- June 22, 2021
- 9 min to read
Traveling with a Camera
As a traveling wedding photographer and founder of photography website Shotkit, I’m constantly reviewing, writing about, or using new camera gear.
I take a lot of photos while traveling, and it’s been my mission to find the ultimate travel camera to make documenting my trips more enjoyable and efficient.
I’ve put together 5 tips on choosing a great travel camera for all you keen photographers, to ensure you take the best photos while on your next trip, then come home and edit them with one click with Photolemur :-)
Tip #1 – Get a Small Camera
When I see someone traveling with a big, bulky dSLR camera, I must admit I cringe a little! With the advent of small mirrorless cameras, professional image quality can now be achieved in a camera body that’s often half the size of the average dSLR.
If you travel a lot, you no doubt already know that to be able to fully enjoy your travels, it’s important that you travel light. Having a small, lightweight camera is essential to ensure your camera can be carried either around your neck, or in your pocket, ready to be used straight away.
I often also recommend not even carrying a dedicated camera bag if possible, using your regular travel bag to house the camera, or simply a strap to make it easy to access – just watch out for thieves!
Tip #2 – Get a Camera with Fast Auto-Focus
Auto-focus refers to the camera’s ability to focus on a subject and take shot in as short a time as possible. Having fast auto focus is essential in a travel camera, allowing you to get the shot and move on without wasting time (or insulting locals!)
Whether you need to take an action shot of your kids jumping into a pool or some snaps of the locals whilst driving past them on a tour bus, a camera with great auto-focus is hugely beneficial.
Tip #3 – Invest in a Camera with Great Image Quality
Having a camera to document your travels which provides excellent image quality is a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s all too tempting to keep using our trusty smart phones.
When it comes to cameras, investing the same amount of money as the cost of a high end smart phone really does yield some enormous advantages in image quality - spending around $1,000 on the right camera can mean professional grade image quality.
There’s nothing worse than seeing the wonders of the world on your travels, only to have captured them on your iPhone or lesser compact camera. Make the most of your memories with a camera that can produce beautiful photos.
Tip #4 – Pack one lens
This tip can seem somewhat counter-intuitive, especially for those of you with an ILC (inter-changeable lens camera). Why buy a camera that allows you to change lenses and limit yourself to only one lens while traveling?
Having only one lens on your camera whilst traveling is not only incredibly liberating (less weight means more fun!), but also, the limitation in focal length will do wonders for your photography.
By limiting yourself to one versatile focal length such as 35mm, you’ll eventually be able to visualise your photo before you’ve lifted the camera to your eye. You’ll also be able to cover everything from landscapes to portraits with just one lens, eliminating any time wasted fiddling around with other lenses.
If you’re using a crop-sensor camera, you’ll need to take into account the multiplication factor of the focal length, but you’ll usually be able to find a 35mm or 50mm equivalent. Try and get one with a large aperture (e.g. f/1.8, f/1.4 etc) for beautiful ‘bokeh’ and better ability in low light.
Tip #5 – Get a Camera with Wi-Fi
What’s the point of taking great photos with your new camera if it’s a pain to share them? We all want to show off the great places we travel to, after all…
Having Wi-Fi functionality on your camera makes sharing an image to your smart phone or tablet a piece of cake, and it’s much more convenient than fiddling around with memory cards. I recommend you back-up your memory card to a laptop often whilst traveling, but for transferring a small handful of photos, nothing beats Wi-Fi.
Another great usage of camera Wi-Fi is being able to use your smart phone to see what the camera sees, and take a shot remotely. This means you’ll now be able to take well composed selfies at more than an arm’s length, and be part of every group photo with any friends you make whilst traveling.
Side note: don’t worry about packing a bulky dslr tripod for these ‘remote controlled’ shots – just prop your camera up on any stable object, and save the space in your travel bag for something else.