Show me a photographer who packs light, and I’ll show you a photographer that has had to sacrifice their kit. At least that used to be the case before space-saving tech became the new standard for avid photographers who wanted to bring it all. If the idea of thinning your equipment feels like a consolation, you couldn’t be more wrong, as these new tech must-haves pack more of a punch than some of the leading equipment of yesterday. Before you book a separate seat for your entourage of equipment, check out these products that are sharpening the lens of what it means to travel light and smart as a photographer.
The compact drone
There might have been a time where the seasoned photographer would have raised a wary eyebrow at drone technology, but those times have passed. State-of-the-art drones like the Mavic Mini is no toy, but rather the leading drone camera that encompasses all you would expect from the leading innovations in this space. This 12MP camera has 30 minutes of flight time, all packaged up in under 250grams in weight. We’ve seen battery packs heavier than that! Have your drone trailing above every adventure you embark on, giving you unlimited footage to rediscover when you arrive home. No bulky videography equipment required, just your drone.
A photo will rarely come together by accident, with light being one of the defining elements that makes a compelling photo what it is. The problem is, traditional light sources are bulky and heavy in nature, and often left off the list of things taken around by the avid photographer. Get the shot you want with studio-quality compact lighting without having to bring a number of heavy light sources, grids or barn doors with you. If you are taking these space-saving lights on a photography job, be sure to test out what they can do before your shoot day to avoid any surprises or delays.
Collapsable softbox diffusers
On the subject of lighting, it’s always an idea to have a diffuser on hand, and one that can be collapsed to fit compactly. Diffusers are instrumental in softening the light and manipulating it to bounce in different directions to your advantage. Fortunately, many photography manufacturers are taking into account the great volume of equipment and devices a photographer carries with them, and so collapsible softbox diffusers are not hard to find or expensive to buy. Keep the umbrella diffusers at home, and take this space-saving softbox on the road instead and pack it any which way without fearing damage.
Compact mirrorless camera
Far be it from us to tell you what to shoot with, although every photographer should have a small arsenal of cameras that serve different functions. If you are travelling and space is an issue, do you need to take your larger DSLR, or will your compact mirrorless body do the job? If you think about it and take emotion out of the picture, you’ll find that it more than meets the brief. With the continuous innovations of mirrorless cameras, selecting this compact camera will not mean you are trading off size for quality. And if that is the case, let Photoshop do some heavy lifting to fill in the gaps if required when you return from your shoot.
Your complicated relationship with your compact camera bag ends here, with so many space-saving devices and tips that it really can all fit. If you have any apprehension about any of this equipment, engage your photography community and do your due diligence with research and reviews. In the meantime? Get back to shooting light.