How to Choose the Best Camera for Your Cruise

View of person holding a camera with a zoom lens.

You’ve spent weeks planning every detail of your Holland America Line cruise – from your itinerary to your wardrobe. Now it’s time to make sure your camera is ready for a picture-perfect vacation. Here are some tips to help you choose the best camera for your cruise.

There’s No Shortage of Options

When it comes to cameras and accessories, your choices are as varied as your price points. You can shorten your list by considering factors such as portability, weather resistance, battery life, image quality or budget, but there’s another way to narrow your options: consider your destination.

Evaluating where you’re traveling can help you quickly establish a short list of essential features. From there you can apply the criteria listed above to select the camera best suited to deliver the picture-perfect results you want.

People gathered around camera on vacation, taking photos of landscape.
Consider what kind of camera you want for landscape photography.

Wilderness Adventures

If you’re looking to capture the raw beauty of rugged mountain terrain, icy blue glaciers or sweeping coastlines, you may want to consider a Digital Single-Lens Reflex, or DSLR, camera. Perfect for professional or beginner photographers alike, you simply combine the camera body with the lens of your choice – say zoom, wide-angle or fisheye, to capture exceptional, professional-grade images.

DSLR cameras also are great for working in low or dim lighting, and they usually have better autofocus features than other types of cameras – meaning that you’ll be able to focus and shoot faster – resulting in high-quality images. Best of all, DSLR cameras offer exceptional battery life, enabling you to shoot all day without having to carry extra batteries. And, DSLR memory cards can usually hold thousands of photos, which you can download to your phone through specific apps, cloud storage or a USB adapter.

Cities, Museums and Monuments

If you want to capture professional-quality images of picturesque cobblestone streets, enchanting storefronts or exotic street fairs, you may want to evaluate a point-and-shoot camera. Sleek and lightweight, a good quality point-and-shoot camera is usually equipped with a better built-in sensor and zoom lens than a smartphone, enabling you to achieve higher quality results without having to lug around bulky camera equipment or accessories.

One area in which point-and-shoot cameras particularly shine is in low-light and poor-light conditions. Whether you’re in a museum, walking a street bazaar or managing the challenging light conditions in a big city, a point-and-shoot camera’s larger image sensor can make a big difference in image quality.

Many newer models also offer a host of additional features, like full manual controls for aperture, shutter speed and exposure, as well as exceptional video capabilities, solid battery life, and easy camera-to-phone image transfer, making them a no-brainer vacation option.

Beach and Water Adventures

When it comes to capturing beach and pool activities, you need a camera that can handle wind, sand and water – and the possibility of getting wet – which usually means you’re looking for something waterproof.

A good starting point is to check out waterproof action cameras. Delivering impressive image and video quality, along with exceptional flexibility and durability, action cameras can go where your DSLR, point-and-shoot, or even your smartphone, cannot. Whether you’re snorkeling, swimming, jet skiing, kayaking or parasailing, there’s an action camera that can capture your adventures with impressive quality – and most are waterproof down to about 33 feet.

Many point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras also have water-resistant and waterproof accessories. If you have your heart set on a specific camera, check to see if there’s a water-resistant or waterproof case that will work for your anticipated vacation conditions.

Person using smartphone to take photos of Alaska glaciers.
Consider photos you may want to take with your smartphone.

What About a Smartphone?

Smartphone cameras are amazing. When you think about it, they’ve become our daily point-and-shoot, always ready to capture life’s most important moments. Best of all, the latest varieties feature multiple lenses and sensors and incorporate image processing software that produces amazing results.

But smartphones also have their limitations. Think about when you’re cruising in Alaska and want to capture that breathtaking photo of a whale breaching, or a bear hunting salmon near the shoreline. You’ll want a lens that can help you get that perfect picture from a distance.

Take a Break from Being Photographer for the Day

Don’t forget we have incredible onboard photographers ready to capture some of your picture-perfect moments while onboard. Though you’ll want your own camera to document all your adventures, you also have our talented Holland America Line photo professionals ready to capture some of your special onboard moments.

What type of camera would you like to take on vacation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Article by Lori Wildrick


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