So you’ve signed up for a horse riding holiday and you’re wanting to buy or upgrade your camera to make sure you capture every single moment from dusk to dawn. Yes, you could just take your smartphone, but there are a few drawbacks with this option. Smartphones are not ideal for photography on a moving horse: it’s easy to stick your finger over the lens by mistake, and the wide, thin shape doesn’t give you much grip while you’re holding the reins in your other hand.
Buster and I both use Canon SLR cameras (as well as GoPros) and we have custom-made saddlebags to house the camera bodies and lenses, but this isn’t an option for everyone. When you’re on a horse riding holiday, you want a point-and-shoot camera that is pocket-sized, lightweight and easy to handle so you can take great photos quickly and easily.
I’ve put together a list of compact cameras that come highly recommended and are perfect to take on a riding holiday. They are a step up from your humble smartphone, but aren’t as bulky, precious or expensive as an SLR camera.
In no particular order:
Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 / TZ200 / TZ220 – the only thing longer than this camera’s name (which differs by country, hence the various letters and numbers) is its zoom! It’s got a whopping 15x zoom lens, paired with 5-axis image stabilisation for clear shots on a moving horse. Check out the review here.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII – this review describes this camera as ‘the most capable pocketable camera ever made’ and goes on to say it’s the perfect choice for ‘travel photographers seeking a camera that will ‘just get the shot,’ regardless of the distance or movement of the subject.’
Fujifilm X-T3 – one of the best cameras for lovers of of videography as well as photography. It’s fantastic for wildlife photography, capturing up to 30 frames per second, and tough as nails with its weather resistant casing. Here’s a review. If the price puts you off, you can find good deals on the previous model – the X-T2 – and a little further down the range is the X-T20.
Olympus Tough TG-5 – tough by name, tough by nature. You can take it up to 50 feet underwater, drop it from seven feet above the ground and apply up to 220 foot-pounds of pressure without breaking this little nugget. The image quality is impressive, too! Read the full review here.
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II – Canon’s PowerShot range are all great cameras, but this one is our top pick. It’s great in low light situations, has a 5x zoom lens, and the touch screen flips up 180 degrees to make it easy to take selfies with your horse! Here’s a helpful review.
Globetrotters, have I missed any models that have won your heart? If so, let me know in the comments!
For video footage, check out this article on the best techniques for GoPro-ing on horseback.