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What kind of camera & camera gear should I bring?

William Granados, one of our most experienced guides and resident photography experts, offers the following thoughts for people trying to decide which camera to bring.

Should I bring my New SLR Camera?

Well, if you are going to travel with your family, you should probably think twice!

If you are trying to use your new SLR body with a Zoom lens that you just unpacked…. Forget it!! There will be too much time wasted in adjusting and playing with the settings and it will end up turning into a nightmare!!!

There are many options for snap shot cameras that are great: delivering decent pictures even in dim light or other poor conditions.


Tripods are bulkier and you often won´t have enough time to set it up. If you are on an active trip, it is better to bring a monopod that doubles as a walking stick. It is also good to consider which camera is more versatile for low speed shots (image stabilizing features are great in some of the small cameras)


Should I take this lens or that lens????

Costa Rica represents a challenge for photographers; you will move from total dark in the forest to bright light by the beach (and in places like Manuel Antonio, Corcovado or Tortuguero you will do so in a matter of 15 to 30 meters of distance)

So if you do decide to bring your SLR camera, you should have as a minimum a zoom lens (70 – 300 mm or similar) and another lens, (maybe 15-55 mm). These two lenses will give you a decent range for your different situations.

A word of advice: you are always going to miss the one lens you left at home!!! Just enjoy what you have and adapt your art to your lenses!!


There are many little things that you´ll want to bring along with your main camera:

Wipes, brush, filters remote shutter, external flash, extra battery, charger, rain jacket for the camera and lens, and your vest are a minimum.

If you must restrain yourself to 30 pounds for the light charter flights… bring a Power Shot (Canon), Coolpix (Nikon) or something similar, there are some good little cameras on the market that really impress me with the image quality and different settings that you can choose from. And it is easy, just point and shoot!!!

You can carry it in your pocket, attach it to your harness when Zip lining, etc.

While with the big camera you will need a separate back pack just for some of your camera gear!!

If you do want to bring your full equipment on internal flights, no problem, just make sure to bring it up with your travel planner (there will be an additional cost).

The big question is:

What will be the right camera for this trip? And for you?

Patience is always required for good photography, so if yours is an active, on the go tour, please give which camera to bring a lot of thought!!

Still have questions?

If you want to ask some more specific questions or get the advice of someone who has been taking pictures in Costa Rica for years, write to your travel planner. It may take them a few days to get back to you, as our guides are often out in the field, but we will eventually be able to provide you with answers.