The Motorcycle Travel Photography and Video Gear List
Welcome to the Motorcycle Travel Photography and Video Gear List! Here’s a complete kit list of options for capturing awesome travel pics and shooting film on your bike trips. You’ll also find a bunch of handy extras to go with your set-up. Happy snapping!
Motorcycle travel makes for incredible photography. Going on a bike trip opens you up to thousands of moments you’ll want to capture including awesome views, new people and epic shots of your bike in cool places. Everyone wants that awesome hero shot of a lonely rider sat on a mud-clad adventure bike gazing out into the distance! Here’s a selection of camera and equipment options for your bike trip.
Taking a DSLR camera on your bike trip means you're serious about capturing high quality images for websites or print. These cameras are the biggest, bulkiest, heaviest and most expensive option. So, using one should be something you're set on, familiar with and comfortable using to get the most out of it. If you are going for a DSLR, then consider a mirrorless camera as they are lighter and use just as good technologically as DSLRs.
Point and shoot compact camera technology has come a long, long way. You can snap incredible photography with these lightweight and durable cameras. You can also get waterproof and dustproof options, making them great for adventure bike riders. And many of them also shoot in RAW too, so you can professionally edit your pictures. These are a great option if you're after excellent quality but without the expense, hassle and bulk of a DSLR.
Mobile phone cameras are amazing. And the free editing software available for them is now also seriously good too (check out our Top 5 Travel Apps guide for our favourite one). You can shoot, edit and post beautiful pictures to your social feeds in no time. This is a fantastic option if that's all you're after, or only want to take quick snaps on your trip. Just remember these pics lose their quality when blown up, printed or are viewed on something other than a phone.
There are many small, lightweight and cheap tripod options on the market today. It's well worth getting one if you want pictures of yourself with your bike. Pics of lonely bikes get boring after a while!
Save yourself the hassle of setting up your camera, pressing the timer button, running back and it flashing before you make it into that perfect pose. Remotes also allow you to snap riding pics too.
Shooting video is a brilliant way of recording your trip. It takes the viewer with you and puts you right back there in the moment. There’s so much more dedication involved in filming a trip because of the time it takes to set-up and edit reams of footage. Impressive when it comes together though. Here’s all the kit you need to make your own motorcycle travel videos.
Most of the jaw-dropping bike films on YouTube are shot using a GoPro. There are no super-dooper high-end camcorders, just a little GoPro strapped to a helmet! GoPros now come with image stabilisation, shoot in 4K, take high-quality pictures, are waterproof, lightweight and fit in the palm of your hand. If you want to film, then this is the camera for you.
GoPros are durable and waterproof, but you will want a protective case if you're using one on a bike trip. It only takes one stray stone to flick up, crack your lens and ruin your day. It also keeps your equipment clean and they're very cheap too. This example is a full protective housing case, you can opt for frame mounts if you need better audio.
External microphones aren't a necessity. In-built camera microphones are good enough to film your riding. And you can always record audio on your phone after your ride and lay it over your footage. However, if you want to talk to the camera interview style or are specifically after high-end audio, then an external mic like this or a lapel wire is the way to go.
There's a multitude of camera mount options out there. The easiest and handiest of all is the simple sticky back plate. You can pop these jut about anywhere including on your helmet. Your camera just slots in and out.
Chest strap footage always looks good, but only if you're standing up! Otherwise you'll just be filming your screen. Footage from the helmet usually looks better than chest straps because it's not fixed in the same way.
This particular GoPro selfie stick is brilliant because it extends and also doubles up as a tripod. If you want riding footage then set-up the tripod or extend and hold to talk to the camera. This makes life so much easier.
Sometimes you just can't get the right angle with a GoPro tripod for riding shots and finding new unique angles makes for cool footage. These brilliant tripods can wrap around anything from tree branches to railings.
These extras aren’t absolute musts, but will come in very, very handy on your motorcycle adventures. Take a look at each one and see if they apply to you and your trip.
There's nothing worse than running out of memory and having to delete images to make space. Shooting video will eat these up. If you're not transferring footage to a laptop or external hard-drive then take enough cards to see your trip through to the end.
If you're taking pics on a DSLR and are on a long-term trip, then you will want to edit them while away. You will need a laptop with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom and Premiere Pro for video footage. GoPro film can be edited on a phone, but is not as advanced.
Video footage rapidly eats up space on your laptop. It's worth getting an external hard drive to ease the load and it also acts as a backup for storing all your photography and video. They're inexpensive and hold terabytes of data. Perfect for long-term trips.
You can go with the one battery and charge it every evening, but it's easy to forget or you could burn through that battery in a single day and miss out on awesome footage. Take at least one spare, always keep it fully charged and you'll never miss that perfect picture moment.
Charging cables are obvious, but they're on this list because reducing volume in packing gear is crucial for bike travellers. Cameras often come with pin socket plugs, but can also be charged using USBs instead. Swap them out if possible and plug into an adapter.
You’ve got all the gear, now you need somewhere to put it. Motorcycles and intricate camera electronics don’t mix well. The heavy vibrations can seriously damage your gear, not to mention the damage a crash could do. Secure and padded camera luggage is well worth the investment. Here are some options dependent on the amount of kit you carry and the space available.
Camera rucksacks are an excellent way to carry lots of photography and video gear. In a small 13 inch bag like this you can fit a camera, video kit, drone, spare lens and extras. We use a rucksack and keep it in our top box. The way the bag opens means we can quickly get what we need and not miss a shot.
Day bags are useful for motorcycle travellers who also have a lot of camera gear. They're not as large as the rucksacks, are easier to fit in panniers or duffel bags strapped to the backseat. But they're not as easy to carry around when out and about, your kit isn't as accessible and it's obvious what you've got inside.
There's no point in the first two luggage options if you don't have all the extra gear and only use a camera. Get a cheap protective pouch and pop your camera in a rucksack or panniers while riding. These are also handy if you leave your gear in a hotel room and only want to take a camera out in a small bag.
Tank bags make for great photography and video storage. Your equipment is immediately accessible and easy to store. However, you will need to pad the bag out with additional protection especially at the base to protect the gear from vibrations. And be extra careful as tankbags are targets in dodgy cities.
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