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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:25 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone.

Paripatetic -- All very good considerations. If the S90, had a longer zoom I might go with that alone.

Pboerger -- Thanks for your thoughts. I'm still leaning in the FZ direction. I suspect I'll still need to consider exposure, white balance, etc., but I get your point. And there's always intelligent auto in a pinch.

Dave -- that's one of the reasons I am generally partial to lithium batteries vs AAs, although I see the argument in favor of the more readily available AAs.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:39 AM   #12
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It is clear to me that the consensus leans toward minimal equipment. The supposition is that travel equals vacation, and that may indeed include the family and a shared experience.

None the less, travel seems to include an experience that is out of the day to day ordinary, something the at should be recorded with the best images. Or does travel demand a different outlook where weight, time, and the logistical aspects of the experience take on a new importance?

There is always the possibility that each of us will approach recording the travel experience in different ways. We have seen a a whole, rather large, market niche develop in the last four to five years, around the concept of the "travel zoom camera." Panasonic has been the leader of that market niche. Panasonic's initial evaluation was that it was a small camera experience, hence we began to see the first of the TZ camera series. Other camera manufacturers joined in the market, and they replicated cameras of approximately the same size and capabilities. Has the planning of those cameras shaped our outlook on the travel experience?

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 10:10 AM   #13
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Sarah,

indeed not just for travel and not just in photography, there has generally been a push for miniaturization and portability in electronics.

My inital thought was to go with a ZS3/TZ and the S90. Some folks would take a ZS3 alone. Then I thought that moving "up" to the FZ35 would be worth the extra zoom, features (like an EVF) and the potential for more control if I wanted it, albeit at the price of a good bit more bulk and somewhat more weight. That next lead me to think about a micro 4/3 system for image quality, but there is definitely a price premium for them not to mention the additional bulk and weight again for lenses. Finally, I was at a small entry level DSLR for combination of image quality and bang for buck, but at what price to the convenience I was looking for when thinking about the ZS3??

I suppose this is a thought process that most go through to some extent or another and is why so many people have "different tools for different jobs." Obviously, people will differ as to their personal preferances.

I go back and forth on how I feel about the topic. At the moment I am leaning more toward going for convenience and even have moments when I consider the ZS3 again. The FZ35 may be a happy compromise and a less expensive experiment than going with a DSLR. Unfortunately, it does take some experimentation and experience to determine what compromises one can live with -- and often a decision needs to be reached before that experience is obtained .
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:11 PM   #14
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jazzer-

Based on traveling professionally for 14 years, my observation of fellow travelers, is that the camera of choice seems to be a small point and shoot camera with some degree of zoom.

And that is the exact area that travel cameras (compact zoom cameras) like the Panasonic ZS-3 and the Canon SX-200 fall into.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:13 PM   #15
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It seems about once a month I wind up here asking about cameras. ...
Does that mean you buy a camera every month or you simply can not make up your mind? Some times, the more information you get, the more difficult it is to make a decision. Add to that the fact that manufacturers are constantly releasing new replacement model and there you have it...the never ending search for the perfect photographic equipment. I've learned through the years that the "perfect" camera does not exist. Period. Even though there are literally hundreds of camera models out there, each has its goods and bads (although I admit some may have more bads than goods). Photography has become one of the most profitable markets today. Manufacturers want you to buy a camera now and replace it next year...and the next and the next and the next. When you think you are OK with 10 MP, there comes 12, 14, etc. When you think 18x zoom is good, there comes 20x, 26x, 30x. When you think a camera with a fast prime lens f2.8 is it, there comes the f1.7 and f1.4 and f1.2 lenses. See, it never ever ends.

So, find out what your budget "really" is. Prioritize the features in order of importance (no more than 3-4 because anything past that most likely can be fulfilled by any brand/model). Then, choose a brand you liked and feel comfortable with. Select the models that fit your priority list within your budget and be done with it. I can almost guarantee you that in a year you'll be back here asking more questions for a replacement camera, which I think is better than visiting the forum once a month for an entire year without having enjoyed taking pictures and sharing them with the rest of us.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 12:37 PM   #16
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everything except the wildlife you can easily do with S90.

i am not sure what you are expecting to do with the wildlife. if you have a tour and its a major focus, then having a camera for that could be worth it. i would go for a superzoom with a good macro facility as there alot of small frogs n stuff there. fz35 or sx20is (if you want AA battery)
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 4:27 PM   #17
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Tullio -- thanks, very good advice. I actually did buy a camera several months ago (my S90), but I continue looking as I always figured I would supplement it with something with a bit more zoom. I can't agree more that "sometimes the more information you get, the more difficult it is to make a decision."

Hards -- the entire trip isn't a wildlife tour, but I suspect part of the time will be devoted to that. I was in Yellowstone last summer and while I got by with a pocket camera with a 4x zoom, there were times I really wished I had more. I don't know if it makes sense to buy a camera solely for the purpose of the occassional trips where wildlife is involved, but it seemed that a superzoom and the S90 might work well together for vacations as well as everyday home use, depending upon the circumstance.

I think part of the issue why I have continued to look for an additional camera is that I was originally very torn between the S90 and ZS3. I really had the desire for more zoom (not necessarily 18x), but I also wanted the better image quality, low light ability and possibility for manual control that the S90 offered. In the end I opted for the S90's features at the expense of a longer zoom. Most of the time, the S90 is all I need/want. Sometimes, however, the extra zoom is very helpful, plus I like the idea of a viewfinder and eventually I would like to play with some filters.

The more I consider the matter, the more I think a superzoom makes more sense for me at this time than a DSLR or m 4/3. A small "travel camera" may even make sense. I do, however, find it a bit difficult to contemplate spending money on a second camera that has a smaller sensor than my pocket digicam (albeit the two cameras together would cost less than most DSLRs with lenses covering the same zoom range and would weigh considerably less).
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 4:41 PM   #18
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jazzer-

The price difference between the ZS-3 and the FZ-35 is not that great, and you get substantially more camera quality and a much better built-in flash unit. The bilit-in flash unit on the ZS-3 is hopeless and it is the primary reason why ZS-3 users complain about indoor image quality.

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Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:10 PM   #19
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jazzer-

littlejohn had even less time to work with his Kx before his trip to CR. So I think that should not be a concern. You did very well with the S-90. So the focus should be on the best camera for you to use.

At 14 ounces in weight, the FZ-35 will have a real advantage in the weight department. The focus now will be on the KX weight when equipped with the Pentax 50-300mm lens. An issue littlejohn seemed to note was that he wished for a super zoom to shoot with at times. I could be incorrect, and we will have to see what littlejohn reports, but that could have been due to camera weight.

Sarah Joyce

I did have the 50-300 and the 18-55 lens with me. The biggest decision was which to put on before the next outing as i didn't really want to change midstream..I did tho.

I never considered wt to be a problem..lets face it, any camera isn't going to be too heavy..unless you hike up mt everest. My biggest problem was size. and by that I mean anything bigger then a pocket camera is more of an inconvenience...whether I had the K-X size or the K7 wouldn't make any difference..its still something hanging over the shoulder.



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My two cents. I never take my DSLR on vacation. I have seen too many photo ops become about the shot rather than family fun. Changing lenses, white balance, correct exposure, etc. can bring a fun activity to a halt. The difference in size and weight between a DSLR (even with a small lens) and a P&S zoom is huge. I have used the Panasonic FZ series through the 28 and they are very good all around cameras and very portable.
I can see that....but a vac is also an opportunity to get more 'shots'..part of my fun was getting to know the camera, playing with its...some people catchup on reading while on vac...I snapped 1000's of shots...someday I'll be able to 'play' with them LOL..


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Add type of battery and how long it will last -- the need to carry a lot of batteries if the batteries do not last long and the need to charge them and carry charger........ there are restrictions in some cases on how many batteries you can carry on to an airplane in your carry-on luggage.

dave

That is interesting..I flew from Canada, to the usa and on to Costa Rica...and carried a number of batteries. They were never a concern...what was a concern going down was the silica gel packs I had....several of them. Coming back...nothing.

You can split up your batteries too...some in the carry on and the rest in the luggage...another advantage to using AAs...if your luggage gets lost on your way down...batteries are easily purchased at yor destination.

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Sarah,

indeed not just for travel and not just in photography, there has generally been a push for miniaturization and portability in electronics.

My inital thought was to go with a ZS3/TZ and the S90. Some folks would take a ZS3 alone. Then I thought that moving "up" to the FZ35 would be worth the extra zoom, features (like an EVF) and the potential for more control if I wanted it, albeit at the price of a good bit more bulk and somewhat more weight. .

I think you need to buy for more than the vacation. get the camera you will use time and time again. If its a DLSR because you want to get the better shots, but find that limiting at times.....get a P&S as a back up.

I am rethinking bridge cameras, as they are like a swiss army knife..can do it all....but does not excel in all. A bridge camera isn't much more portable then a DSLR, but offers the advantage of longer zooms.


Here is my thoughts........a vac to Costa Rica is a once in a lifetime experience. You will see things, and wildlife that you won't see at home. You'll want the best you can get in pics for that you'll like the DSLR. To watch a pelican fishing and diving into the water you'll like the 4 frames per second shots. But back at the hotel room..by the pool with the kids splashing around...take the P&S. Preserve the memory.

One other thing if you go the bridge or P&S route.....try to get one with a built in lens cover....its harder to lose. I did lose mine once it was found...but (note to self..self, pick up an extra...)

Good luck in your decision, and enjoy your vac. The cost of the camera is pretty small in terms of the vac expense btw...


I should add.. that IF the H-20 had a better wide angle....it would be my choice for a backup camera...
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 5:24 PM   #20
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littlejohn-

Thanks for mentioning the Sony H-20, it really is quite a camera, and a good traveler as well.

Sarah Joyce
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