Smartphone or Camera for Travel


On my last trip, I relied solely on my smartphone camera for taking pictures while traveling. It was an older iPhone model but still did the job. However, it was very limited to its uses, and the clarity is somewhat lacking. I am contemplating the idea of getting a separate camera to take on this trip. But of course this brings up several things to think about.

Smartphone Camera
Your smartphone has a camera. It works great for selfies and other “get it now” pictures. However is is not a fine detail image builder. There are apps that you can get that mimic other digital cameras interfaces, and using one of these you may like. However unless you pick up a lense kit for your phone, you won’t get great picture quality. And even some of these lenses will only go so far. Check out some reviews on lenses for smartphones and see if this may be all that you need. Save money for splurging on something on the trip.

Always a tough one. The price of a really good camera can equal the price of a plane ticket. It’s always a matter of what can you afford? Most of the camera manufacturers like Canon, Sony, and Ricoh, have several models within ranges for their camera offerings. A decent camera starts in the $375.00 range and can go up to $800.00 for basic models. Do you want changeable lenses? Then you will need to pay more. The fixed lense models are more affordable, but some have less than desirable digital interfaces. Some models still have the classic camera mirror, others do not. However, mirrors are not a good thing when traveling as they will break. To find your camera for traveI, I would suggest going to a larger electronics store or camera store and look at models that you can test out. Then, see if you can get better pricing online. Pay attention to the interface for working with the camera. Does it feel like you are going to have a long learning curve on this software? Camera software is known to not be easy to work with.

Another Device to Keep track Of
Cameras have always been delicate pieces of machinery. Traveling with them means careful packing, often in a case specific to them. That means another case to keep track of. If you get a slimline style, you can get away with a very small padded case and stash it with your daypack. I am a big fan of a small daypack backpack for all travel as you can keep a lot in it for your day as you may not be able to get back to your lodgings in between all your touring for the day. You may want to get a locking mechanism for any external pouches you store camera in for anti theft deterrent. There are a vast array of camera back packs out there now with the padding and compartments built in to keep parts from jostling, and messenger bag styles as well.

What do You Really Need
Traveling means keeping things compact. Unless you are a photojournalist, chances are you would not need to have a higher end camera traveling with you. You are taking a chance with any electronic device in damage at the airports and other transit for your travels, train racks are brutal. Not to mention the target you become for theft because cameras are easy to grab and resell. Do you want that stress on your tour? I know that I don’t. However, I would like to have a camera that takes better pictures than my iPhone can. But a large extensive camera loaded with features is really going to be more than I truly need. I need to find one that is a few steps up from a camera phone model, with an easy interface to work with. Don’t need learning curve with electronics on vacation.

Tell us your camera stories


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