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Camera Advice RTW Trip

Travel Forums Travel Photography Camera Advice RTW Trip

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11. Posted by havelstone (Budding Member, 9 posts) 5 Dec '11 04:49

I have a Sony Nex-5 and love it. The panorama shot option is well impressive

12. Posted by Jazmin81 (Budding Member, 7 posts) 6 Dec '11 06:46

I had an experience just like Sander's. I started traveling 6 months ago and ended up getting a canon point and shoot (Canon SX30 IS) which I thought was great. After a myriad of shots and seeing what the quality is like once I downloaded them to my laptop, I realized the quality just wasn't there (It's a good camera but many of the pictures came out quite noisy). I went back to the US for a month and after a bit of research, and a random stroll on the streets of San Francisco, I bump into a camera shot and bought myself a DSLR (Canon EOS Rebel T3i) I purchased the camera with the 18-135 lens (and purschased a bigger lens as well, but that was just a bonus for me, not a necessity). I have to say, though I did spend a pretty penny on it, I couldn't be happier with my purchase. The quality of the pictures are so much better, the details, the depth, contrast, everything. Since I'm also traveling for an extended amount of time (12-18 months), I was also worried about carrying too many things with me, but the additional weight for me is worth it when I see the pictures I take. :)

Good luck in your journey!
All the best.

13. Posted by mohn (Respected Member, 42 posts) 8 Dec '11 15:59

My 2c ...

I would suggest starting off with a P&S. If this is your first long trip, you won't have any clue about how much photography you're going to do until you're actually on the road - you can see on any blogging site how people often start their trip with a rush of blogs and photos for the first couple of weeks, then gradually tail off to nothing because they find that there are other aspects of travel that they're more interested in. With a P&S you won't have invested much if you end up discovering that photography doesn't form as large a part of your travels as you originally expected.

As has been mentioned, "good" photography depends more on creative talent than advanced technology. Learning how to create good photos can be done just as well on a P&S as on a DSLR and, again, you haven't made a great financial investment. You may also find that understanding some of the physics of photography (in particular the relationships between aperture/shutter speed/ISO/depth of field/etc) will be a tad easier on a less-complicated camera.

Most P&S cameras are not as technically advanced as a DSLR but they're still powerful bits of kit. If you spend the time reading the manual and experimenting with the camera, you'll be able to use it to its best advantage and perhaps find ways to get round its weaknesses. When I started my RTW, I used my P&S constantly in automatic mode (i.e. the camera chose all the settings) because I had no idea how the thing worked - by the time I'd finished, I was doing everything in manual mode. That way, I was able to address some of the camera's shortcomings - one example was that my camera (like many P&Ss) had poor low-light performance, but by using manual mode I could make sure it never shot anything at above ISO200. Sure, that then introduced a different problem (slower shutter speed hence more susceptibility to blur) but that was a problem I could control (e.g. by steadying the camera) as opposed to letting automatic mode use a higher ISO which would result in unacceptable graininess.

Anyone with a DSLR will also have a P&S tucked away somewhere for those occasions when they just can't be bothered taking all their stuff with them. So if you decide to upgrade, then your P&S will still come in handy.

Finally, a P&S has the great advantage of being light. The part of travel I hate the most is picking up my damn backpack and lugging it from A to B, even though my stuff rarely weighs more than 12kg. During my RTW my interest in photography increased greatly and, on returning, I bought a DSLR, lenses, tripod, etc which I'm very happy with, but if I do a RTW again, I'll be leaving all of that at home and taking my P&S. I take photos primarily for memories rather than to sell and, when I look back at the photos I took on my RTW, there are certainly examples where having a DSLR would have produced a better picture, but not often to the point where it has ruined my memory of the place/person/event/whatever.

As you can see from the rest of the thread, everyone has different thoughts on this. For me, weight is the biggest issue with a DSLR for a RTW - if I went to the gym more, maybe it would cease to be a problem. For you, I don't know. But, all things considered, I would still think that kicking off with a P&S is less "risky" than going straight into DSLRworld.

As regards models, I started my RTW (2005) with a Panasonic FZ20 but, after dropping it a few too many times, had to replace it (2007) with a Canon S3iS (a similar camera). Between them, I took over 30,000 pictures. I was very pleased with both of these, though there have been several model iterations for both since then. I must admit that I'm a zoom addict so the x12 optical zoom on both of these was great - though you can get x30 and above models these days. Again, some people prefer a wide angle, some people prefer good low light performance (e.g. Canon G series) - it really depends on what kind of things you like to photograph.

14. Posted by mohn (Respected Member, 42 posts) 8 Dec '11 16:04

Blimey - you think you've written a short response in the "Your Reply" box and then it turns out to be a monster! Sorry ...

15. Posted by AcrossTheGlobe (Budding Member, 27 posts) 8 Dec '11 16:22

@mohn: No need to apologize! Your post is in fact the type I am always hoping to receive. When I got done reading it I was like "Wow. This guy's perspective is a monumental influence on how I've been viewing this entire subject!" For me I guess it is really coming down to three things: 1) Cost 2) Am I ok with the extra lugging of a DSLR and 3) Because this is potentially a one in a lifetime trip as big as I've set it up would it be a mistake to not use a DSLR.

It is definitely tough any way you want to slice it. This is what I've gotten it down to:

Subcompact - Canon PowerShot S95 or S100
Superzoom - Cannon SX230 HS, Nikon Coolpix S9100
P&S - Canon PowerShot G12
Mirror or 4/3 - Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
SLR: Nikon D3100

Still a few for me to narrow down but 4 or 5 is way better than where I started (was insanely difficult to weed through at first!) I think technically that all of these are good cameras - now it is just time to decide which style to go with. A ton of guys on the boards have pointed me towards the Canon S95. Only problem I believe with that is it lacks zoom though I've heard that frequently zoom is not needed at crazy levels (sure it just depends on the person as we can see you are more of a zoom guy).

Tough call for sure, but I definitely appreciate your LONG post :-). Very insightful and helpful on my journey for the "perfect" (j/k) camera I suppose.

If you can think of anything else definitely throw it my way. I can use all the help I can get!

Thanks

Chris

P.S. I noticed in your profile that you've been to Thailand and other parts of Asia. I am currently in a fit with figuring out whether or not to get the Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies vaccinations (as my trip will take me through asia as well as many other continents). Thoughts?

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