Tripods and Lenses and Travel…Oh my!

I’m currently in the process of preparing for the huge EUROPEAN ADVENTURE that I wrote about here and Vlogged about on Youtube!

It’s scary and daunting and exciting and crazy all at once and I have no idea what to pack in terms of clothes for a whole year away. But I do know that one of the first things which will be added to the ‘going’ pile is my camera.

I bought my Canon 70D in September after months of experimenting with 60D and 70D cameras borrowed from my university’s Journalism school. It’s absolutely awesome and I’m obsessed with the fact that the video has a little feature which may seem insignificant but is actually magic – autofocus.

My Canon 70D with Canon 18mm-135mm lens and Rode microphone.

Video which autofocuses is great, and the automatic stabilisation means that images will actually appear pretty steady when you’re doing your best to hold is steady without a tripod.

So now I have a question for you, people of the internet! I’m currently in the process of scoping out the best sort of tripod to take with me on a year-long, European backpacking/travel holiday and so far I’ve got a few options. The one thing which is limiting me most is my price range, because I’d prefer to keep it under $200. However, I know that this will also limit features.

I’m also a little bit fussy here because I want a tripod that I can also use for video, rather than just still photography, and it seems to usually be a trade off between one or the other.

However – I have found this one: Manfroto Compact Advanced Aluminium Tripod

This tripod is small (17.3 inches when folded), tall when unfolded (about 165cm/65inches), fairly study and fairly light (3.1 pounds or about 1.4kg). Has anyone had any experience with this tripod, either positive or negative, or could recommend another tripod which is great to travel with? I had a play with the one above in a local store and I love the smooth pan on it.

Finally, I just wanted to mention quickly which lenses and microphones I’ll be travelling with (for now…I’ve gotten a bit hooked on camera gear recently so I may gain stuff along the way!). I bought a Canon 18mm-135mm lens at the same time that I bought my camera and have added a UV filter, mainly for protection.

One of my amazing photographer friends has also sold me a second-hand 50mm lens which I love so far and can’t wait to experiment more with! I’ve also added a UV filter to that, once again, just in case because I’d prefer no scratches.

In terms of audio, for now I’ve literally just got the basic Rode microphone which plugs in to the side of my camera and sits on top. It’s done fairly well in all conditions, including wind, up to now (besides an outdoor concert due to the volume and type of microphone – probably also my limited audio skillset).

So there we go!

For anyone interest, my YouTube channel which I’ll be posting travel videos to is ThatsOriginalGiGi and my Instagram for travel photos is @ahh_gigi.

Once again, super excited to share everything in the future with you! I’m not a total amateur when it comes to photography but I’m nowhere near professional and I’d reeeeally appreciate any handy skills, tips or stories about your experience behind (or in front of a camera!). If it’s related to Europe or travel – even better! Any tripod ideas are also greatly appreciated as I haven’t bought it yet, and probably won’t buy it until just before I leave or whilst over there.

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