Sure, your phone can give you great photo memories. But a 24-megapixel camera ensures you have sufficient memory and provides you with memories you’ll share for a lifetime. (I bring two 32-MB, 80-ms SD cards. Each holds ~3000 jpeg photos.)
Keep it simple. You don’t need multiple lenses, filters, tripods, etc. unless this is your thing. Purchase a good Nikon or Canon body only SLR. Or a mirror-less Sony. An ideal lens is an autofocus and VR 18-140mm. This zoom satisfies 95% of the shooting range needed. Plus it’s small enough to carry in a back sling or even in your hand.
It may be obvious, but keeping up with your photos on a daily basis allows you to maximize your memories.
I take around 4000 photos over a month. I keep ~50%. Picking which 70 photos to keep out of 140 daily shots over a glass of wine is much more manageable than 2000 out of 4000 after I get back home.
You may also want to enhance your photos daily with your photo editor of choice.
A hill is easier to climb than a mountain.
This may be a non-issue, as you always take your computer on trips, or you never take it because you can do everything on your phone.
Reasons to consider taking your computer are:
- Easier bill payment
- Movie watching (DVDs or streaming) while connected to the apartment TV
- Photo management (download, optimization, and editing)
Catching up on news with USA Today on a bigger screen
I wear prescription glasses, and my sunglasses require a rather large case. The case fits tightly in my camera back sling. I mention this because I like to bring both my clear and sunglasses when walking around, and I find the large case to be a hassle.
Obviously not a necessity, I recommend considering transition lenses for when you’re walking around for several miles/hours. There’s no need for two sets of glasses, and they work well as you move from outside into a store or church or restaurant.