What video/photo equipment to take?

As my trip approaches, the usual questions about what video and photo equipment to take always comes up.

On this trip, I think I’m pretty set on what to take as my focus has become more and more on video. Two and a half years ago I made the switch to 4K video after purchasing a Sony AX100 video camera. I still use this camera and the quality I get from it is fantastic. Viewing scenes on a 4K TV is almost like looking through a window and the difference on a 1080 HD TV is still very noticeable.

Even though it’s a pain to take into Peru due to the extra time spent going through the customs process, taking my Mavic Pro drone is almost required when overseas. The video I can shoot is incredible in a country made for unparalleled scenes of great beauty. Even though the Mavic is the most portable professional drone on the market, it still requires a little extra space for the drone itself, the controller, two extra batteries, plus a few accessories like filters, leg extensions, and spare parts.

Below is a short example of what I was able to shoot in both the Amazon region and deep in the Andes mountains last June. This was done with only a few practice flights before leaving the U.S., so hopefully my skills have improved a bit since then!

For this trip I added a small Yi 4K+ Action Camera — a close competitor to small GoPro cameras. Besides being about $200 cheaper, it uses most of the mounting accessories that my old GoPro used so I have a lot of options on using it. I really don’t like shooting walking selfies like a lot of travel bloggers, but the possibilities in some situations is intriguing. Walking through the huge¬† Belen jungle market could provide a completely new perspective to a place I’ve shot dozens of times in the past. I will give it a try for some underwater shots, too, but I’m afraid the river water is so dark and cloudy that it won’t be too useful. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to shoot in some lakes or smaller tributaries of the Amazon where the water is often a bit clearer.

As for photos, I have a very small Canon Elph camera that actually takes really good photos. After years of photography, I’ve learned that the camera itself is the least important part of getting great photos. This little camera fits in a short pocket and can be carried anywhere so it’s always handy. It is all I will take on this trip.

Lastly, I’m a big believer in making a checklist of everything. It’s especially useful for photo/video equipment since there are a multitude of small things that are basic to any successful trip — things like extra batteries, battery charger, memory cards, and cables.

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