These days you have as many options for cameras as you do holiday destinations. One elegant solution is your smartphone. It combines camera, phone, computer, mp3 player, GPS navigator and ebook. Specifically, the cameras on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are very powerful when combined with editing apps like Camera+ and Photoshop Express.
I pack a hefty DSLR with three pro-lenses – the whole kit weighing in at well over five pounds – but often find myself using my iPhone for quick pics, on the go editing and mobile uploads. Have a look at the sample images I’ve shot throughout my travels using my iPhone 4S to get an idea of its capabilities. Below is one example.
The rest of the images on this site I shot with my Canon Rebel T3i DSLR. There are obviously many options between the ultra convenient smartphone camera and the big and heavy DSLR. For example, micro four thirds mirror-less systems, such as those offered by Olympus and Pentax are an excellent compromise between small size and excellent image quality. These systems are significantly smaller than DSLRs yet offer solid optics. However, they are very expensive at this point since the tech is relatively new.
Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony all make outstanding compact digital cameras that will suffice for the vast majority of amateur enthusiasts. Given the right lighting conditions, these cameras can produce professional quality images. Ken Rockwell runs one of the best camera review blogs on the Internet, I highly suggest checking out his site before making your purchase. Digital Photography Review is also an excellent source for information when making your choice. My advice to you, consider your needs and research, research, research.
With multi-functional smartphones, its easier than ever to keep your electronics to a minimum. Smartphones give you access to email, internet, GPS navigation, domestic and international calls (Skype), books, music, movies, news etc. The top of the line smartphones from Apple and Samsung also have great cameras.That being said, a smartphones have limited battery life, small screens, cramped keyboards, and depend on an internet connection for most tasks.
Bring an eReader like the Nook or Kindle, especially if you’re planning on a long trip with lots of transit/down time. Between your smartphone and eReader, you’ll have all the entertainment and connectivity you need to maximize your enjoyment and mobility.
Unless you plan on working, don’t bring a computer. But if you must, try to stick to a tablet, Ultrabook or MacBook Air. I recently travelled for four months in South America with an iPad 3 and wireless keyboard. It worked well for word processing, emails and bookings, but I do not recommend it for heavy spread sheet work.