checking the microphone and webcam

10 Must Read Tips For Traveling With Your DSLR camera

Compact Cameras

A Compact camera is a much smaller camera that is highly portable, and can often fit in your pocket or handbag. They are now getting better and more advanced, which means they are a good option to capture high quality images on your travels. They are also often referred to as “point and shoot cameras“.

– Pros –

Here are some of the pros of Compact cameras for travel photography.

Light and portable

Compact cameras are ideal to travel with as they are so small. This means they take up minimal luggage space and you can take almost anywhere with you. They are also great to just leave in your handbag or pocket, in the event that you stumble across a scene that you really want to take pictures of.


There are now Compact cameras available for almost every budget with some for less than $100. When looking you should look at the features and reviews when deciding which model you would want.

Easy to use

Compact cameras are generally easy to use, with auto modes, as well as manual, aperture, shutter priority and scene modes. If you are not wanting to get technical then shooting in automatic may be ideal for you.

Scene Modes

Quite a lot of Compact cameras come with built-in scene modes. These may be for fireworks, landscapes, night, portrait etc. Using these allow you to pick the scene and then the camera will use the best settings for that scene.

Some can take raw

Amazingly some Compact cameras can capture raw images now, such as the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II which is an advanced Compact. By shooting in raw you then have a lot more power in your edits to recover detail and produce the highest quality image.


Smaller sensors

The sensors of Compacts will naturally be smaller, which means the image quality may not be as good, the low light performance is reduced and the focal range isn’t fully reflective.

No interchangeable lenses

On the majority of Compact cameras, you can’t change the lenses. This means that you will be restricted by the focal range and aperture of the pre-installed lens.

Less manual control and settings vs a DSLR

You will never get quite so many settings and manual control on a Compact camera because those cameras generally aren’t built for very technical shooting.

They don’t look as professional for brand based work

When working with businesses and brands you won’t look as professional to them if you are using a Compact camera compared to a large DSLR camera.

Nearly Endless Photo Time

On most new DSLRs, the time that you get out of the battery is impressive. If you are walking around taking an obscene amount of photos on your smartphone, you’ll quickly find yourself unable to check your email at the next coffee shop. On my most recent trip, I went days without needing to charge my camera battery, despite near constant use.


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Nikon D3300, ISO 200, f/10, 1/40” shutter speed; iPhone 6, ISO 32, f/2.2, 1/198” Shutter Speed


7. What is Aperture in a Camera, What Does it Do?

isolate an imageDo you want to isolate an image, perhaps a beautiful flower, while leaving the background looking blurry?

Or capture a nice landscape and have everything looking crisp?

If you answered yes to one, or both of those questions, then I can understand why you are asking “what is aperture in a camera?”

Aperture is one of the 3 fundamental things you need to understand to get creative with your photography. The other two are shutter speed and ISO.

For the pictures in this post, I set the aperture, and let the camera choose the shutter speed and ISO. It’s the easiest way to learn what changing the aperture settings will do. I’ll show you how to do that at the end of the post.

I set an f-stop of f/22 and the camera chose shutt

I set an f-stop of f/22 and the camera chose shutter speed 1/40 and ISO 800

What is Aperture in a Camera?

In very basic terms, the aperture in a camera is the circular diaphragm in your lens that controls how much light enters your camera when you take a picture.

The aperture settings are measured in “f-stops.” The higher the f-stop number the smaller the opening in that circular diaphragm, and the lower the f-stop number the larger the opening. It sounds confusing, but you will get used to it the more you play with your camera.

Each f-stop lets in half the amount, or double the amount of light as the one before it. As you have probably guessed aperture is talked about in terms of stops… you go up a number of stops, or down, depending on what you want to capture in your photo.

What Does Adjusting The Aperture Do?

The aperture setting allows you to control the light and depth of field. By adjusting the aperture setting you can have a photo that looks sharp from front to back (large depth of field,) or isolate an area of sharpness while the rest is blurry (small depth of field.)

f-stop at f/8.0, shutter speed 1/125, ISO 200

f-stop at f/8.0, shutter speed 1/125, ISO 200

It may be easier to remember f-stop this way – a larger f-stop number means a larger depth of field (more stuff is in focus)and a smaller f-stop number means a smaller depth of field (less stuff is in focus.)

To keep everything sharp and in focus use a larger f-stop. To really isolate something use a smaller f-stop.

I love playing with smaller f-stops and isolating objects, it’s so fun!

f-stop at f/6.3, shutter speed 1/80, ISO 200

f-stop at f/6.3, shutter speed 1/80, ISO 200

Aperture Relates To Shutter Speed

It’s also helpful to know that a lower f-stop means a faster shutter speed, and a higher one means a slower shutter speed. For that reason, it’s best to use a tripod when you are working with a higher f-stop.

High f-stops are excellent for landscape photography because they give you a large depth of field. Keep in mind that without a tripod your landscapes could come out blurry, and not the good blur, the bad blur (due to camera shake.)

For the above pictures (isolated pictures) I used the Gorillapod, it’s small and really versatile. For the landscape (field of wildflowers) I used a larger tripod for better stability and a different perspective.

I was hand holding my camera in the two pictures below. In the first my daughter’s face is blurry, but in the second it isn’t. The difference was made because for the second shot I lowered the f-stop and the camera took the picture faster. That reduced camera shake because the shutter was open for less time. Remember, any motion (from your body) during a shot will shake the camera (camera shake) and create blur.

Lowering the f-stop also added a little bit of isolation. In the second picture, you can see how the bushes in the background are not as sharp as in the first picture, this draws more attention to her face.

f-stop at f/22, shutter speed 0.3, ISO 200

f-stop at f/22, shutter speed 0.3, ISO 200

f-stop at f/3.5, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 200

f-stop at f/3.5, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 200

Using Aperture Priority Mode

To experiment with the aperture set your camera to “Aperture Priority” mode. It’s usually marked on your dial with an Av. When your camera is in Aperture Priority mode you can play with the aperture settings, while the camera takes care of the ISO and shutter speed for you.

Set it to Av and use the little black dial in fron

Set it to Av and use the little black dial in front (and to the right) to move up and down through the f-stops

The aperture is at f/11, as you turn that little b

The aperture is at f/11, as you turn that little black dial you will see the f-stop number change

As you look through your pictures on your PC you will be able to see how things like the lighting conditions and zoom you were using affected your results. You can learn a lot by comparing the shutter speed and ISO settings your camera chose while you clicked away in Aperture Priority mode.

For example, in the pictures of my daughter, we see that the shutter speed was faster when I lowered the f-stop. This can help us understand why camera shake is reduced by lower apertures and faster shutter speeds, they both make the camera take the shot faster.

Gear I used for this shoot; Canon entry-level DSLR, and the tripods I mentioned earlier.

How would you answer the question, what is aperture in a camera? Would you like to share some tips? Please let everyone know by commenting on this post.

9. Get camera insurance

It sounds obvious but you should get insurance for your equipment if you are going traveling. This will give you some peace of mind if you photography equipment is damaged or stolen.

QA: part 2  of Travel Photography Tips For DSLR Beginners 

This 2nd part of this post covers the top questions and answers about travel photography that new photographers often ask. Here are the 5 frequently asked questions, the how, what, where, and why, about travel photography

You're not a full time professional traveling photographer and you don't need to pack gear like one. Here's my list for the essential gear you should have when you are heading out on your photographic journey. If you're really cramped for space and you're not going to venture out and get creative with some night time photography, you can leave your tripod at home.

DSLR Camera 2 Lenses UV or Polarizing Filter Lens Tissue or Lens Cloth 2nd Camera Battery 2nd Memory Card Travel Tripod Camera Bag or Backpack Optional : Flash Gun

How do i pack MY camera equipment for travel photography?

What’s the best way to take your camera equipment

What’s the best way to take your camera equipment on an airplane safely? What about getting through security in another country? What bag, backpack, or suitcase you use to contain your camera gear needs to have 3 important features.

  1. It must hold all the gear you are taking.
  2. It has to protect your equipment from damage.
  3. You have to be able to transport it wherever you go.

You can learn a lot about any kind of camera gear for travel photography by reading reviews of several buyers.  Here are some customer reviews of 4 highly rated ways to transport your travel photography gear.

As an Amazon affiliate I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases, at NO added cost to you.

Backpack style camera bags are the best option for new DSLR shooters like you. You're not taking two DSLR camera bodies, a separate point and shoot camera, 2 long lenses, and a small flash unit. 

what lens should i take

Canon Kit Lens

Canon Kit Lens

If you want to narrow down to just one single lens, there's no doubt is should be a zoom lens that goes from wide-angle to telephoto. Generally, the wider the zoom range then the more varied situations you can handle.

The 18-55mm (about 3x zoom) kit lens that comes with most smaller DSLR cameras is barely adequate, but you can survive on it if you have no budget for an upgraded zoom lens. Taking an 18-200 (about 10x zoom) or similar lens with an expanded range of zooming will cover all of the various situations you encounter as a traveling photographer.

which camera should i use for taking travel photos?

Compact Mirrorless

Compact Mirrorless

If you only take one camera with you while you're traveling  you are taking a risk. How big is the risk? It's pretty small if you have a DSLR camera that was made in the last 5 years. I  always have 2 cameras with me, but that only makes sense, since my livelihood depends on it.

Your DSLR is remarkably durable and photographers rarely have issues with a camera breakdown in the middle of a trip, but it can happen. The big advantages of using a DSLR camera are better quality photos, camera settings to fit every situation, and the ability to change lenses.

The newer mirrorless cameras have the same technology and quality but in a more compact size. My next camera will be a mirrorless. Just make sure the lens offerings are good with the mirrorless camera model you choose before you buy.

Not too long ago, if your title was travel photogr

Not too long ago, if your title was travel photographer, you shot photos for a magazine, newspaper or a trade journal. Digital photography has change all that. There are so many new traveling photographers who have entered the market that's it's really tough to earn a full time living doing it. There are a lot of sources where travel photography buyers can get images for free too. Anyone with a camera and internet access can participate on a part time basis.

Does that mean you can't sell your travel photos? Heck no, it just means the marketplace is much more diluted and widespread. You can upload your photos to any number of online gallery marketplaces  or you can try to sell on your own website or a shared group platform. I've had a little luck with both, but it's not a big part of what I do. Two of the big typical stock agencies are ShutterStock and iStock.

Rather than take the quick snapshot while just sta

Rather than take the quick snapshot while just standing in front of something, you want to approach creating each photo with a little purpose. Taking the time to create a meaningful photo can beneficial to you in several ways.

  • You will have a keepsake memory preserved that won't fade in time, like it will in your mind.
  • Travel photography is a great way to meet new people, increase understanding of other cultures, and bring countries closer together.
  • You'll have something visual that you can share with family , friends, and perhaps people all over the world.
  • Taking travel photos makes you more aware of your surroundings. 

What will I be doing?

If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, and you’re not used to carrying around heavy equipment, then you may want to opt for a lighter camera. I like to bring my micro 4/3rds mirrorless camera on trips where I’m going to be doing a lot of walking—it’s nice and light, but I also have the option to switch lenses if I feel like I need more zoom or a wider angle. And believe me, you might think you’ll be okay walking around with your heavy DSLR on your shoulder for several hours a day, but unless you know that for sure you might want to test yourself before you leave home. Try spending a Saturday with your DSLR and camera bag and then ask yourself if you’d really be OK carrying all that stuff around with you on vacation. If it’s going to bother you, leave your DSLR at home. You will be happier if you do.