Each month I get a few emails from readers asking about my camera, my travel gear, and my blogging setup, so in my new series Travel Gear Tuesday (#TGT) I review travel or blogging related products that I genuinely love, and if I don’t I will tell you as well.

Since photography is an important part of my blog,I often get asked what kind of camera and equipment I use and what the best camera for travel is. So here is the thing: I am kind of obsessed with photography. I will drag my camera along with me everywhere I go. I am one of those people who even takes photos of my food and posts it on Facebook. Yes that is sad, I know – maybe it is time I get some professional help. Anyway, despite having had some photography classes at university, I wouldn’t call myself a professional photographer at all, so I own cameras that are all easy to use. I actually use three different types of cameras – a DSLR, a Point & Shoot camera and an iPhone 5. I told you I am obsessed.

My DSLR camera:

When I decided to buy a digital SLR camera last year I wanted to buy a camera that wasn’t too expensive, heavy or complicated to use, but at the same time deliver high quality photos. I did a lot of research and finally came across the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. This DSLR comes with a 18-55mm lens, which is perfect for every day use. This is my go to lens and I hardly ever take it off to be honest, however if you are into wildlife photography or would like to take sneaky paparazzi type portrait shots of people I recommend to get the 75-300mmTelephoto Zoom Lens as well.

As I take loads of photos I have purchased a 32GB memory card with this camera. It is big enough to hold hundreds of photos and saves you having to delete photos off your camera all the time. To transport the camera I use the ELP Black Waterproof Camera Case Bag. It is not exactly pretty but protects my precious camera whilst traveling. It also has a separate compartment for memory cards etc which is very Handy.

             

                

This is one of the smallest and lightest DSLR cameras you can get at the moment, without compromising picture quality. What really sold it to me though was the intuitive use. If you don’t want to use the manual or automatic setting, but still want certain effects on your photos, such as blurred backgrounds, you can choose the Creative Auto Mode. This setting allows you to make all those fancy shots you can normally just take with a manual setting, which is far too complicated and time-consuming for my liking. The pictures on the settings wheel are very self-explanatory, with portrait, night shot or macro options. You can also use the camera to shoot HD videos. best camera for travel canon eos rebel I have been using this camera for city sightseeing trips, landscape and wildlife photography and hiking trips. At $699 I am really impressed with the quality of the pictures. The only criticism I have on this camera is that the screen on the back scratches quite easily, so I recommend keeping the protection sticker on to prevent that from happening. To give you an example, this is a photo I have taken with my DSLR camera in Myanmar.myanmar boy So my conclusion for the Canon EOS Rebel T5i is that it is easy to use, compact and lightweight. The perfect camera for a first time DSLR user and hobby photographer in my opinion.

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My Point & Shoot Camera:

I love my DSLR camera, but truth to be told, it is not always that convenient taking a DSLR camera with you all the time. My Canon DSLR is fairly small and lightweight for a DSLR camera, however sometimes I prefer taking a smaller point and shoot camera with me for security reasons. You don’t always want everybody to see that you are carrying around an expensive camera (for example in certain parts of a city or at night time). In such instances I usually take my Canon Power Shot ELPH 130 IS 16.0 MP with me.   canon power shot camera all angles The picture quality of this little camera is great and you can also shoot HD videos with it. It is very small and fits in my little going out bag perfectly. The camera has a 28mm wide-angle lens, so for me that is not really enough to take decent shots of objects in the distance, but is perfectly fine for pictures of sights that are fairly close. It also has some really cool features, such as WiFi or the smart shutter, which automatically takes the photo when people smile, not wink, or get into frame. It also has settings for shooting in specific conditions (snow, fireworks, etc.) and numerous special effects (black/white, sepia, miniature, fisheye, etc.). At US$ 132 that is good value for money in my opinion. This is a photo I have taken with the camera at the second biggest carnaval party in South America. canon power shot photo I bought the camera with a Evecase Nylon Pouch and a 32GB Zectron Pro Memory Card. The pouch is waterproof and you can either hang it around your shoulders or attach it to your belt. There is also an inside pocket for an additional SD memory card and battery.  

So all in all I am very happy with my little Canon Power Shot and I would highly recommend it to people who like to take photos with an affordable camera and are not necessarily interested in the same quality that a DSLR camera offers.

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My iPhone:

As if two cameras are not enough I have recently also started taking photos with my iPhone 5. I use it mainly to take photos for our Facebook page and Instagram account, so that I can provide you guys with important updates on the food I eat. 😉 The quality of photos for day-time photography is really good, but when you take photos on a night out with friends the photos can be quite pixelated or blurry if you are not using the flash (unless that is due to alcoholic substances of course). What I love about iPhone photography is that you can also edit your photos on your iPhone straightaway. I use three different apps for that which are all free: TouchUp Lite (for photo editing), pic stitch (for photo collages) and PhotoStudio (for funky photos effects, such a combining b/w with colour photography). This is a photo I have taken with my iPhone during a bike ride down the world`s most dangerous road in Bolivia, aka death road. death-road-bolivia-drop So what is the best camera for travel? For me personally they are all good for different reasons. A DSLR is good for high quality and high resolution pictures, a Point & Shoot is good for every day pictures and if you don’t want to carry a bulky camera around with you, and an iPhone is ideal for instant social media updates or photo editing. So tell me, what kind of camera are you using on your travels?  Let me know in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Some of the above links are affiliate links and I will earn a tiny weeny commission if you purchase through them. I genuinely love these products though, so my review is 100% honest! If you choose to purchase any of the products through the above links you will be my personal super star!

About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

41 Thoughts on “The best camera for travel: DSLR, Point & Shoot or iPhone?

  1. Thanks, Tammy, for the advice regarding travel photos. As an experienced blogger, it’s great you’re sharing your knowledge to newbies. Excellent read.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted…Casa Rural La Asomadita, Valle de AgaeteMy Profile

  2. I think you have it right. If photography is a high priority it’s difficult to imagine getting the right results without a dslr, but most photographers will want a point and shoot around as well for when they don’t want to be so intrusive. Good post.
    robin recently posted…Los LugaresMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 14, 2013 at 9:27 am said:

      Thanks Robin! Point & Shoots or an iPhone are definitely less intrusive. I am getting much better at asking people if I can take their photo, but sometimes it is just easier using a small camera, so they won’t notice. 😉

  3. Great article. I do almost the same thing. I use the Canon SL1, a Kodak point and shoot and my iPhone 4s.

    I have a lot of motorcycle riding in my blogs. If I am street riding I will take the SL1. If I am going off road I will take the Kodak.

    I always have my iPhone for those quick photos you don’t want to miss. The last camera I take on my rides is GoPro Hero 3 black edition. Its a great action camera.

    Thanks for posting up the advice.

    • Tammyonthemove on August 14, 2013 at 9:30 am said:

      Thank you Adam. I am amazed to see how many people are actually taking more than one camera with them. Glad I am not the only photo-obsessed person! 🙂 I have had my eye on a GoPro for a while now actually, but thought that four cameras might be a bit over the top. Now that you told me you have one I need to reconsider. 😉

  4. I’m thinking of getting a dSLR camera soon so this is very helpful!

    • Tammyonthemove on August 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm said:

      Glad it was helpful Bethaney. If you are a first time DSLR user and don’t want to spend too much money I can really recommend the Canon EOS 1100d.

  5. I ended up with the 1100d when I upgraded from my old 1100f – hace no complaints at all – lovely camera!
    Sue Sharpe (@suesharpe1) recently posted…All the World’s a Stage…My Profile

  6. * I use my DSLR pretty much exclusively for “work”…meaning that it is for money making purposes only.
    * My Canon ELPH P&S pretty much collects dust
    * My phone has replaced the P&S in my life. The Nokia Lumia phones have raised the bar and my Lumia 920 does a great job taking pictures, even in low light…with no flash.
    JD recently posted…By all means….My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm said:

      I have a feeling that I will use my iPhone more than my point & shoot in future too. Maybe my blurriness has something to do with alcoholic substances after all… 😉

  7. We’ve got the iphone, point and shoot and DSLR and I think it is the perfect combination for various situations! Nice post 🙂
    Emily recently posted…Where to WanderMy Profile

  8. Awesome write-up! I’ve been wanted to invest in a quality point-and-shoot for a while. I typically used my Canon EOS Rebel, but as you mentioned, there are times when it’s just not convenient to drag a DSLR around.
    Jessica recently posted…Hokkaido: The Most Un-Japanese Place in JapanMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 19, 2013 at 2:51 pm said:

      Thanks Jess! I think it is worth having a point & shoot in addition to a smartphone. The quality of the photos is actually much better I find. I am really happy with my Canon point & shoot.

  9. I had a Nikon D3000 and switched to a GoPro so I could get more videos. The pictures from iPhone + Instagram filters does me for pics.. The GoPro was such a good investment!
    Adam – Tropical Nomad recently posted…History of Koh Tao.. It was a prison!My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm said:

      I really like the look of a GoPro as well. Might have to get one of those as well one day. I like the fact that you can strap them to your head and that they are waterproof.

  10. I will forever be an iPhone evangelist probably, since I did work at Apple after falling in love with the tech. The tech though never makes the photographer, but each one definitely has it’s benefits. With the advent of higher megapixel cams on phones, I love the fast and convenient ability to fire off a good quality photo in seconds. Or, taking a low key photo instead of pointing a camera at someone.

    On the flip side, I LOVE the depth of field on my Canon T4i and the manual abilities with it, so when I am out and about taking my time it is the best camera for me.

    And then for the adventure side, I have a Nikon AW100 water/dust/shock proof camera that can dive 30ft and I’ll take that on much more rugged or risky shoots.

    Great analysis, thanks!
    Ryan recently posted…Fuck Fate: A Retrospect of Events that Led Me to Travel.My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on August 23, 2013 at 8:16 am said:

      Thanks Ryan! I have to say I am growing more and more on my iPhone. I have also been looking into getting a more action-style focused camera like your Nikon or the GoPro. Might put that on my x-mas wish list, so I can lure around a fourth camera with me on my travels. 😉

  11. HI,thank you for comparing among the cameras,I have sony DSC-RX100 and its awesome DSLR alternative and also hold my iPhone 5 with me all the time,but I need DSLR camera for shooting shallow depth of field,and wide angle photo,finally I came up to buy Nikon D7100,but I need your advise cos I need the camera for traveling, is it hard to hold that camera with normal lenses in the plane or not???
    thank you

    • Tammyonthemove on August 26, 2013 at 9:20 am said:

      Hi Bilal, thanks for your message. I am not familiar with the Nikon you mentioned, but my canon is very good for traveling as it is so lightweight. So it is very easy to hold the camera with a normal lens and even a telezoom lens. I even hiked to the Everest Base Camp with it strapped around my neck all day long and that didn’t feel heavy at all.

  12. I won’t Go Further Researching on Camera’s anymore Thanks to your professional tips. The long lenghty camera’s are not my type too I was looking something similar light weight as your mentioned.

    Enjoyed Reading your post on Myanmar too,

    Happy Travelling,
    Rohit recently posted…What to do in WarsawMy Profile

  13. I am a light traveler and prefer to use my smart phone when taking pictures. I prefer to bring my Samsung Galaxy S4 for pictures, the quality is way better than with iPhones. The best part about using a smartphone is that you can download the Dropbox app and automatically upload your pictures to your server via wifi whenever you are connected. This way you can erase the pictures from your phone when you finish using all the memory with those videos. This is a great people for people like me who forget to load their pictures off their phones, this does it automatically!!
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  14. Hannah Louey on September 9, 2014 at 6:37 am said:

    Wow! This was super useful. Just quickly, I can change lenses on the DSLR can’t I? It looks so compact for a DSLR, and cheap! The best of both worlds

    • Tammyonthemove on September 9, 2014 at 8:00 am said:

      Glad it helped Hannah! Yes, you can buy all sorts of different lenses for this DSLR. I have two and interchange them all the time. Happy shopping! 🙂

  15. Hi Tammy

    We bought a Sony Nex-6 for our travels for three reasons. Firstly, it’s very easy to us. Secondly it takes outstanding photos which are great for our blog. Thirdly, out photos are so precious that we want to be high quality right? This is the adventure of a life time and we want to have awesome quality images. However I also use my iPhone for social media and a as a bit of a backup at times. For example, we had to get our camera fixed recently (my fault, not the camera) and used the iPhone to take pics for our website. Not ideal but ok for now.
    Chris recently posted…10 tips on travelling with a toddlerMy Profile

  16. This is a very good article however i wish someone would write a “photography for dummies” article so i could learn the basics of taking decent blog worthy pictures. I’ve used the 5MP camera on my blackberry for years i only bought a point and shoot digital camera a couple of months ago… wish i knew how to really use it. It’s still alien to me, i still feel weird taking it out and trying to take pictures when i’m out and to be honest i still use my phone camera most of the time lol. Blog writing came quite easy to me but it’s still a long way before i feel comfy as a “photographer”
    Jameela Deen recently posted…Libya in Pictures: Zawia UniversityMy Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on November 21, 2014 at 7:40 am said:

      I think if you have a decent camera it almost does the job for you. If your blackberry is fairly old then the camera is probably not as good as cameras on phones are now. I would look at travel photography and figure out what you like about certain photos. Then try and copy them. Practise makes masters! 🙂

  17. We too travel with a DSLR(actually 2), point & shoot, and a go pro! We couldn’t survive on just a point and shoot, Adam has a new love PHOTOGRAPHY!
    Hannah @ GettingStamped recently posted…We’re headed back to Africa | East African Photo Safari 2015My Profile

    • Tammyonthemove on January 9, 2015 at 10:17 am said:

      I am kind of obessed with my DSLR too. The quality is so much better, so if you are into photography a DSLR is a must I think.

  18. I kind of like the DSLR cameras..But when i am out for a visit, My Samsung Galaxy Note 3’s 14MP camera also works well…But some times the auto stabilization doesnt work well when moving around and taking photos simultaneously.
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    • Tammyonthemove on April 1, 2015 at 3:23 am said:

      Yes I agree. Smartphones are only good in certain situations. My iPhone is not great at night time, which is why I tend to use a point and shoot when I go out at night.

  19. I think DSLR cameras are best.

  20. i bought a DSLR for my trips but in all honesty, ever since I have an iPhone its use is pretty much null! I brought it on a trip to Mexico to get some shots (I’m no pro either) and it was almost a bag on its own. I have to agree with you with the con of “looking like a tourist” because I also like to blend in: today I’m pretty sure I was asked for some money because of the camera hanging on my neck.

    • Tammyonthemove on April 7, 2016 at 2:29 pm said:

      Yes, it just screams out that you are a wealthy tourist with a DSLR. For that reason I often too take my iPhone, as I can store that out of sight quickly again.

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