Growing up my mum always got out the video camera and took footage of birthdays, christmases and other important events. Once I was old enough to appreciate what she did with that big bulky bit of equipment way back in the 80’s I’ve wanted to record my life events to show my children and family as its been a great way to relive past memories.
A photo can capture a moment frozen in time, video lets you feel like you were there in the moment hearing and seeing everything again. Looking back at all my old birthday’s I can safely say the videos are far more enjoyable than the few pictures that were taken.
When it comes to travel I’ve always recorded bits and pieces of my adventures so that I can show family and friends when I get home. Pictures are great and quick to snap in the moment but there’s just something about video that can really share the experience.
Back in the 80’s video cameras were umm.. bulky to say the least. These days we’ve all got one in our pocket or strapped to our heads and they can hold hours and hours of footage. But just what is the best video camera to take with you on your travels?
The way I see it you’ve got 3 distinct types of cameras available to you, and they are:
- Camera’s built into your smartphone
- Wearable go anywhere cameras like the GoPro
- More dedicated handheld cameras or DSLR cameras
I’ve travelled with all 3 types mentioned above throughout the years and found they’ve all got a use depending on how you travel and what sort of video footage you want to capture and share. So lets break them down a bit.
Everybody has a smart phone these days. I use mine to take photos and videos all the time as it’s always with me. It’s small, easy to travel with and allows you to instantly upload images online via an array of apps to show friends and family instantly.
It’s a great way to capture that funny moment with friends, snippets here and there and the quickest way to get content online when you are out and about. This form of video is the cheapest and easiest option should you want to be capturing anything while travelling.
The downside to using your phone as a video camera is the lack of zoom, fewer options to film longer clips and space can be an issue when you add up all the apps, music and other data you have on your phone.
The likes of wearable cameras have been around for a while now. They are amazing at capturing your surfing ability, that death-defying mountain bike ride or that time you intentionally jumped off a bridge attached to just a rope. Small, waterproof, near indestructible and come with enough attachments to well attach them everywhere you can think of.
I’ve used one stuck to my car while road tripping in America and Ireland that captured some great footage I’ll use one day. Better yet I’ve seen footage from friends that’s just pure awesome and wouldn’t be possible any other way.
Wearable cameras are the perfect addition to anybody into adventure travel that wants to share their crazy adventures with the rest of the world. You just attached them and away you go, checking in on what you recorded later.
The pluses of a video camera like this is obvious. The downsides I’ve found myself is that battery life can be short and for many of these devices you’ve no way to see what you’ve recorded until later on when you download it or if connected to your smart phone or tablet.
Handheld/Dedicated Video Cameras
I bought a handheld video camera for my first trip abroad and it was glued to my hand. I was filming everything whether it needed to be filmed or not. I’d use the zoom just to see what was further away and watch back what I’d recorded while sitting on trains and in downtime. The luxury of having a screen on the device meant I didn’t have to wait till I was near my computer to view it.
I also travelled with a tripod so I could set the camera and have it include me in some of the videos and to avoid the shaky hand syndrome that plagues my smart phone videos. After my handheld video camera died I later moved onto using a DSLR for some videos that needed a more dedicated and professional feel to them.
Using a camera designed to capture video is always going to reward you with the best quality for editing later on. They are also far better setup to connect directly to your TV to show off your adventures without the need for converting to DVD or any other format.
The downside is they can be expensive and with that comes the fear of travelling with expensive electronics. But then these days you are probably travelling with a computer or tablet as well so whats another expensive gadget for your travels? They are also bulky and often need their own bag with attachments making the dream of travelling light that bit heavier.
So What Video Camera Is Best?
Honestly the best video camera is the one that you feel will capture your trip the best. I use a combination of all of the above in my travels but if I had to pick just one device I’d probably go with the dedicated video camera/DSLR and have my smart phone with me for those time when carrying big gear isn’t possible.
This way I’ll ensure I’ve always got great quality videos and after the trip and back home dreaming of travel I can still use the camera for my kids birthdays and other family events.
What About The JVC Camera In The Title?
I’ve saved this till last as I didn’t want to cloud your judgement on picking a camera. The lovely folks at JVC have given me what I’d call a great combination of everything I’ve mentioned above. It’s the GZ-R10B Quad Proof Everio Full HD Camcorder and fits somewhere into all 3 of the above devices in one way or another.
It’s a dedicated handheld video camera that records to SD cards like all good cameras do. It’s water proof, dust proof, shock proof and freeze proof which covers just about every experience it may have packed into your backpack. And fits easily into your bag or into your pocket with a bit of a squeeze. For those of you unsure about taking video while abroad or want something thats more than just a video camera this fills that hole.
Best of all they’ve allowed me to offer up this camera valued at $399 AUD as a prize for one of you lucky readers to win. I’ve honestly considered keeping it for myself but a deals a deal and so I’d love to see one of you guys go exploring and capture your own trip memories to bring home and share with friends and family.
The competition will run until the 16th of February and because the product comes with Australian plugs and I’m posting it out from Australia it will only be available to win for people living in Australia with an address I can ship too. To enter just click the button below and good luck.