Jan 01, 2018
Posted by: Daniel Walker

Using a point and shoot camera over a DSLR when travelling

When I started photography I was totally against using a point and shoot or mobile phone. I was adamant about only using my DSLR because they ‘always produced better quality images.’ Nowadays I am much more relaxed about it, some of my best and favourite photos have been taken on mobile or point and shoot. Sometimes I think using a point and shoot camera over a DSLR when travelling is beneficial and even necessary. 

Benefits of using a point and shoot camera over a DSLR when travelling


The most obvious advantage is size and weight. DSLRs are large and bulky and take up a lot of space in your carry-on and/or luggage. But a point and shoot camera can usually fit into your pocket or small carry case. Carrying a large camera around all day can be tiring, depending on what model of DSLR and lens(es) you have they can be really heavy. Lugging them around all day can be tough on your arms, shoulders and back. You won’t have those pains using a point and shoot camera or mobile phone.



There is always a chance when travelling that your stuff could be damaged, lost or worse, stolen. DSLRs stand out to possible thieves because they are much larger and harder to disguise and hide. A smaller camera is more discreet and easier to pop into your pocket or bag when not in use. While having any piece of my property stolen would be frustrating I would rather have my cheaper, smaller point and shoot camera taken over my DSLR any day. 

Less intrusive and confronting

There was once a time when people would buy a DSLR camera to get the best quality images possible. But there seems to be less and less of them all the time now. Most people don’t need a dedicated camera anymore, opting for their smartphone over DSLRs and even point and shoot cameras. Often when I get to a popular tourist attraction I find that the majority of people now use their smartphones. Having a DSLR in a crowd of people who are using smartphones makes you stand out. Standing out can make you feel more intrusive. In certain situations and in some places you’re not allowed to take your larger cameras, but smartphones and small cameras are allowed. Having a big camera dangling around your neck can be confronting to locals, they may feel uncomfortable if you try to take photos of them. When we look into the DSLR camera eyepiece we immediately lose the connection, all the subject can see is a big bulky camera. Using a smaller camera allows you to keep that eye connection with the subject.

Personal preference

When it comes to choosing the camera you want to use it comes down to your personal preference and judging the situation. If you prefer to use a DSLR then go right ahead. If you want to use your point and shoot then use that. There is no right or wrong camera to use. But you should also judge the situation. If it feels intrusive then there is a pretty good chance it is. If you feel like you are in a bad neighbourhood then it might be safer to opt for the smaller camera. In some cases, it is unnecessary to use a big camera when a simple point and shoot camera or smartphone could have done the job. 

Thanks for reading my thoughts on using a point and shoot camera over a DSLR when travelling. What are your thoughts on this? Do you see yourself using your smartphone or point and shoot more and more?


Daniel Walker - Author

Daniel Walker is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from western Sydney, now residing in Melbourne, Victoria.

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