A picture is worth a thousand words. Part of the joy of travelling is sharing with loved ones what we saw during our trips. Pictures are one of the best ways to do this. The quality of the images we share is important in order to do justice to what we had the chance to admire. How many times have I had to say: “You would have to see it in real, though. It’ much prettier than on that picture!” Sure, you can use your smartphone to photograph the wonders you see, however impressive pictures most often comes from other kinds of cameras. Real ones. DSLR cameras are an (expensive) option but, if you’re not quit a professional photographer just yet, you might want to go with something cheaper, lighter and easier to use! Here are some advices for your travel camera selection.
- Why Go Pros are so popular ?
When one think about “Travel camera”, the Go Pro often comes to mind. Indeed, wherever you travel, chances are you’ll meet at least one person holding a Go Pro on a selfie stick while filming his/her jump into a waterfall. Those cameras are great for traveling because they don’t take too much space in your backpack and because they are waterproof! Also, they are great for making videos of your travel experiences! However, if your traveling doesn’t include much water and if you are more of a photographer than a video taker (like me), then there might be options suiting you a bit better!
- Size matters
I use to foolishly believe that the bigger the camera, the best picture quality I would obtain. So the first camera I purchased for travel purposes was a Canon PowerShot sx40 HS. It looked professional because of it was huge, but it was more heavy and bulky than anything else. I ended up taking most of my travel pictures with my smart phone and taking the big camera only on appointed day, when I knew I would see something particularly worth a more qualified lens, but then I would be burdened the whole day by it. After seeing amazing pictures taken by much smaller camera, I decided to sell that gigantic attire and shop for a smaller one. Armed with a measuring tape, I shopped online for what would be both a great quality and light camera. Since I got my new one, I carried it with me everywhere on my travel and my pictures have become much prettier!
- Is more Megapixels really what you need?
Another mistake many people make (and once again, I used to be guilty of that one), is to only look at the Megapixel quantity to determine the quality of a camera. It kind of has become the ultimate measure for camera quality. However, more megapixels doesn’t automatically lead to better quality pictures: it’s not always the case and, it’s definitely not the only thing that you should consider while shopping for your camera! The number of megapixels is related to the pixel size. Depending on how large you are going to share/print your picture, the megapixels needed will vary. Actually, for printing picture, you will need a camera with at least 7.2 megapixel. For social media pictures, you only need ,69 megapixels. So, as you can see, there is more that matters when it comes to quality!
- Technicalities and their meaning
I know, I just made your job a lot harder now that I told you that looking at the amount of megapixels won’t magically reveals which camera is the best. And it’s not like I can save the day by giving you a perfect definition of every technicalities, unveiling a secret to make your decision easy. Truth is, I love taking pictures, but I’m not a camera expert… yet. However, I read a bit on the subject while shopping for my camera and I can give a few pointers. A first element affecting the quality of your pictures is “RAW Support », you want it on your camera for better quality. Also, the more LCD Screen Resolution, the higher resolution screens. Image stabilization and viewfinder will also help taking better pictures. Depending on how comfortable you are with camera settings, you can opt for a camera with a great automatic setting or one with more manual settings. I strongly suggest you read more about it from a more qualified person than me.
- Wireless Connection
Something completely amazing that I discovered is that you can now have wireless connection on your camera (oh, the beauty of technology!). That means you can (even without Wifi access) transfer the picture from your camera to your phone or computer. This is one of my favorite features on my camera since I rarely travel with my computer. I use this wireless connection to transfer picture from my camera directly to my phone in order to post them during my travel. Also, wireless connection can also make it possible for you to control your camera with your phone (much better than a selfi stick!), with no need for Wifi! Wonderful.
- How to come to the final decision
If, despite this article, you are still not an expert in selecting great cameras, there is an amazing website that can help you with that! With this website, you can chose a few cameras that seem to be great options and compare them, two by two. The website will build a detailed comparison for you, giving you a comparison overview, including the price in the decision balance. It also tells you the common strengths and weaknesses and compares even the size and weight of both cameras for you together with other technicalities. At the end, if after all this information, you’re still not sure of which one is the best, the website tells you what camera it would recommend, between the two, and why. Totally worth using this if you narrowed down your options to a few cameras and can’t seem to find out which one is best!
After reading the praising of my own camera throughout this article, I bet you want to know which one I use. I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 (You can buy it here (Canada) or here (USA & Others). To be honest, at first, I was a bit reluctant in buying a Panasonic camera. I was looking for a more “camera only” brand like Canon, Nikon or Fujifilm. But the more I compared this camera with others (price included), the more I was convinced it was the best for me! The expert at the camera store assured me that this Lumix was the best quality for its range of pricing and it confirmed my decision! Following this article are a few of the pictures I took with this camera! What camera do you have and what do you like about it? Let me know in the comments!