As a photographer you will be always asked for opinion on cameras. Last time I have been asked to recommend a professional camera for travelling. It was specifically for travel blogging with excellent picture and video quality. You would think it’s an easy answer, but it’s definitely more complicated than it sounds, and the fast growing market it’s not making it easier.
DSLR or Mirrorless camera for backpacking
Luckily we are well over on that time when the professional category was only coming with mirrors. I still remember my first analog camera then the first entry level digital DSLR and later the first full frame one. All of them was heavier than the Fujifilm XT-3 that I’m using now, thanks to the mirror and prism. Obviously this is not enough reason to choose a camera for travelling, but definitely important feature. Having a smaller sized camera with professional features gave me something totally different than the bigger DSLRs. I felt some kind of freedom when I started to use it first, tried so many different perspective and as I only bought one prime lens at the beginning it was pushing me to think more creatively.
Is the sensor size really matter? This will be always a topic of discussion and the opinions are divided. As I mentioned above I used to have a full frame dslr before I changed to mirorless. When I bought the first, and later the second one there was quite a big a difference. Mostly in low light conditions, the full frame was another level. I have been using the same brand since the beginning so changing to another wasn’t an easy choice. I had a Nikon D750 and D700 body that time, so I carefully exchanged my D700 to a Fuji XT-1. After an hour of testing I was extremely happy with my choice. The XT-3 brand new X-Trans IV sensor is a real competitor for the Full frame market, and in price/quality it’s unbeatable.
However the XT-3 isn’t the Fujifilm flagship model in video, it’s coming with high end features. Capable of recording in 10bit color depth with wide dynamic range. It’s supports 4K/60P and able to record to SD card and sending signal through the HDMI port in the same time. It is also support Eterna film simulation and F-log. Only thing that I missing from this model is the 5 axis in-body stabilization. This feature was previously introduced in the XH-1. This is a strange thing now with the Fuji. I said earlier that the XT-3 is not the flagship model in-house video category, however at the moment it became that. Until we are waiting on the next generation of XH model the XT category offer better picture quality and autofocus in video.
Built for travel
If the camares would have a beauty contest the Fuji XT-3 would definitely win it. It feels like going back to analog again, except everything is happening instant. Plenty of dedicated dial and button is giving you quick access to the manual controls and can be easily customised for individual needs. The lightweight body and the weather sealed construction making it ideal travel companion. I visited the desert and mountains with it many times already and I can say its sealed very well with the compatible lenses. Compare to the previous model there is an improvement in the 3 inch tilt screen with touch functionality. And one more thing. Its coming in silver and black version as well. 🙂
It might be a small thing, but for me the Usb-C port definitely important feature. First of all this port is able to charge the device from external battery. This is definitely a good thing when you are looking for a camera for travelling. Who knows when you need to boost up batteries in the middle of nowhere. Unnecessary to say the few spare battery always a good idea. (At the moment looks like we are not getting too long with the replacement models. Since a recent firmware update will warn you if you are using a 3rd party one.) This port is also gives you compatibility with the new Ipad Pro. Bluetooth functionality can provide geotag and with the in built WiFi we are able to control the camera remotely or transfer photos.
With the Canon and Nikon duo recently joining to the professional mirrorless market it becoming more clear that the era of the DSLR has ended. Changing to a new system is not cheap, mostly if you have to build your lens arsenal from scratch. However adapters are available on the market, and both Nikon and Canon offer solution to use the old DSLR lenses on the new mirrorless bodies. Sony, as the pioneer of the Mirorless era is also famous from compatible solutions. If you are a full frame DSLR user, the XT-3 might be not for you as you more likely have a wide variety of lenses and I would advise to explore other mentioned options above. For everybody else the XT-3 will the best professional camera for travelling.