View Full Version : Travel P&S

12-05-2010, 8:21pm
While I love my DSLR, I am going to be doing some traveling over the next 18 months including Nepal/himalayas for some serious high altitude trekking. Given that my body may give in trying to get to Everest base camp at over 5000 meters, I want to cut the weight out of the gear I take. So I am thinking of my DSLR at home. So I want to get the best travel P&S out there with manual controls, raw ability and the ability to capture wide angle shots. I am even open to two new P&S - one for me and one for the wife.
I have started reading review sites and my head is hurting!
I am open to all brands but am a bit of a Canon tragic having used the brand from a film AE-1 to a variety of Ixus point and shoots to a 50D and a variety of lenses.
Anyone else trek the area ?
I am off to Kakadu in Sept then either Nepal or Egypt Jordan and Syria over xmas. The one that gets missed will be done in May 2011.

So all help appreciated.

12-05-2010, 8:41pm
I'd suggest the Canon s90. Got my other half one and it takes some good photos, can shoot RAW (when set in the manual modes, automatic is JPEG only), it's nice and small to fit in your pocket too (the main advantage over the G11 which otherwise is pretty much the same camera).

12-05-2010, 8:42pm
I have seen the Olympus Pen in action and its tiny, but still allows interchangeable lenses. Worth considering, but a bit more $$ than a P&S : http://www.olympus.com.au/component/option,com_product/id,46/task,category/Itemid,69/

Sony have also just released a new line of camera's, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, they refer to them as Sony NEX : http://www.dpreview.com/news/1005/10051102sonynex.asp

Both the above offer you interchangeable lenses and smaller size and weight. I reckon they would be great as an alternative to a traditional P&S, where the extremely small sensor size can be detrimental to the image quality, especially compared to that of a DSLR.

Old Skool
12-05-2010, 8:44pm
Hi JazzXP - Regarding the S90, I've read all good reviews on it, great image quality etc, only thing they all mention is how easy it is to move the dial around whilst shooting, and therefore mucking up settings - do you have trouble with that - what is it really like? Thanks

13-05-2010, 9:11am
Hi JazzXP - Regarding the S90, I've read all good reviews on it, great image quality etc, only thing they all mention is how easy it is to move the dial around whilst shooting, and therefore mucking up settings - do you have trouble with that - what is it really like? Thanks

I've only shot with it a couple of times (I typically use my dSLR while my girlfriend shoots with the S90), but I haven't knocked the dial myself yet. I don't think she has much trouble with it either. The only thing she's had trouble with is her finger over the top of the flash when it is supposed to pop up (finger holds it down).

13-05-2010, 9:47am
G'day Greg

May I offer my 2-bob's worth here..
Okay, you're an SLR bloke - good
So was I for the 40yrs prior to going digital

When I went digital I selected a Fuji 5000, 10x zoom lens job and took off for a 3-month trip to Kakadu. Upon my return I donated the 2-SLR bodies, lenses from 24mm to 1000mm to the local Yr-12 college's photog students as the Fuji did everything that my SLR cameras did for my style of photog. and with only 1/5 the size & weight of the camera case. The fuji died after 5yrs of use & 90,000 frames [on/off switch failed]

Now I know that 95% of users on this forum are SLR users, and that's great, but I would very seriously suggest that you take a critical look at the current crop of UltraZoom cameras as your next P&S travel workhorse

Some on this list have suggested a Canon S90 - good camera with a 4x zoom lens, shooting 10mpx. Also the G11 with its 5x lens & 10mpx, and each offers Shutter & Aperture options

You are about to go travelling and I bet a pound-to-peanuts that you'll want more than a 4x zoom lens

From personal experience of UZ cameras... there are many UZ cameras in the same price range as a Canon S90

I had a Canon SX-1 for 6 weeks then dumped it - the EVF was 2/10 for clarity, the main rotary dial on the rear panel was junk for accurate settings, and as it was a dual function operation, I was constantly getting the wrong options up on the screen, and the 20x zoom was 'okay' till about 15x then it fell away a bit

I looked at 1/2 dozen UZs with 12-18x zoom lenses ... didn't want to go over 20x as the IQ drops off quite quickly ... and ended up with a Pany Lumix FZ-35. In some ways it's not as good as my old Fuji, in some ways it's better as it's 6yrs newer, but it's a good travel camera, slings over the shoulder okay and so on

In dSLR terms
lens = 18 > 300
P A S M operation
JPG & RAW save
AEB, AEL, Burst, Macro etc etc
SD memory cards
good clear EVF
spectacle dioptre adjustment [if needed]
[you can chase it up on DP Review if you like]

If you have any doubts about what a UZ camera will do for you in your travels, have a sqwiz at my Flickr pix (link below)

And pl come back with more Qs
Regards, phil

13-05-2010, 10:29am
I use the Olympus SP 565. I bought this as a stepping stone to DSLR. Great little camera that I've had some great success with. Manual and raw so it might be worth a look.

Here's a link: http://www.olympus.com.au/component/option,com_product/id,328/Itemid,69/type,archived/task,spec/

13-05-2010, 5:23pm
Hi Greg, I have done Everest base camp. I have travelled a fair bit over the years and i have a strong philosphy - when travelling you are normally only there the one time (especially true with Everest base camp), so you need the gear to do the job and do it well. I carried my 1DMkII to base camp but if I had to do it over again I think I would buy myself a lighter DSLR just for that particular trip (40D, 5d etc). I did hook up the camera onto straps on my back pack but it was still quite cumbersome given you are continually climbing for 10 days, it did get heavy. In this area it is a real compromise between convenience and weight. One of the other guys I travelled with used a 40D and did shoot twice as much as I did - due to the fact eventually I had to put my camera in my back pack and only pull it out during stops (and then I did not every time). It is a tough climb to base camp but the scenery is breath taking. Best of luck with your travels.

13-05-2010, 9:33pm
Similar to Brian's view, I think that for a special trip such as this, you should be taking a DSLR. Have you considered a light-weight 'travel' set-up as an alternative to your full 50D + multi-lens main kit?

I'm off to the UK for Glastonbury music festival in a month's time and whilst I'm looking forward to taking lots of pictures at the festival, in view of all the walking I'll be doing (and likelihood of mud) I have decided to take a lightweight DSLR set-up... I'm leaving the 7D and 6 lenses at the relatives (I'm going to want them for non-Glastonbury photography!) and instead I'm taking a 500D + 18-55IS + 55-250IS + gorillapod. Between them, they weigh ~1.0kg and owe me just $650.

13-05-2010, 10:41pm
mm I am leaning back to taking the DSLR. Heck I am impressed with Brian carrying a 1DMkII to Everest base camp - I fill like a wimp now. I will still buy a super zoom p&S and see what its like now. I can give it to my wife to use.

I will head out this weekend with a travel set up with my dslr and think about it some more.

14-05-2010, 7:24am
G'day Greg

50D + 18-200 = 1425grams
Pany FZ35 = 400grams

Regards, Phil