Photo Gear for Travelers

Photography lovers, take note: bring this light-on-the-shoulder (or in the backpack) equipment on your next photo-worthy vacation.
By: Jenna Schnuer

Unless you're a professional photographer, you don't really need to schlep tons of photo equipment on your next trip. Instead, take this light-on-the-shoulder (or in the backpack) equipment along.

A Micro Four Thirds system camera
The newest class of camera, Micro Four Thirds, look like point-and-shoots but, you can change the cameras' lenses. The end result is a light-weight device that gives you greater control of the end photo result. Two to consider: Olympus E-PL1 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.

Joby GorillaPod
Flexibility at its best. Put the easy-to-pack and flexible GorillaPod tripod on a table or wrap it around a tree limb to capture pictures of yourself and hard-to-get shots. The attached bubble level will help you get a straight image.

Crumpler's Keystone backpack
Crumpler's camera bags are far from the cheapest in the marketplace but they're far more stylish than many of their brethren, and they're customizable. Also, for travelers worried about the security of their goods, they don't scream "camera inside!"

A portable hard drive
You're probably already packing a laptop or netbook for your next trip, which travel well, but don't offer much in the way of memory for photo or video downloads. Rather than leave your photos on easy-to-lose SD cards or compact flash cards, back them up to a portable hard drive. Transcend StoreJet drives are sturdy, reliable and fairly priced.

Card reader
Keep one on your desk at home and another in your camera bag. It's the safest way to guarantee you won't get stuck with full memory cards and no way to move them to your computer. Sony's 17-in-1 memory-card reader can handle any and every card you send its way.

Sensor cleaner
Don't get left in the dust. Though a professional camera cleaning is a very good thing, on the road you might need to resort to a little DIY. VisibleDust offers products and kits to help clean any manner of smudges.

Your smartphone
Forget toting backup gear on your journeys when your iPhone or Android can play the role of second camera. Pre-load your device with some fun apps, like the Hipstamatic to really amp up the point-and-shoot pleasure.

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