Jess Ann Kirby shoots the Newport sunset with a LeicaQ camera

At long last, a blog post about camera equipment. It’s probably (maybe not surprisingly) one of the topics I get asked about most. I’ve always been hesitant to write a post about the camera equipment we use for blogging and travel because we have tried a lot of different things. After four (almost five) years we’ve tested a lot of cameras (more about everything we’ve used in our latest podcast episode). When we first started out, I researched affordable cameras (mainly that other bloggers were using at the time) and bought a Canon Rebel t3i. We used it for less than a year and upgraded to the Canon 6D. Over the next few years we would go through a lot (too many) cameras before we found what we love best. This post is focused on what we’re using now, but we discuss everything we’ve tried in this podcast if you want more info on that.

Jess Ann Kirby shares her favorite camera equipment for blog and social media photos

Sony A7III

The Sony A7III is a full frame mirrorless camera. After shooting with DSLRs for the first few years Craig wanted to try something different (mainly something not as heavy and big). The Sony mirrorless fit the bill. We had the Sony A7II and loved it, and then it was stolen while we were in Mexico for a shoot so we moved away from Sony for a bit, but when this version came out Craig wanted to try it again. The Sony A7III comes with improvements from the previous version, most important to us, a dual slot SD card and a longer battery life (the A7II is notorious for not having a great battery). We use the Sony 55mm F1.8 Sonnar prime lens because it’s lightweight and takes great images. It’s a great lens for outfit photos, detail shots, etc. I am being repetitive but I recommend listening to this podcast episode where Craig goes into why he loves this camera and lens (and the other ones we’ve tried). It’s also a great camera for video, we used the Sony A7II for the majority of our Key West vlog, and because it’s lightweight, it works well on a gimbal. We are still in the market for another lens to use with the Sony A7III but haven’t found anything we love, yet.

Image left shot at ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/640 w/ 55mm lens
Image below left shot at ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/320 w/ 55mm lens
Image below right shot at ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/1000 w/ 55mm lens

Jess Ann Kirby has a photoshoot in Newport Rhode Island with the Sony a7iii camera
Jess Ann Kirby loves to use a Sony mirrorless camera for fashion and blog photoshoots

LeicaQ

We bought the LeicaQ after our Sony was stolen in Mexico. We were using the Canon 6D as a back up until we decided on a new camera, but wanted to try a Leica and were looking for a more compact camera to bring for travel. This is one of my favorite cameras. It’s a steep price point at $4500 but for us has been worth every penny. I saw someone post a question recently asking if they should get the LeicaQ or a Canon 5D Mark IV, and my response was, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. The LeicaQ is a 28mm (35mm equivalent) fixed lens digital camera (the lenses are not interchangeable). You can get beautiful images from this camera, but what you get out of the LeicaQ is going to be different than what you’d get with a DSLR and a 50mm lens. This is our go-to travel camera, it’s reliable, quiet, portable, and just shoots beautiful photos. We typically don’t use this one for outfit photos unless we’re in a situation where space is limited (for example we took this photo with the LeicaQ because we were on a small boat with limited room to move around). That photo has been cropped though, when shooting people at a close range with the LeicaQ there can be some distortion. It’s also the camera we use for almost all of our interior photography, for example all the imagery in this post and this one.

Image right shot at ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/4000
Image below left shot at ISO 100, f/1.7, 1/3200
Image below right shot at ISO 100, f/1.7, 1/2000

The architecture of Charleston South Carolina's historic homes in the South of Broad neighborhood is worth a visit
Jess Ann Kirby goes Cliff Jumping at Admiralty Park in Bermuda
Jess Ann Kirby takes a road trip in Galway Ireland
Jess Ann Kirby grabs a photo of the beautiful flowers on building fronts in Casco Viejo, Panama City

Fujfilm X100F

If you want a more affordable camera that’s low profile and great for travel, this is it. We love it so much we named our dog after it (Fuji). We started out with the Fujifilm X100T which is the earlier version of this camera and upgraded this fall. You really need to know how to shoot in manual mode to use the Fujifilm X100F but all it takes is some practice. I brought the camera with me to Panama and without even knowing how to use it that well got some incredible images (like the one to the left). The colors from the Fujifilm X100F are so vivid. It’s small and discreet so it literally fits in your pocket. If you want a great camera for street style/travel photography, this is a great option.

Image right shot at ISO 100, f/2.5, 1/640
Image below shot at ISO 100, f/2, 1/1000 (a good example of how discreet this camera is, we were at a pool with a bunch of other people and didn’t want to be obnoxious busting out a big camera and doing a full on photoshoot, we got the shot without making a scene).

Jess ANn Kirby loves a Fujifilm x100f camera for shooting blog photos

Shop the Post