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  • Writer's pictureRemi

The Best Fujifilm Lightweight kits for Travel Photographers

Updated: Mar 29, 2023


the best fujifilm lightweight kits for travel photographers

For those who don't know me, I am a landscape and nature photographer shooting with the Fujifilm X system. I have been travelling in Latin America for about 10 months in 2021-2022 and I have to admit that, at times, I regreted not to have different Fuji gear. Not that my gear was providing me with bad quality, just that it wasn't always practical.


As I am planning my next long term trip, in Asia this time, I asked myself the following question: "Given my experience, should I reconsider the gear so that it better suits my I travel photography style?".

That's a totally fair and relevant question, but, what an atomic bomb have I launched in my head!


As I saw my options and searched for the best and relevant gear for my use, I realised that the decision wasn't that easy. Worst! if I followed my emotions I would end up with more gear than I already have and need.


The gear that I mostly use currently includes:

  • Fujifilm X-T3

  • XF 10-24mm f4.0

  • XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.0

  • XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8

  • XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6

I might finally end up changing only one or two lenses, but if I were on the market for a totally new kit or was looking to complete I would invest in a different set up for sure.


In any case, there is one sure thing: I would stick to Fujifilm.

If you're interest in knowing why do I think that Fuji gear is best suited for travel photography, take a look at my article about why did I choose Fujifilm for landscape and travel photography.


Consequently, I decided to consider what viable kit could I get that would satisfy my needs, what gear should I sell? buy? do I need only Fuji's gear? etc.

And as I was going through these question, I realized that I might not be the only one in this situation. Thereofre, I decided to write an article about this dilemma and to put together some kits that would be great for travel photography, in my opinion.


The question that stays behind these kits was: "what Fuji travel photography kit could I get to have a lightweight and yet complete set in anykind of situations?"

I am sure that some of you already asked yourself this question whether you already belong to the Fuji world or not. Here's your answer, or at least part of it, I hope.


Please note that I am focusing mainly on kits from a lens point of view. I am suggesting a list of relevant bodies for these kit, but the body choice will be yours.



So, let's first check the requirements that travel photographers have.


Gear requirements

Light and compact... this is what every travel photographer wants. But still, if you want to bring your photography skills to the next level you'll need something else than your smartphone, compact or bridge camera.

So, below is a list of equipment that a serious travel photographer should consider.

  • Camera body: depending on where you travel you might want to consider using a weather sealed (WR) body (dust and waterproof) which is very handy in tropical regions. To be fair, if you take good care of your gear you might as well have a non-weather sealed body and never have any issues even when going to tropical regions. All Fuji's bodies tend to be rather lightweight so you will be lucky no matter which one you choose. The pros of weather sealed bodies would be their improved ruggedness and functionalities (for example 4k 60fps). On the cons side you would find mostly the heavier weight, slightly bigger size and higher price.

  • Lenses: as we're targeting lightweight and multipurpose kits, I will only consider zoom lenses and exclude primes. This could be arguable, especially if using pancakes lenses, but despite sizes, they're far from being multipurpose and flexible. Similarly as for the bodies we should look for weather resistant, rather lightweight, small and stabilized gear. Weather resistance is really debatable here. Most of my lenses aren't WR and I had no problems shooting in windy deserts, tropical regions or wet weather. Just don't drop your gear in the water.

  • Tripod: this will mostly be for the landscape and cityscapes photographers shooting at sunrise, sunset or night. You'll need something lightweight, small and as sturdy as possible. However, manage your expectations, in the lightweight section, sturdiness becomes quickly limited despite all the brand's marketing. I had a very lightweight tripod weighing just 1kg and was very proud of it. However, I quickly realised that this was a limitation and god something bigger and more professional. That being said, I still use if I don't want to carry the bigger and heavier one.

  • Camera backpack: as a rule of thumb, you need something light to avoid overweight on your back, small so that it can fit easily as a hand luggage in planes, discreet, especially if travelling in unsafe regions, with lots of pockets and with a back opening for increased safety at all times.

  • Accessories: I am not going to talk too much about accessories as the list can be long. However, some filters, cleaning kits, sets of SD cards and so on might be some of the most useful ones for travel photographers.

Now that we know what we'll need, and before going into the core of the topic, let's present the available Fuji's bodies that would make sens for travel photographers.


Fuji bodies

Fujifilm camera bodies

In my opinion, all the below bodies are very good options for travel photographers. There are bodies for pretty much all budgets, whether new or used. Even the older bodies still prove to be performing well. This is not an in-depth review of each camera but this will give you an idea of the important features to consider on each of them.

  • X-t series:

    • X-T20:

      • Pros: small, sensor 24Mpx, 4k 30fps videos, touchscreen, affordable

      • Cons: non WR, no in-body stabilization, no 4k 60 fps, only one SD slot

    • X-T30

      • Pros: small, sensor 26Mpx X-trans IV, 4k 30fps videos, touchscreen, affordable

      • Cons: non WR, no in-body stabilization, no 4k 60 fps, only one SD slot

    • X-T30 ii

      • Pros: small, sensor 26Mpx X-trans IV, X processor 4, 4k 30fps videos, touchscreen, affordable

      • Cons: non WR, no in-body stabilization, no 4k 60 fps, only one SD slot

    • X-S10

      • Pros: small, sensor 26Mpx X-trans IV, 4k 30fps videos, touchscreen, in-body stabilization, better handling for large hands,

      • Cons: non WR, no 4k 60 fps, only one SD slot

    • X-T2

      • Pros: small, sensor 24Mpx, 4k 30fps videos, WR, touchscreen, 2 SD card slots, affordable

      • Cons: no in-body stabilization, no 4k 60 fps

    • X-T3

      • Pros: small, WR, sensor 26Mpx X-trans IV, 4k 60fps videos, touchscreen, 2 SD card slots, starts to be really affordable for what you get

      • Cons: no in-body stabilization

    • X-T4

      • Pros: small, WR, in-body stabilization, sensor 26Mpx X-trans IV, 4k 60fps videos, touchscreen, 2 SD card slots

      • Cons: price

  • X-H series:

    • X-H1:

      • Pros: decent size, WR, in-body stabilization, sensor 24Mpx, 4k 30fps videos, WR, touchscreen, 2 SD card slots, affordable, better handling for large hands

      • Cons: no 4k 60fps videos

    • X-H2S

      • Pros: decent size, X-Trans CMOS 5 HS, 6.2k 30fps, 4k 120fps, WR, in-body stabilization, slot for CFexpress Type B, better handling for large hands, better autofocus

      • Cons: really expensive, only one SD slots

Alright, now that we have an idea of the available bodies, let's dive into the various kit a traveler photographer should consider.


Fujifilm photography kits for traveler photographers


I have purposedly excluded some of the lenses considered by many as perfect travel companions. I did it not because these lenses have bad quality or becasue I did not like them. I did it because there are, in my opinion, better suited lenses for travel photography on the market based on my experience. I also did not include any primes as I do not consider them as optimal travel companions although they to usually deliver high quality results.


1- The Full coverage lightweight traveler's kit:

A more professional kit with a wide focal range and a wide aperture that would allow all kind of travel photography.

Pros

Cons

  • All weather resistant lenses

  • Perfect coverage for all type of photography: landscape, portrait, fashion and even wildlife

  • Perfect for travel portrait photography thanks to the Tamron 17-70mm f2.8

  • Covers some video needs

  • ​On the pricier side

  • Heavier than other kits

  • Lens change required if focal longer than 70mm is required

  • Not the best quality at the longer focal especially with a TC but lightweight is the priority.

  • For whom: For the enthusiast, semi-pro or even pro photographer who has high requirement and who still want to travel light.

  • Total weight (body, lenses, tripod, no bag or access.) depending on body: 2.9kg to 3.2kg

  • Body: any of the X-T or X-H series

  • Lenses:

  • Accessories:

    • XF 1.4X TC WR and/or

    • XF 2.0X TC WR

  • Tripod: my first tripod ever was a lightweight tripod from Rollei. The Rollei Compact Traveller N°1 Carbon at just 1kg. It is a great tripod for a Fuji kit, but do not expect to put a XF Red Badge on it. That being said, I still carry it around when I need lightweight gear.

  • Backpack: as a lightweight backpack I would recommend to anyone the Lowepro Flipside Trek 350 AW which is small, affordable, sturdy, with a back opening, discreet, full of pockets. The only drawback is that it doesn't fit a 15/16 inch laptop easily. Other bags to consider include the Lowepro Protactic BP 350 AW, Lowepro Flipside Backpack 300 AW, Tenba Solstice 20L or 24L, Tenba Axis V2 16L, Mindshift Rotation 22L, Mindshift Backlight 16L or 26L.

2- The all Fuji lightweight photography and video Kit

A Fuji only kit that would meet the needs of all travel photographers and videographers with a wide focal range and great focusing capabilities.

Pros

Cons

  • All weather resistant lenses

  • Perfect coverage for most type of photography: landscape, portrait, fashion and even wildlife

  • Offers good video capability

  • Not the best for portrait or low light environment, but still acceptable

  • On the pricier side

  • Heavier than other kits

  • Lens change required if focal longer than 70mm is required

  • For whom: for the enthusiast, semi-pro or even pro photographer who has high requirements on quality, needs a video lens and who still want to travel light.

  • Total weight (body, lenses, tripod, no bag or access.) depending on body: 2.8kg to 3.1kg

  • Body: any of the X-T or X-H series

  • Lenses:

  • Accessories:

    • XF 1.4X TC WR and/or

    • XF 2.0X TC WR

  • Tripod: my first tripod ever was a lightweight tripod from Rollei. The Rollei Compact Traveller N°1 Carbon at just 1kg. It is a great tripod for a Fuji kit, but do not expect to put a XF Red Badge on it. That being said, I still carry it around when I need lightweight gear.

  • Backpack: as a lightweight backpack I would recommend to anyone the Lowepro Flipside Trek 350 AW which is small, affordable, sturdy, with a back opening, discreet, full of pockets. The only drawback is that it doesn't fit a 15/16 inch laptop easily. Other bags to consider include the Lowepro Protactic BP 350 AW, Lowepro Flipside Backpack 300 AW, Tenba Solstice 20L or 24L, Tenba Axis V2 16L, Mindshift Rotation 22L, Mindshift Backlight 16L or 26L.

3- The light landscape and nature kit

Mostly dedicated to photographers only, a large focal range and lightweight kit with weather resistant gear. The perfect kit for the aspiring landscape photographer on the go.

Pros

Cons

  • Weather resistant lenses

  • Lightweight kit

  • Relatively cheap option

  • Very good quality all over the focal range

  • Covers most of what everybody needs for travel photography: landscape, portrait, fashion, some wildlife


  • Not compatible with the Fuji teleconverter (impossible to extend the range)

  • The 18-300mm is not the most discreet lens, especially at longer focal

  • Not really suited for video

  • For whom: Perfect for the landscape and nature photographer who wants a lightweight and reliable kit

  • Total weight (body, lenses, tripod, no bag or access.) depending on body: 2.4kg to 2.7kg

  • Body: any of the X-T or X-H series

  • Lenses:

  • Tripod: my first tripod ever was a lightweight tripod from Rollei. The Rollei Compact Traveller N°1 Carbon at just 1kg. It is a great tripod for a Fuji kit, but do not expect to put a XF Red Badge on it. That being said, I still carry it around when I need lightweight gear.

  • Backpack: as a lightweight backpack I would recommend to anyone the Lowepro Flipside Trek 350 AW which is small, affordable, sturdy, with a back opening, discreet, full of pockets. The only drawback is that it doesn't fit a 15/16 inch laptop easily. Other bags to consider include the Lowepro Protactic BP 350 AW, Lowepro Flipside Backpack 300 AW, Tenba Solstice 20L or 24L, Tenba Axis V2 16L, Mindshift Rotation 22L, Mindshift Backlight 16L or 26L.

4- The all-in-one kit

That's the lightest of all kit, covering a wide focal range with great picture quality. Few drawbacks, but we can't have it all.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely lightweight and space efficient

  • Budget friendly option

  • Very good picture quality all over the focal range

  • Weather resistant

  • Covers a lot of photography style with some limitations

  • Limitations on both end of the focal range

  • Impossible to extend the range as not compatible with the Fuji teleconverter

  • Not the most discreet lens, especially at longer focal

  • Poor video stabilization, works fine for photography

  • For whom: Perfect for those who do not focus mainly on landscape photography but still want a large focal range to play with.

  • Total weight (body, lenses, tripod, no bag or access.) depending on body: 1.8kg to 2.1kg

  • Body: any of the X-T or X-H series

  • Lenses:

  • Tripod: my first tripod ever was a lightweight tripod from Rollei. The Rollei Compact Traveller N°1 Carbon at just 1kg. It is a great tripod for a Fuji kit, but do not expect to put a XF Red Badge on it. That being said, I still carry it around when I need lightweight gear.

  • Backpack: as a lightweight backpack I would recommend to anyone the Lowepro Flipside Trek 350 AW which is small, affordable, sturdy, with a back opening, discreet, full of pockets. The only drawback is that it doesn't fit a 15/16 inch laptop easily. Other bags to consider include the Lowepro Protactic BP 350 AW, Lowepro Flipside Backpack 300 AW, Tenba Solstice 20L or 24L, Tenba Axis V2 16L, Mindshift Rotation 22L, Mindshift Backlight 16L or 26L.

In my opinion, all these kits offer very viable options at all budgets for travel photographers who want to travel lightweight.

Let me know in the comment section below what'syour ideal kit or if you would see or do things differently.

 

About the Author

I am Rémi Bergougnoux, a French travel and landscape photographer currently based in Zurich, Switzerland. My most influential destinations include Latin America, where I spent about a year, Namibia, Iceland, Lofoten and certainly many others.

Aside from photography, hiking, cooking, enjoying good wines and socializing are my main hobbies.

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