Things To Consider
This article contains the top factors you should consider to get the best camera for travel, especially when your budget is limited. You can think about Canon 750D or Nikon D5300. If you are looking to buy a DSLR, please read this Best DSLR Camera under 500 dollars buying guide for beginners.
1) Do You Need A Camera?
What kind of photography do you want to take during traveling? Travel photos will be much better if they are of good quality because our memories tend to fade away quickly. Here comes the question: how do we define “good” photos while traveling? I usually judge them by asking myself these questions: can other people easily recognize what I’m trying to show in my photo; how good are the colors are; are there any editing mistakes, etc?
If you want to take pictures of people or places for record-keeping purposes, you don’t need a DSLR. The quality of mobile phone cameras has gotten much better these days and they can achieve amazing results if handled carefully. If you want to take photos that other people will easily recognize, then it’s time to use your smartphone instead. However, if you plan to do street photography or semi-professional photography (e.g., nature/travel/landscape), I still recommend using a decent camera with an interchangeable lens.
How much money are you willing to spend on your new toy? This will be the deciding factor in determining your camera type. If you have money, get the best one you can get. If not, there are other options for you to choose from! You should be careful with your choice because buying a camera may cost twice or three times more expensive than expected if you don’t do research beforehand.
3) Camera Handling And Usability
Does it have all the features you want? Can you handle every function with ease? How is the autofocus system in low light conditions? Is it easy to change settings when needed? Are there any controls that are too complicated or unnecessary? Think about these questions when handling different cameras. The answer will help guide your decision!
4) Image Quality / Lens Selection
Having lots of megapixels doesn’t really mean better image quality. Image quality is the result of the combination of lens and camera sensors. When buying a third-party lens or external flash, can they be made compatible with my camera? How about the lens hood? Are there enough steps between minimum focus distance and infinity? Do you need to use filters when taking photos in certain situations (e.g., extreme landscape)?
5) Size And Portability
A smaller camera means easier to carry around, but it also means lesser physical controls, smaller lenses’ diameters, shorter battery life, etc. If you are planning to travel for more than one week, think about whether you will still enjoy carrying your DSLR after a month! Will I feel that it is more convenient to bring a DSLR or my smartphone camera?
6) Extra Features
In addition to all of the above, some additional features include live-view focus, built-in flash/flashes, the ability to manually focus in video mode, etc. These are great for certain situations; however, they will also add extra weight and complexity to your camera. Therefore you should make sure you can still easily use your camera without relying on these extra features. For example, if you don’t like to use manual focus when taking photos (e.g., animal photography), then you shouldn’t consider Nikon D5300 because it has a good AF system but no motor-driven autofocus in movie mode! Nevertheless, it’s up to you!
7) Don’t Forget The Extra Stuff
When buying a kit (camera and lens), you may need to consider the following:
a. Lens type/quality –
There is no perfect lens out there, so think about your purpose when buying lenses. For instance, if you want to take pictures in low light conditions such as night photography, then definitely get anything with an “F1.4” or “F1.8” in its name! Although some people claim that f2 is enough for taking pictures in broad daylight, I personally believe that it’s not true because of the difference between different brands and the quality of lenses. If you’re planning on purchasing external flash and filters later on, then carrying the external flash trigger equipment with you is a must!
b. Flash Type –
There are two main categories of external flashes on the market: wireless and wired. If you’re planning on using more than one flash, I recommend getting an off-camera shoe cord to make things easier for you. Nevertheless, if you don’t plan to use your camera in low light conditions or inside, then there’s no need to get this extra stuff!
c. Camera bag –
Most DSLR cameras come with everything except lens caps and batteries when buying a kit (except high-end pro-level cameras like Nikon D4s/D5). However, if you want to take advantage of all its features including its ability to change lenses, then we suggest getting a bag that is suitable for it. If you’re planning to buy just one lens, then something like Lowepro Slingshot Edge 150 AW may be enough for your daily needs.
d. Memory cards –
You should think about how many pictures per day you will be taking in order to get the correct memory card capacity based on its speed class rating (e.g., Class 10). Most cameras come with small-capacity memory cards, so if you are shooting raw images or shooting in burst mode, then make sure to plan ahead and get high capacity SDXC MicroSDXC MicroSDHC 16GB 32GB 64GB 128GB 256GB Card with UHS Speed Class 3!
U3 speeds are recommended for a 4K video!
Additional accessories include wireless remote, lens filters, battery grip, etc. If you’re planning on getting an external flash, then I would recommend Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) so that you can control multiple flashes with your camera. It doesn’t matter whether you are using Canon or Nikon; it’s just a good thing to have in your bag if you ever need it.
Battery Grip allows for double-length batteries to fit into the DSLR camera body which dramatically increases the number of shots that can be taken before changing the batteries. This is especially useful during sports/action photography since these require more power due to high burst rates and continuous shooting. With this accessory, you won’t need to worry about running out of battery.
If you’re planning on shooting in low light conditions, then definitely get a lens with an “F1.4” or “F1.8” in its name! F1.4 lenses are the best choice for very low-light since they let more light into the sensor than their slower counterparts, thereby reducing their effective aperture by one stop compared to f2.0 lenses. This results in twice less diffraction at equal sharpness/contrast, which means that everything is sharper and clearer even though the exact same number of photons are reaching your camera’s sensor!
One can also use ND filters to reduce the amount of light coming through your camera lens without having to change its shutter speed. This is useful for reducing banding and noise in your images especially when shooting in high ISO conditions such as bright sunlight, which results in the camera increasing its shutter speed to compensate for it.
People may argue that one should just change the shutter speed if he wants a slower exposure, but that causes problems at higher ISOs since either you will have to deal with more noise/banding or freeze the action even less than 1/8s. Most modern cameras are limited to 1/8000s at their fastest non-bulb mode anyway! So the use of ND filters is pretty much recommended most of the time unless you are dealing with water flow or very slow moving subjects. Always remember that there’s no substitute for fast lenses!