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buying robust easy to handle (digital) camera with good zoom

Travel Forums Travel Photography buying robust easy to handle (digital) camera with good zoom

1. Posted by lein (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The title says it all; basicly I want to buy digital camera to take with on my trip to Sulawesi, Indonesia (internship), followed by a trip to Maleisia and to South-America in the fall.

Altough I would really LOVE to blow my pictures up to poster format, I would also really like to send pictures home during my internship, and my friend with whom I'm going has a prof film camera with her, so I'll probably use hers to cover my walls at home. Not as much fun, but I really had a hard time deciding between film and digital, and I tend to favor digital over film.. But all comments are welcome, please!

-taking pictures and sending them home to record my time abroad to fam&friends
-having a robust camera that's able to survive some humping and bumping
-bit of a larger zoom lens min 4x optical zoom, favourable at least 8x (or 320mm film camera)
-preferably quick to start up and repeatedly take pictures
-economic battery use is nice when traveling!
-easy to use is preferred, since I am by no means an experienced photographer!
-would like to have some manual controls if I'm getting more experienced in using the digicam, so semi-auto is preferred.

With these demands in mind, do you agree digital is the best choice? Or do you think I could get a film camera with better (zoom) lenses and also easy to use for the same/better price?

I found some camera's that meet my demands and would like to hear your opinion on it. In order of preference:

1. Konico Minolta Dimage Z10
2. Fujifilm Finepix S3000
3. Olympus C-724 UZ
4. Kodak-DX 6340
In holland #1 costs about 220 euro and #4 is available from 130 euro.

What's your opinion on these cams or would you recommend others?

Big Thanks for everyone to take the time to read this through and comment on it!


2. Posted by dudikoff (Budding Member 3 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello, I've recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix Fz3. It has a 12X optical zoom, 3MP, and a Lieca lens. The camera has a great feel to it, having a pro style design to it. It's easy to use in Auto mode and is very customizable in manual mode. The only thing missing is manual focus. You can set shutter speed (allows for 8 second esposures) and apeture priority. It's a very fast camera as well. I sound like a salesmen for Panasonic, but rest asured that I am not. I've been really happy with this camera and recommend that you add it to your list.

3. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Leinie,

I'm currently using Canon PowerShot S1 IS, and it has served me well so far.

Brief Specs
- 3.2MP
- 10x Optical Zoom with IS (Image Stabilizer, good for shaky hands)
- 4x AA Batt (don't worry about buying expensive proprietry batt as backups)
- CFII Card
- Manual controls available
- Video Recording with Zoom capability (zoom is normally disabled in most cameras when in video mode)
- Good grip

Read the review of Canon PowerShot S1 IS at Digital Camera Resource.


4. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi I use Konico Minolta Dimage Z2 and it is simply fab, really easy to handle, relatively simple to use but has lots of extras . .the photo's are out of this world. I would say that 10x optical is the minimum!


5. Posted by lein (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello, thanks for the response! Still, the cameras you recommend are a bit above my budget of about 200-250 euro's.. Can anyone comment on these (perhaps cheaper) cameras?


6. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lein,

I believe it's very hard, if not impossible, to get the cameras (based on your requirements) at that price range.

Maybe you could look at used ones, but I wouldn't want to buy any of those, unless I know very well the condition of the camera or why the person is selling it away.


7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I have an Olympus C-725 with a 10x optical zoom (which I assume would be similar to the C-724). I have found it easy to use and to transfer pictures to a computer. I just bought it so I haven't had it out too much yet, so can't talk about battery life, but I can report back on this once I get back from my trip in about a month and a half.