Authored by Sebastian Jacobitz
With travel photography becoming increasingly popular, a good quality camera is now a necessity for most travelers. But the biggest question is, what kind of camera should we use?
Whether you are an already experienced photographer or a beginner looking for ideas on which camera is the best, I see a lot of misguidance when it comes to advice on travel cameras.
A of lot of the time, I see people recommend equipment that would leave any professional photographer envious. And a lot of it. But from my own experience, you don’t need a very complex setup or the most expensive gear.
I traveled with the Fuji X100F through Southeast Asia for a few months and couldn’t be happier with it. For me, this is my ideal travel camera, and I want to share the stories that I was able to capture with that one single camera.
The Advantages of Traveling With a Single Camera
Which Travel Camera
When making a decision on which camera will be the best for your travels, you should considering the subjects you want to photograph.
Do you want to photograph the local people, landscapes or wildlife? Or do you need a camera that is able to capture everything equally well? Depending on your budget, the choice of the camera might change, but all in all, I would recommend spending less on the camera and more on the travel experience itself.
Most cameras of today, whether you are looking for a compact camera or a DSLR, are already so good that even the entry-level models are able to capture great quality images.
My second advice aside from being conservative with your camera budget would be to travel light. You don’t need a whole collection of camera lenses or other equipment, as you probably won’t use them anyway.
Having less equipment makes the journey a lot easier and doesn’t limit your ability to capture moments. You might be worrying that you might miss a picture, but having too much equipment can be more distracting than actually helpful.
Instead of enjoying the moment, you are thinking about which lens might be the best fit for this situation, and might find that you end up more stressed.
If you are just looking for a decent travel camera, I would recommend a compact camera with a zoom lens. Such cameras are readily available for less than $500 but are able to impress with images that are already far better than your mobile phone.
The FujiX 100F
My personal choice for my travel was the Fuji X100F. As a Street & Documentary Photographer, my goal was to photograph people, and to a lesser degree, I was interested in landscapes and architecture.
For that endeavor, the 35mm fixed prime lens is perfect. The field of view is close to our normal eyes and photographing with that camera feels very natural.
If you want to take a close-up of people, the camera forces you to get close, instead of being able to zoom in. I believe this is very beneficial for portrait photography, as the distance typically shows.
Photograph: Sulfur Miners on Mount Ijen
During my journey through South East Asia I stayed for six weeks with a local family in a homestay in the Indonesian Jungle. My goal was to photograph the sulfur miners on mount Ijen.
The environment there is very hostile due to the toxic sulfur smoke and I was very worried that the smoke & dust might damage my camera. After-all, the camera was a huge investment for me and I was worried if the X100F would withstand such an environment.
As the picture shows, I was able to document the work of the sulfur miners by joining them right in middle of the action. Equipped with a gas mask, I stood in the center of the toxic sulfur smoke and my camera withstood this dangerous environment.
I believe the mirrorless camera design is an advantage because it takes away the mirror as the weak spot.
Photograph: Elephants in Chiang Mai
In case you believe, that a fixed prime lens camera might be limiting, I had also the opportunity to photograph elephants in a sanctuary near Chiang Mai in Thailand and have photographed a few landscapes.
This should be more than enough proof that you don’t need a big collection of camera equipment to document a travel experience in the best way.
Would I have been getting pictures if I had multiple lenses or cameras with me? I doubt it, and what I am sure about is that I wouldn’t have as much fun.
The Fuji X100F is simple, yet has a great image quality and I couldn’t think about a better travel camera for my subjects that I am interested in.
Worries of Traveling With a Single Camera
If you’re still not convinced that a single camera and even a single lens is sufficient for travel photography, try the minimalistic combination in your hometown and try to photograph as if you are a tourist.
It might take a bit of practice to adapt to this minimalistic style, but in the end, I can assure you that it makes traveling a lot easier.
You can save a lot of weight traveling with only one camera, and if you’re used to a lot of walking it definitely makes all the difference. In the end, the most important thing is to enjoy the trip and in my opinion this can be best achieved when you focus your photography gear to a minimum.
Rather than investing more money in additional lenses, you might instead think about a useful workshop or learning the art of photography via video tutorials. You as the photographer have a lot more influence over how your images turn out than the camera does.
OTHER CAMERA GEAR WE RECOMMEND. CLICK PHOTO ↓
INSPIRED?! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓
If You Liked This Post You May Also Like: