Pretty much everyone wants some nice pictures to look back on once the blues hits. It’s rather hard to chose the right camera though, with all the options you have nowadays. If you have an SLR camera already you might want to skip that post, since you’ll most like made your choice already anyway. I try to give a short overview of the options you have, for all the others.
If you are an ambitious photographer you will have a lot of fun with one of those. The SLR camera will make the best pictures, in comparison to the other options. It will also give you the greatest diversity when it comes to zoom and will make the best pictures at low light. It has some downsides aswell though:
- SLR cameras are usually a little bulky. You might miss a few nice shots because you are too slow with your big camera. It will also take up quite some space in your backpack.
- It is the most expensive camera.
- SLR cameras and it’s lenses are sensitive. It doesn’t take a lot to break them.
- Constantly changing lenses and settings can get tiring. After some time you might end up using just one lense, while running the camera on automatic settings and therefore not making use of it’s advantages anymore.
- SLR cameras are quite heavy, compared to other cameras.
Usually you will need quite some time to understand how to properly operate the camera aswell. If you are not really into taking pictures I recommend to use another one. As already mentioned above changing lenses can be tiring. It’s what it makes it so special, but if you don’t like it you might end up not taking pictures at all, because you get annoyed by just thinking about your camera.
These are probably the most used cameras nowadays. If you plan to just take a few snapshots for family and friends this is all you’ll need. It’s easy to get one with a 20x optical zoom, that’s all you need for most cases. Some of them even come with some SLR-like features, giving you the chance to play around with ISO, aperture etc. That can give you an idea of how it is to operate an SLR camera. If you don’t like to adjust everything by yourself you spent way less money than for a real one.
Compact cameras have no real disadvantages, besides lower picture quality in comparison to an SLR camera.
Aka the GoPro. Those are worth if you plan to do a lot of sports. Especially when you are a diver you want one of those. It’s also the only camera that will allow you to take pictures of the underwater world aswell. Unless you want to spend an ridicules amount of money for an SLR-housing. Besides beeing the best choice for videos the new GoPro models take surprisingly good pictures aswell. You can even do stuff like a time lapse. Setting everything up and playing with the zoom is quite time consuming though.
If you don’t want to always take a camera with you it’s probably worth to just upgrade your phone. The newer phones can take quite nice pictures and it’s better than no pictures at all.
Besides picture quality you should also think about where you want to travel. If you are going for a 6 month India trip it’s probably better to just take a cheap compact camera with you. Taking pictures on densely packed markets can be quite difficult with an big SLR camera, besides the higher risk of theft.
You will see many people cleaning their cameras with their shirts. That may work many times, but can go horribly wrong aswell. One little sand grain is enough to destroy your lens. At best you realize it immediatly and change the lense. At worst you realize it after a whole day of taking pictures. Take atleast a lens brush and some proper cleaning clothes with you. It is annoying sometimes, but can save you a lot of money and frustration.
Besides that it’s nice to have a camera bag and a little tripod. Tripods can be as small as your camera, no need to take a big and heavy one. Lastly don’t forget to buy atleast one spare battery for your camera.
What is the best way to store your pictures? I think there is no general answer to this question. It depends heavily on how many pictures you take, in what quality, the quality of your internet connection in different countries, your budget, bla bla etc. The most important thing is to store everything atleast twice, so you don’t lose all of your pictures in case you get unlucky.
- SD-card: The most common method, since you need an SD-card to take pictures anyway. They can have up to 128 gigabyte, which is enough for ordinary mortals. The cheapest way to backup your pictures is to buy a second one and store them at different places.
- Laptop: Since you probably have one with you anyway, you can use it to store your pictures aswell.
- Online cloud: Besides beeing a completly safe method of storing your pictures it’s also an option to share them with friends and family. Dropbox, for example, is free aswell. The only problem will be poor internet connections in different countries. Especially if you take pictures in high resolutions this option might be too time consuming for you. Also keep in mind that other travellers won’t be happy if you kill the internet connection for hours. So be nice and only upload the really good ones. It’s also more fun for your friends to look at a few good ones, instead of hundreds of snapshots.
- External hard drive: This one is for the more ambitious photographers, if you plan to shoot your pictures in RAW format, to edit them later on. Modern SSD hard drives are neither heavy nor that expensive anymore, so it’s probably worth to take 2 of them for proper backup.
As always you are very welcome to leave additions/suggestions/opinions in the comments!
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