Your Blogging Travel Camera Needs This Feature

A camera is a must if you are a blogger. There’s no easier way to create unique, visual content than to have a camera with you at all times. Before you buy you next blogging travel camera, consider this one feature that is an absolute must-have.

The Best Camera Is The One You Have With You

It is true that just about all of us carry a camera attached to our mobile phone. But the quality of the pictures is almost always worse than can be achieved with a dedicated camera. Many bloggers use a dedicated camera. This can range from a compact pocket-size consumer camera through pro-sumer / bridge cameras to big, bulky DSLRs. With the latter you would often carry several individual lenses.

If your businesses is photo or video blogging, the big-hardware DSLR cameras make sense. For everyone else, size and weight matter a lot.

The Most Important Feature For Your Blogging Travel Camera

There is one other feature which I believe is super important to your blogging travel camera. Connectivity.

Connectivity is how you will connect your blogging travel camera to your other devices and chargers. How simple the connectivity is defines how useful the camera can be when you travel.

In the bad-old-days of early digital cameras, you would have one cable and charger to charge the battery. Then you would have another cable to connect to your laptop or computer. In the very worst cases, you’d have to remove the storage card from the camera and insert it into a card-reader attached to your computer.

Then general USB connectivity combined with battery charging came along. Now you could do away with a dedicated charger while traveling and top-up your camera battery from your laptop. The trouble then was there was no standardization of USB connectors between manufacturers. Often, early cameras would have a cable with a normal USB-A connector for the computer end.  A proprietary connector only usable with the camera would be at the other end. This mean you could charge your camera with that cable but you’d need to pack another cable if you wanted to charge any other USB device.

Woe betide you if you lost your proprietary camera USB lead while on holiday or traveling. You’d be lucky to source another while traveling.

One connector to rule them all

Finally, in recent years, some travel camera manufacturers have started using the same Micro-B USB connectors that many smartphones use. This means that you can connect to and charge both your phone and camera with the same cable. It also means, should you lose your cable, you have a decent chance of obtaining another while traveling in most developed countries.

So with your laptop you can charge either your phone or your camera with one Micro-B USB cable. Just one power adapter to carry (for the laptop).

I chose my own camera, a Panasonic Lumix TZ80, with this requirement in mind. The camera is neat and compact, has great battery life and an excellent zoom lens. GoPro cameras which I use occasionally have now also adopted Micro-B USB for connectivity and charging. Earlier GoPro models had used Mini-USB.

Panasonic Lumix TZ80 with Micro B USB charging
My Lumix TZ80 has the same Micro-B USB charging socket as my smartphone.

The Fly In The Ointment

While selecting my latest phone, I noticed a serious fly in the ointment. My single-connector utopia was unravelling due to a situation best described by this comic.

Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.

Aside from the iPhone proprietary Lightning connector, most phone manufacturers had standardized on the Micro-USB connector.

To my dismay, a number of new handsets are now sporting USB-C connectors. It’s still possible to buy brand-new phones with Micro-B connectors. This is what I did when I purchased my latest phone. In future, I expect that phone manufacturers will converge on using USB-C. If history is anything to go by, camera manufacturers will lag behind.

When you are travel blogging an adapter for Micro-B to USB-C will suffice for the latest phones and is again a likely obtainable item in much of the developed world.

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