The Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography Beginners

Trying to figure out the perfect travel camera sucks in the sense that it can be completely overwhelming. We’re here to guide you through it all from the body to lens, we have you covered on the best DSLR camera for travel photography beginners. 

Let’s get to it

DSLR Travel Photography Beginners Kit

We’ll get into more detail, but below is the overlook of our travel camera for beginners “kit.”

DSLR Travel Camera Body

One of the first considerations when traveling is space. Space for your stuff. This is the main reason we originally chose the mirrorless system vs. DSLR.

Mirrorless systems has all of the benefits of its comparable and larger sister camera, the DSLR, but with 60% less of the size!

The Olympus OM-D Mark 5 ii caught our eye because of its rugged body and the vast amount of options and flexibility it has for shooting still, action shots and video. Its body is Magnesium-alloy which makes it dust, splash and freeze proof which means it’s weather sealed and thats a huge bonus/must with a travel camera.

Packed with 16MP resolution, 5-axis stabilization, 1080p video, and a variable angle touch screen, this camera has all the features we could have asked for in a full system.

What this means to you is a 16MP means great still image quality. A 5-axis stability is perfect for those who have shaky hands or are moving while shooting/recording. Stability helps keep the video from looking shaky or a still photo from looking blurry. Finally, a 1080p video translates to a very crisp and clear video.

Shop: Mirrorless Camera Olympus OM-D Mark 5 ii

Travel Photography Lens Considerations

Whether you choose a Mirrorless or a DSLR system we have found it is always best to have at least one prime lens and one zoom lens. You can try to have one or the other, but it will limit you more on what photos you will be able to capture well

Prime Lens

We originally chose the 17mm prime lens by M. Zuiko because of research we did before buying it and have been very satisfied with it.

The 17mm prime, is a great starter lens. It is great for high-res pictures, landscapes, portraits, low light situations, night photos, sunsets / sunrises…you get our point.

Another great benefit of having a prime lens, especially when you are just starting out is that it forces you to take better pictures. What do we mean by that? Well, think about it. Without the ability or distraction of zooming, it forces you to get the image you want in the frame in needs to be in.

You have to work a little harder to get the photo you want, but when you do, it FEELS GREAT!

Shop: 17mm Prime Lens

Zoom Lens

Next up, the zoom lens.

The zoom lens we bought is the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ  thinking it would be a good inexpensive zoom lens giving us an option to zoom without breaking the bank on our first zoom lens.

When we first started taking pictures, we didn’t want to purchase high-end equipment and not know how to use it.

The 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ is a great zoom lens to start with and learn from. HOWEVER, if you are wanting some serious zoom, consider looking into a telephoto lens that will give you a bit more distance that what the 14-21mm f3.5-5.6 EZ will.  

The 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ  lens is great for wide-angle landscapes, portraits and architecture and if you like to shoot HD movies, this is a good lens for that too. 

Shop: 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ Lens or M. 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R Zoom Lens 

Additional Travel Camera Options For Beginners

If the above gave you a bit of a scare, no worries. There are plenty of photographers that take amazing photos with cameras that don’t require large investments.

GoPro Hero 7

For all those scuba divers and hikers, the GoPro has become a fan favorite to adventure enthusiasts alike.

With better than ever image quality and stabilization and of course, the selfie stick accessory GoPro has come out with, it has made this once “adventure” camera a “everyday” camera.

The GoPro Hero 7 is tough, tiny and waterproof. It’s intuitive touch screen allows you to setup and capture what you need quickly and with great quality. From video stabilization to timer settings, this compact little guy is a perfect travel companion.

Shop: GoPro Hero 7 & GoPro Accessories

Olympus Tough

We personally do not carry one because we have all of the above, but if we didn’t, we’d recommend the Olympus Tough.

We have traveled a lot with someone who only had this camera and it was able to serve all of their needs without having to carry more than a battery charger and lens. 

Oh, by the way, it’s waterproof, shockproof and can go to depths of 50 Feet without a dive case. It’s a great all around point and shoot camera that won’t break the bank or cram your space.

Go ahead, throw it in your bag. Literally throw it. It’s ok, it’s “Tough”.

Shop: Olympus Tough

There is nothing like capturing great memories that help you reminiscence on exciting trips for years to come. If you don’t want to be disappointed with poor quality images, we recommend you consider any of the cameras we listed above along with their associated gear.

When going on a trip you don’t want to forget, it’s worth the investment into a quality camera .

We aren’t sponsored by any camera company so this is our equipment by choice with unbiased reviews. We hope this has helped guide you along or at least make a couple correct turns when making your next camera choice.

WANT MORE INFORMATION ON TRAVEL GEAR?!

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Packing For a 6 Month Trip to Southeast Asia


PIN IT FOR LATER!

For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus, Pinterest and on Facebook. Oh, and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

2 Replies to “The Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography Beginners”

  1. When travelling to water-rich areas and requiring to take under-water photographs, I would recommend picking a waterproof phone while selecting which type of phone to buy.

    If I was travelling and I needed to save my memories with me, I’d pick a smartphone to buy.

    I could use a device like a smartphone, on a daily basis, for many things to do – gaming, browsing, photo and video taking, communicating, and so much more!

    Now that smartphones have so many options in them and are competing with cameras for their mega-pixels, the gap has nearly closed with smartphones emerging as the more functional of the devices.

    Now, if I worked for a magazine or a news publication, then I would seriously consider buying the best camera on the market, that appeared last year, to get the best deals on it!

    When travelling, it would be good to carry an extra hundred dollars, just in case you need a smartphone and you don’t have one – you could buy one – an 8MP one suitable for your blog and the Internet!

    That way, you can save and share your memories when the time comes and make the most of your adventure!

    1. Great tip! We’ve never worked with a waterproof smart phone so don’t feel comfortable recommending something we haven’t used ourselves but definitely a good tip!

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