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Old Sep 8, 2010, 8:20 PM   #1
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Default Point & Shoot for South America

Hello all!

My partner and I are travelling across South America in a month and are looking at a new point and shoot camera. We want something that:
  • Has a decent optical zoom
  • Great image quality
  • Is point and shoot (carrying around full DSLRs in SA is a recipe for theft. We don't care about losing a camera, but we do care about losing our photos)
  • Has a fast shot to shot time
  • Can cost up to about $500
  • No need for HD video, standard video or Geotagging
  • No great need for shockproof, waterproof, dustproof, snowproof etc. But if it is, great!
  • Is OK at high alttitude (10,000 feet +)
Currently, all my research is pointing towards a Panasonic Lumix, though I don't know which model. Overall, they seem to be the best in the market for the price, but some have claimed they have a slow shot to shot time. Is this correct? Do people have any other recommendations?

PS. We currently own three other cameras.
FujiFilm Finepix (S5500). An OK hybrid camera that has done the job. Too bulky for carrying across SA and even though it isn't expensive it still looks like it is. There are Point and Shoot cameras that have overtaken most of its specifications anyway.
Kodak, maybe L47? I don't even remember the model. It is a trusty little point and shoot camera that will probably come with us as a backup.
Olympus 1050SW. This camera will come in handy for our rough and tumble adventures with all its "proofyness", but it is just too slow to autofocus. I have reset it to factory settings but it still takes a considerable amount of time from shot to shot. Is it slow autofocus? Slow XD Card? Would lowering the image quality make it faster? Should I try shoot in manual? Who knows. I wish I could figure it out.

Thank you for any advice you can give. I am very appreciative.

Lylepalooza
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 8:24 PM   #2
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fuji HS10 or panasonic fz35. The fz is small and can be conceal a little easer. If you are going on safari, you will want want a 18x zoom or better.

If you are backpacking bring a small camera. If you are staying at the higher end hotels. DSLR are fine. Capetown you see tons of dslr shooting around the city.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 9:24 PM   #3
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Thank you for your advice. I should have been more clear:
SA = South America

I'm going to Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Iguazu Falls etc
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 9:55 PM   #4
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lylepalooza-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

I have traveled to South America extensively. I see the Panasonic FZ-35 as an ideal choice. If you want something smaller, consider the Canon SX-130.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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Several point and shoot cameras support for you,
Canon PowerShot S90, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1, Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1, Canon PowerShot SD4000 IS, Nikon Coolpix S8000,

These are some pocketable cameras, they are easy to use, and a great choice for the casual photographer.
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Old Sep 8, 2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Yes I think Capetown would be a stretch from there...lol...he doesn't read to well before he posts sometime...
Lyle I would definitely check out the ZS7 as it is a hip camera and metal body...rugged well made...I take mine hiking on my hip all the time and out of 3 of them none have ever failed me...it does have GPS but you can turn it off at anytime and leave it off...here's some pic's with it in a Ripoffs Holster which is the perfect companion for it...clips on and clips off, but these clips will not come off unless you assist them...wear mine on my belt from the US to Africa all the time...extra battery for ZS7 is smallish and easy to pocket...I also have a Marine Case for mine ad actually took some pic's in the pool the other day...
HS10 is not a good choice period as it is heavy and a bit awkward...FZ35 is a great camera, but still not pocketable, batteries are larger so carrying a spare is not convenient it does have a better flash than the ZS7...thats the only weak point on the ZS7 is the flash is only good for 6-8ft max...the charger for the ZS7 works on 120-240V so not a problem there and a European Adapter comes with it I think I would also buy a 12Volt DC Charger as they have them on Ebay that charge 12V DC or 120-240 all in one I have one for every camera I own so i can charge while driving/traveling...get 3 X 8Gb Sandisk Extreme Class 6 Cards and you should be set for the trip...I would take a Walking Stick/Monopod also you can get them cheap off Ebay or Amazon...we have some that were $12 and work like a champ...just an idea...
Some samples:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...no-museum.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...-colorado.html
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...rado-trip.html




Last edited by LTZ470; Sep 8, 2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 10:17 AM   #7
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I would not take anything like the HS10 or the FZ35 or any other super zoom camera like that to SA. It will certainly catch the eyes of the bad guys. These cameras although they are reasonably cheap here, they are very expensive down there and the thieves can make a lot of money selling them. And when they rob you, they will not let you take the memory card...everything goes!

I'd go for something more compact such as the ZS6/ZS7 or the Canon 14x zoom. You'll have the reach, the IQ and certainly the "blend-in" factor.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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The Canon SX-130 has 12X optical zoom (28mm to 336mm) with a an excellent built-in flash unit and it does HD video. The ZS7 in contrast has 12X optical zoom (25mm to 300mm), HD video, but it has a small and weak built-in flash unit that produces poor indoor image quality, and they are both about the same size.

I sold my ZS7 and purchased the SX130. To me it was a no brainer. Great image quality indoors and outdoors.

Here is what the SX-130 can do indoors. Please just click on the link:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...3_jLWja-X3.jpg

And here is a shot that demonstrates the SX-130's size:

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ca...8_K7YuX-X3.jpg

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Sep 9, 2010 at 11:43 AM.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:46 PM   #9
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I think you can't go wrong either way with the ZS7 or the SX130.

The ZS7 is a little wider making it a little better for landscapes etc and a bit smaller, not by much, just the shape is a little more pocketable.

The new Canon Sx130 does a reasonably good 28mm for wide angle and does better indoors. The AA power could be nice while traveling if you had trouble getting to a charger.

You have a month, so why try them out and see which one gels with you better.
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 1:59 PM   #10
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Sorry about that, I was jet lag when I posted that. But I have been to SA also. Same rules apply. I had no issues in panama, Argentina or Peru with my dslr when staying at the high end hotels.

And did not have any issues when running about. But if backpacking a megazoom would be a safer option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lylepalooza View Post
Thank you for your advice. I should have been more clear:
SA = South America

I'm going to Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Iguazu Falls etc
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