Lately we've been getting more emails than usual asking us about what kind of cameras/lenses we use so we thought we'd write a post about it for those of you who are curious. We're certainly not experts, but taking and editing photos has become an unexpected hobby that we're having fun with. Hopefully some of this information is useful to you!

HDR Image taken with the Canon SD880, edited using Photomatix

Canon SD880 - It was a great point-and-shoot at the time we bought it. It was small and inconspicuous for times when we didn't want to draw attention to ourselves. We also hacked the camera so that we could take HDR photos with it. The hack doesn't technically void the warranty, but it's not officially supported by Canon - if you're worried about that sort of thing. The video isn't great (see here), but it's better than not having the option to take a quick video if you want to. There are definitely more sophisticated options available now but we were really happy with it for our trip.
kiss on tortuga bay
Taken with 35mm film, using the Fisheye 2 Lomo Camera at Tortuga Bay.

Fisheye 2 - We are so glad we took this camera with us. It uses standard 35mm film that you can buy anywhere, but you can also buy the expensive lomography filmif you want (we haven't... do you guys know if it makes a difference?) The photos we took with it at the pyramids are our favorite, and you can see more of our fisheyes in our lomography set on flickr.

Taken with the Canon Rebel XS

Canon Rebel XS - Initially, we said we weren't going to buy a DSLR. Right before we left Toronto, we decided that it would be a shame not to have one, so we picked up the entry level Canon and kit lens. It's a very good starter camera. However, we would recommend buying the body without the 18-55mm it usually comes with. We rarely used that lens because we purchased a 50mm lens that we found took really nice portraits and worked well in low-light situations. We've since sold both the XS and the 18-55mm.

Taken with the Diana Mini

Diana Mini
- This lomo camera can do a lot of things that we haven't really experimented with yet. We picked it up on a whim at Urban Outfitters in Miami and haven't had a chance to play with it too much. If you'd like, you can click here to see some of the photos we've taken with it so far.

Taken with the Fuji Instax Mini, on the Brooklyn Bridge

Fuji Instax Mini - We don't think we've actually posted any photos we took with this camera - that's because we don't have a scanner. It's a cool camera for those of you who miss polaroid, but the film is still expensive (relative to digital, of course, but not to old polaroid film) and it's pretty heavy. Also, as you can see in the above photo, it's not the greatest in low light. It was much brighter outside that day than it appears in the photo. Overall, it's not a very travel friendly camera.

Taken with the 50mm lens in Antigua, Guatemala

50mm lens - There are several different 50mm lenses (f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8) for your price range. We purchased the least expensive one but it served us really well in the various low-light conditions we encountered on our trip. We'd like to upgrade eventually, but for the time being, this really does the trick.

Taken with the 70-200mm lens, in South Africa

70-200mm lens -  When we went on our safari in South Africa, we debated whether we could do the safari with just our point and shoot and the 50mm. The safari definitely wouldn't have been as much fun without the zoom lens. While it is too big to carry around on a daily basis, for something like a safari, we would absolutely recommend splurging - or at least renting one for the day. There were plenty of occasions where the animals would walk right up to our car, but there were also instances where we wouldn't have even seen the animal if it wasn't for the zoom. There is a more expensive (and better) version than the one we bought, which we would have preferred to have purchased if we weren't in South Africa at the time.

Taken with the Rebel T2i and the 24-105mm lens

Canon Rebel T2i & 24-105mm lens - We bought both the camera and lens at B&H Photo in New York City.  We picked up the T2i to replace our Rebel XS, and the 24-105 lens because our only wide angled lens was on our old point and shoot. Aside from the size of the 24-105, it is a fantastic tourist lens! If you had a good camera bag while traveling, it really covers what you need as a traveler wanting to document your trip.

The service at B&H Photo was amazing.  We were able to try all the equipment before purchasing, and the salespeople are photographers who know the equipment and not teenagers counting down the time until their shift ends.  The prices were quite competitive, we usually buy our digital cameras through Amazon but in this case B&H had a better deal.

Taken with a random underwater camera somewhere in the Galapagos Islands

We didn't bother including all of the underwater cameras we purchased because we don't really know anything about them. We would randomly pick up disposable underwater film cameras whenever we could. They really are hit or miss. Almost all places near the water have entrepreneurial individuals selling them for obscene prices. After getting tired of paying too much, we finally bought a film camera with a hard, waterproof casing. When we eventually start scuba diving, we might buy a fancy digital one... but until then, the disposables are fun for snorkeling!

That's it for now, if you have any tips of tricks for photography while traveling, we'd love to hear in the comment section.

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  1. We use a lot of the same equipment, woot woot! I have a Canon XSi and a Canon T1i and Canon lenses 50mm f/1.8, 70-300mm, 17-85mm and 10-20mm. Additionally, I have a fish eye (though I like yours better!), the GoPro Helmet Cam. I've been really debating the 24-105mm, too--good to know you recommend it. I also have three Canon P&Ss and use them with the appropriate underwater housing for all the diving I do. Excessive? Nah =)

    Oh, and I used to live on 10th Avenue near B&H--it's where I bought my first DSLR!

    I actually added a similar photography page to this to my new site, as I also get frequent questions about my equipment. You should add this post as a page!

  2. I really need to put together a cameras page, I've loved reading about yours. I got a fisheye lens for my holga but I think I need a real fisheye camera, I love your photos.

    And the bigger lens in Africa, best idea ever, your photos were incredible, I've loved watching your photography develop with your travels.

    I agree about the fuji not being the best travel camera - its big, noisy, awkward... but I still adore it and take it with me lol :) I'm looking forward to when you get a chance to scan all of yours!

  3. now.. im adding lomo camera in my wish list!
    thanks for sharing :)

  4. lovely blog.

    so jealous that you were able to take 7 months off. took 3 months off last year and spent it bumming around asia. time well spent.

    thanks for sharing your trip!

  5. Anonymous1.12.10

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  6. What helpful info!!! Your pics are absolutely fantastic. Love the one of the lion.

  7. This inspires me to learn how to use my Canon Rebel on something besides the automatic setting!

  8. Thank you for your kind mention of B&H Photo. On behalf of all of us at B&H Photo, please accept our warm thanks and deep gratitude for your patronage. We look forward to earning your trust and continued business for many years to come. I invite you and your fellow readers to check out our new informative and entertaining blog at

    Hershel K. Waldner
    Online Marketing Department
    B&H Photo-Video-Audio
    212-239-7500 ext. 2893

  9. So glad you posted this! Husband and I are thinking about getting a fancy pants camera since our canon point and iphone 4 are not cutting it. Top on our list is the Olympus PEN E-P2. We love it because of the size and we've heard lots of good things about it. I always love all of your pictures! xoxo

  10. i love fisheyephotos!!:)

  11. This is a great lens. I love T2I lol I cant live without it and I got my lens form B&H before I purchase them. They let you try them on and explain everything to you.

  12. Very nice pictures, thanks for sharing.

  13. the 50mm lens is God's gift to photographers... = amazing.

  14. this is making me wanna get out my lomo and go take some pics!

  15. I didn't realize you were using so many different cameras.

  16. That is quite a collection of cameras! Wow, quite a bit to carry around, but definitely seems fun to have. the 24-105 is a great lens. I don't have it personally (I shoot Nikon) but one of my good friends has it and adores it. I almost switched to Canon years ago (before I was highly invested in Nikon) because of that one lens...