March 5, 2024

Marline Travel Sea

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Best travel cameras to buy in the UK in 2024

3 min read

​​Is your phone camera good enough for travel photography? Depending on the photos and videos you want to capture, the answer may be yes. The system within a phone is likely to be the most compact, convenient and easy-to-use option, but if you’ve used compact cameras in the past and know that’s what you’re looking for, there are a couple of things you’re going to want to consider:

Dimensions and weight

It’s worth thinking about how the camera will be to hold, whether it has a large enough screen on the back and if it has an electronic viewfinder to help compose your photos. If you want a big display, a smartphone upgrade can be one of the best options, as these often have 6-inch displays that make it simple to get the snap you’re after. On a compact camera, a 3-inch screen is typical, but the addition of a viewfinder will make the camera more stable and bringing it up to your eye can be a more natural way to compose an image.

Megapixels

As we’ve explained above, megapixels aren’t the most essential thing to keep in mind while hunting for a camera, but they can be a useful guide to how your snaps will look when you zoom in or if you need to make large prints. If you’re just using a portable photo printer this won’t matter, but for bigger sizes it may help. It’s also worth having a larger number of megapixels if you think you’ll need to crop your shots when editing them – that extra detail could be essential.

Video resolution

Looking to shoot video too? Consider the resolution the camera is capable of recording at. Some will shoot in HD and others will be able to record 4K videos.

Storage

Most compact cameras will have an SD card slot, to fit a wide range of different-sized memory cards. Smaller cameras, like the GoPro models, will take a smaller Micro SD card instead. With a smartphone, you’ll have to think about the built-in storage when you buy. Today’s handsets all come with loads of room, but it’s worth having cloud storage for backups, and enough storage to take a large number of photos on the device. Keep in mind that each photo could take up anywhere between 2-10 MB, and a lot more if you take “raw” format images to edit. Also, it can be a disaster if you’re running out of storage on a memory card, especially when on holiday. We recommend not only getting a card with enough space (at least 64GB) but also investing in a couple of spares too.

Optical zoom

The ability to get closer to your subject without needing to move can be an essential feature of a compact camera. We’ve included a few fixed-lens compact cameras here, as maintaining a focal length can help with consistent photos, but for the most versatility, you’ll want an optical zoom. This means you’re bringing the subject closer without losing quality, whereas a digital zoom will affect the clarity and detail of the image. Smartphones now include multiple lenses to offer a true optical zoom but if you zoom too far, the results will end up pixelated.

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