Ayo World behind the scenes – On-site equipment

Ayo and welcome to Ayo World – behind the scenes!

Before visiting an Ayo destination our Ayo team plans ahead as good as possible to make sure that our time on-site is used as effectively as possible. This planning also includes determining which camera equipment is essential to capture the best images. There is no simple answer to the question, “which camera does Ayo World use?” because there are so many different answers!


To get the best Ayo pictures that can be found on our website and in the image galleries, we use Canon 5Ds. There is always a specified member of the Ayo team on-site responsible for getting the best photos possible. Frank Jorga, the Ayo World founder is usually our Ayo destination photographer. All Ayo destinations have so many amazing sights and views which we reflect on for hours when returning to our headquarters in Munich, Germany. After our visit to the Maldives we had over a terabyte of footage and roughly 6.000 stills to review and filter through to make sure the content of the Ayo travel guides and the Ayo website is up to our high Ayo standards. After all, we want the Ayo community to be able to rely on us for high quality footage and content.


Most of the videos used in our Ayo travel guides and Ayo specials are shot with a 5D Mark IV and some with a 5D Mark III by our Ayo girls Annika Zimmerman and Julia Schoch. When shooting videos outside a controlled set the Mark IV is a great choice as it has a very good autofocus function. We also use both cameras to take photos but you have to remember to change the lens. When filming with the 5D Mark III or IV we use a wide angle zoom lens (usually 17-70mm), for stills we often use the 70-200mm lens and for portrait our photographer Frank had a personal preference for an 85mm fixed lens. 

A 50 or 85mm fixed lens is great for portraits because they have a large open aperture and a great bokeh meaning that the background becomes blurred in comparison to the subject of the picture. I love the 85mm because you get great results, similar to a 50mm but you don’t have to get quite as close to the subject, so you can keep a comfortable distance.”, Frank Jorga.

Sometimes other filming methods are more appropriate. When filming the Malé part of the Ayo Maldives travel guide for example the Ayo team used iPhone cameras. iPhones were used instead of large Canons so that we wouldn’t stand out too much. There are a few reasons for this including practicality in parts but the main reason is that when moving around popular areas with bigger equipment you often draw attention to yourself which can often ruin the results. Smartphones are a common occurrence in most places and are usually ignored.

In most cases the type of camera is not the most important factor because most cameras nowadays will do the trick for the basics. However, keeping the camera still and focused by using a camera support is absolutely essential. We tend to use a DJI Ronin S as a Gimbal for the big Canons and DJI Osmos for the iPhones. These supports can make a huge difference if you use them properly.

If you’re not too focused on the audio quality, an iPhone and a gimbal are perfectly sufficient. As soon as audio enters into the mix, things start to get a lot more complicated so we Ayo recommend being sure on what results you would like to achieve before choosing your equipment.

Most of our underwater footage is shot with a GoPro and an older Canon underwater camera which is not available for purchase anymore. 

Last but most certainly not least, the drone shots were done with a DJI Mavic.

Practice makes perfect

It’s important to remember that having good equipment is one thing but knowing how to use it is a whole other story. Practice is essential – the more you use something, the better you’ll get. Don’t forget that filmmaking, like anything else that’s creative, is also about having fun so don’t be too hard on yourself if the results aren’t always exactly what you’d hoped for. 

For us at Ayo World, we love playing around with our equipment, trying new things and helping each other out so that we can achieve the best results together. Check out our Ayo travel guides and tell us what you think! Maybe you’ll be inspired and take on some new tips and tricks for your next photography session!


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