Hi everyone, I would love any suggestions for a good travel camera, travel photography tips and tricks and any ideas for creative travel photos.
A mirrorless system would probably be my recommendation, but I use a full-size DSLR for travel. If you don't want to get too into learning to control your camera (choosing your ISO, f-stop and shutter speed), you might look into "bridge cameras" - one with a good zoom. I'm not as fond of iPhones as a lot of people but that's certainly the easiest way to go. As far as tips, here's a few:
1) Download a "golden hour" app for your phone - there are several to choose from, but the general idea is that the app will tell you the best time of day that you'll get good light for photography in the morning and afternoon wherever you are and you can plan your day around that.
2) Along those same lines, it's definitely worth it to get up early and take photos while the light is good and there aren't many people about. Also, I've made the mistake of being inside having dinner during the best evening light so I try to pay attention to that.
3) When I travel, it's fun to shoot photos with a theme in mind, for example, doorways or doorknobs, dogs, local symbols (roosters in Portugal, pomegranate in Granada, tulips in Holland, etc.) anything really that you start noticing a lot - it makes for a good photo essay when you get home.
4) Don't just take photos of the "must sees" on your trip - take photos of everyday life. I don't feel very comfortable taking photos of people so I usually will try to ask them if it's OK to take the photo.
5) Before you go on your trip, search google images for the places you'll go. I'll sometimes see photos I really like and try to take a similar photo while I'm there. You can also ask on travel forums about the best places to take photos (how to get a certain view of the Eiffel Tower, for example).
6) Whatever camera you use, make sure you have an extra battery (or more depending on where you're going) and that you bring your battery charger and plenty of memory cards.
7) If you do go the mirrorless or DSLR route, try to have one fast lens - f2.8 or lower, for night and inside shots. A wide angle is really nice for street and landscape photography and a good "walk around" lens - 18-135mm for example will stay on your camera most of the time.
8) Take lots of photos (you can always delete the bad ones)!
9) Finally, do something with your photos when you get home - make a photo book on blurb.com or similar.
Hope this helps - have fun!
The Sony mirrorless cameras are actually very good. We have actually started travelling with that instead of the full frame DSLR...at least for short trips.
Buy an iPhone 8+ and a mini Gorilla tripod, the camera is fantastic and you will always have it with you.
If you want to get serious about your travel photography, I would suggest looking at a mirrorless kit. There are several brands making exceptional cameras in this category. I have a full LUMIX micro 4/3 system that is my go-to travel kit. I can fit a body (LUMIX GX-7) and 4 lenses into a small bag about the size of a loaf of bread. They are lightweight and pack all (or most) of the tech that is found in my larger DSLRs. I chose the Panasonic LUMIX platform because it shares the micro 4/3 lens mount with Olympus (also a solid choice). Other great brands are the Sony Alpha line and the FujiFilm X-T line.
I also agree with other comments that the iPhone is a fantastic travel camera. Between my phone and my LUMIX kit, there's really nothing missing and no shot I can't make happen.
Tips and tricks? One big thing: Get closer. Move in tighter to the subject. Also, look for the best light early in the day and late afternoon. During midday, take advantage of open shade and close up details of places you visit.
Hope this helps a little. Enjoy your adventures!
I love my Panasonic TZ80. It’s small and lightweight, has a good zoom and takes great photos, and I wouldn’t be without it. It’s with me everywhere.
I think early morning and sunset shots are great. Also themes related to places - family name wall plaques in Amsterdam for example, I took loads of those!
Don’t forget charger and extra memory cards.
Take lots of pictures, you can delete later.
I'm so glad you asked this question as I have been inspired by some.of the answers you've received. Currently, I use a full frame Canon 5D Mark III and my Samsung Galaxy S7. I'm still figuring out the perfect lens combination for my full frame and travelling and supplement all the time with phone photos. I am of the opinion that the best camera is the one you have with you and that means if you have your phone only, you can indeed pull some great photos out of it.
Regardless of the camera type, basic composition techniques can tranform your photos. I've taken a few online composition classes which really improved my photography, read a couple books, and have frequently used Digital Photography School's free website for all kinds of excellent tips about all aspects of photography.
Regarding composition, specifically, as a few others have responded, chase that golden hour light. Two nights ago, I was walking along the Seine and there were so many people celebrating the beautiful day. The street photography photo-ops were countless and it was the golden light which made the shots glowing, vibrant, and extra-special.
Think about leading lines, the rule of thirds, clean borders, tack sharp eyes in portraits, different textures, reflections in water and in puddles after the rain, contrasting and complementary colors. Have your camera with you always. Lean into that inner prodding to take the shot. Don't ignore it. If you have to ask someone's permission to take the photo, ask. If they say no, and sometimes they will, then move on. And, remember, rules - including photography and composition rules - were made to be broken. Sometimes. 😊
Finally, whatever camera you decide upon, really learn it. On my Galaxy S7, there are advanced options that allow me to change exposure and give me the option to shoot in RAW, for example! Every camera will have a learning curve but if you really take the time to learn it you will capture many brilliant images. It takes time and commitment but you can be the travel photographer you aspire to be. Best wishes to you!
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For low cost iPhone 8. Next a $350 Sony/Canon portable, which have better and more user-friendly zoom capability and better low-light performance. After that I would get something like the Canon 7D with a good 24-70mm zoom lens.