Deciding on which camera to take while your on the move can be a difficult choice, there are so many to choose from depending on your needs. I have made a list of different types of cameras that you may want to take with you whether its the phone in your pocket for capturing those surprising moments quickly or using a large DSLR and a tripod to compose the frame exactly.
Cons: No lens choice, lower image quality
There is that saying that the best camera is the camera you have with you, which for many people is your phone camera. The image quality you get from your phone nowadays is very good on the higher end devices. They are very lightweight and you will likely have your phone on you anyway, meaning that you don’t need to carry any additional equipment for taking photos, you already have it!
The image quality may not be as good as a dedicated camera but depending on the type of photography you want to do, it can be sufficient and return some great results. The cameras on smartphones tend to be slightly limited in terms of zoom; the only option they offer is usually digital zoom which degrades the quality of your image the more you zoom.
Overall I would recommend you to use your camera phone if you just want to capture some holiday snaps and capture some moments. You can achieve some really nice results with a phone but I would suggest you take a look at the other options if you want to take your photography more seriously.
Pros: Lightweight, Compact
Cons: Limited Zoom
Point and shoot cameras where really popular before smartphone cameras started to get so good, now the quality of a smartphone is on par with point and shoot cameras as they often use the same sensors. Some of them offer some basic optical zoom lenses which offer a bit more versatility than your phone.
I wouldn’t suggest many people go and get a point and shoot as they are so similar to the results you can get from your phone. Maybe if you have a lower end smartphone then one of these would be handy but even at the prices they are it would probably be better off getting a better phone.
Pros: Wide range zoom, megapixels
Cons: Image quality not that much better than cheaper options
Full range zoom cameras are basically point and shoot cameras with a better lens on the front, these are good if you’re just getting into photography but don’t want to spend too much and are just testing the waters. They are very versatile as they usually offer a good range of zoom, so can adapt to any type of photography from portraits to landscapes.
The only downside to these cameras is that while they do offer a good amount of versatility, they aren’t particularly good at any of them comparing with a DSLR. That said, this is a good option if you are just starting off into photography as a hobby and don’t to invest too much in the beginning.
Cons: No screen, one lens
If you’re going to be on lots of adventures involving any kind of action then a GoPro is a good choice as it is extremely durable, you don’t have to worry if you accidentally drop it or give it a bump. The GoPro is also waterproof so you can take it underwater while scuba diving to get some magnificent shots of the oceans wildlife or you can take it while you’re surfing and get some nice shots of your first curling wave!
The lens on a GoPro is a wide angle fisheye type view, which is useful as there is no screen (although you can purchase one as an add on) so its a guessing game as to what you are actually capturing. Its fine once you use it a few times, you get to learn what the camera is probably seeing. These cameras are typically used for video rather than photos, but I personally use it to record video and then just screen grab any frames that would make a good photo.
Cons: Lacks newer features like WiFi
The DSLR option was typically the go to option for anyone wanting to get into photography and it’s the most developed camera as they have been around for so long. This means there is a large amount of lenses and accessories to choose from. The size of the cameras is on the larger side so they will take up quite a bit of space in your bag, and the higher end models are quite heavy too.
The battery life on DSLR’s is very good which is great when you’re travelling, you don’t have to worry about when to next charge up the batteries. You can get an entry level DSLR for a fair enough price and won’t break the bank too badly, which leaves you to spend money on lenses and/or accessories.
In recent years technologies like Wi-Fi and gps have started making their way into cameras; unfortunately DSLR’s are usually one of the last camera types to get these. These aren’t necessary but it’s worth keeping in mind, and if you really need something like gps then I suggest looking at one of the other camera types.
Cons: Poor Battery Life
Mirrorless cameras are relatively new to the camera market, having only made real stride in the last 3 years or so. The sensors in these are comparable to DSLR’s and offer a very good image quality. There is a good eco system of lenses that you can interchange to suit your type of photography, the camera bodies and lenses are smaller and lighter than the DSLR equivalent which gives them the edge in terms of travel as they are easier to carry around.
These cameras are one of the most expensive options, so I would only invest in a mirrorless system if you are already into photography and know your way around a camera pretty well. Another minor factor to keep an eye on is that the battery life is quite short because the screen is always on, so if you’re travelling with these I would suggest you get a few batteries to switch out while you’re out and about.