Taking travel photos – what to use?

Do you still need to take a camera when travelling? Or are smartphones now enough?

Taking travel photos – what to use?

There was a time when cameras reigned supreme when it came to taking photos. But with the rapid speed at which technology is advancing, many smartphones and devices are now equipped with cameras of a similarly high calibre.

When travelling these days, it is not unusual to see a sea of iPhones at major sightseeing spots, with cameras rarely seeing the light of day. So what should you use to capture memories on your next trip? Is there still a case for cameras or have smartphones well and truly sidelined them?

Here are a few factors to consider to make the right choice when it comes to taking photos on your next trip.

1. How important is the quality of the photos you take?
While no one wants to head back home with bad photos, some of us care about the quality and resolution of our photos more than others. If you are in the latter camp, a camera will most likely still offer a higher resolution than a smartphone, and be of better printing quality.

2. What do you want to do with the photos?
This is where smartphones usually win out. If you want to be able to quickly and easily share your photos, upload to social media or use photo-editing apps, smartphones are the better option, because the apps are already on your phone. Photos taken on a camera usually require being downloaded to a computer. While some cameras on the market now offer file transfer and sharing on wifi, they still don’t allow photos to be edited using other applications as quickly and easily.

3. What type of photographer are you?
If you’re more of an aim-and-shoot type, a smartphone is again an easy-to-use and amateur-friendly option. If you enjoy the process of photography and prefer to play around with shutter speeds, exposure and zoom functions, a camera offers all these options and many more in a far superior manner than a smartphone.

4. Do you own a camera?
Don’t laugh! Sometimes the easiest way to make a decision is based on what you have (or don’t have) at hand. If you don’t own a camera and are considering investing, then make sure you are certain you will get good use out of it and that it’s going to be a good investment. Perhaps take a trip with only your smartphone and then make the call. Similarly, if you own a camera and not a smartphone, then it’s probably not worth buying one for travel photography alone.

Whichever you choose, please don’t use your iPad. It is undoubtedly the worst way to take travel photos, after the selfie stick.

How do you take photos when you’re travelling? Are you a smartphone snapper or in the camera camp?


    SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her next dream destinations include Cuba and Morocco.


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    11th Jun 2016
    What's wrong with an iPad ?
    fish head
    11th Jun 2016
    Seen a forest of iPads waving in a crowd? Shakey hands do not take clear photos. Problems with glare in open areas.I did a comparison with a friend in Turkey she on her iPad me with my small digital. The difference was startling. I have now upgraded to a larger digital with superior lens. Again, it is what you want your photos for that counts.
    fish head
    11th Jun 2016
    If you want anything beyond "snap shots" and selfies, a decent camera wins hands down. It's the old comparison between a good lens and a better lens.Some of the smaller digitals do an equivalent job to a smartphone but better lens win out every time. As you point out there are draw backs with cameras but, in my book, quality shots make a difference. PS I am not a camera buff but do like a good photo without editing fuss.
    11th Jun 2016
    I just took m my Samsung phone to the bahamas a year ago and was driven mad because I couldn't see the Screen while I was out side. I had to go buy a little Canon camera in Nassau. Heaps easier. I believe the photos from the camera did print better.

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