This article was created especially for you, since you regularly ask me what camera do I use and what do I do in order to receive the photos you can see on my blog.
I will start with admitting that I am no professional, I’m an amateur photographer and my photos are the result of the trial and error method, learning on my own photos and reading a variety of handbooks. Therefore, I am glad you write positive comments and like what I create. I can conclude that with every new trip I am more and more satisfied and I can see a huge progress since my beginnings in photography.
The first and the most important thing directly influencing the quality of my photos was purchasing a mirrorless camera. In hindsight, I deeply regret I hadn’t bought the camera earlier and many photos from my previous voyages are simply low-quality that cannot be adjusted anyhow.
So, when a question appears, whether or not a camera choice matters, I always respond yes, it matters. To my mind, owning an appropriate camera brings you to a whole new level.
I’m telling you right away that a single camera is not enough and it’s vital to know its basic parameters and understanding what’s the exposure or the depth of focus. Long story short, you need to educate yourself a little but it’s not mission impossible.
Have a look at the equipment I’m currently using. I heartily recommend it since it serves me really well.
My first higher-quality camera I bought in Australia two years ago was Olympus OM-D E-M10. I was getting tired of poor-quality shots from my mobile phone camera that couldn’t capture the views I’ve seen and wanted to show you. Additionally, I was getting ready for a few months tour through South-East Asia and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to capture the beauty.
I’ve chosen the camera after a thorough research on the Internet. The camera dethroned every other camera of its quality. It had the best parameters and opinions compared to its price. I must tell you, it was the best choice and it’s my favorite camera I always have on me while travelling. I take it for short outings and longer travels. Above all, it’s compact and – judging by its parameters – surprisingly light. What’s more, it is packed with great functionalities perfect for me at the time. It has a built-in flash, so I can take photos in poor light, which is a life saver during travels where I need to take a shot immediately, I cannot wait for the perfect photo conditions.
It has a built-in Wi-Fi and the option of navigating the camera with a smartphone, which is truly helpful. It allows you to set, e.g. shutter speed, and change other parameters. When connected to Olympus Image Share app, you can download all camera photos and easily share them on social media. They are my main communication channel with you and I use it every day, uploading photos and travel coverages, so it’s not only cool frills but also a huge convenience.
This camera taught me how to take photos, so Olympus brand is sentimental to me. That’s why I was so happy it recognized photos on my blog and offered to become a technological partner of my South America travel – exploring natural wonders (read more HERE).
Thanks to the partnership I’ve taken also the second camera on my journey: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, a cutting-edge version of the camera I’ve already had. I had the chance to test it and apply its additional functions, e.g. night shots of the sky above the Atacama Desert.
Compared to the previous camera, Mark II has a few significant conveniences. Firstly, it has a built-in 5-axis image stabilization, allowing to shoot literally of hand without a trivet, while maintaining the quality. I’ve tested it while horse-riding (a camera in one hand, reins in the other) and shooting on bumpy desert roads – it really turned out good! Another comfy thing is an LCD screen set at a different angle so you can move it and turn it to shoot from different perspectives. This camera model is more advanced and gives you possibilities to use your creativity.
At present, I have three of them. Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm lens, electronic pancake zoom I use in landscape, portrait or street photography. It’s every-day photo lenses. The second one is Olympus M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm, with wider zoom, perfect for portrait close-ups or capturing something distant from me.
They serve different photos so there’s no point in comparing them. The important thing is, on the move, when landscapes change instantly, situations worth capturing disappear quickly, changing lenses is uncomfortable, impractical and frustrating because it wastes time. That’s why I don’t recommend such solution for your voyages. I made this mistake during Asia journey and I promised myself I won’t do it again, so I took only compact Olympus M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm to South America.
This lenses is my SMASH! It connects the resolution of two previous lenses, so I don’t lose anything, it’s also very light and, along with Olympus OMD, it’s comprehensive, convenient and not a millstone around my neck equipment. It’s dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (I’ve tested it in every situation and it still works excellent). Honestly, a great lenses for travel photography.
It’s useful in autumn and winter, when there’s less light, it’s getting dark quickly or in rooms with poor light. I have Olympus model. Maybe it’s not the strongest flash on the market but it is enough for me. Especially because I tend to take photos during the day, lately on sunny locations. By the way of sun – a strong sunlight during the day can make it impossible to take photos. And if it reflects from a bright surface of ice or sand, it’s no can do. That’s why I always carry lans cap, shielding lenses from the sunbeams and allowing me to see clearly what I’m photographing even during the day.
A charger is obvious but it’s worth remembering that in different countries there’s different current voltage so you’ll need an AC adapter that makes it safe for you to put a charger into a socket. A battery supply is traveler’s must have. As long as it’s not a weekend in Rome but a desert or a jungle venture with no or little electricity, a battery supply comes in handy. During a journey you take hundreds of photos and videos, you barely notice the passage of time and then, surprise, surprise, your battery is dead. There’s nothing more frustrating than a battery dying at a stunning spot J For longer voyages, I always have 2-3 extra batteries. They are light, so you backpack won’t be much heavier.
I always have it during my journeys, it’s indispensable for long exposure photos, e.g. in the evening, in poor light or at night. I often use it when capturing animals and I need to stay still for a while, without moving my arm.
I first used Olympus TG-TRACKER video camera on my trip to South America. It was supposed to help me capture movement and shoot climbing, trekking, running and passing Atacama desert or Patagonia landscapes during an off-road. In a nutshell, it needed to be a mission impossible tool. Mainly because it’s super-resistant and proves to work in extreme conditions. I filmed with it a Perito Moreno glacier climbing, Fitz Roy trekking and sport shots in the middle of a desert. It’s dustproof, freezeproof and it worked perfectly in all those changeable conditions. It records in 4K quality and has an excellent image stabilization, so videos are really sharp. You can watch my video from South America – majority of shots were made with Tracker. However, the thing I like the most is that it’s tiny and fits in a small woman’s hand. It was easy to carry it in a hand, put into a pocket or a bag without changing its weight noticeably. I hadn’t asked about it before my leave, but it was a great alternative to a camera in less safe places, such as Buenos Aires, where a big camera caused a fuss among residents and I got warned to stop boasting and hide it before it gets stolen. As distinct from it, Tracker in my hand was barely visible and allowed me to shoot freely or quickly hide it in a pocket.
I am very happy with the set that I am currently using and the photos I can make with it. Take a look on MY TOP 12 PICS TO SUM UP 2016 and 11 INSPIRING PHOTOS FROM NEW ZEALAND I made with Olympus equipment. If you are looking for a good, unshakable camera then I think you will be satisfied with it.
If have any aditional questions, feel free to ask me in comments :)