What type of camera should I buy?
Before deciding on a camera. Ask yourself these questions.
Full size cameras can be heavy! Carrying them around all day is a commitment. Lots of people think they want to carry a camera but quickly leave it behind on their travels once they realize they don’t fit in their pocket. If you don’t think you want to carry a camera look at our point and shoot and smartphone recommendations below.
My #1 recommendation for people who want to take better photos is to buy the nicest and newest smartphone they can afford. I’m partial to Apple iPhones but there are numerous options that will help you take better photos. I strongly recommend this because most people don’t want to carry around a large camera or download and edit their photos. Smartphone makes it VERY EASY to take some great photos.
“Nope, I still want a camera.. I’m ready to take my photo game to the next level!”
Point and Shoot
Easy to use
Great for beginners
Not great for large hands
Point and shoot cameras or pocket sized cameras are for the person who would like to take their photos to the next level but don’t like the hassle of carrying a larger camera. These cameras are SMALL! I had the privilege of trying out the Sony RX100 VII. This camera was AWESOME. It shoot in RAW, had and amazing zoom, and fit in your pocket. While it’s great because it fits in your pocket it’s not great for someone with large hands. Also, the viewfinder is a little small for my preference. Point and shoot cameras are great options for someone who isn’t too experienced in cameras but they would like to take their photography to another level. It has a 200mm zoom which would work really well for an African safari. The file size is large enough so that if you want to turn your shots in to posters or frame them after you’re trip, they’ll look great.
Best Point and Shoot Cameras
Entry Level Cameras
Great for beginners
So you’re ready for a “real camera.” These entry level cameras are what I call the “honeymoon cameras.” What I mean by that is they’re perfect for the person who has a big trip planned, like a honeymoon, and they want to document the trip. These cameras are perfect for this. They’re easy to use, budget friendly, light weight, and offer plenty of features for a beginner photographer. The Sony A6600 is one of my favorites! It offers TONs of features and shoots great in low light. If you’re looking for a little more budget friendly option, check out the Cannon EOS M50. This one, like the A6600, has a flip out screen that’s great for vlogging or selfies.
Best Entry Level Cameras
Full of features
Full Frame sensor
Great in Low-Light
Heavier than other options
Okay, so you’re ready to take your photography game to the next level. All of these cameras have full frame sensors.
What is a full frame sensor?
A full frame sensor is a 35mm sensor which is almost 2x the bigger than the crop sensors. The Full Frame sensors will offer more dynamic range, shoot in lower light, and give a greater depth of field. Overall, full frame sensors give you the ability to shoot like a professional. I started with a crop sensor camera for my first 2 years of photography and upgraded once I realized I was limited by my camera.
If this is your first camera, and you don’t want to break the bank, my top recommendation is the Sony A7II. I love this camera! I currently use the newer model, the A7III. While the A7III offers more features than the A7II, the A7II still offers plenty of features for anyone starting out. Also, it’s less than $1000!
In today’s world pro-sumer level cameras have come around (professional + consumer). These cameras are budget friendly for consumers and amateurs but offer all the features that a professional would want. With recent advancements in technology the price of cameras has dropped precipitously. These cameras are for the person who really wants to take professional quality pictures. Maybe you want to do photography as a hobby or you’re thinking of starting a career in photography. All of these will allow you to do that.
Best Full Frame Cameras
Best Vlogging Cameras
Flip out screen
External Mic Port
What are the best vlogging cameras?
A good vlogging camera needs the following.
- flip out screen
- an external mic port
- slow mo – preferred
- internal timelapses
We travel with the Sony A7III and the Canon EOS M6. For vlogging we use the M6 for 90% of our footage. I would like to upgrade to the Sony A6600 in the near future when the budget allows. The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is great for vlogging. It has a flip out screen, it’s lightweight, shoots internal timelapses, shots 120 fps @ 1080, and shoots RAW photos. While it doesn’t have the video quality of the A7III I still love how lightweight and versatile it is. The other downfall is you need an adapter to have an electronic viewfinder for photos.
The Sony A6600 is my favorite for several reasons.
- it’s a sony mirrorless – Sony has been killing the mirrorless game for the past several years
- it’s lightweight
- it has 120 fps slow mo
- external mic hook up
- flip up screen
- electronic viewfinder
The Sony A6600 is my favorite vlogging & travel camera combo. It is an excellent photography camera and an amazing video/vlogging camera. The only downside is it’s a crop sensor. However, I don’t think many people want to vlog with a full frame sensor camera because the full frame cameras are too heavy.
My last recommendation for a vlogging camera is the GoPro. We started vlogging with the GoPro session. This little powerhouse created some of our most popular vlogs (look at Positano and Sardina, both filmed on GoPro session). Now, GoPro has a vlogging kit with a mini shotgun mic. This is a game changer! Previously, the major downfall with gopro video was the sound quality, now with the mini shotgun mic, you can make some amazing vlogs!