Camera Equipment: Best for Capturing Memories

CELEBRATING A COMMUNITY OF 500,000 STRONG!

By Ariel and Oscar - That Travel Nurse Couple

August 29, 2022

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Best Camera Equipment for Capturing Memories

Back in the early days of 2020, when the entire country was on lockdown due to the looming COVID-19 virus, I decided to fulfill my dream of learning all about photography and videography. I purchased a new camera, some lenses and got started on what would be one of my favorite hobbies to date. Initially, I wanted to be able to take nicer photos on vacation and film some vlog/cinematic style videos as well, but now it has become my favorite accessory on all our travel nursing adventures.

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Since we’ve started travel nursing, my camera has come with us pretty much everywhere, and I have been able to capture some amazing memories on photos and video. Over the years, I’ve had several people reach out to ask what kind of equipment I use to take these photos, and I figured if anyone reading this was interested as well, this could potentially be a great resource! The following are just some basic items to get you started, but the world of photography is a vast one. Keep that in mind when reading through these, and make sure you do your research if you want to capture a specific type of photography style.

1: This may seem obvious, but you’re going to need a camera body!

I once heard a quote that went something along the lines of, “The best camera is the one you have on you,” and I love the truth in it. You may not always have a fancy camera on you, but people nowadays can capture amazing photos and videos on their phones. However, as someone who wanted to upgrade from their iPhone, I wanted something that was going to be light/easy to travel with but have lots of great features for both photo and video.

There are two types of these cameras – DSLR and mirrorless. Their functions differ, but most importantly, mirrorless cameras are much lighter (but can be a bit more expensive). Since I knew I would be traveling (back in 2020, I could only hope I would be eventually!), I wanted to spend the extra to get a mirrorless camera. After much research (I invite you to do the same), I opted to go for a Sony A7iii due to its amazing photo and video quality, but nowadays, cell phones can take some amazing photos as well. Oscar recently upgraded his cell phone to a Samsung Galaxy 22 plus, and even though I will forever be team iPhone, I must admit the picture quality on that phone is outstanding.

2: Lenses

If you have also decided to upgrade your camera from your phone, here’s a little tip for you – lenses are arguably the MOST important part of your setup! Camera bodies (as mentioned above) can only do so much, but the lens you choose to buy can really make a world of difference in your photos and videos. I won’t go into too much detail here (otherwise, this article would be never-ending), but there is a huge variety of different types of lenses, and each will be great for certain things.

For capturing landscapes, opt for a wide-angle lens. I chose the Tamron f/2.8 17-28mm due to its great quality and good price point. If you are not familiar with what these numbers mean, make sure you look up some photography basics before making a purchase! The lens I have been using the most often, however, is a Tamron f/2.8 28-75mm. It’s a great all-around lens that allows me to go wide or zoom in a bit. It’s so important to choose lenses that are versatile, especially if you are planning on traveling or moving around a lot. As I mentioned earlier, you can really go wild in this category, so make sure you do lots of research before purchasing! You can also rent camera equipment from www.borrowlenses.com for great prices. This is an awesome option if you are simply wanting to try things out before making a big purchase. When we went to Wyoming, I rented a telephoto lens from that site to capture some wildlife photos, and I was able to take some of my favorite photos to date with that lens without spending thousands of dollars.

3: Tripod

Tripods are important if you want to take photos of yourself and your friends/significant other but don’t want to bother other people to take the photo for you. Since buying a tripod, I have captured photos of Oscar and me in so many unique places, and honestly, as fun as selfies are, they can only capture so much! There are great tripods available for just phones, too, if you are not planning on upgrading to a bigger camera. For people wanting to get more into photographing certain things, tripods are essential for astrophotography and long-exposure shots (dreamy-like photos of waterfalls, ocean waves, etc.). The tripod I use is a 62” MACTREM that can be used for phones/bigger cameras and is relatively lightweight and easy to travel with. I will say one drawback of this tripod is it does not come with a remote. However, I use the app CamRote on my iPhone to take photos of us from far away. It can be a little temperamental with connecting to the camera via Bluetooth, but for the most part, it works great. Another plus is it’s free!

4: Camera bag

With all this equipment, you will want to ensure that you have a safe and easy way of transporting it from one place to the other. After using a cross-body bag for my old DSLR for several years, I realized having all the weight on one shoulder was really uncomfortable and decided to purchase a camera backpack to use instead. The bag I have used for a few years now is called WANDRD PRVKE. It is a little pricey, but it has so many compartments for you to organize your equipment and a pocket on the side for your tripod as well. There are different sizes, but we have the smallest, and it fits everything I need, including a roll-down pocket at the top if you want to store some clothing or other items for a quick weekend trip.

5: Camera clip

These are so convenient to have when hiking or going on other adventures that require you to be hands-free. They are these small devices that screw onto your backpack/bag strap and allow you to slide the bottom of your camera (where you would connect it to a tripod) onto the clip. I use this all the time when out and about and absolutely love it. I recommend the Peak Design Capture Clip as I have had it for 3 years and have never had any issue with it!

6: Drone

This is certainly not a must-have, but if you can swing it, drones are some of the most fun pieces of equipment you can own to capture some really unique shots around the globe. I will warn you, though, that most, if not all, national parks and other federal properties prohibit the use of drones, and it is imperative that you make sure you are not flying the drone in a “No Fly Zone” whenever you do decide to fly! When starting out, I had a DJI Mavic Mini. I loved the reasonable price, the compact size, and its beginner-friendly interface. I have since upgraded to a DJI Mavic 2 and love it for the advanced features it has (more customizable settings, the ability to move the camera up and down, follow feature, etc.). As fun as drones can be, though, they can be a bit stressful to fly and do require a lot of patience and practice. They are also a pretty big investment so make sure you really want to make the commitment before purchasing one!

Some other very important basics to include in this list are extra batteries and memory cards. I also like to carry around a portable charger just in case (Anker is my favorite brand and can be found on Amazon for different prices). Another very popular camera choice is a GoPro. Depending on what you like to do, GoPros can be fantastic. I personally own one but have found over the years that I do not use it as much as I used to, and it doesn’t capture the quality of photos that I like nowadays. However, this may be an amazing choice of camera for someone who doesn’t want to risk their phone and likes to do a lot of outdoorsy activities.

No matter what camera equipment you do or do not decide to invest in, remember that the most important souvenir you can take are the memories you leave with. Photos do an outstanding job of helping to preserve those memories. Hopefully, these tips can help you on your journey to capturing some of these amazing moments so these memories can live on for years to come.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

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