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330east Jun 8th, 2013 01:06 PM

Camera Question
 
Going to Europe in Sept. Wife has Canon EOS Rebel Xsi which she has taken on previous trips. It's gotten too big and bulky for older people. We need suggestions for a lighter/smaller camera w/ zoom capability but same sharp picture. Anything like this exist? Thanks.

hetismij2 Jun 8th, 2013 02:02 PM

There are plenty of good point and shoot cameras with good zooms - such as the Panasonic range - basically the same as Leicas but without the red dot or the price tag.
There are also plenty of small mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses - Pentax Q or the Nikon 1 for instance. I know for a fact the Pentax Q produces stunningly good quality photos for such a tiny camera, and with the right adaptor it will take full size lenses too.

sparkchaser Jun 9th, 2013 04:49 AM

If your wife uses her current camera in manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, etc. modes then it's hard to go wrong with a Canon S95 or S100. Both cameras have the bonus of shooting in RAW as well.

The S95 is what I take when I don't feel like lugging my 50D around.

Many professional photographers recommend the S95 as a not-so-hefty DSLR alternatve.

If you do decide to get it, get an extra battery or two. There is no optical viewfinder (almost impossible to find on digital point & shoots anymore) so you have to use the LCD.

NYCFoodSnob Jun 9th, 2013 05:14 AM

I know several older professionals who love their PowerShot G1 X. The swivel LCD screen means less stress on the neck while you compose images. The G1 X was designed for discerning customers (mostly professionals) who wanted quality and precision without the weight.

Agosto Jun 23rd, 2013 02:27 AM

You might want to consider the Panasonic Lumix Fz200. It's a bridge camera, with a long telezoom (although not as long as some canon or Nikon models) but it has a constant aperture of 2.8, which allows to get good images even in low light with a low iso.

I (still) don't have one myself, but I'm looking for a new camera for travels, and after reading lots and lots of reviews, I'm pretty sureI will buy this model.

RM67 Jun 23rd, 2013 04:34 AM

I have had two Olympus Pens (compact mirrorless system) and love them. The EPM2 is pocketable with a 17mm lens on it. They can give pretty much DSLR quality images, and often have a bigger sensor than bridge cameras. If you check out my Barcelona trip report (another shameless plug!) you will see examples of pics taken with an EMP2. (Except for the last set of photos which were taken with a Panasonic).

Or go to Flickr and do a search in 'groups' for any models you are interested in. Nice quick way of evaluating image quality across multiple users.

flygirl Jun 23rd, 2013 04:57 AM

I have gone back and forth about the G1X - in part because now that it's a year or so old I keep expecting that the minute I buy one, Canon will come out with its replacement. Now that's it gone down slightly (from 800 ish to 600 ish) I might just take my chances.

As much as I love my normal travel combo of the 7D and 24-105 zoom lens, it's like carrying a sack of sugar everywhere. I love the results though. Maybe it helps me to keep trim on vacation, though, with all the walking I do with it in tow.

NYCFoodSnob Jun 23rd, 2013 05:31 AM

<i><font color=#555555>"I love my normal travel combo of the 7D and 24-105 zoom lens"</font></i>

Photography is ALWAYS about the lens, its size, and the quality of the glass. If you are a perfectionist, no point-n-shoot is ever going to fully replace a more professional camera with a much larger, better-glass lens. But these days, the better point-n-shoots are performing quite well.

It's important to remember, every photo you take while traveling will never be printed large and/or hung in an art museum. Photojournalists, who often work in difficult circumstances and almost always on deadline, are know to shoot JPEG because of the speed and small file size. This is not their preference, but it's a compromise that satisfies the requirements of the job. Many of those photos go on to win industry awards. They can be printed, with limitations, but the winning photojournalist will always be left with the dilemma, "If only I shot this in RAW."

Compromise is not a bad thing while traveling. Some pro photographers schedule a shoot day (or time), and this is when they carry their heavy guns. All other times, they carry the point-n-shoot. This way they're never without a camera to capture the moment, and freeing their bodies from some stress while doing so.

flygirl Jun 23rd, 2013 06:43 AM

Thank you NYCFoodSnob.

Interestingly enough, my most-viewed, most-favorited, most-tumblred (from my flickr page) photo was taken with a Canon P&S (SD800IS - from 2007). It really did turn out well. But, go figure. No, not entirely happy that it's been tumblred so much but on the other hand, it sure is popular. So there's that.

TDudette Jun 23rd, 2013 07:04 AM

Olympus and Panasonic have good lens quality. Over the years, as I've asked about the cameras used in various TRs, Nikon D80 and Canons have come up a lot. More recently photos taken with phones are improving as well.

The photos on my flickr account were all taken with an Olympus C765 Ultra zoom that I bought in 2007 (an antique in this day and age, eh?). It fits in my purse and is still going strong:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1

Trevi View and Montepulciano View have been enlarged successfully to poster size, FYI.

NYCFoodSnob: "If you are a perfectionist, no point-n-shoot is ever going to fully replace a more professional camera with a much larger, better-glass lens. But these days, the better point-n-shoots are performing quite well." I made a similar statement many years ago saying no computer would ever be able to draw a better line than a draughts person and boy was I proved wrong. I'd replace your 'performing quite well' with coming closer and closer! And they're getting smaller and smaller.

330east, you could also look at digital photography review online. They do detailed reviews of all cameras and show the same picture taken by various cameras (or they used to). I bought the Olympus based on their review along with the gal in a small camera shop letting me hold each camera to see how they felt in my hand!

http://www.dpreview.com/

Good luck!

NYCFoodSnob Jun 26th, 2013 09:06 AM

<i><font color=#555555>"I'd replace your 'performing quite well' with coming closer and closer!"</font></i>

I wouldn't. You can't ignore the physics behind optical science. No matter how you slice and dice a small piece of glass, depth-of-field will always be sharper on the outer edges of an image taken with a high-quality larger lens. If you care about fine art, if you care about the artistic value of an image, if you need sharp pixels throughout the entire image frame, you won't be foolish and rely on a point-n-shoot for serious photography that requires tack-sharp depth-of-field.

tailsock Jun 26th, 2013 10:45 AM

good advice from some so far. There simply isn't a substitute for semi professional glass/body that magically fits in your pocket. If you're going to leave the SLR at home then you're going to have to live with the sacrifice in performance & image quality. The tiny sensor of a point and shoot isn't going to compete with the Canon. This will translate to muddier background details, grain in lower light, loss of sharpness, awful results at night etc. It would be a little bit like using a smartphone with optical zoom capability. Like someone suggested take a look on Flickr and examine results for popular point and shoots. You'll get a feel for what to expect. I always carry a point and shoot with me in addition to my Nikon D700 but for the sole purpose of taking pictures of my wife and i together as well as food.

Darks1der Jun 26th, 2013 10:57 AM

I use a Nikon D3200 it has a 24,1 Cmos sensor and is a great camera. Compared to the D3100 it is an awfull lot better

Plus there are many lenses and stuff you can buy to upgrade if needed.

flygirl Jun 26th, 2013 10:59 AM

I find taking the small camera when I go out at night works fine - social kinds of things - although if it came down to "no camera" versus "small P&S" I'd take the P&S.

TDudette Jun 26th, 2013 11:03 AM

"There simply isn't a substitute for semi professional glass/body that magically fits in your pocket." Add the word 'yet'. And I stand by my previous "closer and closer" as digital technology will expand or replace optical, in my opinion. But that's a separate thread.

Please let us know what you end up with, 330east!

sparkchaser Jun 26th, 2013 12:12 PM

Digital technology will only be as good as the glass in front of it.

spaarne Jun 26th, 2013 02:13 PM

<i>Camera Question
Posted by: 330east on Jun 8, 13 at 4:06pm
Going to Europe in Sept. Wife has Canon EOS Rebel Xsi which she has taken on previous trips. It's gotten too big and bulky for older people. We need suggestions for a lighter/smaller camera w/ zoom capability but same sharp picture. Anything like this exist? Thanks.</i>

You don't say what lens you have on that Canon. A good lens weighs more than a camera body. E.g., my Nikon D60 body weighs 550 grams and my Nikkor 18-200 lens with filter weighs 610 grams. I have used a couple of Olympus digital P&S cameras and always keep one in my pocket. They are just OK. I suffer with the mass of the DSLR for the quality of the results. Besides, I can put a polarizing filter on my DSLR.

For gifts I have bought a Nikon Coolpix S3000 and a Panasonic Lumix ZS20 in the last couple of years. They both take great pictures. The Panasonic Lumix ZS20 has a great feature for travelers, a built-in GPS! You'll always know where you took the photo.

For an introduction to the rudiments of digital photography see http://tinyurl.com/3a2u7ln. Whatever camera you buy, practice practice practice with it before you go. Modern digital cameras are probably the most technologically advanced devices of our day, and they have multiple UIs. You can set it on auto but you can get much more out of the camera if you learn how to use all those UIs. UI = user interface.


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