A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: stevieh

Camera Choice

'Small' and 'Light' are two words that help describe the ideal camera for the traveller, or at least the vast majority of us. And the current state of the art in digital compacts allows us to use one for almost any kind of 'snap' we could ever imagine, or even a camera-phone.
But what about those with more than a passing interest in the photographs they're taking, and when do you need something more capable?

The two other most popular categories of camera right now are Digital SLRs and 'bridge' cameras - those with an 'ultra'-zoom lens and whose size is typically between compact and DSLR.

SLRs used to be the preserve of professionals and enthusiasts, but diminishing sizes and prices have brought them into the reach of mere mortals, whether we need or understand all of their features or not. Ultimate image quality and interchangeable lenses are their two most important features.

A bridge camera is possibly the most flexible of all-rounders - at its heart is a compact camera, but with a versatile 10x, 12x (or more) zoom lens stuck on, the downside being that it won't slip into your pocket like a compact, so might be harder to hide when you need to.

I'd say your choice boils down to what you intend to do with your images once your travels are over. If all you'll ever need is something to record memories with, then a compact is perfect. A bridge (or ultrazoom) will give you more options and allow you to zoom right into a scene and capture more detail - remember though, animals and buildings don't care about privacy, but people might.
In the right hands, compacts and bridge cameras can produce spectacular results - even images capable of being used at large sizes or sold in various formats.

If you want the best quality and flexibility though, you should think seriously about a DSLR, especially if you have any thoughts of submitting images for publication. But be prepared to carry the extra weight and take more precautions with security and safety.

Posted by stevieh 06:33 Tagged photography Comments (0)

No Photos Please - We're British

Or "How not to get arrested for getting your camera out"

Once upon a time, we in the 'developed' world chuckled when told of the people of remote tribes who believed you were stealing their spirit if you took a photograph of them. We're not laughing now.
Paranoia about terrorists and paedophiles means the taking of photographs in public places is under serious threat. This is of huge importance to both photographers and travellers alike.

Remember the british 'plane spotters' who were held in a Greek prison for taking photos at a military airfield? While you could say it was obvious they weren't terrorists, you could equally say it was a bit silly photographing a military installation. But where do we draw the line?

Unfortunately it seems that line may soon be drawn outside your front door. Rumour has it that there is a growing number of tourist attractions that are banning photography. Yes, that's right, "tourist attractions" - the very existence of which is the whole reason that most people buy a camera, or certainly used to be in pre-digital days.

As the law stands in the UK, if you are stood in a public place you are theoretically allowed to take a photograph of anything you can see. In practice however, more and more people (including professional photographers) are finding themselves stopped by the police and questioned about their intentions.

What does this mean to the Traveller? Well, first and foremost it means you should be as aware of what you are doing when you take out your camera in the UK as you would anywhere else in the world that you might normally consider sensitive. Be aware that somebody may be offended - rightly or wrongly - about what you are doing, and be prepared to move on. Don't let the politics spoil your visit.

Posted by stevieh 06:34 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged photography Comments (1)

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