Since we first started Little Grey Box, it has grown from a personal hobby blog to a small content creation business. Now, we don’t just create blog posts or take cute pics for social media, we’re regularly engaged by tourism boards and brands of all shapes and sizes to capture high-quality imagery to be used in print and on digital platforms. We’re also regularly contracted to create engaging videos and capture high-quality footage to be used by brands in marketing campaigns. What you see on Little Grey Box platforms is one small part of what we do yet all of it hinges on our camera gear.

We bought our first camera not really knowing what Little Grey Box would become or fully understanding what we really needed and why. Over the years, through a lot of trial and error, we’ve learned a lot and, as a result, the camera gear we use has evolved too.

Today, I wanted to do an updated guide sharing all the camera gear we are currently using for our travel photography and videography. I also want to share some insight into a few things we don’t like about our current kit and what we wish we’d done differently as well as how we arrived at each piece we own. Hopefully, it helps shed some light on the best camera gear for any other aspiring photographers and videographers out there or just helps those looking to invest in a great camera for travel.

Sony Alpha 6400

I recently got a Sony Alpha 6400 and I cannot rave about it enough! Given it’s a mirrorless camera, it’s incredibly light, which is perfect for travel. It has fantastic video capabilities, so I’m able to use it to take photographs and videos, allowing me to capture high-quality video footage in addition to that which Matt captures. It has a 180-degree flip screen, so I can use it as a vlogging camera and capture the moments of both Matt and me, as opposed to Matt just filming me or me just filming myself. The built-in Wi-Fi allows me to get photos from the camera onto my phone for quick and easy editing on the go! This is hugely important as it means I can edit throughout the day, rather than getting back to the hotel after a huge day and having to stay up downloading, importing and editing. Another thing I love about Sony’s mirrorless range and my 6400 is the low-light capabilities. This means I’m able to capture fantastic photos in low-light, so if I’m in a dark restaurant but still need a food photo or footage, the camera can handle it easily.

Photo taken using 6400 + Sony 16-50MM lens

For me, the 6400 is a game-changer. It is compact, light and powerful. I’m absolutely obsessed with it and love the photos it takes! Price-wise, the camera comes in a kit (which includes a great lens + small tripod/grip) for around AU$1,699.95. Given the camera’s capabilities, I think it’s fantastic value! The only downside I’ve noticed is the battery life, with batteries running down faster than they do with a DSLR. That’s easily fixed though, I just bought some extra batteries and tend to only use one or two per full day of shooting. If you’re looking for a powerful all-rounder, this camera is perfect! If you’re thinking of buying a new camera for travel or for a business similar to ours, be sure to keep weight at the front of your mind as it’s a big factor.

Sony 6400 with Sony 16-50MM lens attached + Sony E Mount FE 85MM F1.8 lens (right)

The camera I used to use and why I changed

When Little Grey Box started to get serious, Matt and I bought a Canon 7D with a standard kit lens. Sometime later, we also bought a Sigma Art Series 35MM F1.4 lens. I’ve used these for years and they have helped me take some incredible photos! But, being a DSLR, the camera is extremely heavy which has always been a problem when it comes to travel and huge shoot days. The size of the lenses also poses a problem, it’s just been difficult to lug them around and find room for them in my day bag. Not only that but I used the camera regularly and knew how to take great pictures in manual mode. When it came time for Matt to snap a photo of me, he hasn’t used the camera often enough to have that same knowledge and that made it very difficult to get the shot. While I have absolutely loved having my 7D and the photos have been stunning, it’s definitely a camera best suited to a professional photographer, in my opinion.

Sony 15-50MM Kit Lens

As I mentioned above, I bought my Sony 6400 as part of a kit. The kit lens is a 16-50mm Sony lens and it’s perfect for what I do! It’s small yet powerful, allowing me to capture photos zoomed in and from a distance. This means it’s great for everything! I use it for food photography, landscapes, portraits, hotel rooms, action shots and everything else you can think of. It has a nice little background blur due to its F3.5 and does a great job of bringing a portrait subject off the background, like the photograph below shows. When we’re out shooting, this is my go-to lens. I can put it on and leave it on all day if I feel like it. There are better lenses out there, no doubt, but I have no need to spend a whole lot of money on lenses when this one does such a great job and perfectly captures the photographs and video footage I need.

Photo taken using 6400 + Sony 16-50MM lens

Sony E Mount FE 85MM F1.9 Prime Lens

I mentioned above I had used a Sigma Art Series 35MM F1.4 lens. If you don’t know a whole lot about lenses, all you need to know is F1.8 (the aperture) means the camera is able to take really buttery, smooth shots where part of the image is crisp, clear and in-focus while the background is smoothly blurred. That’s something I came to love about my old camera and didn’t want to lose when I changed to the Sony 6400. I spent a lot of time researching and trying out different lenses at the camera store before I settled on the Sony E Mount FE 85MM F1.8.

I’ve included two images below, so you can see the difference. The image on the left is taken with the 85mm and the one on the right taken with the standard kit lens. You can see just how buttery and smooth the image on the left is, look at the definition of the cherry blossom flowers, the little stems sticking up from the middle and the detail in the branch. Then take note of the background, those circular-like shapes (bokeh) and how smooth it is. The image on the right is stunning too, no doubt, but the background isn’t anywhere near as smooth and lacks the bokeh effect.

I don’t think a lens like the 85mm is essential for everyone. I really wanted to have it because I love that type of photography and videography and would’ve missed not being able to capture it. The lens is small enough I can still fit it and the camera with kit lens attached in my small camera bag, taking up very little room in my day bag. As it’s a prime lens, that means you cannot zoom with it. For beginners, that can be tricky, so it’s best suited to those with a little experience or the desire to learn. In terms of price, the lens retails for around AU$899.95. For me, the Sony 6400, kit lens and 85mm cover everything I could possibly need and allow me to capture the type of photography and video I love most but the 85mm is definitely a luxury item and a bit of a treat for me.

Sony Alpha 6500

The Sony Alpha 6500 is Matt’s baby! We decided to get this camera for him when the videography side of our business really started to take off. To sum it up, it’s the best videography camera in the price range and to get anything better, you’ve got to spend thousands more. I don’t want to double-up too much but the 6400 and 6500 have a lot of the same basic capabilities. The 6500 is lightweight, compact, performs exceptionally well in a wide range of lighting situations, offers face tracking and, pretty much, kicks ass. Of course, it also takes awesome photos so Matt’s able to focus on videography but then still switch into photo mode and snap off some great photographs too.

The screen can be pulled out from the camera and while it isn’t a full flip-up like the 6400, it does mean you can, for example, hold the camera low or way up high, pull the screen out and still be able to see what you’re shooting. In terms of price, the camera and kit lens retails for around AU$2,199. Now, you’ll also notice the fluffy thing on top of Matt’s camera, that’s a Rode VideoMicro with a ‘Dead Cat.’ What the ‘Dead Cat’ does is cuts out wind noise, so we’re able to capture great quality audio when filming our to-camera pieces. It’s essential for anyone thinking of filming audio. For a videographer who works in a wide range of lighting situations and needs a lightweight but powerful camera at a reasonable price, you cannot go past the Sony Alpha 6500.

Sony 6500 + 18-135MM lens and Rode Video Mic Pro attached

Sony 18-35MM Kit Lens

Matt’s 6500 also came in a kit and, in his case, it was an 18-135MM F3.5-5.6 OSS Zoom. The photo below was taken using the kit lens and, again, it’s just a great all-rounder. As you can see from the photo above, it’s a longer lens, whereas my kit lens is a lot smaller. That said, it’s still nice and light. We just shot, for the first time, using my full set up and Matt’s full set up and, to be honest, Matt did feel that my lenses performed better than his. That could just be because they’re newer but, still, we have no complaints thus far with this lens. The zoom capabilities are fantastic, allowing Matt to zoom right in to get a close-in shot, but still be able to pull back and capture a wide, landscape shot like the one below, for example.

Photo taken using Sony 6500 + 18-135MM lens

DJI Osmo Pocket

This nifty little device is a DJI Osmo Pocket. I hope you can kind of get a sense from the photograph but it’s tiny. It fits in the palm of your hand with a lot of room to spare. It’s hard to know where to start because it’s such an important part of our kit and offers so much value! The video this thing captures is incredible. It features a 3-axis gimbal, which essentially just means it captures stabilised footage. We can be running, driving on a bumpy road, riding a bicycle or even just walking through a crowd and the footage will be super stable. For video, that means it can capture incredible cinematic footage. In terms of price, DJI Osmo Pocket retails for around AU$599 which, for what it does, is insanely good value in my opinion.

The DJI Osmo Pocket attaches to Matt’s iPhone if needed, so he can see a little better what he’s capturing as the on-camera screen is very small. We use the Osmo to capture all our time-lapses and have found it’s surprisingly great for selfie-style filming or even just filming me in a crowd as the face-tracking feature ensures the camera stays with me at all times! Another important aspect is the weight and size. It fits in Matt’s pocket easily, so it’s never weighing him down while he’s filming. It’s also very discreet, so he can easily film without making people feel uncomfortable or disturbing anyone. The DJI Osmo Pocket is essential, for us, as it allows us to capture cinematic footage that really sets the scene in our videos. While our Sony cameras are amazing, they simply cannot compete with the level of stabilisation the 3-axis gimbal offers.

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Drone

I need to say this right from the get-go: our drone is seriously outdated! We love having it as it allows us to capture absolutely stunning footage and add a high-quality, cinematic feel to our videos. But the major drawback with the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is that it’s huge! Matt has to carry it around in this huge backpack and, when we travel with it, that’s pretty much his carry-on. Not only that, but we bought it many years ago and the technology is now a little outdated. If we were made of money, we’d definitely be upgrading to something newer and smaller. DJI has an amazing range of drones to choose from and we’d probably look at something in the Mavic Range as it would take better-quality video and photos while being much smaller, discreet and easier to transport. A drone in the Mavic Range retails from around AU$1,599.

Photo taken using DJI Phantom III Drone

GoPro Hero 5 Black

When it comes to filming and photographing in water-based situations like snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef or capturing hotel swimming pools, our go-to is the GoPro Hero 5 Black. To be honest, I think we’re both a bit frustrated by ours and GoPro are in serious trouble anyway as DJI has just released a superior product in the form of the DJI Osmo Action. I haven’t actually held one in my hands to try it out but based on the video reviews I’ve seen it’s a better camera, captures incredibly stabilised footage, is waterproof and has all-round better capabilities. We’ve found our GoPro to be unreliable and, at times, a tad frustrating, but it has allowed us to capture some important photographs and video footage for clients over the years.

For us, we’d love to get a DJI Osmo Action and I’m really interested in getting a proper underwater housing for my Sony 6400 as I think that’d just allow me to take my underwater photography to the next level in a way the GoPro simply can’t. The Osmo Action retails for around AU$499.

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Editing Software

The camera gear we use to take the photographs and capture the video is just one part of the process. All the images used in this post today have been edited in Adobe Lightroom using presets. I found the presets I use simply by doing a google search for great free presets for bloggers! Then, I tweaked them until I was happy with the look and saved them as my very own preset. A number of Instagrammers actually make part of their income by selling their presets in packs! Pretty savvy and perfect for anyone who absolutely loves someone else’s editing style and wants to emulate it. Though, I would always suggest tweaking the presets to give your photography its own distinct style.

While the presets I found were free, access to Adobe Lightroom isn’t. You can purchase Lightroom on its own or as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Given Matt is still a freelance graphic designer, he uses programs like InDesign and Photoshop to edit our photographs, and uses Premiere Pro to edit all our videos, it makes sense for us to have a subscription to the whole suite. Because it’s such an integral part of our business, we’re able to claim it as a tax deduction, too. What I like about Lightroom is the mobile app too, so I can quickly edit my photos on my phone while I’m on-the-go. If you want to check out the prices for subscriptions to Lightroom and/or the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can do that here.

Of course, I always feel it’s important to live within your means and if it’s not financially possible or viable for you to shell out for a subscription like this – don’t! There are plenty of fantastic free apps out there including Snapseed, VSCO and AfterLight. Spend time playing around with different apps, find free filters that you like and make them work for you. While Lightroom is great, it’s a luxury not everyone can afford and I totally get that – the only reason I use it is that it came as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Matt uses for his graphic design. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be shelling out for it.

Where to Buy

I’ve included links to specific products throughout this post, most of which will take you to the Ted’s Cameras’ website. We’ve been buying our cameras from Ted’s for the past few years and have always gone for the ‘Protec-Ted’ option, which comes with a whole bunch of extra benefits worth looking into (we’ve used them on a few occasions already!).

Find your local Ted’s Cameras’ store today!

Useful travel resources for your next adventure!

If you found this post useful, we’d be grateful if you considered using the affiliate links below. We’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, these are the products and services we love and use ourselves. Thanks for your support! Phoebe and Matt x.

Agoda – book hotels (& homes) – book hotels
Motorhome Republic – RV rentals – car rentals
SimsDirect – prepaid travel SIM cards
Skyscanner – book flights
Surfshark – online security & VPN (Watch 30+ Netflix libraries!)
TourRadar – book tours


  1. Hi there, I hope you are both well and thank you for this comprehensive insight into your gear.
    I have a quick question: is Matt using any gimbal or stabiliser for the Sony 6500 when he shoots video? Or if you’re going to shoot something particularly ‘bumpy’ you turn to the Osmo Pocket?
    I have a heavy but beloved Nikon D90 and wanting to do short promotional videos so not sure if I gimbal the D90 or use that cash for an Osmo Pocket?? I do have a manfrotto tripod for it somewhere in the garage so would the gimbal give me 100% better video quality than that? I really need to produce a high standard look for promotion of lux products, I can’t be shaking and rollicking like what we see and love in a tik-tok vid!
    I see too that there is water housing available for the Pocket so that could also eliminate the need for a waterproof GoPro/Action camera as keen to do watery shots for the videos.
    Any advice would be great 🤓
    Happy Sunday!

    1. Hi Holly! No I only handhold they 6500. I have toyed with the idea of getting a gimbal for the 6500 but I need to travel light and I’m not keen on the time required to mount and unmount it on the fly. In most instances I’ll use the Osmo for any potentially bumpy sequences or dynamic movement. The Osmo is great for travel and I love its output but the official DJI water housing is not the best. I found it really difficult to frame shots and It failed on me on a shoot in Mexico and water got into the housing and ruined my Osmo 🙁 I was forced to buy the GoPro8 as a replacement to finish the shoot and I found it way easier to use than the Osmo when inside it’s waterproof case. I hope that helps. Let me know if I can answer more Qs for you – Matt

    2. Thank you v much Matt for your reply – it’s funny you recount about the Osmo Pocket housing because when I looked online I did think it looked a bit dinky. Are you finding good stability with the GoPro8? Are you getting the same or better cinematographic shots as the Pocket? HN and Ted’s have a seemingly good deal on at the moment with the GoPro8 including mini pole tripod, extra memory card, and a head strap mount. Are you still using the waterproof case for the GoPro even if just doing water-level type shots, because I see they’re ‘water resistant’ to 10m but I don’t know if I should trust that! 😰

    3. When I bought the GoPro8 as a replacement for the Osmo Pocket (that was my only purchase option in Los Cabos) I used it exactly the same way as I would have used the Osmo Pocket and the results were surprisingly good. I do find the Osmo better to use ergonomically though as you can mount your phone to it and see/control much more. In saying that, the Hero8 is pretty amazing, the best GoPro I have purchased for sure. The Hero8 doesn’t need a waterproof case at all, so that is a bonus. I have never had an issue with the depth restrictions or waterproofing of the GoPro, they are pretty durable and I would not hesitate to take it underwater within the 10m. It’s a tough choice though, I honestly use my Osmo Pocket way more than the GoPro but I don’t do lots of water-based or action-based activities that need it. I hope that helps!

    4. Thank you Matt, that’s great news about not needing to buy something extra in regards to housing for the GoPro8. Lots to think about this weekend!

  2. Awesome photos! Loved them. We are doing Europe in 100days (2 weeks to go) by train, bus, ferry and plane… and My wife are traveling with Fuji xt20 and 18-55, GP7, An Ultra zoom 200 euro Panasonic Bridge camera which is actually the best thing we have brought with us for long distance photography and videography and a dji Mavic mini.
    And editing with Darktable and Fuji’s own raw converter. Videos with Resolve Studio. But I am not using any presets for anything. Just some exposure , highlight and shadow corrections.
    Do you have a YouTube channel?

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