I’ve written before about how to take incredible bicycle touring photos, but I’ve never talked about the gear I use to produce my bicycle touring photos and videos.
Questions about my camera gear is actually very common. After 16+ years of cycling around the world and capturing thousands of photos and videos from my bicycle touring adventures, people are always asking me, “What kind of camera, computer, smartphone, etc do you use?”
This article will help to answer that question! Below you will find a detailed breakdown of the camera gear and other electronics I am using to capture memorable moments from my bicycle touring experiences.
My Canon T2i DSLR camera is more than five years old now, but it’s still producing beautiful images for me. This camera can now be purchased for only $215 USD, but the updated version of this camera will set you back over $1,000 USD. I carry my DSLR camera in my handlebar bag so I can quickly snap photos from the road and it is my number one camera for taking high-quality photos and video.
In order to protect my DSLR camera, I carry it in this Lowepro SLR Camera soft case. The product is shown here with both a shoulder strap and a hand grip, but I cut them both off (to save weight) and don’t use either one of them.
This is the lens I use for most of my bicycle touring and travel photos. It doesn’t produce the sharpest images in the world, but its zoom lens makes it the most useful of all the DSLR camera lenses I’m carrying.
When the situation is right, I will pull out my Canon 50 mm lens and use it to take some really high-quality photos. The photo at the top of this article, for example, was taken with this 50 mm lens.
For landscape photos, interior hotel room images, and video blogging, this is the lens I resort to first. It has a slight bubble to the image that is noticeable in videos, but not so much in still images.
The Canon Powershot ELPH 350 HS is my go-to camera for video blogging.The vast majority of my videos this year were shot on this small, lightweight point-and-shoot camera. The video/photo quality isn’t great, but I think it’s good enough for the time being.
In addition to the two Canon cameras mentioned above, I also shoot a fair amount of video with my Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. The camera is terrible for photos, but it’s actually pretty good when it comes to video. This entire video, for example, was shot almost exclusively with my smartphone.
My GoPro Hero video camera rides in my handlebar bag and is always within easy reach. The GoPro is great for certain types of shots (i.e. riding shots in the rain or through crowded city streets), but is not a camera I would want to use to document my entire bicycle tour. The sound quality is really bad and the image has a major bubble to it.
In addition to the GoPro video camera itself, I use this short plastic helmet/selfie stick to easily grip and carry the GoPro while I’m riding. Without this plastic handle, it would be very difficult to use my GoPro in any meaningful way.
Thing strange contraption allows me to ride my bicycle and film hands-free with my GoPro video camera. The GoPro Chesty chest mount produces a very specific type of riding shot, which I’ve found to be most useful and interesting when descending large hills and mountains. Click here to see a video shot with the GoPro Chesty.
The DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter (or drone) is an amazing piece of photograph/videography gear. Carrying the drone, remote controller, battery charger and spare propellers is not exactly easy (because it’s pretty large and weights quite a bit), but I am able to fit the drone inside one of my rear panniers and carry it with relative ease. Watch these three videos (#1, #2 and #3) to see sample footage shot with my DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter.
Almost all of the photos and videos you see of me riding my bike were taken with this tripod. Even though I rarely use my Sony VCT-60AV tripod, I’m happy to have it when the opportunity presents itself to take a photo or video of me actually on my bike.
For my most recent bike tour in South America, I left my larger Sony tripod at home and opted to use this much smaller and lighter Jobi GorillaPod SLR Zoom tripod. I haven’t had enough experience with it yet to give it a full review, but I do like to size and weight benefits.
Because I’m not just bicycle touring, but working from the road as well, I carry my MacBook Pro laptop computer and charger with me. It’s pretty heavy, but I’m grateful to have it when the time comes for me to sit down and do my work. This is the computer I use to edit all my bicycle touring photos and videos. I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos and iMovie to edit my videos.
All of the photos and videos I shoot on my bicycle touring adventures are stored on this single Western Digital 2 TB hard drive. In addition to the hard drive itself, I also use this Western Digital protective case to keep my files safe while I’m traveling.
That is everything I use to create the photos and videos you see here on the Bicycle Touring Pro website. If you have any questions about any of the gear I’ve listed here, please leave a comment below and I will respond to you as soon as I can.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to subscribe to the Bicycle Touring Pro YouTube channel, check out my Tumblr photo blog, and then read this article about how to take memorable and amazing bike touring photos.
18 thoughts on “Camera Gear I Use To Document My Bicycle Tours”
Like your videos. Just curious, what photo/movie editing software do you use?
I just use iMovie for my videos. Nothing fancy. And I edit my photos with Lightroom and Photoshop.
Have you upgraded your video camera? The video from Norway and Sweden is outstanding quality.
Yeah. That’s because I was mainly using my DSLR for those particular videos. I should use that camera more often, but because it is so big and heavy, it’s difficult to handle while I’m riding my bicycle. So I usually just use my point and shoot camera or my cell phone, but the quality on those two cameras is not nearly as good as on my DSLR.
When riding and videoing with your cell phone is it on a stick?
That’s interesting to learn your cycling experiences from Youtube, unbelievable! anyway, good courage and determination! keep it up man!
How do you charge your batteries for those electronic stuffs that you carried along?
How many spare batteries you bring?
I usually carry about 4-5 batteries for each of my cameras… and I usually just charge them at restaurants, hotels, libraries or campgrounds. But sometimes I charge my batteries with this small solar panel: http://bicycletouringpro.com/solar-phone-charger-voltaic-fuse-6-watt-review/
Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your touring experiences. If I don’t want to carry a laptop is there a way to backup photos/video from a card reader directly to an external hard drive or another way to protect my data till I return home to post process?
Maybe just carry lots of SD cards?
I use a Samsung S6+ as my carry phone but i also carry my old S5 too. The S5 has extendable memory card slot so i simply slot in the Micro SD card from my Gopro or packet camera and then plug in a 256GB pen drive using an adapter and can copy the data on the MicroSD to the flash drive.
I also have a 512GB external drive that doesn’t require external power but it’s just bigger and heavier than the Flash Drive.
Thank you for your dedication and your good work.
You don’t mention using external mics?
Are all your videos shot with the internal mics?
Ya. I don’t use external microphones… because they are a pain in the butt to use on the road. I’m tired already. I don’t have the time or energy to attach an external mic each and every time I want to use my camera.
How you you manage to control your drone when shooting while riding?
The drone hovers in place if you are not at the controls. It also has several different auto-pilot models, where the drone will go in a straight line or follow me, depending on how I have it set up.
How do you get steady footage of yourself approaching the camera or disappearing into the distance? Pre-stage your camera? Fly your drone up ahead? Just curious how the magic works.
Yes, I set the camera on a tripod and then cycle back through the shot. It takes a lot of work just to get a couple seconds worth of footage.
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