BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Kelly S. Dickinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/19/2003
 

Buying Travel Camera


I will be going to Guatemala the end of the month and am looking to buy a good compact travel camera. I currently have a Canon 300D, but am a little concerned about having to carry camera and lenses around. Any recommendations?


To love this question, log in above
2/1/2008 7:11:56 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Yeah, two of them, Kelly. First, unless you've got about a month to learn how to use your new purchase and really test it out, don't take a new camera (or any other new equipment you want to rely on) on a vacation.

Second, sometimes lugging around a little extra gear is worth the trouble. You can always check the gear you're not taking on your daily local sojourns with the front desk at the hotel for them to lock up for safe-keeping until you return.

Just a couple of thoughts from a photographer who travels a lot for work.
Take it light ;>)
Mark


To love this comment, log in above
2/1/2008 9:12:28 PM

 
Kelly S. Dickinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/19/2003
  Thanks Mark for your response. I have read that a person traveling to this area shouldn't take anything they are aren't willing to loose due to crime; however, that is probably the case in most places, even in the US. This is part of the reason, I was thinking of buying a compact camera that I could slip into my pocket or purse. I do have a smaller Olympus, but I have not been satisfied with the quality of the pics. I really like the quality of photos I get with my Canon though and know I would be happy with the end result. Have you been to Guatemala in your travels?


To love this comment, log in above
2/2/2008 12:19:05 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi Kelly,

Facing a similar travel schedule I chose a Nikon S4.
Nikon is a reliable camera.
S4 used two AA batteries, no charger, easy to get easy to carry.
S4 now superseded is selling of about $160 US dollars
Respectable 6 mega pixel
10x zoom gets out their.
Has micro (close-up) mode
With a few extra SD cards you can shoot for weeks
Lens swivels thatís a neat feature.
No viewfinder LCD screen is poor as to ability to compose in bright light.

Happy landings,
Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net


To love this comment, log in above
2/2/2008 6:50:07 AM

 
W.   
Hi Kelly,

I'd like to reinforce Mark's first suggestion: don't take a camera that you are not thoroughly familiar with!

FYI: I went to Panama and Costa Rica with my old "prosumer/bridge" camera, a KonicaMinolta A2 (8mp, 28-200mm), precisely because I didn't like schlepping around a dSLR with heavy lenses. I'm not a mule. And I was happy I did!

Re: "crime", insure yourself well.

Have fun overthere!


To love this comment, log in above
2/2/2008 11:13:51 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Great point, W.S., I never thought to mention insurance for equipment when traveling out of the country. For non-pros, I'd just call the guy who handles your household insurance and see if the camera is covered if it gets boosted or broken overseas.

About the closest I've gotten to Guatamala is Southern Mexico or the near-north side of Chicago. But I guess a Nikon F-2 with an 85mm f1.4 lens and MD-2 motor drive on a strap is the equivalent to a dangerous weapon. That along with a Gitzo monopod with a spiked foot and I'd say you'd be well-armed on an as-needed basis.
M.


To love this comment, log in above
2/3/2008 12:15:49 PM

 
doug Nelson   On vacation recently, I saw several fellow tourists cradling their HUGE 72mm or 77mm filter-size zooms in both hands like a drunk in fear of someone taking his bottle. Reduce the size of this outfit with a 24mm f2.8 prime lens. With your mag factor of 1.6, you'll end up with the equivalent of about a 40mm, a VERY useful focal length. Most of what I shot in Morocco was with a 35mm semi-wide on a film camera (see Gallery on my site). If you prefer, a 20mm prime will factor out to about a 33mm, a bit wider. Add a 50mm f1.8 to get a 78 or so, and you'd be covered for 95% of what you might normally do (given MY style of shooting). Consider also a tiny digital point 'n shoot to cover the tele or macro end. Our friends here are right about being familiar with the camera you've got before you travel. Take reasonable precautions, and enjoy yourself. If anything is stolen (unlikely), tell your homeowner's or rental insurance it's gone.


To love this comment, log in above
2/3/2008 12:59:11 PM

 
Kelly S. Dickinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/19/2003
  Thanks to all who have responded to my question. I have decided to take my Canon 300D since I am familiar with it and like the results. I will take the one lens I use most of the time. I will also take my smaller point and shoot camera. I hadn't thought about our homeowner's insurance, so I will check into this. I'm sure I will have a great time and come back with some great photos. Thank you again for your helpful feedback.


To love this comment, log in above
2/3/2008 1:22:54 PM

 
W.   
Like Mark says, you may already be covered by your household insurance. Check that! Because zillions of people take out extra travel insurance (including coverage of photo equipment) while they don't need it at all!

The insurance companies love that . . . !


To love this comment, log in above
2/3/2008 4:22:40 PM

 
Kelly S. Dickinson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/19/2003
  Hi all,

Thank you for all of your responses. I am back from Guatemala and had a wonderful time. I am looking forward to returning soon. I took my Canon 300D with all 3 lenses and was happy I did. I decided not to take my computer this time, but would not hesitate to take it in the future as I took about 1000 photos while I was away. It would have been much easier to edit my photos at the end of each day rather than after I have returned home. Thanks for all your good advice.


To love this comment, log in above
3/7/2008 12:29:13 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.