The perfect vacation camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Sandman, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Sandman

    Sandman Guest


    We'll soon be going to America for two weeks and we'll be visiting
    Disney World, Tampa Bay and whatever else you can do in Florida that's
    worth doing.

    Last time we were there (2011) I choose not to bring my "big" camera,
    which at the time was a Nikon D3s, but we brought my wife's Nikon D80.
    The D80 is a really nice camera, but it has a couple of years under
    the belt and fails miserably in low light. Florida is usually pretty
    bright, of course, but at night and indoors it proved less than

    Plus, the D80 is still rather big, even if it's a lot smaller than the
    D3s and my ciurrect D4.

    So, what camera should I bring this time? I suppose I won't be able to
    manage without a proper SLR, so I'll bring my D800E which is bigger
    than the D80 but smaller than the D4. But I wouldn't want to lug
    around the D800 inside Disney World, so I'm pretty excited to bring
    along the Sony RX1R as my first vacation non-SLR as my everyday
    in-the-moment camera. It's tiny, versatile and performs like a champ
    in low light. I have great expectations. Sure, I can't zoom with it,
    but most of the time, I have a prime 50mm on my SLR when on vacation

    So, a prime 35mm lens is rather limiting, which is why I'll bring
    along my D800 as well, only not into the parks.

    The question is, however, what lenses to bring with the D800. My 50mm
    is a given, but I'm a bit unsure about what to photograph in Florida.
    Last time we were there, it was rather "barren" so to speak, but we
    only moved in the Orlando area. I'm guessing Tampa Bay has some really
    scenic parts. So a 70-200/2.8 swell perhaps, and then maybe the
    24-70/2.8? I hate being there wishing I had brought a lens I did not.
    But 24-70, 70-200 and 50 should cover most occasions.
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
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  2. Sandman

    Savageduck Guest

    You can rent cameras, fat lenses and other accessories once you get to
    florida. That way you don't have to weigh yourself down on your
    Sweden-USA flights with fat glass.
    Try LensProToGo to set the rental up for a delivery to your Florida
    hotel. They start with 4 day rentals.
    < >

    Hell! They will even rent you that Fuji X-Pro1 and a bunch of lenses.
    Savageduck, Mar 11, 2014
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  3. Sandman

    Savageduck Guest

    BTW: I am generally not a great fan of Florida flatness, I have a
    fondness of the western mountains and National Parks. There is also
    plenty to see in the East. One suggestion is a visit to the Smithsonian
    AeroSpace Museum in Washington. It is well worthwhile.
    However, since you will be in the Orlando area, perhaps you and Tony
    might consider a face-to-face chat.
    Savageduck, Mar 11, 2014
  4. Sandman

    David Taylor Guest

    On 11/03/2014 06:22, Sandman wrote:
    For me, a DX format such as the D5200/D5300, allow the ISO to creep up
    to 1600/3200, and an 18-200 mm zoom makes a very handy travelling
    companion. Take the compact 35/1.8 if you feel the need for low-light
    photos. Much less weight and bulk than a D800.
    David Taylor, Mar 11, 2014
  5. Sandman

    Tony Cooper Guest

    What camera, and which lenses, depend on what you are interested in

    A typical vacationing person with a family in tow is mostly going to
    photograph family members in a particular setting like a child on a
    ride at Disney. Most of these family shots can done well enough with
    any camera from a point-and-shoot on up. The intent will be to
    capture memories, not art.

    Personally, I would not take a dslr to Disney or any theme park. It
    will be hot and humid, and you'll spend a lot of time in lines. The
    heat and humidity will be more noticeable to a person that is not used
    to it. Bulky cameras are a pain to take on rides and uncomfortable
    hanging around the neck all day. I'd take my pocket camera.

    "Barren" does pretty much describe Central Florida as far as scenery
    goes. While we have photographers here that do landscape photography,
    the places to do that are very limited. I'm not a good source of
    information on that, though, since I'm so used to what is seen around
    here that I wouldn't have an eye for what a visitor might see. The
    visitor tends to photograph things that they are not accustomed to
    seeing that would be very commonplace for me.

    The Tampa Bay area is the area that includes the cities of Tampa, St
    Petersburg, and some of the other cities in the general vicinity of
    Tampa Bay. In Tampa, I'd suggest going to Ybor City; an area in the
    city with historic ties to the Cuban immigrants. Google it.

    I'd also suggest a side trip up to Tarpon Springs which is just a
    little north of St Petersburg and a short drive. Tarpon Springs was
    where all the sponge diving boats were based, and a Greek community.
    There are some good photographic opportunities there, and it's an
    interesting destination for the non-photographers. A bit commercial
    like all tourist meccas, but a worthwhile visit.

    You might consider bringing a basic lens and renting any other lens
    you discover you have a need for. Check out the Lens Depot at: Many of my fellow camera club members
    use them, and have found them to be an excellent company to deal with.
    They have locations in Orlando and Tampa, and they'll ship to your
    hotel if necessary.

    If you have specific interests in locations for particular subjects,
    let me know and I'll try to provide some local information. While we
    may have disagreements in our newsgroup relationship, when it comes to
    photography it's a completely different thing.

    I think that PeterN would also share information on the subject of
    photography. He recently spent some time on the west coast of
    Florida, but his interest was bird photography. He was south of the
    Tampa Bay area, though.
    Tony Cooper, Mar 11, 2014
  6. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Huh, I didn't know that. Well, I assumed lens rental was available in
    Florida as well, but delivery to the hotel is pretty nifty.

    A 70-200/2.8 and a 24-70/2.8 comes to $325 for the trip, so I'm not sure
    the economics are really all that good.
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  7. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    He would probably end up with a bleeding nose, so I don't think he would
    suggest that :)
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  8. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Huh, you snipped the part where I talked about bringing the Sony RX1R due
    to it being compact and performs really good in low-light. Anyway, that's
    why I'll bring it. The DSLR will follow along to be used when compactness
    isn't of a specific concern.
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  9. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Uh... You also snipped out the part of my post where I talked specifically
    about not wanting to bring my huge SLR into the parks and thus bringing my
    Sony RX1R for that very purpose. It is compact, great in low light (i.e.
    inside rides/buildings) and very very versatile.
    Savageduck also suggested this, but the prices are really high for
    something I already own. Not sure the high price justifies the saved weight
    in luggage.
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  10. Sandman

    Mort Guest


    It is all a matter of taste. I used to lug 13 pounds (6 kilo) of camera
    bodies, lenses, etc. on my shoulder, and walked like the leaning tower
    of Pisa. I currently use a Canon S-120, a small camera that fits into a
    jacket pocket. It has a sharp 5:1 optical zoom lens, which is f:2 at the
    wide end, a sharp viewing screen, a (small) built-in flash, and many
    possible settings from fully automatic to mostly manual. I can make
    sharp 8x10" prints readily, even from cropped images. I get reasonably
    good pix at ISO 1600 when necessary.It gets about 300 images per battery
    charge, and I carry a spare fully charged battery in my pocket. Also,
    people seem less wary of being photographed by such a pocket camera,
    than they are with a big SLR.

    In any event, have a nice trip, albeit most of the "beauty" in your
    target area is of the Disney variety.

    Mort Linder
    Mort, Mar 11, 2014
  11. Sandman

    David Taylor Guest

    On 11/03/2014 14:18, Sandman wrote:
    Yes, that looks good for low-light situations, but if I was restricted
    to a fixed 35 mm focal length I could use my iPad or Android phone.
    $2700+ for a snapshot camera - albeit a a quality snapshot camera - is
    way outside my budget.

    As a photographic challenge, why not see what you can do with your
    tablet or smart-phone instead?
    David Taylor, Mar 11, 2014
  12. Sandman

    Mort Guest


    I see that you are in Sweden. I recently heard Anne Sofie von Otter sing
    in New York City, and then chatted with her. She is a wonderful
    mezzo-soprano and a delightful lady. I told her that I remembered one
    Swedish sentence from a visit 40 years ago, = Svenska flicka e vaker
    (spelling?), and she was quite pleased.

    Mort, Mar 11, 2014
  13. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    I will obviously have my iPhone with me as well, but I've used it
    extensively for all kind of photos, and know its possibilities and
    limitations really well. The iPhone has a great camera, but performs really
    bad in low light, especially when there's motion involved. I bought the RX1
    specifically so I wouldn't be "stuck" with my iPhone when I didn't want to
    lug around my SLR.

    The RX1 will be in the backpack when in the park, so it won't be a burden
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  14. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Never heard of her :)
    "Svensk flicka är vacker". Translates to "Swedish girl is beautiful" which
    sounds a bit awkward. "Svenska flickor är vackra" is more apt - "Swedish
    girls are beautiful".

    And yes, they are. :)


    I went and married an italian girl though. :)
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  15. Sandman

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Actually, I don't know what a Sony RX1R is. There are so many compact
    cameras out now, that I don't keep up. It didn't seem necessary to
    look it up. I'm a Nikon dslr shooter, and my pocket camera is a Fuji
    F600EXR. I rarely use it.
    I'm just making suggestions. There's a risk involved in bring
    expensive lenses, both in transit and once here, so I wanted to make
    the option known to you.

    Orlando is not a high crime area, but there have been incidents of
    people breaking into cars in the tourist hotel areas. I'm sure you
    don't need to be told to lock the car at all times and leave nothing
    of value visible in the car, but do make sure you inform all the
    people traveling with you of this.
    Tony Cooper, Mar 11, 2014
  16. Sandman

    Tony Cooper Guest

    It's not just flat in Central Florida, it's mostly featureless and
    dull unless you're into birds or flowers. It is a bird-photographer's
    heaven, though. With so much water - both inland, ocean, and gulf -
    there's anything from eagle to osprey to pelicans.
    I don't suggest that when people come to Florida for a family
    vacation. It's family time, and even for the individual it takes time
    away from what they came here to see.

    I have met with other people who I've interacted with in online
    forums, but they've been people who were staying in Florida for an
    extended period of time.

    While meeting isn't of interest, I'd be glad to provide any online
    assistance in where to go for specific photographic opportunities or
    make suggestions along these lines.

    I suspect our photographic interests are different, too. If I go to
    Tampa or St Pete, I'll go to places where I can do "street"
    photography. Ybor City, in Tampa, is good for old buildings that were
    originally cigar factories, some other historical buildings, some
    shots of people hand-rolling cigars, and that sort of thing. The
    Columbia restaurant there is an excellent choice for Cuban food, but
    some of the smaller places a good job with black beans and rice, Cuban
    sandwiches, and Cuban coffee.

    The only reason I'd go to St Petersburg is to visit the Dali Museum.
    Both the contents and the architecture of the building are fantastic.
    I'd rather swing up to Tarpon Springs, photograph the boats and the
    people, and have lunch at the Hellas Restaurant which isn't the
    fanciest place there, but is the best. I'm still waiting for a good
    shot of some older Greek ladies in the traditional black coming out of
    church. It's all about timing.

    When I make the trip west from Orlando to the Tampa Bay area, I avoid
    I-4 and take the backroads through small towns and hope for something
    to shoot.
    Tony Cooper, Mar 11, 2014
  17. Sandman

    Savageduck Guest

    There is something good to be found in most places. For me, a purpose
    filled birding trip to FL would be a distinct possibility, but Florida
    is not on my current list of target destinations. The last time I was
    in Florida was 40 years ago in 1974.
    That might have been a loaded suggestion. ;-)

    That said, I feel there is more to see of the USA than exploring
    Florida for two weeks. Especially if it is a second trip, as it is in
    Jonas' case.
    Sure, take the kids to Disney World, but consider some of the other
    things to be seen, even if a detour to the Western States is not
    practical this particular trip.
    Since he is going to be in the South East, I would recommend visits to
    Chattanooga and some of the easily accessible sights in that area. Then
    there is The Great Smokey Mountain National Park, and the museums on
    the Mall in Washington DC. There is much more, than those examples, but
    just Florida seems to be a misuse of two weeks.
    Savageduck, Mar 11, 2014
  18. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    Ok, I've posted about it extensively in this group, and linked to blo
    gposts I've made about it and with photos from it.

    For your knowledge, it's the worlds smallest full frame camera. Sony rocked
    the world when it came out and it made huge headlines (partly due to it's
    very high price).

    Either way, when posting a reply and you snip out a huge chunk of text that
    is about a camera that matches the advice you're going to give - I just
    have the feeling that you perhaps should make the effort to google some
    info on the camera you snipped. :)
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
  19. Sandman

    Tony Cooper Guest

    As I've mentioned, my brother moved to Denmark in 1969 with the intent
    of living there for about a year and gaining some experience in
    international marketing to qualify for a job here.

    However, he met and married a Danish woman, had three kids, and has
    returned only for visits. His sons have been over here for extended
    visits. The last time they came, I bought them a used car (that I
    re-sold when they left) and they drove from here to California and
    back. They had quite a good time.

    The biggest problem I encounter with foreign visitors is that they
    don't have a concept of how large this country is. Someone from the
    UK, for example, will think they can visit Orlando and include a day
    trip to New Orleans or Washington DC. The last visitor, who was from
    Ireland, wanted to include Key West in his visit thinking it would be
    somewhere to go for the day since it is also in Florida. It's an
    8-hour drive each way if you catch traffic right and don't stop along
    the way.
    Tony Cooper, Mar 11, 2014
  20. Sandman

    Sandman Guest

    I remember visiting Florida in the eighties or nineties. Don't remember the
    town (probably in Miami/Ft Lauderdale) that had a "museum" that consisted
    of... an old house... So, you went in to the house... and things like old
    stuff... were preserved. The "tour guide" told us with great pride that the
    house was almost a hundred years old.

    Eh... ok... So basically, at that time, our home town had recently
    celebrated its 1,000 year of existence. Most older relatives may not live
    in 100 year old houses (some do, though) but most have items found in this
    "museum" as decoration. Things like a spinning wheel or a milk churner.

    It's was surreal to see this person describe how things worked in the "old
    days" and really illustrated how America is a country without a history.

    We have this place in our hometown called Vallby Friluftsmuseum where they
    have gathered old structures and buildings from the local area (i.e.
    dismantled and erected in this area) that are thousands of years old.
    Things that have survived since the Viking Age and even older.

    I suspect this person would have his mind blown if he ever visited Rome. :)
    Sandman, Mar 11, 2014
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