Photography Cheat Sheet: Which Camera Should You Take for Traveling?

New to photography and wondering which camera to take when traveling? Today’s photography cheat sheet should help you decide.

When you’re new to photography outside your smartphone, it can be either exciting or overwhelming to decide which camera to use, especially for travel. But, if you’re really serious about narrowing it down, you may want to get some tips from today’s photography cheat sheet.

We spotted today’s cheat sheet on Steve Metz’s wildlife art photography website, It gives us four digital camera choices: a point-and-shoot, a DSLR, a mirrorless camera, and a GoPro. Some prefer taking at least one spare or camera, but let’s not complicate things for you if you’re new tothese.


First, you have a simple  that may either be your mom’s camera or the family camera. Point-and-shoot cameras are very portable. If you’re worried about cost, you may not have to spend anything if there’s one of these lying around the house. But, in case your household needs an upgrade, the costs vary and there’s one for all budgets. They’re called point-and-shoots for precisely that reason, so they’re perfect for snapshots and if you prefer not to fiddle around with controls. Most modern models already have great image quality, which will be enough for sharing on social media and blogs. The batteries will also last for around 200 shots before they need to be recharged or replaced.

The downside? There’s not a great deal of versatility with these cameras because they have only one lens. Also, because these cameras have small sensors and limited manual settings, they don’t perform well in low light. If you like shooting videos, do not expect high quality videos showing dramatic shallow depth-of-field.

DSLR and Mirrorless

The DSLR has been the go-to camera for those who take photography seriously as there’s one for every budget and level. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. They have built-in automatic modes, but you’ll still need to practice and master this camera to truly get the most out of it. Since a DSLR can be fitted with a wide range of lenses, it offers great versatility for all kinds of photography. The larger sensors combined with the lenses produce high quality images and work great in low light. Most DSLRs can also shoot great video.

The downside? The DSLR can be bulky and heavy, and you might not want to lug it around when you’re out and about: certainly not with multiple lenses.

Mirrorless cameras are essentially the same as DSLRs but with a striking difference in size and weight. It’s more portable, so you’ll have less struggle with it in terms of size and weight. This makes it a popular option today for photographers of all levels, whether for travel or other kinds of photography. However, make sure to always have spare batteries with you: mirrorless cameras run out of batteries faster because the LCD screen is always on.

GoPro/Action Cameras

Action cameras like the GoPro are made especially for adventure and travel, especially if you want to shoot videos. They’re very tiny and compact so they’re easy to lug around, and they’re a piece of cake to operate once you have them figured out. Since they’re for adventurous photographers and videographers, they’re made to be durable and reliable even in challenging shooting conditions. The latest models can be pricey, but if you’re fine with older models, you’ll certainly find one for your budget. The downside? It has a fixed fisheye lens so it’s not very versatile, and you might have to struggle with getting the exposure and white balance right.

So, have you decided on which camera to use for your next trip? Whatever your choice, we suggest taking a look at the rest of our photography cheat sheets for more tips on how to take better photos!