When you’re preparing for a dream vacation or the adventure of a lifetime, you need a camera to capture all the amazing moments you’ll have- and no, your smartphone doesn’t quite count. Your options for a camera to take traveling can be narrowed down to four kinds of cameras:
Point-and-shoot (around $200), whose name explains how easy it is.
DSLR (around $550), an upgraded camera for more serious photographers.
Mirrorless (around $500), somewhere between point-and-shoot and DSLR.
GoPro (around $400 for new model), a camera perfect for all the action.
If you’re a beginner photographer with no interest in learning more, the point-and-shoot will work, and GoPros only take a few minutes to pick up. DSLR and mirrorless cameras have automatic modes, but you’ll need to practice to get high quality photos.
You’ll also need to think about the nature of your trip. If you need a durable camera, the GoPro is your best of best choice. Point-and-shoots can handle a drop on a soft surface but a hard surface will shatter them, and DSLR and mirrorless cameras are very fragile. If you need your camera to be portable first and foremost, point-and-shoots are about the size of your cell phone, and GoPros are tiny as well. DSLR and mirrorless cameras both have lenses that you may want to carry with you for options.
Here is a pictorial representation to make you decide which to choose for your travel:
Finally, consider what image quality you want and what battery life you’ll need. Point-and-shoots take great images and get about 190-250 images before needing a charge. DSLR and mirrorless cameras take the best quality pictures; DSLRs can shoot stills all day before needing a charge, but mirrorless cameras die very quickly. GoPros are best suited for time lapses and can take 2.5 hours of continuous video before needing to recharge.
Your trip will be amazing, and you need photographic evidence so you can brag to your friends, family, and coworkers upon your homecoming. Choosing the best travel camera for your trip will make those memories all the more valuable.