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What Cameras Do I Take While Travelling?

15 August 2018

Istanbul, Gülhand Park

Oh my, I love this photo! I love how it captures my son’s curiosity and wonder of the world.  I took this snap while we were in Istanbul, walking through some quiet back streets from Topkapi Palace to Gülhane Park.

I took it with my phone’s camera – and I believe that “capturing the moment” is much more important than using a “proper camera”. You see, I have a lot of photographer friends, who poo-poo my constant use of my phone camera haha!

I feel a little pang of guilt too, because in my freelance gig, I actually work as a photographer for some clients! My house is full of new and old cameras. I have very expensive camera gear and lenses. Yet they hardly ever leave my house :)

Two Cameras

So what cameras do I take while travelling?  

In the last few years, I’ve been to Singapore, Bali, Tasmania, London, Paris, all over Australia, Istanbul, Scotland and Dubai.

For all my trips, I took two cameras.

1) My iPhone –  To capture ALL the small moments.

Istanbul Photo Tile

Here’s a little edit of my camera roll during our last family holiday in Istanbul.

Basically, I like to take photos of us sitting, walking, eating, looking, smiling, laughing, horsing around.

But I’m very stealthy about it! I whip out my phone from my bag, take two snaps and immediately put it away. It takes me 4-5 seconds from identifying the moment I want to capture, getting my phone out and taking the shot, which is perfect for spontaneous moments.

I don’t go on and on trying to get “the perfect shot”. I don’t try to stage or force things too much. And I don’t like to be too intrusive to the moment itself.

I’m very aware not to annoy the people I’m with. But they do oblige me with a smile when I do.

The gallery of photos I take is like a frozen documentary of our trip. My kids LOVE it and can see the benefit of it, even days later, when we’ve forgotten all the details and order of events.

2) Sony RX100 Mark 4

This was a bit pricey for a compact camera. It cost me about $1,100 in 2016. It’s a high-end compact, with full manual controls and takes high quality video.

I wanted something small and compact to put in my handbag. I wanted to take high quality HDR + Raw photos. I didn’t want a mirrorless camera with inter-changable lenses, as I find them just as chunky as my DSLR pro camera.

It takes me about 20-40 seconds from identifying the moment, taking it out of my bag, unzipping the case, turning it on, waiting for it set up, check and change it to the right setting, then snap!

So I always find that I miss “the moment” with this camera.

I use it more when I know I want a higher resolution in my photo!

Another thing I wanted to share is my REASON for taking so many photos.

I take photos for my kids.

Not for social media, not to share with my friends (although, I usually end up sharing the highlights on Facebook).

I make photo books for all our trips, I stick the book on my bookshelf and every now and then, the kids will pull out the photo books and go — WHOA I REMEMBER THIS! THIS WAS AWESOME!

And I hope one day they will show all the photos to their kids!