What Kind of Camera do I Need?

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There are now many high-quality cameras available to take pictures, so deciding what you should buy can be a struggle.

This post will serve as a guide, advising some of the things to consider, as well as pros and cons to the different camera types. If you click a camera link you will go to where you can learn more and purchase if you wish.

Here are the different kinds of cameras available.

Compact Cameras

Compacts have really come along, with many having excellent specifications. Some of these include high-quality optics, the ability to capture high resolutions (megapixels) images and come packed with useful features such as GPS, WiFi, Scene Modes, tilting LCD screens and more.

The benefits of a compact are the size, they often fit into your handbags and pockets without much trouble, they are perfect for everyday use, as well as holidays, blogging and events (ie parties etc). They can also be very affordable to buy.

Now with the excellent performance of many compacts, you can even capture fantastic quality night images with or without a tripod. Here is an example taken with the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II with a tripod. This camera is an advanced Compact so is high end.

Picture Example Taken with Canon G7 X Mark II
Picture Example Taken with Canon G7 X Mark II

Compacts aren’t professional cameras, so if you are wanting to work with clients or take the highest quality photos using complex settings, you would be best to have an SLR which would give you more flexibility.

Here are a few good Compact options which we have used or recommend based on experience using the camera or brand.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50K
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

SLR Cameras

SLR or DSLR are cameras that offer lots of flexibility when capturing photographs, including the option of changing the lens according to your requirements, such as wide-angle, telephoto, fisheye, portrait etc.

They normally come with larger sensors, the ability to shoot raw (unprocessed image, which allows large amounts of adjustments in post), as well as lots of advanced settings, making them ideal for professional use, or for the advanced hobbyist.

An issue with SLRs is that they are bulky and heavy, often taking up lots of your precious luggage space, and being a bit cumbersome when carrying for long periods.

SLR cameras would be considered the professional-level camera, with them being used for events, sports, weddings, landscape and many other forms of photography. They can be expensive, especially higher-end models, and as well as buying the body, you will also have to buy lenses and those can double how much you spend. So before buying an SLR consider if you really need this, or if a high-quality compact camera would provide you with what you need.

I use the Canon EOS 6D SLR for many of our photos, we also sell and license our images, and work with clients, hence why we like this camera …


Phones are now surprisingly good at capturing images and are a great backup should you not have your main camera with you. Phone companies are becoming increasingly competitive with what they produce and are even offering special features such as built-in HDR (high dynamic range), or phones with multiple cameras that can blend images to create a higher-quality final image.

Although a phone camera is great and really useful, they often have less flexibility than compacts, with limited zoom options and non-interchangeable lenses. There are now third-party options for lenses that slot onto your phone over the camera, such as these clip-On lenses… But the quality of those will not be equal to a dedicated device.


Cameras such as the GoPro HERO4 are more specialist cameras that are great for sports, underwater and high action. The GoPro, in particular, is impact and water-resistant (up to a certain level).

You can also get other specialist cameras such as commercial medium and full format which take extremely high-resolution images but come with a hefty price tag. The Hasselblad Medium Format Digital SLR is an example.


Deciding which camera to get is a personal choice. Many models on the market can now take excellent-quality images without you having to spend too much. Before making your purchase think about these things…

  • What will I be using it for, ie professional or personal use?
  • Am I technical or do I want to learn to take technical photographs?
  • What is my budget?
  • Will I be using the camera for action shots, or does it need to be waterproof?
  • Will I be using the pictures online or printing high-resolution images?
  • Do I want to be carrying around a bulky camera, or would I prefer something a bit smaller?
  • Do I want or need interchangeable lenses?

There are other things to consider but hopefully, that gives you an idea. Make sure you do your research and look at reviews before you buy and good luck!


Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website.

Read full bio | More articles by Mike

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