Which of these features would you give up in a travel camera

Discussion in 'Digital Point & Shoot Camera' started by RPS, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. RPS

    RPS Guest

    I am looking for an all-purpose travel camera which I can always keep
    with me. I made a list of all the features I would want and DPreview
    tells me it doesn't exit! Great.

    So which of the following features would you give up in a travel camera
    if it were your only camera:

    1. Manageable size. Not necessarily light, but should fit a big pocket.
    2. At least 28mm at the wide end.
    3. Approx 200+ mm at the tele end. (No tripod.)
    4. IS
    5. Possibility of either aperture or shutter priority.
    6. Optical View Finder.

    OK, no such thing at present. Therefore which are one or two of the
    most dispensable features in your experience and opinion?

    [Just to survey the possibilities...

    if I take out optical viewfinder, we have Lumix FZ18, which has not
    been reviewed yet and seems too big.

    Giving up the wide angle instead we have Canon G7, also large but
    (barely) manageable. I do hate to give up 28mm though!

    If I give up optical finder and settle for 100+ tele, then there are
    good pocketable choices: Lumix Lx2, LX1; Leica D-Lux3, D-Lux2.

    Giving up Aperture priority and the optical finder, I have Lumix TZ-3,
    TZ-2, and a few Ricoh's]

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    RPS, Aug 13, 2007
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  2. RPS

    DaveB Guest

    Very important.
    Somewhat important but easily created in any camera with wide-angle adapters, so
    don't rule out the camera on this basis alone. A good telextender and wide-angle
    adapter only take up another large pocket.
    Very important when traveling. Even when traveling by kayak, bike, backpack or
    other free-reign methods you won't be able to get close to every subject.
    Besides, some subjects you shouldn't get physically close to for safety's sake.
    The more zoom the better. Depending on your handheld skills and if "IS" is
    Very important if you get a camera with a lot of zoom range on it. You won't be
    setting up a tripod on every shot, even if you bring along a pocket-sized one.
    IS will help you use that long-zoom range effectively while hand-holding a
    camera. The counterpoint to this are some of the Fuji cameras that allow for
    noise-free high-ISO imaging. Then you can just increase the ISO, allowing for
    faster shutter-speeds to help compensate for those long-zoom handheld shots.
    Having both, IS plus clean high-ISO, would be admirable.
    Both important. You should make sure your camera has full manual modes if
    possible. There are plenty of shots that no automatic setting on any camera can
    capture. This is why so many are disappointed in their photography or in their
    chosen camera that creates it. They expect the camera to think for them. Those
    kind of people also expect that an automatic transmission on their car will turn
    them into a professional race-car driver. They forget that they have to know
    photography first to be able to take pictures right. Automatic modes on cameras
    just provide rough approximations for the right exposures and settings, which
    usually fail more often than they succeed.
    This is the least important of all. A decent LCD/EVF is more than enough for
    framing and watching for proper exposure. As well as being better in low-light
    levels where the ambient light is amplified to help with focusing and framing.
    Even better if you can swivel and tilt it so that you can take those group shots
    with you in them. Or when reaching out of the window of a moving vehicle to get
    the front of the vehicle in the view. Or extending your arm out over the edge of
    a cliff that you dare not get any closer to. The ways that a tilting LCD can
    come in handy are many. Though an electronic-viewfinder should have some way to
    help you with seeing when things are in focus. They sometimes lack in that.
    Hopefully the manufacturers will improve on LCD/EVF screen resolution in years
    to come. But if you know your camera well enough you can easily work around that
    limitation. So much will depend on your own skills rather than the hardware you
    are holding 99.999% of the time. Hardware can enhance your photography skills
    but never will it take the place of them.
    DaveB, Aug 13, 2007
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  3. RPS

    RPS Guest

    : >1. Manageable size. Not necessarily light, but should fit a big pocket.
    : Very important.
    : >2. At least 28mm at the wide end.
    : Somewhat important...
    : >3. Approx 200+ mm at the tele end. (No tripod.)
    : Very important
    : >4. IS
    : Very important
    : >5. Possibility of either aperture or shutter priority.
    : Both important.
    : >6. Optical View Finder.
    : This is the least important of all.

    Keeping the tally...Giving up #s 2,6 the choices among compact cameras
    would be: Panasonic FZ-7, FZ-8; Canon G7; Casio EX-V7.
    RPS, Aug 13, 2007
  4. RPS

    ray Guest

    I can narrow it down even more than that for you. There is no small camera
    with long zoom and optical viewfinder. Remove the viewfinder requirement
    and there is still no small camera with a long zoom. BTW - why the optical
    viewfinder requirement? I find that Electronic ViewFinders are fine if you
    choose one with a little care. If you look through several models you'll
    find that most are around 110k pixels - and to me they are very blocky - I
    can't stand the thought of using one on a regular basis. Others are around
    220k pixels (a la Kodak P series) and look quite nice. The advantage of
    the EVF is that you'll see what you get. With an optical vf it may be
    close, or not.

    FWIW I started with a different set of criteria, but I wanted something
    manageable for hiking/biking/showshoeing and still able to have a long
    zoom for shooting wildlife. I settled on a Kodak P850 - from Kodak's
    online store, refurb for $250 with printer dock. I would suggest you look
    at some of the Kodak EVFs before you make a decision. If raw is at all
    important, the Kodak P series does raw, tiff, jpeg and has full manual
    mode - but it's larger than what you had in mind.
    ray, Aug 13, 2007
  5. RPS

    Andy Guest

    Canon PowerShot A710 IS
    Andy, Aug 20, 2007
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