Many parents choose Bold Earth because of our no-electronics policy—teens finally get a much-needed break from digital and social media! But the first question they ask is, “How will Bold Earth teenagers be able to take photos?!” Believe it or not, digital point-and-shoot cameras are still available (we know, it sounds crazy). That’s what your child should bring on his or her trip!
Our trip leaders will take photos and upload them to your child’s specific blog throughout the trip, but we know that many students like to be their own documentarians. (Bonus: Students who take Bold Earth photos will be able to participate in our annual Photo and Video Contest for the chance to win some *awesome* swag.) A few tips:
- Because we’re constantly on the move and stay pretty active on our trips, we recommend a simple, durable point-and-shoot or a GoPro (or similar brand).
- GoPros are great because they’re equipped to take both videos and photos.
- For students attending trips with a lot of water activities, we encourage waterproof cameras (especially for trips like Fiji) or a waterproof case.
- We may not always have access to charge our cameras, so we recommend bringing extra batteries instead of a battery charger.
Below are a few cameras that our trip leaders have used in recent years.
FujiFilm Finepix Xp130
A more budget-friendly option, the Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is a camera that you’ll find in several instructors’ pockets. It’s waterproof to 65 feet, shock-proof to almost six feet, freeze-proof to -10 degrees F (thankfully we have never experienced temperatures anywhere near that cold at Bold Earth!), and dust- and sand-proof. Its full HD 1080p video option captures the action during any activity and has great image stabilization so stills won’t be blurry. Plus, it won’t break the bank. And because it’s waterproof, this is a fantastic option for trips like Fiji.
Everyone is familiar with a simple point-and-shoot, but not everyone knows about the GoPro option. A GoPro (there are other brands similar to GoPro, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick with this particular brand) is a small, mountable (aka hands-free) camera that combines the best of the point-and-shoot and camcorder worlds and packs all those features into an easy-to-use, portable, compact, and virtually indestructible housing. It was created to capture action sports: Surfing, biking, rock climbing, running, etc. GoPros have wider lenses than many other simple cameras, allowing users to capture more of what’s happening around them. You can get additional housing to make it completely waterproof, and it’s just as tough as many of the point-and-shoots we recommend. While its original purpose was to capture beautiful video, it also provides the option to take great stills as well.
*GoPros can be on the pricey side; this website offers suggestions for less expensive alternatives.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30K
On this particular model, various scene modes allow you to take photos no matter the time of day or where you are (at sunrise, in low light on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, for example), and you can add special effects like shooting in black and white. It’s kind of like the Instagram version of cameras, which should appeal to most, if not all, teenagers. It also has a quality video mode, including time-lapse capability. Another durable camera, it’s freeze-proof to 14 degrees F, shock-proof to almost five feet, and waterproof to 26 feet. This is a great wallet-friendly option.
Olympus Tough TG-5
A pricier option, this model gets great reviews online and is as tough as its name suggests. It is water-resistant to 50 feet, shock-resistant to seven feet, and dustproof. It’s small and light, takes beautiful Ultra HD 4K video, has GPS enabled, should capture great action images, and allows for quality up-close photos. This camera should last a long, long time.
If your child chooses not to bring a camera—don’t fret. The photos that our trip leaders take are always available as free downloads after the summer. And if you have any additional questions about what kind of camera is best, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 303-526-0806!