When you’re planning your dream yoga vacation, you need the perfect camera to capture your sunset scorpion pose or your beachside handstand- but that means upgrading from your basic smartphone camera. Depending on where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how much time you’re willing to spend learning, different cameras will fit your needs. Here’s our overview of which travel camera is best for your yoga getaway. [wp_ad_camp_1] First, your options. Your choice of cameras can be divided into four basic options:
- Point and shoot ($200) - a cheapish, easy camera to use.
- DSLR ($550) - a fancier camera with an entry-level lens and body kit.
- Mirrorless ($500) - a camera in between a point and shoot and a DSLR.
- GoPro ($400) - a go-anywhere, do-anything camera.
If you need an incredibly durable camera for climbing mountains or participating in water sports, a GoPro will last through any activity you choose to put it through, and it’s also tiny and easy to carry. A point and shoot can survive a drop on a soft surface, but it will break when dropped on a hard surface; at about the size of a cell phone, it’s also a portable option. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are extremely fragile, so use with caution. Both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have lenses that you might want to take with you, but while DSLRs are bulky and hard to carry, mirrorless cameras are about the size of a cell phone.
Are you an expert (or an aspiring expert) photographer? DSLR and mirrorless cameras have automatic modes to get you started, but to get the truly perfect shot, you will need to practice your photography skills. Point and shoots, as their name suggests, are easy to pick up and use immediately, and while you’ll have to fiddle with a GoPro for a few minutes, they’re easy to get the hang of after a few minutes.
Battery life is also a big concern when buying a camera for travel. Point and shoots have a battery that lasts for about 190-250 letters. DSLR batteries can last all day when shooting stills, but the battery will run out quickly when shooting video. Mirrorless camera batteries tend to die incredibly quickly because the LCD screen is always on when you’re shooting, and GoPros can take about 2.5 hours of continuous video.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, you’ll need to think about the quality of images you want your travel camera to take. For being the cheapest option, point and shoots take good quality images. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have large sensors and interchangeable lenses for higher quality images, while GoPros are best suited for time lapses.
Beachside relaxation, mountaintop adventures, or backcountry getaways- no matter where you’re going, the perfect travel camera can help you achieve inner harmony on your yoga vacation.
Most travelers will find themselves looking at four different types of camera:
- A point-and-shoot camera, a relatively cheap ($200 or so) camera that your non-tech-savvy parent could figure out without getting any more gray hair.
- A DSLR camera, the fancy camera that your wedding photographer uses, with entry-level lens and body kits starting around $550.
- A mirrorless camera, the in-betweener option costing around $500.
- A GoPro camera, the camera of choice for daredevils and X Games winners, which costs around $400 for a new model or $200-300 for older versions.
Depending on your style of trip, durability will be a big deciding factor for choosing a camera. Point-and-shoot cameras can handle a drop on the carpet (or beach, if that’s your scene), but a tile floor will shatter both the camera and your heart. DSLR cameras are very fragile as well, while mirrorless cameras are a little lighter than DSLR so slightly (very slightly) less likely to break. GoPro cameras, on the other hand, will probably survive the zombie apocalypse and be able to record the human race’s new start.
You may also want to choose a camera that’s scaled to your photography skills. Point-and-shoots have their name for a reason, while DSLR and mirrorless cameras have automatic modes to get you started but require practice to master the perfect shot. GoPros tend to take a few minutes to get the hang of but are easy to use afterwards. If you’re thinking about taking video too, note that DSLRs, mirrorless, and GoPros shoot great video, and the GoPro is especially great for slow motion, while point-and-shoots have video but don’t allow for shallow depth-of-field.
Also, make sure to consider how portable you need your camera to be. Point-and-shoots don’t have interchangeable lenses and are about the size and weight of a cell phone, making them easy to cart from place to place. DSLR and mirrorless cameras have a wide variety of interchangeable lenses that you may want to carry with you; DSLRs are also pretty big and heavy, so they might not be ideal for a bare bones backpacking trip, while mirrorless cameras are about the size of a point and shoot with smaller lenses than DSLR lenses. GoPros, meanwhile, are tiny and portable, with no extra lenses to carry around and only a fixed fisheye lens for your use.
Picture Quality & Battery Life
Finally, two of the most issues when choosing a camera to be your travel buddy: overall picture quality and battery life. Point-and-shoots have pretty great image quality, and their battery life is usually about 190-250 pictures before a full charge is needed. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have big sensors and interchangeable lenses, giving you really high quality still images; for battery life, DSLRs can shoot stills all day before recharging, but the battery runs out extremely quickly if you’re shooting video. Mirrorless cameras tend to die extremely quickly since the LCD screen is always on when you’re shooting, and you’ll either need to carry a spare or plan your days around charging your battery. With GoPros, it’s difficult to get the exposure and white balance right, but they’re good for time lapses and can take about 2.5 hours of continuous video.
Want it summed up? Grab a point-and-shoot camera for better pictures than your cell phone without a huge commitment to learn new tricks. Use a DSLR camera if you want your camera to be an extension of your arm on your trip, and use a mirrorless camera if you want something in between the two. If you want a camera that can go from a beachside café to an actual surfing lesson in the water, the GoPro is your camera.
No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, there’s a camera that will fit your needs and skill level- it’s just a matter of figuring out which one and then saying “Cheese!”
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