How to choose a camera for travel

Photography has long been fashionable as a way to capture the memory of yourself or your experience, a landscape or an unusual event. Now, no one surprises the camera, although, when I took the first pictures – there was no question of any digital technologies. And what about those who traveled in the early twentieth century?

But, let’s back to the present. It does not matter where a person goes: a picnic in countryside, tours of the resort or an independent travel, he definitely takes a camera with him, in order to bring memories, to save a «piece of summer». And it’s an understandable dream.

But which camera is better to take? Which one to buy for the next trip? This question bothers many people and the answer is not as obvious as many people think.

I will not give you a clear answer: take THIS model. No, it will be very short-sighted. However, I will analyze the main types of cameras: from the built-in mobile phone camera to professional SLR devices. I will try to explain why each of them can be optimal in a number of cases.

Digital SLR camera

Let’s start with the most expensive option. There are digital SLR cameras, in common – «DSLR». It is this «big black box» that so attracts any beginning photographer, because they believe that with it they will become a Pro! I am the owner of such camera (Nikon D5100). But do not rush; this is not the best choice in the journey.

Digital SLR camera Nikon D5100

Digital SLR camera Nikon D5100

If a little «digging» the details, it becomes clear that the DSLR is better than the usual cheap camera due to the size of the matrix. This allows you to take pictures at higher ISO settings (sensitivity) with less «noises». There are many other differences, but they are not so significant, especially in the journey. However, most of the tourists make pictures outdoors and during the daytime, i.e., at the minimum ISO settings.

I recommend to take this type of camera only in that case:

  1. You are a professional photographer and are engaged in commercial photography (it means that you are going to sell the pictures from your trip)
  2. You really want to go with the SLR, while you travel by car or you will be in the same hotel without moving.

The main disadvantages of such device:

  • The weight of the camera and lens (which often more than one) is over a few kilograms, that is terribly inconvenient, especially in hiking, cycling or during long walks.
  • The price of the camera is high enough. It’s sad not only at the time of purchase. The cost is a multiple of a disappointment in case of theft or damage, which happens often, even in developed countries.
  • It causes increased attention of law enforcement and armed forces (in various Middle East countries and other unstable states), the «itch» in people with «janitor syndrome», who believe that shooting with such camera is a professional photography. You will become like a red rag to a bull for scammers, thieves.

The advantage is the image quality and much more flexible features. And of course – significant versatility, that is given the possibility to change lenses.

I have been traveling with the SLR for 2 years and that it’s very tiring, even though it is my earning. You walk down the street and want to relax, but the strap from the camera in a half kilogram rubs the neck.

A mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC)

This is a real breakthrough in photographic technique, and without modesty I can say that tomorrow is with them. In any case, they are already gaining their segment among photographers and travelers by leaps and pace.

These cameras have interchangeable lenses (although, the selection is not as great as for the DSLR), a matrix similar to the DSLR and compact sizes! This has been achieved by refusing the «mirror», which is needed for working the optical viewfinder. This is similar to a compact camera by its size and ability to shoot «taking aim» at the screen.

A mirrorless interchangeable lens camera Leica M9

A mirrorless interchangeable lens camera Leica M9

They are much lighter than their counterparts with a «mirror», and the quality of the images is not inferior. The only disadvantage of today is the price, which will be high. However, this will change soon.

I plan to buy a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Its disadvantage is that due to the screen the camera discharges the battery faster, but what’s the difference? You can charge more often or buy a couple of spare batteries; it’s still lighter than the DSLR.

I recommend this type of cameras to all traveling bloggers and photographers – to amateur photographers and even to professionals. I recommend it to all people, who do not want to attract attention with such bandura, that hanging around the neck. Who doesn’t want to carry kilos of equipment in the backpack, but jealously monitors the quality of the images. This is our choice!

A point-and-shoot camera or a compact camera

A compact camera – is a version of «cheap and cheerful» to which skeptical only glamorous girls who their pictures will be better after having bought an expensive camera.

I was shooting on a compact camera until 2013 (many photos of the blog are made with a compact camera); some of these photos took prizes in contests. The main thing is – to take a good picture from an aesthetic point of view. Moreover, with the right approach, it is possible to shoot on a compact camera not worse, than on the SLR. However, this will require more effort and time. It fits 100% for pictures outdoors in daytime.

My favorite compact camera

My favorite compact camera

I continue to shoot today on a compact camera. It is convenient in that it easily fits in a jacket or pants pocket. It’s lightweight and I use it on walks (I have not bought a MILC yet). In addition, this camera does not attract attention and quickly hides or gets. It is an indispensable thing while reporting in unstable countries and dangerous areas.

Such camera is not a pity to give the robber, not a pity if steal or break it. This camera is an expendable material. So, in my opinion, there is no needed more for the average tourist who go on a vacation or a hike. Moreover, a modern compact camera is able to shoot in RAW format and record video in HD quality. For shooting on a memory and lay out in FB – it is perfect!

Mobile phone

In addition, it is not necessary to throw out of attention the fact that modern phones have quite a good camera. Looking recently at the result of the shooting on the iPhones, I realized that the owners of good mobile cannot be worried at all. There are many disadvantages, however, if you already have such a device and the photo is just for social networks – it is the best option!

So, I emphasize once again that the camera should be chosen on the basis of needs. Certainly, you should not pursue such camera as everyone has. Not enough money for expensive? Buy simpler. As for me it is better to travel to a luxury country with a compact camera than to shoot at home your cat in 100500+ times on a new DSLR of the TOP level.

Incredible travel and good shots to you!

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