Digital camera recommendations? (1 Viewer)

Hobo Mud

Nov 25, 2015
Columbia, Tennessee
I have been using smart phones for a very long time to record video's for my personal social media needs however due to the many issues I have been having to deal with pertaining to the aggravations associated with using smart phones for these needs, I have decided it is time for a change.

I want to buy a digital camera to use for better quality photos and videos. I also need something that is more durable than a smart phone or not as fragile persay if there is such a thing.

I don't have alot of experience with digital cameras becauae I have always used my phone to record. Would like to hear advice, experience and recomendations on what type of cameras one would recommend using while traveling outdoors?

Any information or recomendations about this subject would greatly be appreciated. Thanks......
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Aug 10, 2014
I myself have contemplated the pro's and the cons to using a hand held point & shoot vs. the standard camera phone for the exact reasons you are.

now, a little back ground on me: I am a body shop estimator- basically I write estimate for damage to vehicles involved in collisions. We take hundreds of photos a day. & I mean hundreds.

P&S are nice, small- pretty durable, decent photo's & video.


they are also cheap (even $200 bucks is "cheap" for a camera) impossible to use on "action" shots or low light. We are currently using Nikon Coolpix AW130 Waterproof & shockproof digital cameras. They are great little camera's. Only issue I have is the battery door. PITA. Now there is a another con.. only one battery pack- with its own charger. More shit to carry / loose


The really nice thing about this camera is there is no moveable lens. Sand, pocket lent, dirt etc will jamb up your standard lens all day long.

So what I started doing was using my old iphone 6 that no one wants anymore for pictures- same charger, lots of internal space & that shit is lite.


much easier to use & the phone seems to adjust to light & movement much better. MUCH better

just mt 2cents


Jun 26, 2014
Bonn, Germany
I think nowadays the phone cameras are good enough.

Only reason I can think of not using a phone is if you want to use a DSLR. But those take up much more space in your backpack of course.

If you wanna go for one of those, keep in mind that the camera body is not sooo important. The lens(es) are.

Expensive body with a poor lense = not good

Cheap used body with a good lens = good


Just my 2 cents ....

Matt Derrick

Permanent Wanderer
Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Austin, TX
it depends on your budget. if you want an excellent beginner's DSLR, i'd recommend getting the olympus OM-D E-M10:

with the 25mm olympus 1.8 lens:

it's a 'mirrorless' camera, which basically just means it's smaller than a DSLR, much smaller, which is great for traveling. it'll take excellent shots with nice bokeh (the blur in the background). also you can get the lens and body for around 500 bucks, which is a steal for the quality of photos you'll be taking (your photos will look like they were taken with a much more expensive camera).

500 bucks is a good chunk of change, but it's basically the minimum bar to entry when it comes to semi-professional consumer grade photography.

(my price estimates are for 'used' items, not new...)


sleeps 22 hours a day, eats chutes and leaves
Nov 3, 2015
I usually travel with a camera really similar to what @Matt Derrick recommended, the Sony NEX-5T. It's awesome, and has a screen that flips up to 'selfie mode' for photo and video which would be useful for some of your videos :)

I love the camera and it is relatively durable with a little bit of care, it's been through quite a lot, but having a camera like @bystander recommended with the non-moving, non-removeable lens is a huge plus...there is a ton of room on the road for getting lenses on DSLRs/SLRs super dirty and ruined. And they mostly have batteries that you need to carry a charging port for as well.

I'm looking to get something more like the Nikon CoolPix one eventually since I've been doing trains a lot more and I like to have the freedom to chuck my pack around without worry. I've just been using smartphones for my last few trips.


Nowhere bound...
May 6, 2014
Brunswick, Georgia
I carry a ZTE Zmax 2 smartphone to handle camera recording, phone/4G, and app activity. I also carry a Kodak Playsport zx5 to handle camera recording without interruptions, but too bad it has its own built-in battery.

Which is more expensive, though? A GoPro or an ION?


Jan 25, 2018
Chino Valley, Arizona, USA
My recommendation, no matter what product you choose, is to wait until the big day after thanksgiving sales. I hate that day - our country's spend-like-an-out-of-control-dumbfuck worshiping capitalism celebration - but if you're looking for a big ticket item, you may as well piss a little bit less of your money away.

We shopped for a camera for over a year trying to find the perfect balance of quality and price. Settled on a Canon Rebel DSLR and waited for the BIG sale to save $200... it still cost too much, but I use it to make money so that factors in. Plus I already had compatable lenses. I baby the fuck out of it so it won't get damaged or stolen, but I also take it everywhere, in every environmental posibility. Video quality is well beyond my needs. It is quite bulky compared to a phone, and you would have to carry around a charger too. (Shooting stills only, the battery lasts weeks/ months.)

Smaller cameras, imo, are too difficult to steady for shooting video. We tried the Go-Pro. It's fun, (esp strapped to the cat) but very hard to get anything of decent quality without spending an additional small fortune on stablizing extras.


Mar 14, 2017
Anthony, TX
I use a Nikon D3200 24.2 megapixel, with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art lens for all of my shots. About 95% of my shots are in manual mode...very rarely do I switch to any of the auto modes. Camera phones won't ever get anywhere near the quality of a DSLR, despite what some phone manufacturers claim. One thing I find funny is all kinds of people on CL advertise their photography "services" use an iPhart...ermmm...iPhone...thinking they're a professional. A good point n a Nikon Coolpix would probably be good enough for most that are wanting one. I do landscape and travel photography, so I have to be on top of my game.

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