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Digital travel camera

 
 
John Doe
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      01-29-2004
Hi all,

I am looking for the perfect digital travel camera, which may or may not
exist. I am taking my dream trip in a few months, and would like to take a
lot of pictures. I have not used a digital before, but I do have almost 5
months to practice. I know everyone has their favorite, but any and all
opinions will be appreciated. The features I would like are - Good image
quality for printing at least 8x10 prints, decent optical zoom (the higher the
better), ease of use, the ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123, etc),
something that is not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the price
below $600. A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out there
that comes close. I have searched Google, and read a lot of reviews, but would
like to have some actual user opinions.

TIA,

Todd
 
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SeaShel
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      01-29-2004
John Doe wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I am looking for the perfect digital travel camera, which may or may
> not exist. I am taking my dream trip in a few months, and would
> like to take a lot of pictures. I have not used a digital before, but
> I do have almost 5 months to practice. I know everyone has their
> favorite, but any and all opinions will be appreciated. The features
> I would like are - Good image quality for printing at least 8x10
> prints, decent optical zoom (the higher the better), ease of use, the
> ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123, etc), something that is
> not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the price below $600.
> A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out there
> that comes close. I have searched Google, and read a lot of reviews,
> but would like to have some actual user opinions.
>
> TIA,
>
> Todd


My setup is simple and streamlined. I have two young children and must
budget the time for photography, so I wanted to carry around a lot of
potential in a small space for the unexpected opportunity of "the perfect
shot" presents itself:

Canon S-50 ($399 at Best Buy)
1GB Compact Flash II ($280 B&H)
extra battery ($20?)
Vanguard VS-41 Flexible Mini Tripod ($<10)
Lowepro Rezo (stretchy fabric) case ($15)

Total cost: $724, but you can go with less memory.

Some might say the Canon A-80 is just about as good as the S-50, and it has
a pull-out/swivel LCD screen. If you have more than a week to research,
Canon is announcing somewhere around 10 new models between now and early
February.

Lots of other users' reviews at www.dpreview.com, www.epinions.com, etc.

....keep on Googlin'...




--
Michelle
(SeaShel)

free the fish to reply


 
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Helen Rapozo
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      01-29-2004
"John Doe" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> I am looking for the perfect digital travel camera, which may or may not
> exist. I am taking my dream trip in a few months, and would like to take

a
> lot of pictures. I have not used a digital before, but I do have almost 5
> months to practice. I know everyone has their favorite, but any and all
> opinions will be appreciated. The features I would like are - Good image
> quality for printing at least 8x10 prints, decent optical zoom (the higher

the
> better), ease of use, the ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123,

etc),
> something that is not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the

price
> below $600. A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out

there
> that comes close. I have searched Google, and read a lot of reviews, but

would
> like to have some actual user opinions.


A few factors to consider:

1) The length of your trip? The longer it is the more storage you need to
bring with you.
2) Are you planning on bring a laptop as well? It's more stuff to lug
around but to be honest given the choice between lugging around a laptop or
bring along 5 to 10 64Mbyte CompactFlash cards, I rather lug around the
CompactFlash cards.
3) Are you planning on taking action shots, or just shots of things not in
motion?
4) Indoor and/or Outdoor shots? Use of flash for indoor?


An iffy camera that is still available (at least at CompUSA) based on actual
experince except for using it on traveling, would be the SiPix SC-3300
camera. It runs for $149, 3 MPixel camera with 3X Digital Zoom, takes up to
128Mbyte CompactFlash card (128Mbyte card is around $49, a 64Mbyte card is
around $29-39), can take video, single shot mode or can take 4 shots at a
time and uses 2 AA batteries. On the bad side, the video has no sound, it
takes at least 4 seconds to cycle for the next single shot, if you use the
LCD screen it drains the battery pretty fast, worse if you use the flash.
If you manage to fill up a 128Mbyte card in a day with images more than
likey you will need to change the batteries too (but at least it will just
be 2 of them).


 
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JimmyTango@pinoymail.com
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (John Doe) wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I am looking for the perfect digital travel camera, which may or may not
> exist. I am taking my dream trip in a few months, and would like to take a
> lot of pictures. I have not used a digital before, but I do have almost 5
> months to practice. I know everyone has their favorite, but any and all
> opinions will be appreciated. The features I would like are - Good image
> quality for printing at least 8x10 prints, decent optical zoom (the higher the
> better), ease of use, the ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123, etc),
> something that is not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the price
> below $600. A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out there
> that comes close. I have searched Google, and read a lot of reviews, but would
> like to have some actual user opinions.
>
> TIA,
>
> Todd


FOVEON best travel camera ever and has a great carrying case

Are you married Todd?











 
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A Robson
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
"SeaShel" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> My setup is simple and streamlined. I have two young children and

must
> budget the time for photography, so I wanted to carry around a lot

of
> potential in a small space for the unexpected opportunity of "the

perfect
> shot" presents itself:
>
> Canon S-50 ($399 at Best Buy)
> 1GB Compact Flash II ($280 B&H)
> extra battery ($20?)
> Vanguard VS-41 Flexible Mini Tripod ($<10)
> Lowepro Rezo (stretchy fabric) case ($15)
> --
> Michelle
> (SeaShel)
>

I'll second that, I've had a Canon S30 (S50 predecessor) for two
years, and it's a perfect compromise of quality, features and size.
It's got a very robust metal body which I can testify is strong as it
has been dropped several times on rocks, concrete, gravel, you name
it, and still takes pictures as sharp and well exposed as the day I
bought it. It travelled with me for three and a half weeks all round
America last year during which time I took 6000 photos with it, with
very few wasted pictures.

I'd have no hesitation in recommending an S45 or S50.


 
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Guenter Fieblinger
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
John,

the previous contributions surely give you some valuable tips already.

However, I take issue with your specification 'perfect digital travel camera'.
There is nothing like perfection to be had.
At a given time you may get an optimum if you are very clear about your wishes and
your criteria for balancing contradictory specifications, e.g. low weight - shaky
pictures, small lenses/small aperture ('slow lens').

If you could
- specify more clearly what features you value more highly than others and
- specify max. values, e.g. weight, dimensions etc
then I am sure that the people contributing to this type of question could give
you even better service.

Guenter


 
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Robert Deutsch
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
Although, as another poster has stated, there is no such thing as the
"perfect digital travel camera"--it depends on your needs and the
tradeoffs that are best for you--there are many cameras that would be
hightly suitable. The reviews at www.dpreview.com are the most
thorough and impartial source of information on the various cameras,
but they can't tell you what particular combination of features would
best suit YOU. I'm most familiar with the cameras made by Canon;
I've owned and S30, and currently own an S400 and a Digital Rebel (aka
300D) and several lenses. Some photos I took with the S30 in France
and Italy can be viewed here:
http://www.pbase.com/phile/france_and_italy2002&page=1. In
considering a camera for travel, the first decision I would make is
about the size of the camera I'd be comfortable with. It's not so
much the weight or bulk of the camera--although these, too, are
issues--but whether you mind being seen as a prototypical
camera-toting tourist. The great advantage of the S400 is that you
can easily put it in your pocket or a very small belt case (which
makes it look like it could be a cell phone) and take it out as
needed. The review at dpreview.com shows that the performance of the
S400 is very close to that of the much larger G5, and certainly good
enough for 8x10 prints. I traded the S30 for the S400 mostly because
of its smaller size. If you can't put the camera in your pocket, you
have to resign yourself to looking like a "guy with a camera." If
that's not a problem for you, the G5, S50, or the A80 are good
choices. I wouldn't care if the camera takes a proprietary Li Ion
battery rather than AAs; just make sure you have a spare.

Bob
 
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Roger
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      01-29-2004
Todd,

Travel and cameras can be a challenging combination. I do a
lot of travel with a group of people that meets monthly
internationality for business and we often extend the trips for our
once-a-year holidays. There exist all manner of cameras and equipment
within this group and we have repeated opportunities to discuss the
options and review the results. For the casual photographer, the
Canon S400 and predecessors wins hands down. They rate high as a
compromise between convenience and quality. Much of the other
equipment doesn't meet your small size criteria.
One of the most uniform comments that you hear in this group
(with evidence to match) is that long zooms are "worthless". They
enhance camera shake, are difficult to use in any but the brightest
lighting conditions and require tripods to use seriously. This is
supported by my 30 years of serious photography.
I consider myself an avid and serious amateur. Many of my
international trips have been supported by cameras without zoom lenses
however one of my favorite film combinations includes a couple of
fixed focal length lenses or a 35-70mm f2.8 zoom lens on a SLR. These
are not safari trips and wild animals are not my forte. But I do have
lots of very acceptable and framed 10x15" prints (from film) on my
walls from these limited lens choices.
If you do much of your photography in-doors or during
dawn/dusk periods the flash on many of the slow-lens high-zoom-ratio
digital cameras is not adequate. There are also many museum situations
where flashes are not permitted.
For a digital selection in a travel camera, IMO a great choice
would be a 3-5MP camera with a fast and low zoom-ratio lens for your
requirements. Something like the Canon G3 (often touted over the G5
for low noise capability), the Sony DCS-V1 or the many other nice
cameras available.
My favorite (compact) travel camera (in film) is a Contax T3
film camera with a fixed 35mm f2.8 mild wide angle lens. The lens
quality is excellent. I can get by without an external flash with
ISO400 film. It's small, convenient and has many manual override
options that make careful photography possible. This qualifies as a
small camera with a fast lens of high quality and produces excellent
pictures. With a small tripod I can challenge my "pro" SLR equipment.
I'm still looking for a digital that can get me close the
results that I can get with this "cigarette sized" camera. So far, the
Canon S400 or the Sony DSC-V1 are high on my list.
My wife uses a Nikon Coolpix 950 2MP camera side-by-side with
me on our trips and has taken thousands of very acceptable travel
snaps. The camera functions well in nearly all situations. The 2MP is
not enough for larger sized prints.
A small tripod is a must for these light weight cameras. It
will also help you to extend your picture taking into the early or
late day hours. Night photographs do a lot to enhance the travel
portfolio. A small tripod held against the side of a post or building
makes a firm platform to use the self timer to expose the photo for a
no-shake picture. A manual exposure override often helps to control
the result, however the instant feedback of the digital will aid in
the experimentation.
My other travel kit is a Nikon F5 with a 35mm-70mm f2.8 zoom
or a 24mm-85mm f3.5-4.5 zoom or 24/35/50/85 mm fixed focal length fast
lenses with a SB80dx and a full sized carbon fiber tripod in my
suitcase. It's not very compact but I do get some good travel "snaps"
as well as a sore shoulder.

Regards,
Roger

On 29 Jan 2004 00:44:52 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (John Doe) wrote:

>Hi all,
>
>I am looking for the perfect digital travel camera, which may or may not
>exist. I am taking my dream trip in a few months, and would like to take a
>lot of pictures. I have not used a digital before, but I do have almost 5
>months to practice. I know everyone has their favorite, but any and all
>opinions will be appreciated. The features I would like are - Good image
>quality for printing at least 8x10 prints, decent optical zoom (the higher the
>better), ease of use, the ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123, etc),
>something that is not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the price
>below $600. A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out there
>that comes close. I have searched Google, and read a lot of reviews, but would
>like to have some actual user opinions.
>
>TIA,
>
>Todd


 
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william d. kasimer
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2004
(E-Mail Removed) (John Doe) wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...

> I know everyone has their favorite, but any and all
> opinions will be appreciated. The features I would like are - Good image
> quality for printing at least 8x10 prints, decent optical zoom (the higher the
> better), ease of use, the ability to use normal batteries (AA, CR123, etc),
> something that is not to terribly bulky, and I would like to keep the price
> below $600. A lot to ask for, I know, but there must be at least one out there
> that comes close.


I'm more or less in the same situation, planning a two-week vacation
and looking for a camera to take, with more or less the same criteria.
The ones I'm considering are the Pentax Optio 555 (which seems to fit
all of your criteria except for AA batteries, but the battery life
appears to be excellent), the Canon S50 (which has a shorter zoom, and
doesn't use AA's, but does take CF type 2), and the Canon A80 (which
has a short zoom, but uses AA's). There's also the Canon G5, but it
may be a little bigger than you want, particularly if you're looking
for something that you can wear on your belt. I'm still undecided,
but am leaning toward the Pentax.

Bill
 
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Guenter Fieblinger
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      01-29-2004
Roger,

I enjoyed reading your posting and learned alot.

Guenter

 
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