Cameras help us capture those unforgettable moments when we travel – that sunset on the beach, the historic cathedral in Europe, that exotic dish in a Mexican cafe. If you’ve spent any time on social media, then you’ve probably become a bit envious of the travels of others, as they post photos of their vacation memories with hashtags and captions.
Maybe you’re ready to “up” your game and make others jealous of your travel adventures. A good camera can go a long way in helping you post dazzling photos and videos.
First, when you’re shopping for a travel camera, think about what you want to capture. Still images or audio and video? People or landscapes? Still photography or lots of action? Underwater shots?
Shopping for a camera can get very complex very quickly. Do you see yourself taking a photography class? Or reading books and manuals? Do you have a semi-pro photographer friend who can mentor you? Will you be using photo editing software like Photoshop?
If the answer to those questions is no, then that makes it all the easier. Just keep it simple. Don’t worry about every feature and spec that are available. Concentrate on the size of the camera, price, main features, and convenience.
Cameras come in all sizes and prices. More expensive cameras will usually have better quality, but the high-end cameras are for the professionals. Amateurs can take some great photos without spending $2000.
These cameras are designed for convenience and readiness. You can carry one in your pocket or purse. They are easy to use but limited in scope. They will have some optical zoom, but because the lens is fixed, you can’t really improve on it. For general photography, a point-and-shoot can get the job done. For traveling, they make a lot of sense because they are small, lightweight, and don’t require lots of gear to use them.
Advanced Compacts have a bit more punch to them, but essentially they are still point-and-shoot cameras. Their lenses are more powerful. Their lenses cannot be changed, so you want to be careful to buy a camera with versatility. These cameras are also recommended for general photography, but can also capture wildlife or other things in the distance with decent optical zoom.
Digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLR) are some of the most popular digital cameras today. They range in price from $300 to $5000+ with the option to add gear, lenses, and filters to fit your needs. The kit lens that comes with most DSLR cameras is intended as a starting lens. Most people in the market for DSLRs plan to buy more lenses in the future and are willing to learn the many features of these cameras. A DSLR in the hands of an amateur might not produce the best photos because an inexperienced person does not know how to set up the camera for each shot.
A little knowledge can go a long way in capturing stunning photos with a DSLR. Especially travel photos! Don’t be afraid to learn a little bit and make that camera perform for you.
Keep in mind that cameras (like all technology) are updated constantly, so be sure to do your homework at the time you plan to purchase. Read product reviews, but realize that some reviews are fake. Look for authentic, official reviews from trusted sources (like Consumer Reports).
Spend some time in a store trying out different styles of cameras. Tell the salesperson that you are in the market, and you’ll take all the help you can get. Buy what you need, but be wary of all the accessories that are often paired with cameras. Unless you know exactly what the accessory is and how you will use it, it is likely you don’t need it. Just stick to the essentials: camera, memory card, and maybe a bag or pouch to protect it.
Remember your smartphone probably has a decent camera. They can’t do all the stuff other cameras can do, but smartphone cameras have become better over the years and can be really useful if you’re in a jam.
When you’re on vacation, keep shooting!