The Best Beginner’s Travel Camera

Bigger isn’t always better—that’s the concept giving traditional DSLR cameras a run for their money.

If you’re looking to upgrade from your iPhone camera, but don’t know anything about photography, you’re in the right place. Look no further than the Sony Mirrorless cameras. It’s compact size and wi-fi capabilities makes it perfect for the digital vagabond diving into the sea of photography.

About a year and a half ago, I was also starting from square one. Before studying abroad I decided I wanted to get a little more serious about my photography and invest in a nice camera. I knew nothing about ISO, aperture, or the rule of thirds, but I knew that I wanted to learn. I wanted to find something that took quality pictures, yet was not a complex machine that would inevitably end up collecting dust on a shelf.

Flora & Fauna
(Click image above to pin it!)

That’s why I ended up going with Sony a6000 Mirrorless camera. It’s part of an entire mirrorless movement, replacing the traditional mirror processing system of regular DSLRs. Because of this, the camera is much more compact, yet it has all the capabilities of any DSLR, including 24.3 megapixels, a wide ISO range, quick autofocus, and a versatile interchangeable lens system. Unlike most cameras, it has Wi-Fi capabilities, which allow you to send any photos to your phone, AKA easier to Instagram!

If you don’t know anything about the settings and capabilities described above, that’s totally okay, and it basically comes down to some simple techniques. In order to learn these though, you need to practice as much as possible on something that is suitable for your skill level.

The biggest mistake people make is thinking that a bigger camera means you’ll get better pictures; it’s simply just not true. You want a bigger image sensor, but you don’t necessarily need a bigger camera body. I have so many friends that don’t have a clue how to work large, complex camera. As a result, they don’t end up being happy with the quality of their pictures. People often buy huge cameras that are too big traveling around all day, let alone bringing on a trip. Thus, they don’t practice as much.

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In contrast, the a6000 is simple to use, and allows you to grow with it. I started out just shooting in auto mode, then playing around with manual, and aperture. Then after learning a bit more, I invested in a Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens, which allowed me take crisp close shots with a wider aperture range. I am now thinking of getting a wide-angle lens as well.

I know that sometimes people want to find the cheapest option, and that’s exactly what I did the first, second and third time I bought a camera and I wasn’t happy. I tried getting the cheaper mirrorless Sony a5100, which I ended up bringing back after a week because I wasn’t happy with the quality of my pictures. The upgrade to the a6000 made a world of a difference. You have to remember that if you’re serious about getting into photography, you want something that you’ll still use for at least 2 or 3 years. Yes, Sony a6000 isn’t the cheapest option, but I think you’ll find it’s worth it.

By no means am I any type of expert on photography or cameras. I am very much a beginner myself. But I do consider myself an expert beginner, and that’s why I can’t recommend this camera enough for others getting started as well. You’ll grow with it, and it will become your favorite accessory. After using DSLRs for years, many professional photographers are making the upgrade to more complex forms of mirrorless as well. I can’t blame them.

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If you’re looking to try a mirrorless out for yourself, I recommend going to a National Camera Exchange, or finding a store that specializes in cameras in your area. I found looking for cameras at BestBuy to be overwhelming and unhelpful. National Camera Exchange offers free camera and video classes with most camera purchases and they’ll tell you everything you need to get started!

Do you have any questions or comments about the mirrorless camera? What’s your experience mirrorless camera, or your DSLR? Do you have any tips for intro-level photography? Comment below!

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