Travel SLR - Honeymoon

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by QuestionMan, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. QuestionMan

    QuestionMan Guest

    Good Day,

    This topic has been covered exhaustively, but Since technology seems to
    advance so rapidly I thought that I would See if anyone had any new

    Here's the scoop.
    We will be travelling to Europe on my honeymoon and will be in both the
    countryside and the cities. Taking pictures both out/indoors and of
    course of buildings and people. (The max prin being 8X10)

    I would like a Digital SLR, something that I can use for many years to
    come. Perpahs something that isn't too sensitive, a light drizzle, etc.

    I've read a great deal about Nikons D50 and D70, and the Digital Rebel
    series, but frankly I have no idea. I'm looking to spend around $700 or
    less if possible.

    Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.

    QuestionMan, Oct 20, 2005
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  2. The Digital Rebel XT (aka 350D (Europe) and Kiss~~~~N (Japan)) is
    probably the smallest digital SLR around, which might be good for
    traveling. If you don't want to carry too much, you could get along
    with the EF-S 17-85mm IS as your only lens. It has a decent zoom
    range, and the image stabilization works wonders when shooting
    indoors. For the really dark places, or when you need a faster
    shutter speed indoors, throw in an EF 50mm f/1.8. It is both cheap
    and light-weight.
    =?iso-8859-1?q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?=, Oct 20, 2005
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  3. QuestionMan

    Gormless Guest

    Is it not also her honeymoon then?
    Gormless, Oct 20, 2005
  4. Perhaps he's traveling with his mistress ;-)
    =?iso-8859-1?q?M=E5ns_Rullg=E5rd?=, Oct 20, 2005
  5. QuestionMan

    QuestionMan Guest

    Lol, Yes, she is also my mistress.
    Any other suggestions?
    QuestionMan, Oct 20, 2005
  6. QuestionMan

    Roger Guest


    Are you currently a photographer? Do you have experience with digital
    and especially the workflow that deals with how to move digital images
    from the memory cards into some kind of portable storage? Do you have
    experience with managing the power requirements and storage
    requirements for digital while travel? I know I said storage
    requirements twice but it is twice as important while traveling?

    How far away is your wedding?

    Is your bride traveling with you :).

    If you aren't experienced with digital work flow, I'd really suggest a
    film camera for right now. A good point & shoot film camera will
    easily produce the pictures and sizes you want. Film minimizes a lot
    of startup hassles that you may not need right now as you prepare for
    your wedding and trip.

    Neither of the Nikon bodies you mention are in your price range once
    you attach a decent lens (e.g. 18-70mm f3.5-4.5 AF-S a.k.a. Nikon D70
    kit lens). Both bodies are great cameras with the learning curve
    possible a little shallower on the D50. The D50 is also a bit more
    compact for travel. Neither are really weather resistant cameras.

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and good luck in your
    choices of cameras. Here are some different cameras that are good for
    travel and those about which you asked.

    Best Regards,
    Roger, Oct 20, 2005
  7. QuestionMan

    Alan Meyer Guest

    I agree with a number of things Roger said here, but not
    with the view that you're better off with film. The "digital
    work flow that deals with how to move digital images
    from the memory cards into some kind of portable storage"
    is just not that complicated, and neither is the power

    Having said that, I will still agree with Roger that you need
    to think about these things. If you get, for example, a 1GB
    memory card and take photos averaging 2 MB each, you
    can get 500 photos, the equivalent of 20+ 24 exposure
    rolls of film. It may be enough that you don't need anything
    else. If it's not, and you're planning to bring a laptop (what's
    that you say? Your fiancee doesn't want you playing with
    a computer on her honeymoon?), then you can get away
    with a much smaller memory card. Two 512 MB cards are
    even better since, if you lose or destroy one, you only lose
    half your photos.

    As for the power requirements. Just be sure the camera you
    buy has a charger that works with both 115 and 230 volts.
    Almost all of them do. And you'll need plug adapters for
    each country (Radio shack and other places sell them).

    My main question for QuestionMan is, are you sure you need
    an SLR? They make higher quality images and they are
    more versatile if you buy additional lenses, but they cost
    a bunch more money (especially if you buy more lenses),
    they weigh a bunch more to carry on a trip, and they are
    bulkier and clumsier. $800 might get you the cheapest
    SLR, already $100 over your limit. But if you've got $700,
    you can spend $3-400 on a very good point and shoot, and
    keep several hundred to blow on a good time in Paris (or
    to keep in your bank account.)

    You can get very high quality images from a 4-7 mp point
    and shoot camera at less than half the price and 1/3 to 1/4
    the weight. For images up to 8x10 they'll look quite good.

    Personally, when I travel, I'd rather have a 6 ounce camera
    in my pocket than a 20 ounce camera dangling from my neck.

    Now as to the main thing to think about here - Have a great
    time on your honeymoon.

    Alan Meyer, Oct 21, 2005
  8. QuestionMan

    QuestionMan Guest

    I have used several "cheap" digital camera's but never a SLR. What I
    dislike most sbout digital cameras is the delay and it is my
    underatanding that an slr has less of a delay and more room for growth.

    I don't have a problem transferring the images and portable storage.

    Although I am usually quick picking up things but I don't want to spend
    months learning all the features.
    QuestionMan, Oct 21, 2005
  9. QuestionMan

    Alan Meyer Guest

    Check out the review sites:

    They'll give you exact numbers on shutter delay, startup time,
    and cycle time. I'm sure many P&S cameras are just as fast as
    the SLRs.

    As for room for growth - it's not all it's cracked up to be.
    5-10 years from now, a high end camera of today will be obsolete
    by comparison with the new cameras coming out at that time.
    You may be better off buying a cheaper camera now and a cheaper
    camera later, then an expensive camera now and an expensive
    lens later.

    In this respect, buying digital cameras is a lot more like
    buying computers than like buying film cameras. A lot of folks
    who bought high end laptops for $3,000 7-8 years ago are now
    seeing superior laptops available for $700 today.
    Fortunately, ALL consumer cameras today, both P&S and SLR,
    have automatic modes that get pretty good photos most of the
    time. After all, they're designed to sell to us Americans -
    who often can't program our VCRs :)

    But bring the manual with you anyway because all except the
    cheap cameras also have a ton of manual features that are
    fun to play with and can give you better results in less
    average situations.

    Alan Meyer, Oct 21, 2005
  10. QuestionMan

    QuestionMan Guest

    I wasn't aware that point&shoot's could compete with SLR's in shutter
    delay, startup time, and cycle time. You've opened eyes. Do you have
    suggestions for a good P&S?
    I won't be taking my laptop. A honeymoon is no place for a laptop. I
    did think of taking several sticks of memory.
    QuestionMan, Oct 21, 2005
  11. QuestionMan

    Roger Guest

    OK, now we have something to work with. When do these delays bother
    you the most? Trying to capture moving objects during daylight shoots
    or trying to freeze motion on a wedding reception night dance. The
    latter taxes almost any equipment unless you do some manual setup
    first. I can handle it with a SLR, nicely integrated separate strobe
    with AF assistance and a good AFS lens or with a completely manual
    gear but a good strobe that will handle "A" mode but that for me would
    be more than I want to carry or worry about on my honeymoon. The first
    situation can be handled by some digital point & shoot cameras, at
    least to some degree.

    For example, I have a Canon S60 5MP P&S camera that's a couple of
    generations old. It's always with me and has often recorded entire
    trips/vacations. I bought it because it was one of the first to have a
    28mm equivalent lens. I've found that I can use it for many things
    that I thought weren't possible with a P&S camera. The camera, like
    many Canon P&S cameras, has a custom mode (some have more than one).
    You can use it to hold a program for the camera. I have mine set to
    ISO100, aperture preferred exposure, the aperture set to f4, the
    manual focus distance set to the hyperfocal for that setup. When
    requiring a fast shutter release response, I just dial the mode
    setting to "C" for Custom and there is minimal shutter delay. Some
    situations require tweaking the parameters, but you get the idea. This
    particular camera has a plethora of feature that makes it almost as
    versatile as a more powerful dSLR. There are drawbacks, but a skilled
    photographer (or manual reader) can crank a lot of functionality out
    of these computers. The S60 even has a strobe exposure lock that can
    really assist in creative low-light exposures.

    My wife has a Canon G3, it's even older but more versatile in other
    ways. Both are certainly capable of 8x10 in enlargements.

    Best Regards,
    Roger, Oct 21, 2005
  12. With your budget, a $500 superzoom (Canon S2IS, Panasonic FZ5, Sony H1,
    to name three good ones) plus $100 or so of memory would be a reasonable
    thing to consider. This class of camera features a wide-range optical
    zoom (36-430 mm is typical), typical shutter delays of under a second,
    and cycle times under a second (unless flash is used, in which case it's
    usually 2ish seconds). Startup time is slower than an SLR, since they
    have to extend the lens, but it's still on the order of 3 or 4 seconds.

    They're also smaller and lighter than SLRs, though bigger than most
    compact digitals.


    Daniel Silevitch, Oct 21, 2005
  13. QuestionMan

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Given that you suggest taking several sticks; let me suggest that
    you think about carefully switching them often during the type of
    trip you're taking...

    Rationale is that there'll only be one first day of your honeymoon,
    one first day in street clothes as a married couple. Get a few
    shots on more than one card, so a failure/loss of one isn't quite so

    Same applies for cities, super major attractions, types of travel,
    anything really important, etc.

    Take care, and all the best to you and your bride-to-be. Here's
    hoping that all your troubles are little ones :)

    Ken Weitzel, Oct 21, 2005
  14. QuestionMan

    Alan Meyer Guest

    Three excellent cameras. However, as Daniel says, they're not
    pocket size. If you want a superzoom, these are a much cheaper
    choice than an SLR because, with the SLR, you not only have to
    pay much more for the camera body, you also have to pay much,
    much more for the super zoom lens (or for two zoom lenses). If
    you don't care about superzoom, there are much cheaper, smaller,
    lighter cameras.

    My theory is you can't go too far wrong with any of the well known
    brands, though each has its particular strengths and weaknesses
    and its particular fans.
    Alan Meyer, Oct 21, 2005
  15. QuestionMan

    Alan Meyer Guest

    If QuestionMan doesn't want to learn all this stuff, he should
    check out the following issues in the reviews:

    Startup time
    Cycle time (time betwee shots)
    Shutter delay (time from button press to image capture)
    Autoexposure lock time
    Autofocus lock time

    Then, when he's got his camera, he should learn some of the tricks
    you (Roger) are using.

    For extremely fast shooting with my Pentax Optio 750Z, e.g., out
    a bus window as things zoom past, I set:

    Fixed focus (at about 20 feet, usually gets DOF around
    12 feet to infinity, depending on aperture setting)
    Shutter priority at a fast setting, e.g., 1/250th sec, or if
    the lighting is uniform, I'll preset the aperture too
    No flash
    High ISO (if I need it to get a high shutter speed)
    No LCD display - I use the optical viewfinder

    With those settings there is no autofocus time, less or no
    autoexposure time, no flash calculation. The image is captured
    almost immediately when I press the button and cycle time is
    shorter with no flash to recharge.

    I'd never do a thing like that with film because the cost of
    film and processing wasted on fast grab shots was too high.
    But with digital images you just delete the bad ones.

    Alan Meyer, Oct 21, 2005
  16. QuestionMan

    wilt Guest

    Not sure really if your objection to shutter lag is real or not.
    Having been an SLR shooter for 40 years now, the only time my Canon G2
    shutter lag has ever really bothered me was 1) trying to shoot fish
    swimming by the sub during our trip to Hawaii in June, and 2) trying to
    shoot rapidly at our daughter's ceremony where she received her
    Master's degree. I imagine that when we being to have grandchildren
    around, shutter lag will be an issues also. So if you are
    honeymooning, living with a P&S is probably not so bad.

    A Canon G series camera has a FAST zoom lens (f/2 on my G2). In
    comparison, you CANNOT get a FAST ZOOM in 35mm dSLR unless you are
    willing to spend $1200+ on a 2lb f/2.8 24-70 lens, for example. So I
    have some shots taken at night with my G2 that I simply could not have
    done with my Canon 20D because I do not have a fast zoom lens that
    zooms out to the same equivalent focal length!

    A dSLR is not a panacea, unless you happen to own the appropriate
    combination of gear to equate to a good prosumer class P&S. Whatever
    you decide to do, be SURE to have some time BEFORE you honeymoon to
    LEARN how to use your camera in a variety of circumstances. In spite
    of my being an accomplished photographer who has shot professionally
    and own everything from 35mm SLR to 4x5 studio monorail, if I had
    brought my new Canon 20D to Hawaii with me one day after receiving it,
    I know I would have missed shots and frustrated myself trying to make
    my camera do what I know it can do, but which I could not figure out
    out to control the camera unless I sat down on the curb to read the
    manual! Don't do that to yourself on your honeymoon, or your new bride
    will come to hate you sooner!
    wilt, Oct 21, 2005
  17. Hi JJ

    The Canon Digital Rebel XT is one of the latest DSLR offerings from
    Canon. It's very small - a bit too small, in fact. If you want a
    'proper' SLR that costs around $700, a good one to get is either the
    (original) Canon Digital Rebel or the Nikon D50.

    Both are great cameras, though I'd lean more towards the D50.

    Gary Hendricks,
    The best digital photography tutorials and how-to guides:
    Gary Hendricks, Oct 21, 2005
  18. QuestionMan

    jean Guest

    In low light, it's much easier to bump up the ISO, even at 800 a Drebel XT
    will give much superior results than any P&S.

    Many gave you advice about workflow, the first part is taking the pictures
    and getting home with them. This means if you have a couple of memory cards
    you can dump them to CD at many internet cafés in europe. Last year in
    France, I took 2 1Gb and one 512Mb CF cards as well as a portable storage
    disk. I managed to fill all the cards in about 20 days and just backed them
    up on the portable disk. Right now you could probably buy a couple of 2Gb
    cards and be all set.

    When you come back home, then you can start learning about post processing
    to make your shots even better, unless of course you have a long time before
    the trip. And please, give yourself some room and increase your budget, at
    the very least, you will need:

    DSLR (I have Canon stuff so I am biased)
    One extra battery
    At least 2 memory cards, 512Mb each and you spend some time burning CDs or
    bigger and you may not have to.
    One good lens (I took a 24-70 but a wider one would have been better so the
    17-85 sounds good, I now have a 17-40 and it's great)
    A mini tripod (for night or indoor shots)
    Time to get familiar with the equipment


    If you care to look at my pics, you are welcomed
    jean, Oct 21, 2005

  19. Depending on your picture-taking preference:

    Long zoom image stabilised telephoto - Panasonic FZ5 (36 - 432mm zoom)

    Wide angle and very fast - Nikon Coolpix 8400 (24 - 85mm)

    A very good portable storage and display device is the Epson P-2000

    David J Taylor, Oct 21, 2005
  20. QuestionMan

    Dimitris M Guest

    I have read all answers so farr.

    My suggestion for dSLR is to concentrate on the following:
    1. Olympus E500 (kit) with 14-45mm lens (or a new 2 lens kit that will be
    available in a couple of months)
    2. Nikon D50 with a Tamron or Sigma 18-200mm super zoom, or the Nikkor
    3. Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D) with a Tamron or Sigma 18-200mm super zoom.
    (For reference of the focal length to 35mm camera, multiply x2 for Olympus,
    x1.5 for Nikon and x1.6 for Canon)

    Nikon is the fastest, especialy with the Nikkor lens. Sigma & Tamron are a
    little slow to focus.
    Dimitris M, Oct 21, 2005
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