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What Camera Should I Bring On My Next Walt Disney World Trip?

 

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me what camera they should bring on their next Disney vacation I’d be rich.

To their point though, deciding HOW to capture your vacation memories is no easy task, especially if you love photography as much as I do.

Families heading to Walt Disney World for the first time are often making the investment in a super special vacation, and they want to preserve the memories. Today I’d like to give a run down of 4 basic types of cameras and the pros and cons of bringing each one.

 

DSLR Camera

A digital single-lens reflect camera is the type of camera I’m questioned about most of the time when it comes to “do I bring it or do I leave it?” These are the big fancy “professional style” cameras with interchangeable lenses.

Pros: If you know how to use this camera well (ie: you grasp technical settings and can apply them) then you can get some really amazing shots.

Cons: This is the heaviest of the camera types and it could become a hassle carrying it around the park. In order to capture exactly what you want, you also may need to bring a few lenses as well.

 

Point & Shoot Camera

The old standard digital camera. These are small and compact, they zoom a tad, and typically have a flash attached as well.

Pros: They won’t be as heavy and are easy to pick up and shoot quickly. Newer models can also take some high quality photos in good lighting.

Cons: You need decent light to take a decent photo. On dark rides or in the evening you may get a bunch of photos with the flash firing and doing odd things to the photo, or a bunch of blurry images.

 

Mirrorless Camera

This is a compact camera system that looks more like a point and shoot but has the capabilities of a DSLR.  This camera is fully digital and doesn’t have the heavy internal mirror system of a DSLR camera.

Pros: This camera is light it’s easy to carry. It packs some powerful capabilities into a small package and can take high quality images.

Cons: Not many here. If you don’t already own a mirrorless camera though it can be a hefty investment to purchase one.

 

Phone Cameras

Most everyone has a mobile phone these days with a camera on it. This is by far the easiest option as you likely won’t go to the park without it.

Pros: Easiest to bring along with you. Fits in your pocket.

Cons: Quality of images can be spotty depending on the light and the type of phone you own.

 

I know, I know. This may not help you make a decision. But it will help you weigh options. I’ve personally done trips with my DSLR camera, and without. Both methods I liked for different reasons. Having photos from a DSLR felt a bit more frame worthy and special, but the trip I took with just my phone I definitely printed faster.

As you decide which camera to bring on your next trip I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I like photography? Is having a ‘fancy camera’ and high quality photos important to me?
  • What kind of photos to I envision? How will I use the photos after the trip?
  • Is this my first and/or only trip? Will I be back again? How soon?
  • What else will I need to carry around the park?
  • Will I be ordering a photo package from Disney?

Don’t forget the Disney photo packages you can purchase! Those can sometimes be the perfect supplement to your own personal phone photo memories.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t be so focused on the photos that you lose sight of being present for all the magic.

Happy Disney snapping!

 

(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)

 

To learn more about Beryl and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post!