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Welches ist die passende Kamera im Urlaub, Bild: 22Images Studio / shutterstock

Which cameras are good for taking pictures on holiday?

Which camera is best suited for a holiday depends in particular on personal preferences and photo quality requirements.

Smartphone camera with often highly developed photo and film technologies

Photographing with your smartphone on holiday
Photographing with a smartphone on vacation, Image: Denis Moskvinov / shutterstock

The cameras of many smartphones enable very good photo and film recordings. The photo technology of many modern smartphones has a highly developed photo technology that can compete with good compact cameras in many respects.

The lenses integrated into a modern smartphone ensure sufficiently high resolutions for general travel use. Sometimes smartphones also have several lenses that do justice to a wide variety of perspectives and shooting situations.

Increasingly improved image sensors ensure increased light sensitivity and photo quality. Many smartphones have image stabilization technology that prevents camera shake. A wide variety of filters and shooting modes allow for creative designs.


The photo technology, which is very well suited for everyday use, the compact smartphone technology and the comparatively easy operation speak in favor of a smartphone camera. In addition, the usability for a wide variety of purposes (even beyond taking photos and films) is an important advantage of a smartphone with an integrated camera.

Compact camera: particularly high image quality, longer battery life, designed for photography

Compact cameras for holidays can be considered as a proven and, compared to smartphones, usually somewhat higher-quality alternative to a smartphone camera.

Compact cameras are characterized by their limited size, light weight and ease of use. The compact cameras, which are easy to use, enable high-quality photos to be taken on holiday or in everyday life.

The image quality is usually better than with a smartphone. Larger image sensors capture more light, allowing for more detailed images. Compact cameras often have a zoom function, which can be used to enlarge an image subject without deteriorating the quality of the shot. In addition, compact cameras usually have a wide variety of manual adjustment options, which allow knowledgeable users to adjust shots accurately and creatively.

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Another advantage of compact cameras over smartphones is the usually longer battery life. The longer operational readiness of a compact camera is an advantage that should not be underestimated, especially on longer tours during vacation.

The design and features of compact cameras – unlike a multifunctional smartphone – are specifically oriented towards the purpose of photography. This is particularly evident in the buttons and controls that allow intuitive control. In terms of ergonomic design, a compact camera is also more user-friendly than a smartphone for photography purposes.

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Compact cameras are very suitable for users who want to take high-quality photos on vacation and also like to use special setting options, but who do not necessarily need professional-level photographs.

Professional camera: for the particularly demanding photographer

If you want to create photos of the highest quality on a holiday trip, there is a large selection of excellent professional cameras at your disposal.

Professional cameras are characterized by a particularly large image sensor, which has a positive effect on photo quality, enables better shots in limited lighting conditions and allows precise control of image sharpness.

The excellent resolution of professional cameras (in the high megapixel range) allows detailed image recordings and also enables sharp images of enlargements or image sections.

A professional camera comes with numerous controls and controls: extensive manual setting options meet the needs of professional photographers.

With professional cameras, numerous continuous images can be taken within a second, which enables the photographic capture of fast movements (for example, during sporting events or fast-paced events in nature).

Interchangeable lenses support professional photographers, for example, in taking pictures of different motifs or styles.

An advantage on a trip that should not be underestimated is the often particularly stable construction of professional cameras, which goes hand in hand with a weatherproof camera housing.

Camera types for the traveling professional photographer

Traveling professional photographers have different types of cameras at their disposal:

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SLR cameras: preferred for landscape and sports photos

One of the most traditional professional camera types is the single-lens reflex camera (“DSLR camera”). From the lens of a DSLR camera, the photo motif is reflected onto the viewfinder. When using a DSLR camera, different interchangeable lenses are used.

SLR cameras are characterized by the detail of the images taken, high image quality and an exact and fast autofocus setting. The very short shutter release delay in DSLR cameras supports the precision of fast continuous shooting.

SLR cameras are particularly suitable for landscape and sports photography on holiday.

Mirrorless cameras for professional travel photography

Unlike DSLR cameras, mirrorless professional cameras (also known as “mirrorless cameras”) do not have a prism system. Instead, a display or electronic search element is integrated into the back of a DSLR camera.

The special features of a mirrorless camera include particularly fast continuous image creation, a continuously adjusting autofocus and the possibility of silent photography.

Compared to DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras are more compact and lighter. However, the image quality and the number of available interchangeable lenses are quite comparable for mirrorless professional cameras and DSLR cameras.

Professional photographers like to use mirrorless cameras in travel photography.

Landscape photography with a medium format camera

The outstanding feature of so-called medium format cameras is the larger image sensor compared to 35mm cameras. The term “medium format” refers to the sensor size, which is higher than that of 35mm cameras, but below that of large format cameras.

Medium format cameras are usually more robust, larger and also more expensive than other professional cameras. In addition, special lenses are used in medium format cameras.

One advantage of medium format cameras is the high resolution due to the larger image sensor, which results in excellent image quality. Details in shadow areas and in particularly bright image sectors are reproduced particularly well.

Professional photographers prefer to use medium format cameras in landscape photography.


Which camera is selected for a trip depends entirely on the wishes and requirements of the user. It is also important to weigh up the achievable benefit with the costs incurred for a camera plus accessories.

For everyday travel use, a smartphone camera or a compact camera is sufficient. If you have particularly high demands on photography, you will opt for a professional camera.