Capturing the important and impressive moments of traveling is almost as important as enjoying those moments first hand.
Below are the equipment we use for capturing those moments and bringing them home to friends and family. And sharing them with you!
Madeline is the photographer of the family. She uses her iPhone 8 for many of the shots since it is so portable. However, I wanted something better for our travels. I also wanted something that wasn’t exclusively tied to Apple’s Photo on the Mac.
You can read a more in-depth discussion of Apple’s Photo application on our other blog Preserving Family Memories.
So, I purchased the Sony DSC-HX99 instead and am the primary user, even if I’m not the best photographer of the family. I wanted this camera for several reasons.
I wanted something that was easy to operate. I am not a professional photographer and know nothing about f-stops and aspect ratio and all that. I know it’s important, but I just want to take great photos.
It has a 30x (24-720mm) zoom built in, so I don’t need another lens or something else to carry. In addition to the 30x optical zoom ZEISS lens, it also has a 60x Clear Image Digital Zoom.
It weighs a little more than a half pound. And that includes the battery and memory card! It’s definitely easier to carry than my large Nikon with three different lenses. This camera is built for travel.
This camera takes up to 18.2 MP image quality with excellent low-light sensitivity.
A must for travel, built-in GPS location makes it easier for photo apps to understand and categorize your photos by location.
This camera captures video in XAVC S format. This makes for 4K video (QFHD, 3840 x 2160 pixels) video recording.
Picture transfer with Wi-Fi
I wanted something that would readily transfer the pictures or movies to other devices. This camera allows connectivity via Wi-Fi and NFC (Near Field Communication).
For Wi-Fi, it allows you to control the camera from your phone. It also allows you to transfer pictures directly from your camera to a PC or Mac that you’ve set up.
For NFC, it allows you to connect to another NFC device as long as you are in range.
I wanted something that would at least attempt to remove any blurry pictures. Sometimes we are on the go and its hard to frame and capture the perfect shot. This camera has something called intelligent Active Mode greatly reduces any blurring images caused by you as you are in motion or maybe you just have a non-steady hand. Bottom line, it works.
I’m not good at selfies with an phone. Madeline and I are quite different in height – like 14 inches different. I wanted a camera that made it easier for us. This camera has a 3-inch LCD Display that rotates 180 degrees. So, you can easily frame yourselves for selfies.
I know this is an expensive camera, at around $450 but Amazon allowed me to buy it in installments with no service charge. This is a great purchase and we use the camera wherever we go.
The last thing I want while traveling is a dead camera battery. The Wasabi Power kit costs only $16. This gives you two new batteries for the Sony DSC-HX99 camera and a charger. Even better for travelers: You get a car charging adapter and a European plug. I now have no excuse for walking around with my camera and a dead battery.
Memory Card Reader
Most digital cameras and digital picture frames use SD cards to store, transfer and display your photos. But a lot of PCs and Macs don't provide SD card slots. How do you get your pictures from your SD card to your computer? Answer: SD card reader. With a card reader, you see what’s on your SD card and save new stuff to it, too.
This Anker 2-in-1 is small but handles a wide variety of SD cards. There's not a lot of standardization in SD cards these days, so having one that handles all the current types is a plus. And at $16, the Anker is quality at a good value.
Selfies aren’t just for teenagers and Snapchat. Sometimes you want a picture of you and your partner for your memories. You might not always be able to get help taking a picture. Or worse, you get help but the picture is awful. Carrying a selfie stick solves the problem. This BlitzWolf selfie stick weighs only five ounces and has a camera mount attachment that works with our Sony DSC-HX99. And it folds out to be a tripod. It works with many mobile phones, too. IF that’s not enough, there’s even a Bluetooth remote. It’s a useful purchase and worth its $34.
Pix-Star 10- and 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Picture Frame
What good are taking photos while you're traveling of you can't enjoy them after your trip? Sure, you can post them on social media or save them to a hard drive at home. In either of those cases you have to actively go and find the photos and scroll through them.
In the old days, we chose one or two of our favorites and printed and framed them. Today, we have a new option. Load hundreds of our favorite photos in a digital frame. Then we can enjoy our travel photos while cooking, entertaining or relaxing around the house.
While digital photo frames have been around for a while, these new Pix-Star models take it to a new level. Wi-Fi enabled, you can email yourself new photos directly to the frame. Or you can load memory cards with photos and plug them in. Keep a card for family photos, one for travel photos and one for nature photos, or whatever your hobbies might be. And the resolution is superb, so every photo displayed looks great. They even have motion sensors, so they turn off when the lights are off and no one is in the room but immediately turn on when you enter the room.
We like these so much we've given them to all our kids. We regularly send them memory cards with old family photos we've found and digitized. (You can learn more at our other blog, Preserving Family Memories.) And we have a couple around our own house.