Travel and photography ...
These two words are found in the title of this blog and define the essence of the content contained here. These are two things that are inextricably linked. Each of us wants to bring pleasant memories that stay with us forever. Pictures can stop time and make memories always fresh. Often the photos remind us of the moments we have forgotten. No wonder that we care about our travel souvenirs in the form of photos were the best.
And how many situations and places could we not capture because the camera could not cope with difficult conditions and the photo could not be taken? He didn't focus, set the exposure parameters incorrectly and the image was too dark or too bright. How many such situations were there? And how many photos did you fail to take because ... you didn't want to wear a camera? I think even more!
Yes! The choice of camera is an important decision and it is worth considering. Memories with a glass of wine and photos are always better than memories without photos!
In this post I will try to collect things that are really important when choosing a camera, apart from all the marketing hype created for the sale of specific equipment. I will also propose specific equipment, which in my absolutely subjective opinion is worth attention.
I hope that this set of information and sample suggestions will allow you to make a choice that will result in fantastic souvenirs from the form of unique holiday photos.
The equipment I use can be seen in a separate entry: Camera, camcorder, powerbank and other equipment that I use when traveling.
Which camera is the best?
The answer is easier than you think. The camera you have with you is the best. Everyone else, no matter how advanced or expensive it was, if it is on the shelf at home, it will always be worse than the one you have with you. Dot.
This is the basic selection criterion. From this start the selection of the best camera for you. If any camera catches your eye, ask yourself first, will you gladly have it with you? If the answer is no, then forget about it. It doesn't matter if he will be on the shelf in your home or in the store ... the only difference I can see is that by letting him stay on the shelf in the store you will save a few worse for other pleasures.
Other parameters of the camera become significant only in the next step.
What camera will you like?
And this is the key issue. The camera is not to interrupt travel and do what it belongs to when it belongs. Just enough.
Size does matter
You certainly won't like a camera about the size and weight of a brick, hanging around your neck with a huge lens dangling on all sides. Nobody likes to walk with a stone around his neck. You need to have a lot of stubbornness to travel with a large SLR and at least two lenses (as I did for many years). Ultimately, after more than 20 years of dressing analogue and digital SLRs, miniaturization won. I breathed. In hand luggage, which is often my only luggage, I finally have room for clothes 😀
There is another very important issue connected with the size. Often overlooked, and in many situations key. People don't like photographers with big cameras and big lenses. The presence of a man with such equipment always increases vigilance, and sometimes makes you think before you take a photo you will be warned not to. And the translations will not help anything. Nobody will believe that you are taking amateur photos for the holiday album.
A tourist like many, with a compact disc in hand is so common and harmless that the man who just chased the unfortunate one with the SLR with four winds will be ready to take a selfie with you. Not completely aware that in this small housing in your hands lives a real, technological monster.
Durability and materials
Modern compacts are great. A well-chosen compact will make photos for you, from which you will simply be very happy. It is small, light and functional. It is worth it to be made of decent materials. Avoid plastic. It is lighter, but with the compact size of a pack of cigarettes, the difference in weight between the body made of plastic and light metal is irrelevant. For this durability and resistance to the inconvenience that will meet you during the trip colossal. There is no time to nanny the camera while traveling. Minor mechanical collisions are inevitable. The camera has to deal with them.
Another important issue is the tightness of the housing. Plastic structures easily deform and have a problem with maintaining tightness for a long time. Metal enclosures rarely have this problem. In travel conditions, where dust and showers are not uncommon, you will quickly appreciate a well-made housing. There are camera constructions on the market that are excellent in terms of photographic quality, but they catch dust very quickly, which appears from the inside on the lens glass or even on the matrix. I don't have to say how annoying it can be when you see visible dust from the lens and matrix in each photo from your trip in the form of a gray, blurred spot.
The brighter the better. It is worth ensuring that the selected camera has a bright lens. There are several reasons.
First: thanks to the bright lens, when you set the aperture to a small value, it will be easier for you to achieve the commonly liked blurry background effect. A dark lens even at full opening can have such a large depth of field that it will be impossible to achieve this effect.
Secondly: in difficult lighting conditions (dusk, city at night, artificial lighting), the bright lens will allow you to take good photos, while others will already have their cameras safely hidden in covers.
Thirdly: autofocus works much more precisely and faster when it has more light. Thanks to this, from the idea to taking the photo a fraction of a second will pass, not a dozen or so seconds, during which the autofocus will wander in search of the anchor point. We all probably know this annoying phenomenon. Usually, when you can focus, there is nothing to photograph.
Be sure to check the brightness of the lens in the camera that caught your eye. If the lens brightness is in the 1,0 - 2,0 range, this is very good! However, if the lens brightness is at the 3,5 level or higher, then you have to take into account the disadvantages I wrote about above. Of course, in good lighting conditions, on a sunny day with this camera you will also take great photos.
In the case of lens brightness, the rule is that the lower the lens brightness value, the better.
Focal length can be understood as the length of the lens or the width of the lens view. The longer the lens (longer focal length), the narrower the angle of view and the smaller the area covered by the lens. The shorter the lens (the shorter the focal length), the wider the angle of view, and the larger the area covered.
A wide angle (short focal length) is most often useful when photographing landscapes and architecture. A long focal length (narrow angle) gives an approximate effect and is invaluable when it is not possible to approach closer to the photographed object or when we want to further reduce the depth of field and increase background blur.
For orientation, it's worth knowing that the natural focal length of the human eye is around 45-50mm.
In principle, all compact cameras have variable focal length lenses, which in short are called zoom. A wide range of focal lengths is a very nice feature for the photographer. In principle, all focal lengths are useful, but short focal lengths are definitely harder to achieve. The focal range with the equivalent of 16-100 mm guarantees really great freedom of photography.
Digital compact cameras have matrices whose size differs from the frame size in a classic 35mm camera (usually they are smaller than it). That is why their focal lengths are also several times shorter. Therefore, the term focal equivalent is used with digital cameras. It tells us about the focal length for a classic camera the focal range of a specific digital camera corresponds.
Canon G7x Mark II has information on the lens barrel marked on the focal length range: 8,8 - 36,8 mm.
Given the size of the matrix used in the camera, we get the equivalent of the focal range, as for a classic 35mm camera: 24 - 100 mm.
Screen / viewfinder
For many people, the viewfinder is important. The reason is the ability to isolate the image that will be in the picture from the rest of the environment. Looking into the viewfinder and turning a blind eye you only see what will be in the picture. You are not distracted by the rest of the environment. Well, I think I'm a little different. Despite the fact that, in principle, I have been photographing my whole life with an SLR with a viewfinder, I am not a viewer lover and I will not claim that its lack is a disadvantage or it introduces restrictions. On the contrary. When taking photos, I often look away from the camera with my other eye, controlling what is happening around, e.g. waiting for a group of tourists littering the frame to go further and the frame clears itself so that the photo will not be unnecessarily crowded, or waiting for the object of interest to enter the frame , etc. I think that the screen (especially opening and tilting) is a fantastic solution. It allows you to perfectly control the frame and what is happening outside the frame to get the best effect. It gives great opportunities to take pictures from many perspectives, which are inaccessible using the viewfinder (e.g. from the outstretched hand beyond the edge of the building, from the ground, above the head, suddenly, i.e. from the so-called "hip" etc.).
My practice shows that the lack of an opening or tilting screen is a much greater limitation than the lack of a viewfinder. If I had to give up something, I would give up the viewfinder faster than the tilted screen.
Even if you are a beginner amateur photographer do not give up the possibility of using manual settings in the camera. They work best in extremely difficult situations. Sooner or later you will gain practice in photography and you will be able to intuitively assess what camera settings to choose to take a picture in conditions where it seems impossible.
Let's assume that the lighting conditions are already such that the automation in your camera has a problem catching focus. What will you do with access to manual settings? You choose the option of manual focus (i.e. distance) and set the distance per eye, manually. If the subject is about 4-5m from you, then (thanks to the depth of field phenomenon), even a mistake about 2m in focusing should not negatively affect the sharpness of the subject you are interested in, as it will fit in the depth of field. At a time when the camera would normally be struggling to search for an object to focus on, and there is no guarantee that it would do it right, you will take some good-quality photos on the manual setting.
Camera with WiFi
WiFi is a relatively new feature in cameras, but I want to pay attention to it. I tried it once and I can't imagine functioning without it.
It all started with installing the application Google Photos. I was delighted when, after installing the application on the phone, on the computer and in the tablet, after a few days, it turned out that from now on I have all the photos in one place, automatically cataloged, virtually no quality loss, and on the Google disk I have unlimited space to their storage, and I have it all for free.
I had a phone in my hand and suddenly I needed a picture that I took a few years ago with an SLR and some time ago I downloaded the camera to a computer ... no problem. I have access to it immediately, straight from the phone, in full resolution ... because all photos are automatically copied.
I write an article for a blog on a computer and need a photo taken by phone? You're welcome, I enter the Google Photos gallery on my computer and I have any photo available on my phone.
It was then that the thought dawned on my mind: What would happen if the camera automatically (and for free) sent pictures to the phone? Eureka!
I'm taking a picture. The camera sends them to the phone and the phone automatically uploads them to Google Photos. The photo becomes available to me (and to anyone else) immediately and forever. From any device.
I do not have to remove the SD card from the camera over and over and transfer the pictures to disk. I don't have to be afraid of losing photos, because even if something happened to the memory card and the photos were deleted, I already have a copy in Google Photos. Simple and beautiful!
Card overflows? I delete photos and make new ones ... I already have a copy on my phone and Google Photos! 😀
How does the camera with WiFi work?
I have to write a few words on this topic, because the way this functionality works may not be clear. The fact that the camera has WiFi does not mean that you can log in to some WiFi network with it. It means that it broadcasts its own WiFi network and you can connect to it. To transfer files, you do not need to use any foreign WiFi network, because the camera broadcasts its own. You only connect the phone to the network broadcast by your camera and the transfer takes place without cost and securely within this network.
Other camera parameters
Technological progress and fierce competition in the industry has been going well over 20 years. During this time, digital cameras have reached such a level that the other parameters, although very important, are likely to be at a level that will be satisfactory for most photography enthusiasts.
Details related to the size and resolution of the digital matrix, additional programs and scenery (night portrait, landscape, sports, etc.), photographic filters (black and white, saturation change, sepia, painting and effect filters, etc.), photo processing in camera, sensitivity and matrix noise level, battery performance ... etc. I leave for self-analysis. Everyone has different preferences and needs, although I think most medium and high price compact discs are able to meet these expectations.
When choosing a camera, first analyze whether it meets the set of basic requirements that I presented above, and then from among the selected models, choose the one whose other parameters and appearance suits you best. Then there is a chance that you will like each other and your camera will be the best, i.e. the one you have with you.
Which camera would I choose?
I will say more! I have already chosen and I do not regret the choice.
In addition to the camera that I chose for myself, I will present proposals that are also worth considering and which I also considered. There is no one best camera for everyone. The final choice is often dictated by the subjective impression or sentiment resulting from past experience with previous models.
The cameras I gave are a good reference for searching. Perhaps you will choose one of them, or maybe my suggestions will lead you to another, better suited to you camera.
They are not the latest, the most expensive and the most advanced currently camera modelsbecause I was not keen on showing new products, but on choosing cameras that at an attractive price meet their expectations. Most of them already have their more advanced successors, whose prices are even PLN 2000 higher. However, this does not change the fact that the models I choose are still great compacts and take excellent photos. Until recently, some of them cost close to 4000 PLN, and their prices dropped dramatically when new versions appeared. This is a great opportunity to buy a very good camera at an attractive price.
Search, read, analyze.
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II
Lens brightness: 1.8-2.8
focal length: 24 - 100 mm (equivalent)
Tilting screen: YES
Manual settings: YES
Resolution: 20 Mpx
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 IV
Lens brightness: 1.8-2.8
focal length: 24 - 70 mm (equivalent)
Tilting screen: YES
Manual settings: YES
Resolution: 20 Mpx
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100
Lens brightness: 1.7-2.8
focal length: 24 - 75 mm (equivalent)
Tilting screen: NO
Manual settings: YES
Resolution: 12,8 Mpx
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70
This is a lower price camera for those who do not want to spend 2 on the camera, thousand. PLN.
Of course, the lower price results in less lens brightness, but something for something.
Lens brightness: 3.3-6.4
focal length: 24 - 720 mm (equivalent) - i.e. 30x zoom
Tilting screen: NO
Manual settings: YES
Resolution: 12 Mpx
Of course, I invite you to share and recommend other cameras that worked well for you and thanks to which you have your colorful memories saved in the form of photos.
Please share your suggestions in comments under the article and help others find this favorite camera.
Enter camera names from various price shelves (preferably with an indicative price level) and a few words about them. Write what you value most in them.
For those who want to quickly check the current prices of equipment, I have prepared a special camera search engine for this occasion. Thanks to her even after the camera name fragment you can search currently the most attractive price offers for the equipment you are interested in.
Camera search engine
Enter a fragment of the camera name (e.g. canon, sony, lumix ... etc) and search for the cheapest offer:
Most frequently bought cameras
Below is a link to the list of the most frequently purchased cameras. If none of the above meets your expectations, check what others are buying the most.
The ranking is updated dynamically so if you enter it after some time it may look different than today.
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