We are going on the Best of Europe 21 day tour from late July-early August. One of my questions is about cameras. I am an amateur photographer and want to get great pics without lugging around too much weight or bulk. Any suggestions? Also, is a long zoom a big plus on this type of trip?
It really depends on what you want to get out of your photos. If you are looking for snapshots that represent what you saw and did and of yourself/companions, then a point-shoot pocket sized camera is more than adequate. Easy to carry and store; easy to get a quick shot. Good quality for generic images. My wife uses one and gets some great shots but her "range" is limited compared to my DSLR.
I see a lot of people just use their iPhone camera, which does ok. Very limited "range."
But if you really want great shots of the sites and details, with a quality of light, focus and depth of field, and able to play around with the results digitally, you'll want a DSLR with a good lens. For example, cathedral interiors can be captured really well with a DSLR but not the well with a point-shoot. Gargoyles on the exterior can be captured with a decent zoom lens. And you can shoot in RAW and play with the lighting and effects later.
For me, photography is important and so I carry a DSLR with a versatile 18-200 lens. Although I often shoot in auto mode for speed and convenience, I can shoot in RAW and get either wide shots or really good zooms and it does excellent in low lighting. For me, I don't mind carrying around the camera and with the single lens I don't have to change it all the time. But it can be bulky and awkward at times. When I am not using it for awhile, I stick it in my day bag.
I like the Canon G15.
I just picked up a Panasonic Lumix zs40, but haven't really tested it. Good pictures are essential since this is a once in a lifetime for our family. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated!
I'm also an amateur photographer and for that reason I pack along a DSLR on each trip. I tend to take the view that since I may only visit some places once in my lifetime, I want to give myself the best chance possible to get good photos. The DSLR provides much more flexibility in terms of ISO, shutter and aperture settings, etc. which I find very useful in varying conditions. Many museums and galleries prohibit flash and some also won't allow Tripods so flexibility is important. On those occasions when I've only had a P&S available, I've felt very "constrained". About 99% of the time I use only two lenses, a 24-105 zoom and a 10-22 wide angle (I usually pack along a 70-300 as well, but don't tend to use it much).
One of my most important "travel rules" is always have a backup for important gear so I also pack along a P&S on every trip. That's currently a Panasonic ZS-30 (TZ-40), which I bought in Florence last year when my DSLR malfunctioned. I also travel with an iPhone these days, but find that somewhat limited in some situations (especially low light and with moving subjects). I don't always take the DSLR if I'm going out for dinner but I always have the P&S with me and the DSLR stays in the hotel room (but I pull the memory card and store it in my money belt - a thief might get the camera, but at least I'll still have my photos).
IMO, long optical zoom is a good feature, as it allows more flexibility in framing shots. That was one of the criteria I considered when I chose the Panasonic.
you can do some studying on the web site below. It has a lot of great info.
[enter link description here] : http://www.imaging-resource.com
what i learned was that:
- pixels wasn't the #1 important item about choosing a camera. It can be a mix of pixels, lens and internal software.
- CIPA rating is a nice feature to compare apples vs oranges. Its a standard on how many shots you can take on a charge. Not including movies, GPS and such.
- optical zoom/lense is better than digital.
i bought 2 different cameras.
1# is a pocket type about the size of a pack of cigarettes. no lens to pop out, the lens cover slides down and I'm ready to shoot. It has a wide to mid/regular size lens.
2# is a pocket size also, but has the pop out lens. Its a mid to ultra zoom capabilities. It also has GPS which was nice in Normandy.
both have movie capabilities, one has the zoom disabled when in movie mode, the other one doesn't.
Camera #1 gets 90% of the use since its in my chest pocket or hand 100% of the time. It also has a panorama function that i use a lot. If i need reach out there i will pull out camera #2.
just some comments.
*whatever camera you get, i would spend several weeks before you go to learn how to use the cameras functions. that includes low light conditions, night shots, movies and such. you can go around your local town/buildings and practice taking shots with it.
- get a spare battery too.
- get a spare battery too.
- get a spare or several memory cards for it. since they aren't that expensive, no reason to not have a few handy and they don't take up a lot of space.
one day i will opt for a mini DSLR but for now, they are still embryonic in my opinion and have some maturing to do before i will buy one to take and lug with me around the world. I can say that i haven't missed carrying my 2 SLRs either.
We don't have any official cameral recommendations. The main issues you may want to think about is quality of photo vs. weight of the cameral. DSLR cameras will give you the best photos but a pocket sized point-and-shoot camera is a lot easier to deal with when you are out exploring. Point-and-shoot cameras have gotten better or there is the middle sized mirrorless lens cameras that tend to get pretty good feedback. I recommend playing with a few options at a camera store or Best Buy type store.
Thanks for all the input. I guess I was also fishing for recommendations on wide angle vs. telephoto. Less is more when traveling as I've learned the hard way, but
this will be my first experience with a guided tour which may skew a little differently. I have a couple of months to check out my new P&S to see how it performs so that's the good thing :) I don't like walking with a heavy bag, but great shots are definitely important.
Good photos come from the eye and brain, not the machine.
While you must have an eye to create well-composed pictures, Ed, it's certainly partly having the right machine too. I don't mean blowing $$$$ on a camera you won't use much, but you have to have a decent quality lens and base to begin with if you want to get photos that can be printed well.
fisherec - I haven't traveled often with a telephoto lens, and haven't often regretted it. There have been some circumstances it may have been helpful, but I found my fixed f/1.8 50mm to be better (because it was so helpful in low-light situations). That one's a lot lighter and easier to carry around, too. If I were choosing between telephoto and wide-angle, I would probably bring wide-angle for most of the things you'll see in Europe. It partially depends on what subjects you plan on shooting.
Betcha I'm as proud of some of the stuff taken with the S100 as I am with the D3X pics. And only one fits in my pocket.
"Thanks for all the input. I guess I was also fishing for recommendations on wide angle vs. telephoto. Less is more when traveling as I've learned the hard way, but this will be my first experience with a guided tour which may skew a little differently. I have a couple of months to check out my new P&S to see how it performs so that's the good thing :) I don't like walking with a heavy bag, but great shots are definitely important."
I haven't been on any guided tour per say, but i have used the bus for a shuttle instead of driving or taking a bus/train/cab.
But what it comes down to is you will NEED both. or if you can find a good blend of wide angle/telephoto.
i chose to get 2 PNS pocket cameras due to the fact that both together are smaller than a DSLR with lenses.
If you are going to be in ANY of the older grand churches, a wide angle is necessary and some won't even cover what you want. Ive used both cameras in the churches, one for the wide angle/panarama shots and the other for detail on the walls/stainedglass and such.
That like i had on my first post covers lenses and whats what on any camera you may choose. If you haven't looked at it, you may want to at least look at A camera and review the pictures they take with the lens and setup. You can see how different they can be.
if you want someone or others to tell you what camera to buy, just say so and they will chime in.
I went from a little point and shoot (and got some great pics) in 2008 to a Fuji super zoom (HS 20 - they're prob on an HS 50 by now) which is a 'bridge' camera - has some of the capabilities and setting functions of a DSLR and mine has like 40x zoom. This year, I purchased a Canon EOS M - a mirrorless camera that you can change the lenses on. Mind you, they only have 3 proprietary lenses right now (no zooms, but a nice wide angle and a lovely 22mm), but I can get an adaptor so other Canon lenses will be usable. I haven't taken it on holiday (but will soon), but I like that it is smaller then the trad SLR. There are great mirrorless cameras out there from Sony, Nikon and many others. If you don't need a viewfinder, you'd prob like it. I will still take my Fuji with me for those places that I want to get a good zoom, and I'm hoping to get lots of use out of the Canon as well for wide angle and up close.
I also consider myself a very amateur photog (I've sold some photos on etsy - helps finance my camera and lens purchases!). Whatever you do, get the camera a month or two beforehand and REALLY learn how to use it if you are getting more then just a point and shoot. Take it out around where you live and play with the settings and such...you want to get the best pics you can, and knowing the capabilities of the camera are a great start!
Wow, your thoughtful replies are making me realize that I jumped the gun with my recent camera purchase. For some reason, I was thinking that a telephoto would be the best lens (duh). On the upside, it has option of using auto or manual, aperture priority, and shutter priority, etc. It has a great viewfinder, the ability to shoot RAW, video, panorama, and also has GPS and Wifi. The only thing it doesn't have is wide angle! And, it wasn't cheap. One idea I had was to maybe get an Olloclip wide angle for my iPhone 5. Another option might be to get another PNS which has great wide angle and low light capabilities, and which isn't horribly expensive. Any suggestions there? Thanks for all the help so far!
Christine - What is the lens range? I personally find that I don't use a very wide angle much of the time in Europe. It's not like your taking many wide open landscapes. And I am more interested in architectural details. But everyone is different.
Hi Douglas, thanks for your post. The lens goes from 24-720mm. The camera has a pretty small image sensor (1/2.3) with 18.9 megapixels. Before buying the camera I read several reviews from people who said the camera when pushed too far shoots noisy images. I'm afraid in a low-light environment where I want to capture an idea of the scope of a building interior, that it will fall very short.
I'm getting too old now to carry the case around while we're in Europe, with the heavy Canon SLR with 2 -3 lenses; from wide angle to 300mm. I shoot in RAW and do post-production in Photoshop and print with icc paper profiles as I sell my photography and mixed media landscapes.
Two years ago I bought a lightweight, mirrorless Panasonic Lumix GX1 which shoots in RAW, Manual or Auto, does video and has so many bells and whistles to figure out! :) The lens kit I chose was the wide angle to medium range: 14-42 (28mm to 84mm). I also bought an adjustible viewfinder attachment that you can turn on and off, or use the screen (which usually has too much glare for me). Took it on our trip 10 -day trip to Sweden and a 2-week Baltic cruise and it worked very well. Was pleased with the light weight and quality of photos. BTW- Your new Lumix looks really great with the built-in super zoom!
For a pano, I can stand in one spot, holding camera steady, swivel like a human tripod, taking about 6- 7 pictures. Then, stitch them all together in Photoshop and get a big nice panoramic. Works vertically, too, for stitching together tall buildings, mountains etc. I think there are apps for this other than Photoshop. (*more old person talk). Bought a simple attachment at Apple that lets me download the memory card to my ipad for backup and reviewing photos. Will take it on our trip to Italy next week!
A 24 lens will be plenty of a wide angle for what you need. Is the 720 all optical zoom? If not, once you go into digital zoom, that's when the image quality falls quickly. And the image sensor size will limit you, especially for dark spaces like churches. But the only real solution to that is to use a DSLR.
While I'm not familiar with this particular camera, it sounds like it will have a good level of versatility for you and is the next best thing to a DSLR.
Thanks again, Douglas. Your assessment is on the mark. I've been doing some test shots today with the PNS and in general there's noise and lack of sharpness even in medium light. The size of the image sensor is a real issue. I took a couple of interior shots and the 24mm captures a lot of area, more than I was expecting. The 720mm is optical zoom according to the specs. I will try shooting RAW to see if there's any improvement. On the whole, it appears that I will be sacrificing super sharp shots unless all conditions are optimum. Isn't it too bad that you can't really test a camera before buying? The reviews were pretty accurate but I have to actually see images for myself to judge. I have to say that I'm not disappointed in the camera. For a point and shoot, it's amazingly loaded and user friendly. Some further comparisons between my Lumix and Nikon DSLR over the next few weeks will be useful in making a decision. I appreciate your help.
As Douglas mentioned, a 24mm range is not too bad for wide angle, and should suffice in many situations. The ZS-40 is quite new and there aren't too many reviews on it yet, but check THIS website from time-to-time as they're currently doing a review. Since the newer model has retained the 18 MP sensor, the test results will likely be somewhat similar to the ZS-30. The big difference with the ZS-40 is the increase from 480mm to 720mm maximum zoom.
Like it's predecessor the ZS-30, the newer model also has built-in GPS and I'd suggest leaving that switched off unless specifically needed, as it will drain the battery much faster. Having an extra battery would be a good idea, especially if you're prone to use the zoom extensively. I'm thinking of buying a third-party external charger for my ZS-30 since the Panasonic batteries charge within the camera.
Thanks for the link, Ken. I hadn't seen that one. It gives me a lot more reason to really learn the camera well. He got some awesome shots with it...so impressive. I agree with you on the charger. It's more efficient to have an external charger and extra batteries. This camera takes a while to charge up..170 minutes from a drained battery. I'll keep checking the updates for more of his review. So far, so good! Thanks again.
I'm finding with the ZS-30 that there are so many "bells & whistles", it takes awhile to learn how to get the best results with it. However, "Auto" mode always works well, and I've gotten some great results with the Camera so far.
You might want to give B&H in NYC a call and talk to someone there about what you are looking for as well. I also think they have a good return policy if you are not happy with the quality. Also Best Buy has a return policy too.... check it out. You should not have to keep equipment that does not meet your expectations.
As far as advice on a camera... the best camera is one that you will use frequently and with ease. Given too many obstacles (changing lenses, reconfiguring settings, etc.) the less likely you are to take photos. The new P&S cameras give more than adequate quality. I would have a nice little zoom lens and that should be great 95% of the time... for the other 5% either keep it in your memory or buy a postcard. The best advice for getting great pictures is really not the camera, but the subject matter you choose to photograph. You should spend time studying the rules of composition. Then.... get up early and photograph at the time of day when the lighting is best....... yes, you need a decent camera, but there are tons of people out there with great cameras who end up with tons of mediocre photos. It's all about your vision, not your equipment. (I am a professional photographer)
I took a SLR, tripod, filters, lenses, bag, etc. on one Asian trip years ago. My pictures were great. My friend took a small auto-focus all in one Canon. His pictures were great too. I kicked myself for lugging around so much extra stuff since few of my pictures really needed that much equipment. Candids are often the best pictures and much easier to take with a small camera.
Ever since then I take the smallest high-quality camera I can find. My current choice is a Canon Elf with 10X digital zoom, a 3" window on back for composing/editing photos, good low-light function, long battery life, HD video (for shots where motion matters) and something to help with camera movement. Costco normally has some good choices for under $200, check them out. Pack plenty of 4G memory cards (not just one big one, in case it gets ruined), they take up about zero room/weight in your bag.
I replace the wrist band with a light neck lanyard and, when I'm not taking pictures, keep it inside my shirt, jacket or in a pocket.
Take plenty of pictures of everything, they're cheap and you can always delete them later. Zoom in and out, focus on detail then on an overall shot. Put people in your shots to reference size and perspective. Read your camera's owner's manual and practice before you travel so you know how to use it for different shots (light in background, flash fill a lower light photo, flash off when the subject is out of flash range, etc.).
I also carry a tiny tripod. It can come in handy for night shots or timed photos so you can jump in (don't feel bad about asking someone to take a photo either).
Thanks for the additional advice. I'm becoming a big fan of the PNS that I bought. It's got an easy learning curve and does do a lot. I've been taking test shots every day and the results are pretty amazing. I don't like fooling around with removable lenses and I find it tiring to carry a lot of extra weight around so I believe the PNS will be best for me on this trip. I like the idea of smaller GB memory cards as I would like to change them often in order to keep the images safe. It would be horrible to have all shots on just a couple of cards and then lose one! Thanks also for the reminders about the importance of composition etc. I am a fine artist and graphic designer so those are skills I use with my photography, and you're right about that being the bottom line. Thanks everyone for your tips 😊
I bought a Nikon p600 and the photo card shows on the camera screen that it should take over 3000 photos ( leaving the presets as is. How reliable is this number? Should I get 2 cards?
I wouldn't suggest using really small memory cards, as you could run out of room very quickly, especially if shooting video. I don't normally use anything smaller than 4 GB. If you're concerned about losing the cards once they're full, store them in your Money belt. If you're packing along a Laptop or whatever, you could also back-up your photos there.
Christine is planning to shoot in RAW, at least some of the time. So small memory cards will not work. I also recommend a photo backup system.
Charity, the camera will tell you how many photos are left on your memory card. It varies depending on the size/quality of file you are shooting in. The better quality, the fewer shots you can save to the card. And ALWAYS have at least two cards. You never know when you will need a backup card.
"I bought a Nikon p600 and the photo card shows on the camera screen that it should take over 3000 photos ( leaving the presets as is. How reliable is this number? Should I get 2 cards?"
memory cards are cheap. dont wimp out on buying and bringing extra.
as far as the number of pictures in your camera - Its an estimate.
Thanks for the additional information. I had missed the part about shooting in RAW. In that case, using larger memory cards is absolutely the best idea, since each image will likely be about 18 MB. If my calculations are correct, that should allow about 220 photos on a 4 GB card. Memory cards are fairly inexpensive these days, so I'd probably use a 16 or 32 GB card.
I did find one fairly comprehensive review of the ZS40 / TZ60. Have a look at.....
You ask a great question. As stated in other posts: great pics are in the eye, it depends on what you want to do, sometimes less is more....and sometimes more is more. Whatever you do, as someone who is more interested in pics than the average traveler (as you described yourself as an amateur photographer) I would take: 1) an extra battery 2)several memory cards and 3) seriously consider a lightweight tripod. There are numerous "super zoom compact travel cameras" on the market. They tend to have small sensors and often don't shoot in RAW. However, they take nice snapshots often have a wide range from 24-300 or more zoom and are generally reasonably priced. It sounds like the camera you bought is one of these...and similar to several I used to have, a good choice....and it shootsRAW! A great all around camera for the traveler is the Sony DSC RX10. It covers a 24-200 mm (35mm equivalent) range, shoots RAW, has a sensor much larger than point and shoot cameras and does not change lenses....the downside is the rather high price. But I will say it is making a big wave in the camera world (well for some) and I see it as a darn good travel camera. Here is a link to check it out. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx10/ (There is also the Sony RX100 II-- fairly large sensor, good specs, shoots RAW, but more of a point and shoot. I use the Sony RX100 and really like the pics.) One more point.... long zoom? My question is how long? If you have a fairly large sensor you can crop an image and still get a decent 8x10 or so print. Also, if you have a long zoom virtually any movement is shown in the final picture as blur, so you must have pretty steady hands or use a tripod. Remember the "rule" of shooting..... 1/lens length equals the slowest shutter speed to use....so if you were using a 200 mm zoom, you would not want to shoot slower than 1/200 of a second. With a 24 you would not want to shoot slower than 1/24th of a second. I would think 200 would be about the longest you could usually use with comfort. Remember a lot of DSLRers use a 28 to 70 and then a 70 to 200 as their 2 basic lenses. Personally, I find the wider angle lenses more helpful than tele photos. You may not be able to get very far away from a cathedral....or move back much inside a building, but a good wide angle will still capture the shot. Good luck taking pics!
I travel with an old Sony digital, which is easy to identify because it has ugly green duct tape holding the battery compartment together. On last trip, I realized that the tape also covers the brand name and model, and otherwise makes it a less desirable object for a thief. May not hide your telephoto, but might discourage someone from thinking its worth something.
I use a Canon SX120 - it's about three years old and the most current version of that series is, I believe, the SX170. It has a decent lens and some manual options (which the generic pocket sized cameras do not). It's been a good solid camera that takes respectable pics and is easy to stick in my pocket or crossbody purse. Also, it uses AA batteries, which I prefer to rechargeable - I buy the blue and silver photo lithium batteries, which last a very respectable amount of time even with regular use, and I don't have to worry about buying an extra battery or bringing the charger and juggling it with everything else I have to plug in.
I briefly tried a SX500, which has a bigger lens, and it took nice photos, but not nice enough to justify the jump in size.
Zoom was of little use to me. I did use it a bit, but it's not a crucial factor.
Canon S110 is the best point and shoot for the money right now. It has been replaced with the S120 so the S110 is being closed out for half of what it used to cost. The best camera is the one you have with you and since the 110 is small and fits in a pocket you can always have it with you. On Auto it is easy to use but has a ton of features if you want to have more control. Sony and Panasonic make great high end point and shoots but they cost a lot more so for the money the Canon can't be beat.
OK, I'm going to jump into this conversation. I have dropped my Nikon D700 and moved to my Panasonic GH3 micro four thirds camera. This is the future. I get amazing pictures without any post-processing from this camera. I have four lenses: a Panasonic 20mm and Olympus 45mm prime lenses and a 14-45mm (better than the 14-42mm that is now the kit lens) and a 45-150 zoom lenses. I have an equally amazing Panasonic G5 as a backup. Both lightweight cameras. The GH3 also takes 1080p video (better than most straight video cameras). Seeing is believing in the quality of pictures.
P.S. Like Ed above, I also have a Canon S100 which, also in my opinion, is the best pocket camera out there. See Ebay for one.
Tom, You may not be aware but the S100 was replaced with the S110 and now the S120.
regardless of the camera, buying now gives you time to get used to your camera. Use it often and also try it out in low light
situations. Read the manual and decide if you prefer the various automatic modes. Your choice, Panasonic Lumix zs40 has optical zoom 24-720mm so you will have all the zoom you want. There is no free lunch, and at f3.3 will need the ISO bumped up. Test this and look at anything above 800 looking for noise. There will be a level you can go to before it becomes a problem. The small sensor makes it important to select the highest quality image settings in your setup.
We all have our preferences, I'd recommend, picking up a couple of good quality sdhc cards cards, size wise 32mb class 10, sandisk ultra or if you want faster download speeds then sandisk extreme, somewhere around 20 -25 us$ off amazon. These better cards deal with video , which you may be using. Transcend is also another quality brand.
I'd also suggest , at least one spare battery, and like other makers Panasonic don,t provide a separate charger. In camera chargers are slow, and don't lose that cable, its panasonic only. Again, Amazon can be the source of third party batteries and a charger.
Today I bought the new Sony Cyber-shot HX50V. I have 2 weeks to learn it and test it before my trip to France. It is small, has a 30X zoom, GPS, Wi-Fi, HD movies and a lot of other features.
I didn't read the millions of responses to your question, but I take 2 camera with me now. One is the Canon G11 and the other is a full size DSLR with a compact zoom that is 35-280. I use the DSLR a lot more than the compact camera, but I like having both.
Honestly, when we travel, we usually are either hiking or biking, so the smaller camera is with me doing the physical activity during the day, and the DSLR comes out when we get to town so I can get some great shots.
What I discovered after I bought the smaller camera (G11) was, it didn't have much of a wide angle option, and I wasn't able to get good shots of big buildings...plus the zoom is only 10X...and digital zooms are just not the same as a true zoom lens. (and I LOVE a good zoom lens!)
I am not sure if you will see this, but let me give you my experience. Back in the film days I used to have a single lens reflex camera and four different lens. Heavy, bulky, a lot of work to shoot some pictures. I didn't use it to the degree I thought I would - too much to carry, too long to select the right lens for the shot, etc. Unless you are going to Europe specifically as a photographer, I would suggest a well made point and shoot. Easy to carry, easy to use, and a good compromise. I use a Leica and it takes outstanding pictures - everyone I show doe of my pictures is impressed. During a two week period in Europe, I'll take 700-800 photos. 100 are good, 20 are great. There is no question in my mind that I would take far fewer pictures with a large camera and multiple lenses.
With a small camera, you can take a small tripod. Europe is wonderful for nightime shots. If you want to photograph people a small camera is much less obtrusive than a large one with a massive lens.
There are times when a long zoom lens would be the ticket. However I have found that I wanted a wide angle lens more often than a telephoto lens. Europe is old, narrow coblestone streets, sometime you can't get far enough away from what you want to photograph.
My suggestion is to get a high quality small camera with a good medium range zoom lens. The lens is more important than the megapixels. And be sure to appreciate the experience live rather than always looking at the LCD screen on the back of your camera.
We're off to Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland in about a month. Since I don't know when I'll be back in territory, my approach is to be as well prepared for various shooting situations as possible. To that end, here's my equipment list for this trip:
- Canon EOS 60D base
- *Canon 17-40mm f4 ultra wide angle lens
- Canon 18-135mm f3.5 lens
- Canon 50mm f1.4 lens
- Canon G9 Point&Shoot
- UV Filters for each of the Canon lenses
- Polarizing filters for the 17-40 & 18-135 lens
- 2 sets of batteries for each of the camera's
- 64 G of memory (Class 10) in 8G and 16G capacity
- Case Logic bag for the above
The camera is equipped with a over-the head shoulder strap. This enables me to carry the camera naked while securely slung over my head. The DSLR camera moves effortlessly into shooting postion when required.
On our trip to Scandinavia last year I did all of my DSLR with the wide angle lens. This included the many city shots. The only challenge that I had was some of the interior shots. I take the 50mm along primarily for any evening shots I may be taking. This coming trip, I intend to use the 18-135 for the walk around city shots and the wide angle for the countryside shots.
The point and shoot is used mainly for "evening out" shooting.
I shoot 100% in raw, usually with apperature priority.
I'm leaving the monopod at home for this trip as I only used it once in Scandinavia.
If interested, here's a link to my photo site.
Hope this helps.
Excellent advice here! I sweated my choice of camera equipment more than anything while preparing for a recent trip to Italy. I finally wound up taking my iPhone and a point and shoot (a Panasonic LX7) and leaving my dSLR (a Nikon d90) at home.
Before the trip, I took a hike around town with the equipment I was planning to take (the dSLR with an 18-200mm lens, an 11-16mm lens, and a fast prime). After two hours, I was exhausted. I went home, rethought my strategy and decided to get a point and shoot.
Overall, I was happy with my decision. The Panasonic LX7 has a great, fast lens and just about any exposure adjustment or metering/focusing mode one could want. In addition, I added a circular polarizer so I could get nice, deep blue skies. There were a few occasions, most notably in the Pantheon, where I missed the 11-16mm lens on my dSLR, but otherwise the extra mobility I had with a point and shoot was more of a benefit than the few wide angle shots I could have gotten by lugging around a heavy dSLR. It doesn’t matter what kind of sensor or lens you have if you are so tired from lugging everything around that you have to stop for a gelato break every 1000 feet. :-)
As has been mentioned previously, take plenty of spare batteries and memory cards. Also, make sure you know how to use your camera.
You shan't find me with a heavy camera and equipment. Pack light and travel light. Took thousands of great photos on our RS tours with a Canon Sureshot. If I'm traveling here in the U.S. in our car, we take larger camera along, too, but when doing any intensive walking as in most cities, only a small camera. Currently trying to decide on new small one before our British Isle cruise in August. Always have extra battery and memory card. You will adore your RS tour!
Looking through one of my photo albums, it occurred to me that I regret not having a ruggedized waterproof P&S. Some of the most memorable travel experiences were not documented because I couldn't/wouldn't pull my camera out from under my rain jacket (or on really bad weather days, from my drybag hidden away in my backpack).
A waterproof point and shoot with basic semi wide to short term (28mm equivalent to 100mm+) would be a camera that would be used in foul weather while a $1000+ DSLR would stay hidden away. Would you try to switch lenses in a sideways downpour out on the moors or at the top of some peak?