What camera equipment to take on a cruise

What camera equipment to pack for lasting holiday memories

In our last column, Warwick Williams shared his tips on how to master food photography on a cruise. This week: what camera equipment to pack. Over the next few months, Warwick Williams will be sharing his photography tips.

As we approach the Aussie cruise season, it’s time to think about packing those bags and preparing for your sailing. Aside from the essentials – clothes, toiletries, swimmers – a camera is important for making those holiday memories last.

As someone who has cruised extensively since my childhood, recording those memories is crucial.

There will always be a time when you will want to jog your memory. And while we may be in a digital age where taking photos with your phone might suffice, there is something special about having printed copies of your and whether it’s your first cruise or you’re a seasoned expert, having printed photographs is the best way to share, preserve and relive your cruise experience.

Here are some of the things that you might need in your camera kit:

Batteries

Make sure your batteries are good. Do they hold charge? If not purchase new ones. And you do carry more than one battery, don’t you? I never travel with fewer than 3 batteries. Keep one your camera, and at least one spare with you at all times.

Memory Card

First, up back up all those existing pictures on your card – you know the ones from the family events and parties you attended and that last holiday that is still languishing in that memory space. And you don’t want to be deleting those precious saved images, so get this housekeeping out of the way and format your card before you embark! Also why not consider bringing more cards with you. I take with me at least three cards, if not more. And I certainly have donated a memory card to a needy, distressed fellow passenger.

Lenses

emember the last time you used your camera and thought, “Hmmm, I could use a longer lens?” Well, now is the time to do something about it. While many ships offer cameras and lenses for sale on board, it will be a far more limited line up than your local well stocked camera store. If you need a lens or some other accessory purchase it before you leave that way you can practice with it and even claim the GST back at the TRS (Tourist Refund Scheme) counter just before you board.

Backup

Back up your photos, especially before you depart. There are back up units that simply copy your files onto a portable hard drive but I prefer to take my laptop computer along for the ride. Aside from backing up every day it’s a great way to view edit and share your pictures during the trip. If you don’t have a laptop there are many low cost units available that will serve you well.

External Hard Drives

Even if you carry a laptop with you, a separate backup drive is useful, especially if you’re on a long or adventure cruise. You can get anything between one to three terabyte unites for a reasonable price these days. If will give you a peace of mind, especially if something happens to your camera. Insurance might replace your camera but it won’t replace your memories.

Tough Camera

Cruising the South Pacific and other tropical locations offers the chance to visit so many gorgeous beaches with incredible swimming, snorkeling and diving locations. But sand and salt are the natural enemy of the average camera and mobile phone. Consider purchasing an extra camera that’s suitable for underwater stills and video. The Fujifilm XP130 is compact enough to fit in your pocket and is waterproof to 20 metres, dustproof, shockproof, freeze-proof and all at a price that won’t sink your bank account.

What’s great camera for a beginner?

Every time I share a table with fellow cruise passengers and we carry out the obligatory introductions: What’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do? There is always someone that wants to know what camera is best for them.

Fujifilm has just released a great camera for cruisers who aren’t camera experts but want something better than a cheap ‘point and shoot’ or a phone to record their memories. The Fujifilm X-T100 is a fabulous camera for young and old with great features that will help you photograph landscapes, sunsets, portraits, wildlife, food and even selfies plus a pop-up flash and even a video mode for creating your own movies. It comes with a removable zoom lens included and is a camera suitable for fully automatic or full manual operation. It uses all the great Fujinon lenses available to the X Series range and you could literally learn photography on this camera.