A major component of running a blog is making sure you take good photos to show through your work. When I first started this, that did not cross my mind until I got my first camera in 2017 and from then on, I started learning photography and experimenting with settings. Now, I’m not just taking pictures for my own blog posts, but I like to take outdoor photography just because it’s fun to capture the sceneries and memories, and sometimes, I do my side gig as a people portrait photographer. If you’re looking to level up your own photography skills, whether it’s for your own adventures like me or professionally, having a camera bag with equipment is almost necessary.
Which camera do I have and why’d I choose to buy it?
I actually found my current camera, which is the amazing Sony Alpha 7, from Facebook Marketplace after asking my sister (both of my sisters are professional photographers who have been doing it for years) for her recommendation and she suggested the Sony Alpha mirrorless camera because it’s a small body that’s lightweight, which makes it highly convenient to go traveling with. It was then I decided I wanted to upgrade my camera from my basic, with-little-to-no-control Canon camera.
On Facebook Marketplace, I found this perfect Sony Alpha 7 camera set that came with of course the camera and then a camera bag, three batteries, the battery charger, a few lens covers, a speedlight, extra chargers, and two lenses. I thought for the price of it, what a steal!!!! And I couldn’t resist buying it from this girl who lived in Gilbert, Arizona, who did professional photography as a side job to support her while going to college. She took great care of her gear and wanted to make sure it went to someone who would really make use of it and it is one of the best purchases I made in my life thus far.
How expensive is a camera and camera equipment?
As you can see, I chose to buy a used camera set, and I’ll go over some of those parts of what lies in my camera bag as well as the ones that I did not get from this girl. It is far more an inexpensive route to get a used camera if you’re lucky to find a decent one that has little to no problems with it, rather than buy a completely new one. It saved me hundreds of dollars. There are a lot of pros too from buying the newest camera gear though, but if you’re in a pinch like I was, I’d opt to find a camera someone is selling already.
Also, if you know you’re still practicing and not the most experienced photographer then why not start off with a used camera? You can in fact also find refurbished ones right off Amazon and even Best Buy, and those will sell cheaper than new ones.
Newer cameras, DSLRs or mirrorless, that have superior qualities to it usually range on the higher end from $1000-$5000, sometimes more than that. Don’t even get me started with how expensive gear can be… Lenses are really pricey and can range anywhere from the thousands.
Photography can become an expensive hobby (or job), but usually what photographers do, as I have too, is collect their gear over time and I’ll make it a priority to save money for it because cameras are a great investment if you really care about your adventurous memories and if you want to get into it as professional work.
My pro tip to finding the best camera that works for you is to do plenty of research. First, ask around in Facebook groups or Reddit forums what camera other photographers would recommend for a particular purpose. For example, I asked my sister what would be a good one for travel photography and in hindsight, I found that my camera also works well for portrait photography.
You also want to read as many reviews as possible on it on YouTube or Google it to lead you to blog sites, and then access if your budget fits with that camera and if you need to get it either used/refurbished or brand new. I emphasize doing plenty of research (even in general with my travel guides) because with any investment you plan to make with your money, you just need to be careful with how you spend it.
My camera backpack
My camera backpack is the latest purchase I made! I wanted one so bad for the purpose of lugging it around as I travel and as I hike, because I love to hike a lot. Before my camera backpack, I would sometimes switch off using my Sony Camera bag or using a water-resistant pouch for my camera that I would just stuff inside my hiking backpack, although this was a great product – I do not think it serves much purpose other than to hold my camera inside it. Having a backpack is the smartest type of place to hold your camera in, and you can then consider adding more there if you want.
My camera backpack, after lots of considerations and research for similar ones, is by Bag Smart. I found this from Amazon but I also see sometimes they collaborate with influencers (I chose to not try because I needed a camera backpack ASAP and also, I love to help out businesses by being the consumer).
This camera backpack is smart! Why?
- It has compartments you can re-assemble however you’d like and then it has a flap over this part where you can choose to stuff your clothes or snacks or whatever on top of your camera gear section.
- I love that it also has chest straps, making it very stable as I hike up on narrow and elevated trails.
- It has a water bottle holder on the side and there’s elastic bands to put your lightweight tripod in. (If you’re looking for a really good water bottle for hiking specifically, I recommend this Hydro Flask Trail Series one.)
- It also then comes with a cover to use on top of your backpack in case it starts to rain. It has zippable sides for access to your camera.
- You can store a lightweight laptop inside as it has its own division to the backpack.
Overall, I love this backpack and you will not regret it.
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What are the things/gear that I put in my camera bag?
Okay, so now to the part of seeing what actually goes inside the camera bag (or backpack).
I have about 3 of these and it’s necessary to have more and to take them with you everywhere in case your battery’s juice gets used up and dies and the worst thing that can happen is if you need to take more photos but cannot with a dead battery. The batteries you’ll need for a Sony Alpha (if you have one/will get one) are Lithium-Ion batteries and the more you use a LCD screen, the more your battery performance will be reduced.
When your batteries die, you of course will need to have a battery charger. There are built-in outlet ones or you can attach a USB cord into an outlet cube that connects to an outlet.
I like to carry a USB cord, specifically for the one that plugs in the Sony Alpha camera, because it helps me to upload the pictures onto my laptop. The USB cord is also functional when I use an outlet cube to help charge my battery charger.
Camera lens cloth
I like my microfiber lens cloth because it helps clean my lens. There may be dust or dirt or smudges on the lens so the cloth is useful in cleaning those off.
A camera isn’t a camera without the lens! So far, I only own two lenses and those are the ones that came with the camera that I bought off. Lenses are such a pricey but extremely worthy investment. I want to get more lenses, especially a zoom lens that can really zoom out, so I am saving for that.
The lenses I own are a 50mm FE 1.8 lens, perfect for portrait photography and any up close shots, and a 28-70mm FE 3.5-5.6 lens, perfect for further shots and up close too — I use these the most because it’s verstaile.
A camera strap is the most useful thing when you’re walking around with a camera. I simply cannot imagine without having a camera strap. The one I have is this one I ordered from Amazon while randomly searching for one and I love it because it’s not super thick yet it’s still very secure around your shoulders.
Luggage tag for backpack
Not something you would expect huh haha? I decided to attach one of my luggage tags on my camera backpack because I find that it is always good to have a form of identification from your items, especially if you’re traveling through airports, even if you never plan to check in your backpack and always keep it as a personal item. You just never know if you forget and someone will be nice enough to contact you if they have your stuff.
This is always a must to bring everywhere. Not only will it help charge your phone, but you can bring it if you need to charge your batteries if you don’t have access to an outlet (like outside).
What is a speedlight? It is also known as a camera flash, the device that produces light to illuminate a scene. This is used for when you need the night shots with a flash.
This tripod brand, Manfrotto, is really good (and can get pricey) and I had to get a more affordable one, so I found this one and it’s compact-able, and that is ideal to go traveling with to put into your luggage and it is easy to carry from its bag’s shoulder strap.
If you plan to go shoot when the weather is not in the best conditions with drizzle or rain, I recommend a rain cover. This Altura brand rain cover is good to throw over your camera and even when it’s attached to your tripod and then you can hold your camera from the sides as it has sleeves that go over your hands.
You need to store your photo memories and an SD card can only do that. I like a 128GB memory card because it can store sooo many photos and the one I get is the SanDisk Extreme Pro one. You can always go for smaller GB sd cards if you plan to separate some photos (for example, you can have a SD card for just portraits and a SD card for just your travels).
2 different camera bags: Sony camera bag and water-resistant pouch
As I mentioned above, I would sometimes switch off from my camera backpack to these. A camera bag is good to carry when you’re not going to travel much with it. A water-resistant pouch is great to just stuff into another backpack and it’s water-resistant in case of weather conditions and if there’s some liquid in the backpack. I like to use this pouch even within my camera backpack just to protect it more.
A GoPro is another good camera to just stuff into my camera bag(s) since it’s so small. I like to use the GoPro to record videos of my travels with a wide-angle lens and I especially love it if I’m going to use it in the water because the newer versions are waterproof. You can read my whole guide here on how to use a GoPro!
Other things I need to get to put into my camera bag
Whew, I do have a lot of things already inside my camera bag, but you can never run out of items to add to your camera gear. I still need a few more items to add and that’s a remote control shutter release (I used a remote for my iPhone! But it is different from a camera one.), a zoom lens as I’ve mentioned above, and… a lens spray kit. I need a lens spray kit to help me clean my lens much better! I will update this post once I get these things.
Hope this post of what’s in my camera bag was a helpful guide if you were curious what you should add to your own too! What are some things you can’t live without in your camera bag?
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