It’s hard to imagine going travelling without a camera. Despite the huge volume of photos online covering virtually every inch of the planet a million times over, you’d still be considered crazy if you went on a trip and didn’t take some pictures of your own. Some people will say what’s the point when everything has been photographed to death but in the end, it’s your trip and you need to capture it as you see it, not to add more photos to Google images.
So what makes the right camera for travelling? For some it might be the same old one they’ve always used – why mess with perfection, right? Others might decide a new trip deserves a new camera and go for something with all the bells and whistles… and there are a lot of bells and whistles. Here are a few pointers if you are looking at getting a new camera for your upcoming adventures that will last you well beyond your return.
While size isn’t the most important option for quality pictures, it is something that factors hugely into travelling. Do you want it to be something you can slip into your front pocket or lug around your neck/in a carrying case? You might be amazed at how great the pictures are from a small digital camera as opposed to an enormous SLR, but if you’re moving at a slower pace you might not mind the extra baggage.
Many cameras these days use relatively the same lithium battery but depending on the camera’s features and how often you use it, you could have it drained in less than a day. It’s never a bad idea to have a spare battery on hand, but see how many of your camera’s features can be turned off or put on power saver mode to really maximize your battery life.
After lighting, the lens really is the most important factor in taking good pictures but that’s not to say you can’t get remarkable shots with your camera phone, providing you’re not going to blow them up to poster size or anything like that. If you’re a professional or someone who knows what they are doing and likes taking pictures, there is no substitute for the right lens, but 95% of the population out there will be just fine with the one that’s included.
Red eye reduction, video mode, geo-tagging, wifi – there are an uncanny number of options open to you with a new camera, many of which you may never use but sound really fancy in the store. If you’re someone who knows the difference between macro and micro, you might scoff at any of these ‘extras’, especially if all you really want is good lighting, but hey, to each their own! Personally, I love being able to take little videos on the fly, even if their quality isn’t the best, and would never get a camera that didn’t let me do so.