July 20, 2024



THE BEST TRAVEL CAMERA – Which Camera To Travel With 

nikon slr

Travel is an outstanding experience in so many ways. And Photography is a creative experience almost without limits. When you put these two worlds together – Travel AND Photography – well, it doesn’t get much better than that. So, what is the best travel camera to use to make the most of this great combination of travel and photography?

Lots of people ask me about the equipment I take on my photo safaris. What’s in my camera bag (or my “kit” as photo types like to call it)? And they always start with, “What camera is the best for travel photography?”  That’s a reasonable and understandable question.  The answer, I feel, is actually the absolutely most important travel photography tip that I can offer.

QUESTION: What is the best camera to use for travel photography?

ANSWER: The best travel camera for your expeditions is the camera that you really know how to use the best.

I can almost hear the groans from here! Not the answer you wanted to hear? Well, as you read my stuff you will likely learn that I am not necessarily writing to tell you what you want to hear. I’m writing to share with you my honest ideas, and opinions, and in this case what perhaps you “need to hear?”

OK – let’s get into this issue a bit deeper. Cameras today range from the relatively simple to the extremely complex. And there is little standardization within brands (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.) and the differences between brands is even greater. So on a travel trek you are going to be taking along a complicated piece of equipment and your intension is to use it to take outstanding photos of which you can truly be proud . To do this you have to Know Your Equipment. The absolute last thing you want to do is get a brand new camera just before you head off to Africa, Machu Picchu, or Thailand. That’s at least a recipe for frustration, if not disaster.

The best travel camera, the one to take on your travels is a camera with which you are really comfortable. You know where to find the settings for shutter speed, aperture, and iso. You know to how find and how to set the point of focus and various exposure options. You know how to set and check the white balance. And then, from your experience with your camera, you know how all of these settings (as well as many more which I didn’t even mention) impact the images that you are making. You know how to shoot the camera and you know what results to expect.

Again, cameras today are quite complex. They come with a manual full of information. Heck, the manual for my Nikon D300 (a mid range digital SLR) runs over 400 pages. I feel I know my cameras rather well but I still take my manuals with me. If you know your camera you can make better images.

Travel is exciting. At times it can be fast paced. Even on a laid back outing great photo opportunities may spring up unexpectedly. Being able to shoot quickly because you are well acquainted with your camera gives you a better chance of success. Travel is also supposed to be fun. Even as a photographer I don’t want to speed all my time taking photos, studying my camera and thinking about photography. Too many people I know travel with their eye glued to the viewfinder and trying to figure out how to use their cameras to get the shot they want. They hardly know where they have been until they get home and look at the photos! They certainly miss out on lots that travel offers – meeting people, having experiences, enjoying the community or location they are visiting. With my trusty well known camera by my side, I can relax and enjoy the journey, knowing that if photo opportunities arise I am ready.

So that’s the bottom line  – quite  simple.  Know your camera.  A simple point and shoot that you know really well is a far better travel choice that a big fancy Digital SLR that is a stranger to you. Always travel with a camera that you know well and can use well. Your photos will be better and your trip will be more enjoyable.

Love to hear your ideas and comments as well as your thoughts about other topics you’d like to hear about.

Know Your Camera …………. And Enjoy The Adventure!

Dr.B, The Photo Trekker
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