Let the hand that does not ever have this question (or similar) to the friend on duty because he wanted to buy a new one for that dreamed trip that finally has come the time to perform.
A fairly common situation for those who, as a server, we have some relationship with this world and, as you can imagine, does not have an easy answer. Still, we will try to answer it through tips so you can go on vacation with the best option to make those dream pictures in your backpack.
For some, the best camera is the one you have, and that is why it is explained that in tourist places there are more and more people who do not complicate their lives and the photos are made with the mobile phone. Of course it is also very typical to see myriads of tourists with an SLR around their neck without appearing to have much idea of how to handle them (why does this damn flash does not stop getting up without me having given any buttons ?).
In fact, some of the most common questions related to this issue have to do with whether the mobiles are already better than a “normal” camera or if it is worth carrying large and heavy equipment when there are very “tiny” cameras that make it super Photos. And the answer is that …
It depends, everything depends
What is clear is that the keyword is “depends”. Therefore, the first thing that we have to take into account is the destiny that we are going to give to the photos. If our main leitmotiv is to share them via social networks and we settle for having them on the hard drive, see them on the screen and in no case we intend to obtain paper copies beyond the classic 10×15 serves us with the phone and almost any camera. If we have higher pretensions we will need a better team.
To decide we must take into account a series of questions: Use that we are going to give to the photos, size and weight of the equipment, own knowledge about photography and budget that we have
Another issue to consider, very important in travel, is the issue of size and weight. If you are accustomed to traveling lightly a heavy reflex can be more difficult than helping you, but if you do not care what your camera weighs, a wider range of possibilities opens up.
Another issue that must be taken into account is related to our knowledge in photographic matters. Although today virtually any camera has an automatic mode that ensures good results in most cases, we all know that without having any idea of the subject we will not take advantage of a camera that we call “advanced”.
Of course, if we already have certain knowledge, we will probably care about other topics, such as the features of each model and the type of sensor it carries. But in that case you will probably already be able to choose the most appropriate model for yourself without needing to take hold of the friend on duty.
Finally, we have not forgotten, of course, about the “piggy money” issue. As you can understand, if we do not have enough to buy the model that we consider ideal for us we will have to settle for what our pocket can reach. Of course there are always possibilities to choose, bargains to locate and strategies such as waiting for the price drop that usually has a camera when the shift manufacturer presents the model that replaces it.
Do you use me with your mobile?
As I said, this is one of the star questions in recent times. Most of us have become accustomed to taking photos with the mobile taking advantage of its interesting advantages, such as its lightness, which makes it always with us, and the fact of being able to share the photos immediately.
But the quality that it offers still leaves to be desired and the “photos” it does have a trick since they are optimized to look luxurious in the terminal but when they are transferred to the computer they lose a lot. Interestingly, the photos look better the better the mobile, because normally the high range has the best screens with superior brightness and contrast qualities.
When a few months ago we had the opportunity to test how the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge behaved in the nightly shots, we already mentioned that it has one of the best cameras that have been seen on a mobile, but it is still a mobile phone with a sensor and tiny lenses. So you can perfectly replace a compact without much pretension, but if we want to give a little hop of quality maybe one of these is a better option for travel.
In addition, even if it is killing two birds with one stone, the prices of high-end smartphones (those with the best cameras) are not exactly cheap,while a compact decent can be found starting at 100 dollars. In addition, among this type of cameras there are options to choose specific for summer moments such as submersible cameras, for example the Fujifilm XP90 that we tested very recently.
Taking a step more
If we want something that offers us better quality than a mobile or a basic compact we have other options that represent a small step. For example, the advanced compacts, which in recent years have been gaining prominence. Thus, we could see how the models designed for photographers who want to go light but without losing the performance of a high-end model multiplied.
There are those who bet to incorporate a sensor larger than normal, as in the case of the Canon G7 X Mark II, and others who choose to mount more luminous lenses, such as the Lumix LX100. Two of the characteristics that usually characterize this type of ideal models for gathering a compact size, comfort and versatility for those who want a discreet but very capable camera.
As if this were not enough, they include possibilities for manual control, they record in RAW format and offer a remarkable image quality for their small size. Of course, although there are full frame sensor like the Sony RX1 (almost a separate category for its very high price), of course are not the best option for those seeking the highest quality image, but a very good for travel.
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Another possibility to take a little step forward are the bridge cameras, which have similar characteristics to the previous ones but are usually a little bigger and heavier. Until a few years ago, when the advanced compacts were not yet fashionable, they barely had competition as intermediate models between the compact and the SLR, but today with those and the cameras without a mirror, things have become complicated.
In any case, the bridges offer the typical versatility of the “all in one” for the photographer who does not want to worry about anything in his travels blunted in addition to his strong point: the zoom. And it is that normally this type of camera usually mount lenses with great relations of variation of the focal distance, something that usually likes a lot more novice users.
This is the case for example of the Sony RX10 III that we tested very recently and that offers a zoom of no less than 24-600 mm. Of course, this camera would be a representative of the most advanced models within the bridge, with a weight that exceeds one kilo and a body that is almost almost a SLR. If we want something ligerito to travel, we can use more modest models such as the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS.
What if I want something more professional?
If still nothing of what we have told you convinces you and you still want something more, we finally enter the section of the most advanced models. That is, we come to the field of SLRs and cameras without mirrors , although many advanced compact can also enter this field for its outstanding features (such as Sony with FF sensor that we mentioned).
Of course within these ranges of cameras there are many levels (with different types of sensors and many other differences), but the normal thing is that those who ask you what to buy always refer to the most affordable models, as is the case of the Canon EOS 1300D.
That trip that you have been planning for years can be the excuse to buy that dream camera that, unfortunately, you will not know how to drive and it will get in your way more than you imagine
The question in this case is usually : is it worth to buy an SLR? A very common issue since a few years ago you can get models from 300 dollars. Here seems that what weighs more is the saying that says “big donkey, walk or not walk”, which in the case of the cameras could be translated as “since I’m going to leave the rooms that is something that looks”, and that usually applies quite well to the consumer.
When you are asked this question, the first thing that is usually done is to try to find out how far your knowledge reaches and then, normally, make you see that perhaps a SLR is not the most appropriate for him. They are often users without much idea who take advantage of that trip they have been planning for years to buy “the shrimp” with which they have always dreamed and now see accessible (and perhaps they can camouflage the expense within the budget of the trip). The issue is that buying a whole DSLR means facing two challenges basically: complexity and size.
Regarding the first, we have already said that normally these cameras give good results, but when things get complicated (indoors with very little light, night photos …) surely the proud owner is frustrated to see that the photos come out worse that with the brand new mobile model of his brother-in-law (at least in the screen preview). And of course, the same thing to get to study what is the diaphragm and the shutter speed as it comes big and the camera ends up in a drawer (a big one, that’s it).
On the other hand, the new photographer will have to carry a much larger and heavier camera than he was normally used to carrying. And although going with a flashy photo bag hanging from the shoulder everywhere can seem cool at first, we assure you that over time becomes heavy (more if the kit that has been purchased includes some extra lens and other accessories).
The alternative, of course, is a camera without a mirror, which is what we also know as CSC or Evil. This type of models with interchangeable lenses but with electronic viewfinders instead of reflex viewers offer qualities equivalent to the DSLR (especially if we speak reflexion of initiation) but in a significantly smaller size and weight.
Of course, here there are also more or less advanced models, from a mirrorless more or less simple as the Canon EOS M10, a somewhat more advanced as the Panasonic Lumix GX80, or a model already professional type as the Fujifilm X-Pro2. The choice of one model or another should depend on our photographic knowledge and, above all, on the price we are willing to spend.
And, today, along with the advanced compact, the mirrorless ones seem the best option for travel photography, because they have all the versatility and image quality of an advanced model but in a small size. The great inconvenience at the moment is still the price, which makes them unattainable for many pockets, since the new models are rarely lower than 600 dollars and many are above the barrier of 1,000 dollars.
We must bear in mind that it is a relatively recent technology and that the investment is still being amortized. In addition, it is already known that making things smaller is usually more expensive, and it is clear that manufacturing systems that give the same quality as the SLRs in mini size should not be cheap.
So you know, if you find yourself in the position of choosing which camera to buy to go on a trip, you already know the keys to use: Use that we are going to give to the photos, size and weight of the equipment, own knowledge about photography and budget with which count.
Once the decisions have been made as we have told you, the best advice is to go to a store and pick up the different models you are weighing in your hand.
From here you will have to assess the weight of each of these parameters and decide, among the segments that we have indicated what type of camera to choose. Then it will be a matter of looking at online and physical stores (the best, a combination of both) and trying to locate a specific model that we like and we enter into budget.
By the way, another one of the most repeated questions refers directly to whether model X is better than model Y. The answer is that they do not insist, that everything is relative. The advice I usually give in these cases is that before buying anything, take the cameras in your hands to see how they feel about it. Then, according to your budget and others, who choose what they want, that in the case of cameras of recognized brands and similar ranges, none will serve to make better photos than the other.