A Relatively Capable, Affordable Travel Digicam?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Cortian, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My wife and I will be going on a fairly long (distance-/travel-wise) trip soon. We've got our Canon 20D and 40D bodies and lenses, but I'm thinking I probably don't want to submit those to the tender mercies of air travel. Never mind the weight and bulk.

    We have a selection of older functional digicams:
    • Olympus C-4000Z - Still works, but it's only 4MP and is it ever slooooow!
    • Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 - looks like it's developed dead pixels, no view finder
    • Olympus SP-6000UZ - never suited either my wife nor I very well (can't say why), no view finder
    I wonder if there's an "affordable" digicam out there that has:
    • Relatively capable performance, say at least as good as a modern phone
    • Optical zoom
    • A view-finder and
    • Manual modes (e.g.: Aperture and shutter priority)?
    Something like an updated version of my old C-4000Z?

    I've searched, but it's been a lot of frogs and few princes. E.g.: Looked at the Panasonic Lumix ZS60, which can be had from Costco for about $280, but was underwhelmed by the reviews. Something like a Nikon Coolpix B700 would almost certainly do, but $450 :( Wondering if anybody here has any suggestions?

    TIA!


     
  2. FotosbyMike

    FotosbyMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly if you have a modern smart phone just use that, they really do meet all the needs above.
    I would take the 40D with the longest lens as a just in case, I have traveled with a backpack full of stuff so I know how much of a pain it can be.
     
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  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was going through this same search.

    You are correct, in the bright sun, you really need a viewfinder.
    The rear LCD screen is practically useless in the bright sun.

    The upper end of the P&S ends up being about or more than the cost of the lower end dslr. And I still prefer the performance of a dslr over a P&S. Because the one thing that IRRITATES me about all the P&S that I tried is "shutter lag." When I press the shutter, I want it to fire NOW, not 1 or 2 seconds latter, when the subject moves or someone walks in front of you.
    I have not been happy with ANY of the P&S that I have looked at.
    So now I have been looking at the Nikon D3400 or D5600 + 18-55 lens as my compact tweener camera. Smaller and lighter than my D7200 + 18-140.
    Canon should have a similar small crop sensor body.
    The good thing is that it will use your Canon lenses, so at home it can be a backup camera to your primary camera.

    What I have not looked at are the new small mirrorless cameras.
    Well I did briefly, then Nikon seems to have pulled the plug on the line.
    But again, as you go up in performance, you are into the dslr pricing.
     
  4. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW, I have an old Canon Powershot A650IS, that I got off eBay.
    The 650 is a nice travel camera; viewfinder, pivoting LCD screen, AA batteries, 6x optical zoom.
    Yes it is older technology, and "only" 12MP.
    It uses standard AA batteries, which for traveling, can be a significant advantage. But the four AA batteries also makes the camera bigger than the cigarette pack size P&S.

    I got the 650 to replace my old A600 that died. My wife really liked the A600, as it felt comfortable in her hand and easy to use. For me, the big advantage of the 650 over the 600 was the pivoting screen, so that I could take low and high angle shots, without shooting blind.

    What I don't like about smart phone cameras is the encased battery. When shooting all day, I have seen people drain the battery in their phones. (Granted, I don't know what else they are doing to drain the battery.) And you can't just swap a new battery into the phone, the phone is sealed, you have to plug in and charge it. But if you are careful with you phone usage, you can probably make the battery last all day. Just don't forget to charge it when you get back to the hotel.
     
  5. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Take a look at Olympus Tough TG-5. A very nice travel P&S

    "It's waterproof to depths of 15m, crushproof to 100kgf, freezeproof to -10 degrees C, shockproof up to 2.1m, and dustproof so you can focus on the fun and not worry about your camera. "
     
  6. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I skipped the a5100 for a6000 because of the viewfinder requirement as well. meh; never used it. plus the a5100 can flip the screen around for selfies.

    it worked well for travelling -- but i never used it but for. the a6000 price is staying WAY too high new -- it hasnt dropped in YEAR and it's been replaced thrice.
     
  7. otherprof

    otherprof TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Sony a6000. Works for me as a travel and grab-going-out-the-door camera. Great Sony 24mp sensor. Fast focusing. Decent electronic view finder. Small, light and has a tilting screen. It might work for you too.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Canon's higher-end PowerShot models are very nice, have great external controls, and are priced affordably. Look into the various G-series models. Yes...me...recommending a Canon...I know...I've owned two high-end Canon PowerShot G-series models....very,very capable.

    Or, maybe go Sony A-series...

    ...or Fuji X-series....depends on what you want,and how much you wish to spend.
     
  9. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the suggestions, everybody.

    Right now I'm kind of leaning towards either the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 or DSC-FZ300.

    The latter is about $100-$150 more expensive, and it's not a pocket camera, but it is a lot more capable than the ZS50 and weather-proofed.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  11. Cortian

    Cortian No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I get your point, @Braineack, and that a5100 does look attractive, at first blush. Thanks for the pointer. But now we're up to $550. I think the budget for this expense is going to top-out at $450. Preferably less.

    I'll look at the reviews for it, anyway. I love doing research :)

    Wait... no viewfinder. Wanna viewfinder.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Considering how much the trip costs, I think a $500-$550 camera is well worth it!
     

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