When all the suitcases are already packed, it is very important not to forget to take a video camera with you in order to save as many vivid memories as possible for many years to come. But the rapidly developing world of digital cameras can simply confuse a novice traveler. The choice of the most suitable model can drag on for many hours, and at the same time it may well become erroneous, and therefore inevitably disappointment awaits you.
This article will present the 8 most important parameters that you should pay attention to when choosing a digital camera for travel and long-distance trips.
When traveling, every gram counts, especially when it comes to a camera that will be in your hand or in your bag all day long. An extra 100–150 grams can cause discomfort during long shooting, so we recommend paying attention to cameras with a total weight of up to 200 grams. A good example is the Panasonic HC-V130EE camcorder weighing 181 grams.
An equally important parameter is the size of your future camera, because you probably do not want to put your not the cheapest device in a suitcase that will endure every bump and pit on the road. The optimal dimensions are 100–120 mm in length and 40–60 mm in height, and the Canon Legria HF R46 camcorder, whose dimensions are 114 x 60 mm, will serve as a guide.
It is also worth paying attention to the design, which, if possible, should be monolithic — the fewer moving parts the device has, the more reliable it will be.
You’ll be glad your camera has extra protection against dust and moisture when you unexpectedly find yourself caught in the pouring rain in Pattaya. The degree of protection, as a rule, corresponds to the international IP standard, which consists of an abbreviation and two numbers, for example, IP57. The first digit indicates the degree of protection against the penetration of solid objects into the device: dust, fine sand, powder or earth. The maximum value of the first digit is 6. The second digit indicates the degree of protection against moisture, and the highest protection is indicated by the number 8. Thus, a camera protected according to the IP68 standard has the highest degree of protection against dust and moisture, and this is what I would recommend to those who plan to travel in harsh climatic zones.
If you are not sure whether you need additional protection in the camera, then you can safely purchase a camera with a lower level of protection, and if necessary, buy a special case for diving in water.
Some camera manufacturers are also making models that are drop and shock resistant, allowing them to withstand drops of up to 5 meters. Such a camera is useful for those who are actively involved in sports while traveling. In this case, action cameras are better suited, since most often they are equipped with a built-in or complete housing with increased protection. As an example, I can cite the Polaroid XS100i, which is able to withstand a fall from a height and dive to a depth.
A travel camera will not be of any use if its battery runs out after 40 minutes of continuous shooting. Compact dimensions do not allow you to fit batteries with a large capacity, but in any case, your future camera should be able to work for at least 2–2.5 hours. A decent operating time is shown by the Canon Legria Mini X camcorder, which works up to 2.5 hours on a single battery charge.
However, you can’t shoot an exciting trip in a few hours, so the ability to replace the battery yourself is a very weighty argument when choosing a camera. True, this will have to sacrifice the solidity of the design, which we talked about above, and here you will have to decide based on your own preferences: is it more important for you to have a reliable and strong case or an additional few hours of shooting. If running time is more important to you, then you should know that most modern cameras are able to work either with AA / AAA batteries or with a branded rechargeable battery. The first can be purchased at any store if you wish, but if you suddenly find yourself far from civilization, you will be glad to be able to recharge the branded battery from the cigarette lighter in the car.
Although cameras with a built-in solid state or hard drive are quite rare, I still should caution you against buying such models — hard drives are quite heavy and very sensitive to vibrations and shocks, which completely contradicts the first points on our list. Solid-state drives do not have these drawbacks, but they significantly increase the final cost of the camera, and the cameras themselves often lose slots for a memory card.
I recommend paying attention to cameras that have two memory card slots at once, since memory has a rather unpleasant property of running out at the most inopportune moment. Alternatively, you can simply purchase a spare card to make a quick replacement at a key moment.
The optical zoom will allow you to get very close to distant objects, which is extremely useful when traveling, because you will not always be able to get close to the subject, for example, shooting the majestic domes of the Pantheon in Rome. For travel, you need to take a camera with at least a 3x zoom, and preferably 6x and higher. As an example, I will cite the Sony HDR-GW66E camcorder, which is equipped with a 10x zoom — there are simply no barriers for it in the form of distances.
The large LCD screen will help you make sure you’ve captured a quality video before moving on. Believe me, there is nothing worse than, having arrived home, to find that the subject was practically not included in the frame. Unfortunately, a large display often significantly increases the size of the case, increases power consumption and leaves no chance for a secure design. As an example, I can cite the recently introduced GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition 2014, which we have already discussed in detail in the previous material.
Video quality is important, so make sure your camera is capable of recording HD video at 24fps or higher. Keep in mind that some cameras can only record HD video for a few minutes, so make sure your new camera can record at least half an hour of video. Agree, you don’t want the recording to end at the very climax, do you?
The light sensitivity of the matrix is an equally important parameter, since one cannot expect ideal lighting conditions when traveling. For shooting in the dark, optical image stabilization will also be very useful, which, as a rule, compensates up to 3–4 stops of exposure. In addition, it will allow you to reduce the shake in the frame, because during the movement the shake is most pronounced.
Based on the tips from this list, you can capture the best moments of your trip that will stay with you forever. If you still have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.
Good luck with your purchase!
Specially for Photosklad.ru