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.

Dimen­sions and hous­ing

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.

LCD dis­play

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!

Timur Bub­lik

Spe­cial­ly for Photosklad.ru