6 awe-inspiring cameras and apps; easy enough for a child to use, and worthy of a professional
Words Tokunbo David
Whether you take snapshots or create images, ease of use is as important as what a camera can do. In an age where we take for granted our ability to capture the world and share it with friends and strangers in a few clicks, it’s easy to get bogged down with details such as: What megapixel and lens type do I go for? SLR or Compact? Well, you needn’t sweat the small stuff as we’ve lovingly compiled the best options out there. This is the stuff travel dreams are made of.
CANON POWERSHOT D10
Rating Best Waterproof Ultra-Compact For a Beach Trip
Life can take you almost anywhere. So Canon engineered a digital camera durable enough to go where you go and produce the kind of jaw-dropping images that will earn your respect. This unique camera is waterproof down to 33 feet so you can take it scuba diving, snorkeling or surfing. It’s freeze proof and can withstand extremes of temperature from 14-104 degrees (F) so it’s also ideal for snowboarding, mountaineering and more. Plus, it’s shockproof to 4 feet, so when the going gets rough, the D10 will keep going strong.
Weight with battery 7.4 oz (212 g)
Zoom: 3x optical, 4x digital, 35–105 mm
ISO: 80 to 1600
Video: 30 fps, sizes up to 640 x 480
Battery life: approx 220 still images
Price: $254.95 on amazon.com
CANON EOS-5D MARK II
Rating Best SLR For Advanced Amateur and Semi-Professional Photographers/Best Camera For Photo Safaris
If you are serious about your travel photography, and especially if you have an eye for selling or publishing your photos, this camera is for you.
The 5D Mark II is very capable in fully automatic mode but there’s virtually nothing that can’t be adjusted manually. The powerful Digic IV processor and full frame sensor handles 21 MP images at lightening speed and with vibrant colours. In low light situations shots with the 5D Mark II are virtually noise-free. Even the HD video picture quality is outstanding though for a comparable quality of audio an external mic is required.
Weight with battery 28.6 oz (810 g)
Screen 3 inches
ISO 100-6400 (auto), plus 50 and up to
Video 30 fps at sizes up to 1280 x 720 (HD)
Battery life approx 900 still images
Price Around $2,600 on Amazon.com
Rating Best all-round social sharing photo app
With well over 11 million worldwide users, Instagram is the classic Queen B of mobile-based camera apps. It has great filters and borders built-in as well as excellent linear and radial tilt-shift blur effects for extra depth of field and, of course, smart sharing tools by way of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare and Posterous. Instagram gives you unlimited downloads, works with all versions of the iPhone and has full front and back camera support with the iPhone 4.
Price Download free in iTunes Store/iPhone and iPad
Rating Best tilt-shift effects photo app
Want to create something different and unusual with your iPhone travel photography? A tilt shift effect app might just be what you need. It allows you to miniaturize your surroundings and make cars, buildings or people look like tiny toys. It works better from a high vantage point and as well as radial or linear blur this app also includes contrast and saturation control, vignetting control and direct email, Twitter and Facebook support.
Price Download in iTunes Store ($1.99)/iPhone and iPad
Rating Best all-round collage photo app
Collage photo apps are becoming increasingly popular and Pic Collage is one of the best on the market. It’s a great way to aggregate your travel photos and share them widely. It’s incredibly simple to use and edit images in-app. The app basically turns your travel images into a tightly-packed mobile album.
Price Download free in iTunes Store/ iPhone and iPad
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-ZS3
Rating Best compact camera for travel
This camera is only 3.27cm thick, fits easily in your palm, and yet has a 12x optical zoom. That is, the lens glass is able to zoom all the way from the equivalent from a wide angle 25mm to a telephoto 300mm, a remarkably impressive engineering feat for any camera this compact to pull off.
Of course, a quality zoom doesn’t mean anything unless a camera is capable of taking quality photographs. And the Lumix DMC-ZS3 does something few other cameras do: it takes photos at an inflated pixel size (12.7 MP) and then automatically reduces them (to 10.1 MP) in such a way that the edges of the photographs are not subject to the softness and chromatic aberrations they are on other point-and-shoots. The extra megapixels also go towards improving the DMC-ZS3’s video quality.
Weight with battery 8.1 oz (229 g)
Megapixels 10.1 / 12.7 (see review)
Zoom 12x (!) optical, 4x digital,
ISO 80-600 (auto), plus 3200 and 6400
Video 60 fps at sizes up to 1,280 x 720
(HD) in AVCHD Lite mode
Battery life approx 300 still images
Price Around $240 on amazon.com