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Travel Photography Tips: How to Choose a Camera for Your Trip?

How to Choose a Camera for Your Trip? This is a question that often comes up: Trips are unique, no matter how often they happen, and we want the best to immortalize them. The problem is that there is no ready answer to this question … But we will try to clear up all that a bit.

Choosing a camera means venturing into the jungle, and you cannot rely on high-tech salespeople to help us.

We must begin by identifying our needs. Not everyone has to use of a large DSLR or 40 million pixels. You have to know what you want to do with your device. Overall, we will find three types of cameras: compact, bridge and SLR.

There was a time when we wanted quality but without a big budget, we took a bridge. But now, between affordable consumer SLRs and the possibilities offered by compact cameras, the gap is no longer so big.

If you are interested in buying a compact camera, you have to ask yourself three questions:

  • What power (use battery or rechargeable battery),
  • What zoom level (start with a small focal length go a long way, an extended range is not synonymous with quality, attention), and
  • What price.

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

A tour on the various reviews available online should facilitate choice, and then there are more specific things like grip, size of the screen that can make you choose one model over another. You should also go to the store, even if you are planning a purchase online, to test the device, see if you are comfortable with.

I will rather focus on the SLR. Above all, you have to realize that buying a DSLR is also about buying lenses, and the final quality of the image is relied on the lenses as well. So there’s no need to spend a fortune in a big box if there’s nothing left behind to buy the correct lenses.

In fact, buying a DSLR is a bit like buying an animal. We must have the means to pay for the food, the veterinarian, the furniture on which it has made its claws. You feel like the camera great, the case is at $500, it’s not that expensive, and then you end up investing in lenses, backpacks, accessories, far exceeding the price you expected. So we need to know what we are getting into, and this is not necessarily the best way to travel light.

  • What brand? Canon? Nikon? Pentax? Everyone will preach for their preference, everyone finding advantages to their own choice. Look who has what around you, having the same constructor will exchange equipment!
  • What range? Some buy directly the top of the basket. Why not! But know that an entry-level SLR will not make any worse pictures: it is you who actually hold it, and conversely, a large case will not make good pictures if you do not give the opportunity … Especially, we always come back, the weight of a large case is not negligible. Two minutes in the shop, it does not seem so heavy, but in your bag or your neck, all day long, it’s another matter.

Nevertheless, there is no need to rush and buy everything right away, it’s better to see in the long run and buy good lenses as you go. If you do not have an accurate idea, just a desire, using simple 18-55mm lenses is a good way to start. Think the goal is the most important. The quality of the picture depends more on the photographer than on the case.

So, what are the differences between the ranges? Use, grip and weight.  For example, accessing to certain functions is facilitated for high-end products. Also, the sensor:  APS-C and full-frame. The full-frame sensor has the same size as a frame of traditional 35mm film, measuring 36x24mm, whereas the APS-C is much smaller, measuring 22x15mm. Basically, an APS-C will give a tighter frame than the full-frame. Besides all this gibberish, take the time to hold the device in hand, look in the viewfinder, see if you feel comfortable.

Something to consider for travel photography:

Should I buy a Buy 18-200mm lenses?

In my opinion, it is anything. If one does not want to change lens, one takes a compact, at least it is light. Versatility and skill rarely go hand in hand. So, yes, there are beautiful pictures taken with 18-200mm lenses, but ask instead if they would not be better with a better goal…

Do you really need a grip?

I often meet photographers with big 5D Mark II griped around the neck, and I wonder what it can serve them. The grip is this big piece of plastic that is added under the device. This allows you not to twist your wrist when you are in portrait mode, among others. But when travelling, add 500g to avoid hurting your hand, it’s still a little ridiculous. Do not load yourself unnecessarily; you do not have such big hands…

Jpg or raw?

Try to make raw, you will see the difference.

Do you need to invest in a good bag?

The list of accessories is long as the arm. We can save money on some, but the bag is important. A good bag can protect your material and make you enjoy the day without dragging you like a turtle.

What megapixels?

It’s not because you have 30 million pixels that your photos will look better. This is mainly a marketing argument, and it will make you spend a fortune in storage! Well yes, it’s beautiful, but when travelling, it’s not always obvious to empty the memory cards every day.

If you leave for a long trip, do not neglect the compact option. The high-end compact cameras provide quality photos. There are manual modes, so no frustration. You gain in weight, in clutter. Over a long period of time, it’s important.

Choose your goals well; it is useless to take everything. It is a shame to wear a telephoto lens of almost 1kg for two pictures of pigeons over three weeks. It always comes back: define your needs.

Finally, I want to finish with an answer to a sentence that one often hears: “but I do not want to feel limited by the device”. In general, when one feels limited by the device it is either that one has a bad objective, or we are the limiting factor. As in computer science, the “bug” is often located between the keyboard and the office chair.

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