Travel Cameras We Use at Million Mile Secrets

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Being able to see new places and have new experiences is one of the main reasons folks love the miles & points hobby.  And when you’re traveling with friends and loved ones, it’s important to capture those memories!

The Million Mile Secrets team loves to travel, so I decided to share with y’all which travel cameras we use.  And don’t forget to check out our Instagram page for pictures of where we’ve recently been!

Just remember, the best camera is the one that’s with you.  Because it’s better to get a decent photo than no photo at all. 🙂

Best Travel Camera 2017
Team Member Joseph Captured This Beautiful Picture of a Flower In Jerusalem With His Nokia 808 PureView Smartphone He’s Had Forever!

Let’s take a look at the cameras the Million Mile Secrets teams uses – and why.

Best Travel Cameras

When it comes to taking great photos, there are lots of options for professional photographers.  But some folks don’t want to carry a lot equipment.  So it might be better to use a small camera (or even your phone’s camera!) to capture amazing travel moments.

But photo enthusiasts might want to bring the best camera within their budget, regardless of size, because they’re very passionate about travel photography.

That said, I’m happy to use my iPhone 6S because I don’t want to lug around lots of equipment.

Here’s a photo I took of Marine Drive in Mumbai, India.

Best Travel Camera 2017
India Is One of My Favorite Places to Visit

Emily:   Sony RX100, Olympus Tough Series TG-4, & Canon Mark IV

Emily LOVES taking travel photos and has a few different recommendations for folks looking for a small (but powerful!) camera, to an underwater camera, to more professional models.

She recommends the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 for a point-and-shoot camera.  She like it because she can put it on “auto” mode and it still takes great pictures.  It also takes good video, and there’s a fun “picture and video” mode that takes video in the background while you’re taking photos.

You’re left with some entertaining video footage you almost forgot you were taking!

Plus, the camera itself is very small and easily fits into her purse.

Best Travel Camera 2017
Emily Took This Great Shot In Cuba, With Her Sony RX100 Point-and-Shoot

For underwater photos, she read amazing reviews about the Olympus Tough Series TG-4 and recently purchased one.

While she hasn’t had the chance to use it yet, she’s confident it will take great photos when she goes snorkeling and scuba diving again.

If you’re wanting to try taking more artistic photos beyond the capabilities of a point-and-shoot, she recommends the Canon EOS Rebel.  A great starter camera where you can learn controls like aperture and ISO.

And once you’ve mastered a basic digital SLR and have the money to invest in a professional camera, consider getting the Canon Mark IV.

Best Travel Camera 2017
This Stunning Shot Was Taken With a Canon Mark IV Camera

But keep in mind, the lenses are sold separately, so the cost can really add up!  However, the precision, performance, and flexibility could make it worth it for some.

Keith:   Apple iPhone 6 Plus, GoPro HERO5 Black, & DJI Mavic Pro Drone

Team member Keith uses a few different cameras, including his iPhone 6 Plus and a GoPro HERO5 Black. Here’s a photo he took on his around-the-world honeymoon with the GoPro Hero5 on a selfie stick.
Best Travel Camera 2017
We Had Incredible Views on Our Honeymoon Hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town
Keith also recently got a DJI Mavic Pro drone, that takes some awesome aerial photos.  He likes that it’s compact and plans to take it along on future trips.

Here’s a photo he took with the drone in Miami!

Best Travel Camera 2017
Ever Considered Taking Along a Drone on Your Next Vacation?

Meghan:   Samsung Galaxy S7

Meghan, like me, prefers to travel light and not haul around large equipment.  She also uses a camera phone, the Galaxy S7.  In fact, she recently switched from being an iPhone user (forever!) to the Samsung Galaxy primarily for the quality of the phone’s camera.

Plus, the Samsung phones offer removable storage, that comes in handy when you’re on a longer trip and can’t download your photos.

Here’s a photo taken with her phone of her daughter on vacation at the beach in Charleston, South Carolina.

Best Travel Camera 2017
The Clarity and Focus of This Photo Is Fantastic, Especially Given It Was Taken With a Phone!

Scott:   Apple iPhone 5S & Canon PowerShot SX710HS

Team member Scott has been using his iPhone 5S during his adventures.  But he wants to start taking higher qualify photos and videos, so he recently purchased a Canon PowerShot SX710HS.

He doesn’t have any photos with his new camera yet.  But here’s a shot of Łazienki Park (Baths Park) in Warsaw, Poland, that he took with his iPhone 5S.

Best Travel Camera 2017
Smartphone Cameras Can Take Good Quality Photos, Especially in Daylight Settings

The quality is really good in my opinion!

Harlan:   Apple iPhone 6S

Harlan uses his iPhone 6S camera.  Primarily because it’s already in his pocket and cuts down on bulk.

Although he thinks the camera is a bit lacking, the resolution is more than enough.  And he really likes the panorama function.   Some of his favorite photos are panoramas!

Best Travel Camera 2017
This Is a Beautiful Panorama From Harlan’s Trip to Easter Island, Chile

Harlan also likes how the Apple technology will sometimes stitch your photos together for you to make a panorama or collage.  And how you can search for your photos by location because they’re automatically geo-tagged – that’s handy for quickly pulling up photos from your past trips!

Joseph:   Nokia 808 PureView Smartphone

Million Mile Secrets Team member Joseph only recently upgraded his phone to a Samsung Galaxy S7, and hasn’t taken any travel photos with it yet.  But he’s been using his “ancient” Nokia 808 PureView smartphone camera for a long time.

He likes it because of its 41 megapixel resolution.  And instead of having to carry a fragile optical lens, the phone takes gigantic pictures that he can zoom-in on later without losing quality.

Here’s an artistic shot he took of a fence post at Petra in Jordan.

Best Travel Camera 2017
Sometimes I’m Amazed by the Photo Quality You Can Get From a Small Smartphone

Jasmin – Apple iPhone 6S

Like a few other team members, and for similar reasons, Jasmin uses her iPhone 6S for travel photos.  Because she’s already carrying it and it takes decent pictures, using her phone’s camera is a no-brainer for her.

She also likes how you can easily edit and add text to photos right on the camera!  Plus, it takes really good food shots.  And she thinks the slow motion video function is really fun! 😉

Best Travel Camera 2017
Jasmin’s Photo From a Recent Trip to New York City

Use the Best Credit Card for Your Camera Purchase

When you’re buying a new camera or smartphone, don’t forget to use the right credit card!

1.   Purchase Protection & Extended Warranties

Lots of cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and Citi Prestige, offer perks like purchase protection and extended warranties.

Best Travel Camera 2017
Travel Mishap? AMEX Will Replace Your Camera if It’s Accidentally Damaged Within 90 Days of Purchase

You can read about the extended warranties and purchase protection of AMEX cards versus Chase Sapphire Preferred here.

And how to make the most of your American Express card benefits.

2.   Earn Miles, Points, or Cash Back

First, check to see which retailers sell the camera or phone you want to buy.  Then figure out how you can earn miles, points, or cash back for your purchase.

For example, you could use a shopping portal like the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and earn bonus points at retailers like Apple, Best Buy, Samsung, and more.

Emily bought her Olympus Tough Series TG-4 on through the Chase shopping portal and earned 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar spent, raking in an additional ~1,000 points!

Best Travel Camera 2017
You Can Earn Bonus Points at Lots of Retailers Through Chase’s Shopping Portal

Amazon sells LOTS of electronics!  And you can currently earn 3X JetBlue points when you shop at Amazon through JetBlue’s link too.

Lastly, it could be worth checking to see if an office supply store like Staples or Office Max / Office Depot carry the camera or phone you want to purchase.  If so, you could earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Ink Plus (no longer available) or 5% back with the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

You’ll get 5% back with the AMEX Simply CashPlus small business card at office supply stores too!

Bottom Line

There are hundreds of cameras you can use to capture travel memories.  From those on your smartphone, to point-and-shoots, to expensive professional models.  And deciding between them can be overwhelming.

So I made a list of the types of cameras the Million Mile Secrets team uses and why.  That will hopefully make your decision easier.  Plus, I included ways to earn miles, points, and cash back for your purchase!

You can check out more of our travel photos on the Million Mile Secrets Instagram page.

Do you have a favorite travel camera?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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