Amazing adventures make for amazing photographs. Since the early days of cameras the traveller has always been torn between keeping their pack light, and bringing along mega-equipment. The camera is no different, and often weight and size are an issue.
Luckily, technology has a way of moving faster than we can possibly keep up with. You might be glad to know there are now plenty of cameras on the market which manage to be portable, whilst maintaining high image quality.
Obviously no camera is going to be perfect for everyone, and it may very well depend on what the travel consists of; a sophisticated break staying in hotels in Rome, is going to call for a much different model than a desert buggy road trip. Budget is also likely a factor. With travel, especially backpacking, it is not so much a matter of what you can afford, as what you can afford to lose!
There are some general considerations when searching for a camera to take on the road. For example, the sensor size, which is a fair measurement of image quality, as well as how a camera can perform in dim lighting. Higher sensor sizes, like a DSLR, will produce more crisp, colourful images, but may be bulkier and more expensive. If you just want to show your friends a few pics on the internet, portability and price might be more important.
Try to visualize how you will actually be using the camera when you are travelling. The function of the camera is one of the most important aspects of the decision.
Someone who enjoys a bit of guerilla photography and needs to capture moments fast might desire a camera with a burst mode, and a high shutter speed. In order to capture a sunset a viewfinder is essential, as most LCS screens cannot come close to capturing the light. Some cameras are now capable of connecting to wi-fi, allowing you to share pictures instantly on social media sites such as facebook.
A lot to take in?
Perhaps, but it is always a good idea to do some research and think about what you want to buy. Having said that there is no harm in recommendations, so here are five of the best digital cameras on the market, each one suitable for travel in it’s own way.
First and foremost the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 with 18-55mm STM with 55-250mm STM Lenses is the smallest, lightest DSLR on the market weighing in at just 400g. It maintains the same high quality image capabilities as it’s larger counterparts, such as the Cannon T5i, whilst being portable enough to be considered travel worthy.
It boasts an array of features including an 18MP sensor, DIGIC5 processor, and a wide ISO range, ideal for any lighting. Very worthy film footage can also be shot an the Canon SL-1, with 1080p video at 30fps. All in all an extremely decent camera for nearly all travel situations.
The drawback to the Canon SL-1 is the price. It is not so much a drawback as a budget restriction, the camera is a bargain for what it is, at around $700. It is however, not likely to be suitable for everyone’s adventures, and is a lot of moneys worth to lose, or break. For a keen photographer, perhaps one who travels primarily to practice the art, a Canon SL-1 is perhaps the king of DSLR travel cams.
Nikon Coolpix S9500
Not everyone wants to splash out on the best gear. Many travellers take photos for the sake of memories, and to share with friends. That does not mean the Nikon COOLPIX S9500 Wi-Fi Digital Camera with 22x Zoom and GPS (Silver) is not capable of taking high quality images, merely that it might be a more appropriate choice for a lot of people who are looking for a simple, easy to use, and inexpensive, travel camera
An 18MP CMOS sensor, and a 22x zoom lens might give you an idea of what this might mini-beast is capable of. It can also shoot 1080p HD videos for those funny fall in the pool moments. Aside from it’s super pocket size design, and splendid features, the S9500 can connect to wi-fi. No more storage problems, and instant sharing of photos on social media make this a no-brainer for travelling.
There are no manual modes available for this digital camera, which might leave expert photographers feeling a little empty. This is aimed more towards the novice, who enjoys taking travel snaps, high quality, hassle free.
Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR
If safari excursions, horse races, or sports events are your vocation the Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR 16GB Digital Camera Kit caters well to your needs. This is more of a specialist choice, but also works well as a general all-rounder too. It is a super-zoom camera capable of 42x, and it also shoots in burst mode at 11 frames a second, allowing the exact action shot to be near-on guaranteed.
The Fujifilm HS50EXR is also wi-fi and GPS ready, and is less bulky than a DSLR camera , and a decent viewfinder. A must for anyone who’s goal is to capture far-away shots in detail, or take prized shots of motion. There are however, better quality images available elsewhere, if the cameras features do not appeal to you in-particular.
The Sony a7K Full-Frame Interchangeable Digital Lens Camera with 28-70mm Lens is an absolute stonker of an all-rounder, packing a 24.3MP sensor that is quite literally the biggest of it’s type. Quality is a given here, but the camera also manages to be reasonably compact and weighs only 500g.
The Sony a7K looks good, feels good, and takes high quality images. All the features and capabilities you might expect in a DSLR are featured.
Undoubtedly one of the greatest digital cameras on the market, but at a whopping $1600 this is clearly for the expert, and for the safe trip. I personally wouldn’t take it backpacking in the Pyrenees anyway!
Olympus Tough TG-3
“I am a rough and ready kind of guy”.
“I want to take photos whilst I scuba dive”.
“I always break things”.
Don’t worry I’m getting to you! If you are anything like me, you are probably looking for a digital camera to take travelling that just isn’t going to break. That would be high up on my list of priorities.
The Olympus TG-3 Waterproof 16 MP Digital Camera (Red) is exactly what it says on the marketing tag; “Tough”. It has an extremely durable exterior, is dustproof, and waterproof to 15m, crushproof to 100kg (you could jump up and down on it repeatedly for whatever reason), and freeze-proof to -10 degrees. It easily fits into any pocket, making it a phone that was pretty much built for adventure.
The image quality is not bad though, and the camera does produce nice photographs in most situations; including underwater, making it great for scuba diving and snorkeling.
If quality is your main priority, then another model might be more suitable. If a break-free adventure digi-cam is you priority then the Olympus Tough T-3 is your bid.
Hopefully you have some idea of the choices on offer. There are many digital cameras that are worthy of investigating, and the final decision will very likely rest on your own preferences, and what the nature of the travel is. Happy snapping travellers!