for various models through the years before backing out due to the overall awkwardness of them all. As the earlier models of drones were bulky and just impractical for lightweight and fast travel. Like we prefer. So size was always going to be the deciding factor for drones, and with the introduction of the DJI Spark, I was straight out to add it to our gadget list. But it is the perfect travel drone where it’s so small it can fit in your pocket (143×143×55 mm), and so light that it avoids many of the new drone legislation (300grms). Although we do still take it along in a small backpacker when out creating coverage. But it is also idiot-proof and almost impossible to crash with obstacle avoidance sensors and automatic return “home” with GPS tracking when batteries are running low. Although we did manage to crash it once or twice at the very start (shown below) and it has lived year’s longer to share more tales.
Apple iPad & iPhones
I am embarrassed to add these (or even own them tbh) but they have become indispensable in our travels through the years. And it all started years ago when we bought an iPad to help us blog when on the move. Which never really happened to be honest, at least I never really published entire articles, because it is so much easier to edit images and articles from behind a laptop when back on steady ground again. But I do still write on the ‘Notes’ app when on the move e.g. on trains, planes and automobiles, and the battery life lasts for days meaning there’s no need to charge it all the time. And I still use the same iPad from 6 years ago as I only really use it for notes. An expensive notepad I know but it has served us well for other reasons through the years. Otherwise, iPhones have now become crucial to simple travel photography and Fanfan’s social media needs like Instagram.
We first bought a GoPro following a snorkelling trip to Malaysia for the sole purpose of underwater photography, yet we haven’t been snorkelling since this time. The GoPro is also purposely built to be an action camera, which seems a bit obsolete for our travels, given we do little more than potter around different destinations and eat local foods. As we’re definitely not full of “action” when it comes to travel. But we have still managed to utilize it elsewhere, and the main perk of the GoPro for me is that it’s so tiny you barely know it’s in your pocket. At the same time, it is a very effective action camera, it is easy to set-up in seconds, and you can just set it anywhere, like on a nearby branch and wall, and press record. However, the main use of our GoPro is in timelapse videos where we just set it up in front of a pretty landscape or sunset then leave it for 30 mins or so. Retrieve the GoPro, speed up the footage, and this gadget has paid itself off in no time.