Over the course of our first full year of international travel as content creators with NY See You Later, we learned many valuable lessons about ourselves, each other, new friends, the countries we visited, and travel planning and logistics. Also, we learned that our NYC subway handle is a real labor of love, and that it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet and exercise on the road, and discovered the equipment we needed to capture and create quality creative content. The choice of equipment is the focus of this article, and what we would like to share from our personal viewpoints across quality, budget and portability criteria.
Before our trip to Italy for our fifth wedding anniversary, we decided to upgrade Dan’s Nikon DSLR camera. The camera had provided excellent learning opportunities during its ten years in his possession, but the fact that it was only 10 megapixels and did not capture video, required that we replace it before our celebratory trip.
Prior to Sony revolutionizing the market, mirrorless cameras were previously limited to mobile phones and small “point-and-shoot” models. The advent of the Sony a7rii mirrorless camera converted Dan from Nikon to the Sony Alpha platform with its powerful features packed into such a light, full-frame, portable package.
Italy, Greece and Croatia proved to be excellent tests of the camera fromcreativity and portability standpoints, as well as Dan’s photography skills. The 42-megapixel resolution allowed us to have our favorite image of Michelangelo’s David sculpture printed onto a large format canvas which was displayed in our living room. The 4K video capture capability proved to be a game changer as well, allowing us to record moving images of our trip in high definition.
Several years later, we are fully invested in the Sony Alpha “E Mount” line, and have invested in three G-Master lenses. We are committed to capturing professional quality photos and videos, and although the lenses are heavy, we have found them to be worth their weights in platinum. Dan prefers telephoto over prime lenses for their versatility, and we travel with 16–35 mm f/2.8, 24–70mm f/2.8 and 70–200 mm f/2.8 lenses to cover just about every possible subject we have encountered. If we ever consider booking a safari, Dan would like to experiment with teleconverters to add to the reach of the long lens.
Our latest commitment to video is evidenced by the purchase of the DJI Ronin–S gimbal for buttery-smooth steadicam-like movements and the Saramonic UwMic9 2-Person Camera-Mount Wireless Omni Lavalier Microphone System for professional vocal recording at a lower price point than its competitors. The Rode VideoMic provides quick ambient audio recording.
The flash and Lume Cubes were investments as well, but worth it, since we prefer to be ready for every lighting need above and below water. Our “pocket Sony” is a powerful “point-and-shoot” camera that offers full manual control and is perfect for days when you must “travel light” and for food photography with a beautiful bokeh at f/1.8. This Sony RX100 III fits inside of the Fantasea Underwater Housing and focus on still photography underwater, while our GoPro Hero 6 Black is used for video.
Aerial photography and videography has dramatically improved our travel content by providing a new perspective, and our DJI Mavic 1 Pro and Mavic 2 Pro drones have become indispensable tools in Emille’s hands. She instantly adopted these flying cameras and frequently captures breathtaking photos and videos from the air while Dan captures photos and videos from the ground.
Once you add our creative concept—the NYC subway handle—a heavy aluminum reminder that although we said, “See you later” to NYC, we take a piece of it with us wherever we go—literally, our gear packs become quite heavy. Luckily, backpacks by Lowepro keep everything organized.
We consider ourselves to be blessed with such amazing gear and travel opportunities, and entrust State Farm to insure our gear and DAN, the Diver’s Alert Network, to provide accident insurance.
We put all of our gear into one handy list here.
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