When it comes to choose a camera for traveling, you must do no wrong. False decision leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering, so said master Yoda. Believe me, wrong decision would make a trip less fun than it should. Been there, done that.
These following cameras are my personal choice, I‘ve brought them in many trips, a few of them have gone to the outer islands of Indonesia, several have went to the mountains, and some have witnessed many beautiful beaches in Indonesia. They are reliable, exceed expectations, and good traveling partners.
Nikon F2 (DE-1 finder)
A perfected version of Nikon F, a camera that changed modern photography. I call it “The mighty meterless”. Tough and built like a tank, this is an all-round trip camera. From a simple walk through the city to a heavy-duty task on the mountain, it can do no wrong. The only thing you need is the ability to manually read the EV of your surroundings without the help of a light meter.
Known as the legendary camera used by most photojournalists in the 80s. Usually I don’t like an electronic camera but F3 is an exception because of its simplicity: center-weighted metering, one auto mode (aperture priority), 1/2000 top shutter speed (which I rarely use), and up to 8 seconds manually-set speed.Because of its handy, minimalistic features, so far my Nikon F3/T has experienced more diverse places than any camera I own. The titanium version I own has survived heavy abuses from its former owner, carrying a lot of battle scars but still performs perfectly today.
Considered as one of the smallest SLRs in the world, Pentax MX is the perfect companion for anyone who likes traveling light without compromising quality. The internal light meter is very simple to use even for children, and because it’s a full mechanical camera, Pentax MX would still continue to operate although the light meter is broken.
Canonet QL19 GIII “Poor Man Leica”
I had learned how to shoot meterless with a Canonet GIII for more than a year. It was such a memorable time with many trials and errors. The lens quality is exceptional for a low-budget camera, the camera itself is very easy to use and small enough to put in any compact camera bag, heck I can even put the camera inside my cargo pants side pocket.
A plastic underrated panoramic camera with excellent lens, Horizon 202 (made in Russia version) is analog photography’s holy grail. Sure it can’t beat the famous (and more expensive) Hasselblad X-Pan, nevertheless if it’s used with great precision, it’d show you how the panoramic pictures are supposed to be made. I even wrote four specific posts for Horizon 202:
Horizon 202 Panoramic Adventure: Tarusan-Siberut; Marvelous Masilok; Padang – Bukitinggi; Lake Gunung Tujuh
My father bought it in 1988, it has captured many family’s moments until it was forced to hibernate in the dawn of digital era. When I resurrected this camera from a long hibernation, surprisingly it could still work perfectly. Fuji DL-15 is a very simple pocket camera: focus-free, 2 ISO selectors (ISO 100/200 & 400), pop-up flash and rewind button. The lens is good enough, color rendering is pretty good for a cheap plastic camera. If I want to drastically reduce the weight of my photography equipment, Fuji DL-15 is my definite choice.