7 Camera Bag Essentials for Your New Zealand Photography Trip

3/05/2021 9:36 am

After a year of staying close to home, Aussies are finally allowed to travel to New Zealand and explore some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Now that the travel ban has been lifted, it’s time to dust off your trusty travel camera bag to see if there’s anything you need to add or stock up on before you book your flight.

 

Along with the usual camera gear for travel, there are a few items you don’t want to be without on your trip across the Pacific pond. Here’s what to pack for New Zealand to not only capture the best photos, but keep your gear safe from wild weather.


#1 A digital camera

 

If you have room in your budget, it’s worth upgrading to a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera before jetting off to New Zealand. That way, you’ll be able to capture the full scope of brilliant colours and contrasts the country is known for.

 

Like smartphones, these advanced digital cameras are easy to use and travel with. Many models feature tilting LCD screens for selfies and vlogs, and they’re compatible with Bluetooth remotes so you can fire off the shutter without physically touching the camera. Most cameras also have WiFi connectivity, which means you can share your photos and videos with your audience while you’re on the move.

 

 

If portability is a priority, go for a mirrorless camera. Because they’re usually more compact, they’re the best cameras for travel photography. You can find sturdy, weather-sealed models that are perfect for travelling — especially if you’re going to wet, tropical places like Milford Sound.

 

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

#2 A pair of wide-angle lenses

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

 

New Zealand is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, and a wide-angle zoom lens will help you to capture them in all their glory. Wide-angle lenses are some of the best lenses for landscape photography: they can offer up to a 180-degree view of a scene, so you can fit everything you see into a single, panoramic frame. Along with opening up the scene, they pull the foreground and background into focus, leaving you with a clear, sharp image. Thanks to the zoom feature, you can play around with your composition without having to move around too much.

Landscapes aside, if you see yourself taking snapshots and portraits of locals, travel companions and other subjects, you might want to pack an all-in-one zoom lens as well. Also known as superzoom lenses, they have multiple focal lengths, and most are capable of providing at least a 10x range. They’re incredibly versatile, so you can leave your hotel knowing you’ll be able to capture anything you come across in your adventures that day. Plus, zoom lenses are surprisingly compact, so they won’t take up too much room in your luggage.

 

Not ready to commit to a new lens? Check out our rental program to hire lenses for your New Zealand landscape photography trip.

#3 A travel tripod

You might be used to leaving your tripod behind when you travel in an effort to keep your kit light, portable and easy to carry. But when New Zealand and its immense landscapes are on the itinerary, a tripod is a must-have. Luckily, there are plenty of lightweight, travel-friendly tripods on the market that fold down when they’re not in use.

 

The best travel tripods allow you to shoot hands-free, which can help you carefully compose your scene and explore it from different perspectives and angles. They will also prevent you from ending up with shaky, blurry or bumpy footage, which is a risk when you shoot handheld.

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

For New Zealand specifically, a tripod will help you to produce beautiful shots when the sun isn’t at its brightest. Don’t forget to bring it when you’re photographing the sunset over Piha Beach, or the cascading waterfalls of Milford Sound. Like all waterfall photography, you’ll want to switch to a slower shutter speed to capture the moving water without blurring the rest of the image.

#4 ND filters

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

 

Speaking of waterfall photography, Neutral Density (ND) filters are another essential for any trip to New Zealand. ND filters limit the amount of light entering your camera lens, allowing you to set your camera to a slower shutter speed to get a good exposure. This emphasises and smooths the movement of the water by reducing it to a creamy blur, which is the key to great waterfall photos! These filters also enhance the texture and tonal contrast of your photos.

#5 An action camera

 

 

Thrillseekers, this one’s for you! An action camera isn’t necessary for every New Zealand photography kit, but it will help you to capture any outdoor activities or extreme sports you take part in, and the feelings you had along the way.

 

Action cameras are tough, durable and designed to withstand the odd spill or splash of water. They can also be worn or mounted to various points to get the best view of the action. A favourite among travel vloggers, they’re a great way to create POV videos with very little effort.

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

#6 A drone

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

 

 

As you can imagine, New Zealand’s landscapes are just as jaw-dropping from above as they are from land. To capture a birds-eye view of your top scenes, pack a travel-friendly drone!

 

Travel drones are compact and lightweight, and easily slip into your backpack. The inspiration they offer is endless. Their ability to soar high up above landmarks and transmit the footage captured down to you below can help you to produce videos and photos that you’d never dreamed of being possible.

Just be sure to check the laws and regulations around drone flying at each location you visit. Many areas have restrictions in place to preserve their beauty, while others charge a concession fee. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, you’re generally okay to fly over public areas in daylight hours, and up to a height of 120 metres.


#7 A bag for your camera gear

 

 

Chances are, you’re travelling with a condensed version of your usual camera kit. A sling bag is a great option for travel — it has room for the essentials, and you can quickly access your camera gear when you come across a photo opp. 


If you’re travelling with a more extensive kit, invest in a spacious backpack with compartments for your camera and accessories. Since New Zealand is prone to inclement weather, look for a camera bag with weather-proofing and some sort of rainguard. And if you’re bringing a travel tripod, choose a backpack with a dedicated tripod holder to save you from carrying it around all day.

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

Other accessories

7 Camera bag essentials for your New Zealand Photography Trip

Before you zip up your backpack, throw in these handy travel accessories:

 

  • Spare batteries. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a tough hike, such as around New Zealand’s Tongariro Northern Circuit, and notice that your camera is out of juice. 
  • Spare memory cards. Similarly, you don’t want to run out of storage space and have to cut your shoot short.
  • Camera and lens cleaning kits. You want to be able to wipe and brush away any dirt, dust or grime from your travel camera gear before it does any permanent damage. Along with protecting your gear, taking the time to properly clean your camera will help it to function better.
  • UV Filters. Attach a UV filter to the front of your lenses to safeguard them from damage and cut down on UV haze for clearer images.
  • Chargers and powerbanks. Your camera charger aside, you’ll need chargers that can power up all your digital devices when you get back to your hotel each night. With many devices these days charging via USB, you might be able to get away with carrying one charger with a few cables, while a powerbank delivers a burst of power when you’re away from electricity.

Start packing for your New Zealand trip now

With the New Zealand border now open to Australians, it’s time to turn that dream holiday to New Zealand into reality! Shop the best cameras for landscape photography online, or head to your local Ted’s Cameras store to check out our selection in person and learn more about the best kit for a landscape photography trip.


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