Must-Have Digital Camera Gear

You can’t do everything with your iPhone, so upgrade your photography skills with these essential items.

Just because you have a smartphone in your pocket, it doesn't mean your vacation photos are covered. Sure, the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models are making it easier than ever to take spontaneous (or rehearsed) selfies, but they still can't do everything. Sometimes the best way to take pictures of your family and friends on your getaway to the Bahamas or Costa Rica is with a good, old-fashioned digital camera.

Don't get us wrong—your smartphone camera is still a valuable tool, and there are ways you can make it even better. But you have a lot of options and what matters most is taking beautiful, crystal clear vacation photos that you'll treasure for the rest of your life, all while making your Facebook friends incredibly jealous.

Get started with our picks for camera gear that will instantly upgrade your photography skills.

This is about as simple and effective as a digital camera gets. Speaking from experience (I've had my Sony digital camera for five years and counting) the Sony DSCW800/B is stylish, convenient and durable, and it's truly as simple as point and click. As you get used to this camera, you'll take advantage of the simplified menu and "Easy Mode," as well as the 720p HD movie mode.

You might not be a professional photographer, but this DSLR will make you feel like one. | Amazon

From the moment you turn it on, the Nikon D5600 DSLR acts like your own photography assistant, with enhanced features like 39 autofocus points that take the best pictures for you. Once you're ready to remove the training wheels, you can explore this Nikon's full manual mode and enhanced HD video features.

Best of all, Nikon's SnapBridge app lets you instantly transfer photos and videos to your phone or tablet, as well as act as a remote so you can jump into the picture.

Canon EOS Rebel T7
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a favorite for people who want to become a better photographer. | Amazon

Looking to make the leap from vacation photos to full-blown hobby? The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is another great DSLR for taking your photography game to the next level without having to take an online course. Making things even easier is this Canon EOS Rebel T7 Digital SLR Camera Bundle, which includes so many bells and whistles that your friends will be calling you Ansel Adams in no time.

There isn't much you can't do with a GoPro HERO7. | Amazon

There was a moment on my recent vacation when I took my son on a lazy river for the first time, and I found myself wondering, "Why didn't I get a GoPro for this?" The GoPro HERO7 is a must-have for any trip that involves spending a lot of time in the water or off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Special features like Time Warp Video, Super Photo and Live Streaming will make your images and videos extra cool for sharing, especially when you can send your zip line or waterslide footage directly to the masses on Facebook Live. The HERO7 also has a voice control feature that allows you to tell the camera when you're ready for the perfect pic.

If you're willing to sacrifice some of the newer features to save money, the GoPro HERO6 is also available for about $100 less.

Hero 7 bundle
Mount up and stream your vacation adventures directly to Facebook. | Amazon

Save the time spent searching for a GoPro and accessories by picking up this GoPro HERO7 deluxe accessory bundle. In addition to the accessories that come standard with the HERO7, you'll get a 64GB memory card (plus card reader), an extra battery, underwater diving case and so much more.

Bike and helmet mounts will make your live streaming even more entertaining, while the monopod and tripod will help keep your staged photos perfect.

42-in-1 GoPro HERO7 Accessories Bundle
Get the best of your old GoPro by adding new accessories. | Amazon

Already have a GoPro HERO7 (or earlier model) but you still need the accessories to get the best out of your vacation footage? The SmilePowo 42-in-1 GoPro HERO7 Accessories Bundle covers models as far back as the original HERO, and it includes mounts for helmets, handlebars and chest and wrist straps, as well as a selfie stick and flexible tripod.

Dual selfie stick and tripod
Find a selfie stick that does both. | Amazon

Heading out on a solo adventure and keeping your gear limited to one bag, you'll need the most essential and versatile smartphone accessory. This selfie stick and tripod combo not only allows you to snap a quick pic on a beautiful beach or in a lush rain forest, but you can still use the detachable wireless remote to pose with new friends or time your photo just right.

Xenvo Pro
A little lens that packs a big punch. | Amazon

The Xenvo Pro Lens Kit is compatible with a variety of smartphones, including the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel, and clips easily to your device to enhance your photos. The Truview wide angle lens captures 45 percent more than a smartphone camera's standard lens, so you'll fit more people and scenery into each shot.

PowerCore 20100
World travels or hurricane kit, you're going to want this battery charger in your life. | Amazon

No matter where you're going, what gear you're bringing with you and how much space you're trying to save, you should make room for the Anker PowerCore 20100 Battery Charger. This lightweight device is a digital nomad's closest friend, featuring a 7-day capacity that is good enough to charge an iPhone 7 six times or the Galaxy S6 five times. It can also recharge tablets and digital cameras, and it takes approximately 10 hours to juice up again.

Camera Backpack
This backpack stores all that and a bag of chips. | Amazon

Now that you have a camera (or two) and a ton of accessories, you'll need a bag that keeps them safe and still fits under the seat in front of you. The Bagsmart Camera Backpackis built for a pro photographer's needs, with inserts in the main compartment that will safely hold a DSLR, an additional digital camera and multiple lens or various camera accessories, all while leaving enough space for spare clothing. There's also an extra slot to keep your laptop safe.

Or take the inserts out and simply use it as a standard backpack and bundle your gear as you please.