We all want to remember and share our trips as we had experienced them. Picture this magnificent sight laid before your eyes. How would you best capture it?
Image Credit: Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
Here's the million dollar question: What's the best travel camera out there?
In order to answer that, there are a few things to take into consideration:
What's your travel style?
Someone who prefers to travel light might want a compact pocket sized point & shoot camera whereas someone who doesn't mind a little weight can afford to travel with a DSLR.
What's the nature of your trip?
If it's a leisurely paced easy one, carrying a DSLR or a good mirrorless camera might be up your alley. But if you're going on adventures where things may get messy, wet or slightly knocked up, you might prefer a weatherproof action camera that can be mounted so you'll be able to focus on the activity hands & worry free.
What do you want out of the camera?
If you're looking to take videos, then you might want to consider something that has image stabilisation, or perhaps a drone for aerial shots. If it's mainly photographs, then you may want to decide on the camera that fits your proficiency, which brings us to the next point.
How proficient are you?
An amature photographer, will find a digital point & shoot very helpful. A professional photograper will prefer more manual control over each shot. But if your best bet is your smartphone, then with a little help from accessories and mobile photography apps, you'll have yourself amazing shots to fill your best nine on Instagram at the end of the year.
Now that that's out of the way, here are our top picks for the best travel cameras.
1. Sony RX100 V
This pocketable digital point and shoot is lightweight, shoots in 20.1 megapixel, raw and jpeg and has 4k video recording capability. More importantly, arguably the most important feature for all amature travel photographers out there, lightning fast focus. At break-neck speed of 0.05 sec, you can be sure to capture the moment in perfect clarity before it passes.
Featured by National Geographic as one of the Top 10 Compact Camera for Travelers, you won't go wrong with it.
- Travelers who want a portable, reliable and fuss-free digital camera that'll do a good job capturing photos, videos and all the great memories the trip brings.
Check out the slo-mo capture mode:
This crowdfunded action camera was funded 500% of it's initial goal on it's Kickstarter campaign - with good reasons. Unlike traditional action cameras, the Caply boasts assistive touch, voice control, and the ability to go live on social media. With expandable storage of up to 128gb, and a host of interchangable mounting options and 5 hours non-stop recording capability, it is the perfect companion for any traveler looking to capture a continuous stream of every waking moment of their trip.
- Adventure travelers on a budget who want an action camera that has a long battery life and multiple functions.
- Families with kids & pets because why not mount it on them and see things from a different point of view on your trip?
- Solo travelers since this sends live feed to your family & friends, it'll act as your personal safety device when you navigate that dark alley
Check out the 1080p actual footage from it's most recent prototype:
3. GoPro HERO 6
The GoPro has now become a default image we conjure in our mind at the mention of action cameras. This is partly due to brilliant marketing and mostly because the product speaks for itself. The HERO 6 is one you can trust to capture your trip with. With their most advanced image stabilisation, all your videos will be shot in buttery smooth 4k quality. Rugged and waterproof right out of the box, it goes 10m deep without a housing. Paired with the all new voice command capability, you're set for anything the roads throw at you.
- Extreme sports enthusiasts who need a robust and hardy action camera that'll take them through all their activities from being up on the mountains to diving deep into the sea.
Plus, look at GoPro's Quik Stories video editing app that automatically transforms all your shots into a highlights video so you can share your trip like a pro.
4. GoPro Karma
When you already own an action camera, the next best thing to do is to take it up to the air. Fly your GoPro up to the maximum altitude of 10,500ft (3,200m) and an operating distance of up to 9,840ft (3,000m). Capture aerial shots of your surroundings. With a flight time of 20 minute, that's a whole load of footage to work with!
- Travel videographers who already own a GoPro and would like take their action videography to the next level with a different angle (from the sky), especially on trips with epic natural scenery.
In case you were wondering, GoPro sells replacement parts for the drones, in case of minor mishaps, so you can fix it yourselves!
If you've never flown a drone before and can't imagine yourself crashing and burning one, BUT want beautiful aerial shots of your trips, the Hover Camera is the universe's answer to your prayers.
This beginner friendly drone flies itself and tracks it's owner (you) via face detection. Once detected, you won't even have to fuss about flying it, unless you really want to, in which case, just switch it to manual control mode in the iOS & Android ready app.
Speaking of modes, it's got 8 unique recording modes including one that uses gesture controls for hands-free group photos in 13 megapixels, and another that tracks you as you run or cycle - yeah it's fast.
Even though it's an amature's drone, it's specs are far from 'amature'. This drone takes 13 megapixels photos and shoots videos up to 4k quality, although it's best in 1080p with image stabilisation. Plus, it downloads straight to your smartphone for instant sharing.
- Families and group trips where often times, a selfie stick is too limiting to capture the moment or the epic scenery.
- Social media uploads if you're all about sharing your trip from a more unique point of view (#instagramgoals)
- Traveling light, with a drone because why not? (242g with battery)
We've taken it out for a spin and got it reviewed just for you. Check out the drone footages & specs for yourselves in the video.
Of course we have to include this in our list. Just when we thought the DJI Spark was a breakthrough in portable drones, the mother of all drones came up with the all new DJI Mavic Air and of course, the internet exploded.
The DJI Mavic Air is a compromise between the Spark and the pro. Although larger than the Spark, it still folds up small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. And although smaller than the Pro, it's got comparable & even some improved technical specs.
A step up from the Spark, the Mavic Air has a 3 axis gimble which increases stability when shooting. It also shoots in RAW, which gives you more flexibility for post editing.
Image credit: DJI
Although it's transmission distance is only half of what the Mavic Pro is capable of, but at 2.4 miles (4 km), that's more than decent for any traveler.
A stand out feature that's not found in its predecessors is the Mavic Air's ability to forward and backward obstacle sensing. This means your drone will be able to fly backwards without mishaps. 👍
DJI also came up with some fancy functions called the Asteroid and the Boomerang that we believe work very well for intros & outros of your videos.
- Videography hobbyists / enthusiasts and aspriring videographers who are starting to dabble in drone videography and want more flexibility in the controls
That concludes our top travel camera picks for 2018! With all that said, we'd still like to remind you to take the time to pause and move away from the lens because our eyes are the best lens to view the world with. When you travel, take time to soak in the moment and take it all in the way no camera is capable of - with your senses.
What's your favourite travel gear? Did we miss out on an underrated camera you strongly believe should be featured? Talk to us!
By the way, there's an introductory promotion on the Hover Camera Passport Valid till the 28th of Feb'18. Check it out before the deal is gone!