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Camera for Europe Trip. Nikon D3300 Vs. Canon Rebel SL1

Hello all,

We plan to travel to Europe in May 2017 and am now looking at camera options to remember this adventure for years to come. I have no real photography expertise on cameras and would like a more entry level camera but better than the standard point and shoot or phone cameras. I have potentially narrowed it down to two, Nikon D3300 and Canon Rebel SL1. Does anyone have any opinions or other suggestions on what to buy? After the Europe trip I intend to use this for baby photos and such. Would like the best bang for my buck but would invest in a great camera if its worth it. Hoping for nothing too bulky as we will be on the go a lot in Europe.

Thank you!

Canon Rebel SL1:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/945059-REG/canon_8575b003_eos_digital_rebel_sl1.html
Nikon D3300:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1023353-REG/nikon_1532_d3300_dslr_camera_with.html

Posted by
2261 posts

jenn, I'm a Nikon guy at heart, though without really breaking it down it is hard to say which of those two DSLR's would be my choice were I in your shoes. What does occur to me, though, particularly in light of your last sentence, is that perhaps you would like a really good "point & shoot". The DSLR's listed are good cameras, but they are decidedly entry level. There are several extremely capable, and quite compact, point and shoots in that price range, and for their category (some would call them bridge cameras since they bridge the gap between low end point and shoot and full fledged DSLR) they are excellent cameras. You do, of course give up interchangeable lenses, and perhaps some optical/quality advantage, but it may be worth checking out. I own the base model Sony RX100, which can be had in the $400-500 range, and I absolutely love it. I also have my DSLR and lenses to go with it, and I enjoy both for different reasons. Canon, Fuji, and others also have products in this range.

Posted by
32241 posts

jenn,

In the interest of full disclosure, I've always used Canon so of course that's what I would recommend. If you haven't used a DSLR before, it likely won't make much difference as you'll have to "learn" whichever one you buy (there IS a learning curve).

Are there are camera stores in your area where you can go and check out the cameras in person? That would be the best way to evaluate them and get an idea which menu system fits your preferences better. I'd suggest trying to find a proper camera store rather than one of the "big box" stores such as Best Buy as the sales people will be more knowledgeable. However, one caveat to keep in mind. I've found that many sales people also have a preference, and will try to push a particular camera brand. Sometimes the store makes a greater profit on one brand over another, so of course they push the most profitable model whether it's better or not.

You may find it interesting to read reviews on both cameras. These are VERY detailed, so you can just skip to the "conclusion" if it's too complicated.....

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-100d-rebel-sl1

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d3300

Of the two, the Canon may be a bit smaller which is desirable for travel. One other point to mention is that the kit lens provided with most cameras does not provide stellar performance. You might consider paying a bit more at purchase to buy a better lens. You'll also have to budget for an extra battery, memory cards, a good quality case and some filters (at least a UV filter to protect the front of the lens).

As you're planning for long term use, IMO the DSLR is a good choice as it will allow you to "grow" as your skills improve, and will provide much more flexibility in shooting conditions than a P&S camera. It will also allow the ability to shoot RAW, which provides endless flexibility in post processing without degrading image quality. Finally, if you eventually outgrow an entry level camera, you continue to use your favourite lenses but will be able to upgrade to a more advanced camera.

Good luck!

Posted by
393 posts

I agree with Dave's points, and would like to add a few more:

  • To get the optimal usage of these cameras, you will need good lens(es) to match them. The cost of such a lens will be more than the cost of a body. You may need a couple of these lenses to cover the zoom range.

  • Once a good lens is put on a body, the combined weight and bulk will be significant. And gets worse with an additional lens.

  • You may keep them in a bag, and end up leaving them there, or seldom changing the lens.

  • Unless you plan to make very large prints, these bodies' big mega pixels are of no use to you. You will pay for something you won't use.

At your experience level and for your purpose, the best bang for you buck for the camera you can carry around and use is a point and shoot, or a higher end one. They produce very high quality photos, are small, and with built in zoom lens covering a wide range. Since the lens is built in, brands make no difference. Some examples:

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/photography-video-capture/cameras/best-travel-or-superzoom-camera-1259446

Last but not least, heed this advice. You have time to get to know your equipment like the palm of you hand before leaving home.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-camera-right-before-a-vacation/

Good photos are not taken by good cameras, but by good photographers.

Posted by
504 posts

I'll join the bandwagon suggesting a high end point and shoot camera. I used an SLR during film days, but when I travel I don't want to be encumbered by all the gear. I like Nikon's Coolpix line, but I don't know what the current models are.

Posted by
1250 posts

I am a Canon guy. However, you cannot go wrong with either camera system. In many ways, the question is like what is your favourite colour, blue or red? And once you choose, you end up buying everything to match.

Some things to consider about getting a DSLR, how important is all that extra ability to maximize image quality like a pro. Do you see yourself spending lots of money on extra lenses, filters, tripods, and lugging all that extra weight. I've done the baby thing a couple of times and lugged an SLR and camcorder (remember those) in the past. A big camera can be awkward to carry and to use. My pet peeve is lens the cap. You should seriously consider a smaller camera.

Some of the compact cameras are excellent and rival DSLR for IQ and high $$. Generally, you do get what you pay for. The Canon G7X and the Sony RX100 are both highly recommended. They have two features which all serious photographers look for. They have a large sensor (1 inch) to capture great image detail. They have a large aperture lens (small f-number, 1.8) to let in more light to the sensor. IMO, the zoom lens on these two compact cameras are better than the kit zoom lens which comes with either the SL1 or th D3300.

Posted by
1080 posts

I would recommend the Nikon Coolpix S9900, the pictures are awesome and yet is barely larger that a small point and shoot, it has a great zoom and fits in your poclket. The larger SLR's are a pain to haul around, in my humble opinion.

Posted by
922 posts

I have a Canon SX 260 HS (old model) point and shoot and really like it. If has a 20x optical zoom and a wide angle lens. I like to carry it on trips because it is light and can fit into my pocket. It takes great pictures. We have had a few of the pictures blown up to 20 x 30 and they look really good. If you want to go the point and shoot route, the Canon SX610 or 710 look like good options. I don't think you can go wrong with a Nikon camera either. Here are a few more pointers to consider when choosing a camera:

Get high resolution (16 megapixels or higher)
Get high optical zoom (not digital zoom)
Get at least one extra battery
Get several high speed (class 10 or higher) memory cards

If you can, I would go to a camera shop and see how the camera fits your hands. Many of these cameras will take high definition or even 4k video.

Posted by
733 posts

I concur with the rest of the comments. You're going to need an extra battery and a few extra SD cards. I recommend several smaller SD cards and not just one or two larger ones. The reason for this is in the off chance a card is lost, at least you won't lose all your vacation photos. That being said, I actually bought a small 11.6" laptop and brought it with us to Europe so I could download my pictures each night. I also left them on the sd cards so I had a backup plan.

I'm a Canon girl. My first serious dSLR was a Canon digi Rebel xTi so I can't believe I'm saying this.....I believe that Nikon in your first post may perform better in low light situations (which may or may not be important to you, depending on what your subject matter will be while in Europe). I think you should read the reviews of both cameras and see what specs better meet your needs. I did purchase two extra lenses. A decent wide angle lens (some of those buildings in Europe can be pretty tall) and a fast lens (to do better in low light situations, like in museums).

Question.....will you be really into photography after your trip? If so, then I would say go all in with this purchase. If you don't think you would be then as some have said, a good point-and-shoot will be great! Just something to think about.

Posted by
1068 posts

There was a bridge camera mentioned and I like this Panasonic. It has a good zoom, shoots RAW and has a larger sensor than the average point and shoot. For something smaller but still shooting in RAW with a larger sensor consider the Sony DSC-RX100 (as mentioned above.) They are on version 4, but I have version 1 and love it as a second "walk around camera." A couple of times I have taken it as the solo camera on short trips. Have fun snapping!

Posted by
34 posts

I would recommend a good micro 4/3rds camera. Interchangeable lenses, bigger sensor than a point and shoot and a smaller body and size than a DSLR. I have an Olympus EPL-1 (the current model is the EPL-7, around $500 with a decent lens) and was very pleased with it's performance in Italy and it fit into my small day bag.

Nikon, Samsung, Sony and maybe other all make a micro 4/3rds. You can look up reviews on any camera at http://www.steves-digicams.com/.

Posted by
1541 posts

Two suggestions:
1) please examine Ken Rockwalls web site discussng camera recommendations
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm
And also how to take better photos
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
2) I have extensively traveled and carried a variety of photo equipment and utilized camera vests and invested in a camera backpack. And the I chose to stop being a camera mule. For the past five years I have traveled solely with an Iphone and been satisfied with the photos and videos produced utilizing the camera within the phone. I am delighted with the convenience and ease of carrying only an Iphone.

Posted by
34 posts

I forgot to mention that I completely agree with staynsavor regarding getting to know your camera very/extremely well prior to your trip.

Posted by
2474 posts

Taking a digital photography class (or two, or three) through a local arts center or community college or what have you can be incredibly helpful. I got my first digital camera 10 years ago after several decades of film photography, and was amazed at how much the digital camera could do that I hadn't realized.

Posted by
4528 posts

You should defer to Consumer Reports on this, if you don't subscribe find a library that does and see what their take is. DSLRs only really make sense if you're going to buy extra lenses. but since most cameras these days come with zooms that need has faded. I would suggest a good highend point and shoot, trust me your pictures will still be very good if you know how to take good pictures. And your load will be much lightened.

Keep in mind that visible cameras signal tourist signal potential target signal quick pawn. If you have a camera you can keep in a purse or pocket when not using you'll be much better off.

Posted by
228 posts

I travel,with a Sony 6000. It is small enough to carry all day and takes decent pictures. Remember that most of your pictures, if you are like me are never going to be seen by anyone but yourself. It has a decent sensor and lense. While a better lense may take,better pictures it is not likely anyone you show your pictures to will care.

I have to agree with the comment that the new smart phones take good pictures and could be a replacement for a basic camera.

Remember to "take pictures" with your eyes. Enjoy what you see; a picture will,only help you remember what you see.

Posted by
886 posts

I am also a Canon user. My last three cameras were all the Rebel series, the latest one being the T5i. The Rebels are always highly rated for ease of use and more bang for the buck. I have never used a point and shoot so really can't comment on them, but on my trip to Italy last fall one member of our group who does professional photography when at home was making use of a Canon point and shoot, I just can't remember which one. His photos turned out great. The thing you need to remember is that although lots of museums will allow photos inside you must be able to turn of the flash, and possibly the infrared focus beam as well. Some people were struggling to do this on their point and shoot cameras. I got great photos with my T5i, even in low light inside some of the buildings that I thought were too dark for no flash. Do take a look at www.dpreview.com.

Posted by
1250 posts

I am amazed by the quality of the cameras in smartphones like the iphone. Smartphone photography technology is cutting edge. They fit a lot into those little phones to take decent photos which look great on your computer screen. But the sensor is smaller than a baby's fingernail. Good for imprompto shots and great in a pinch if you spot a UFO or Elvis. But if you want really good photos, you should get a proper camera.

Those micro 4/3 and "mirrorless" are the new trends for serious photography. No mirror or penta prism or optical viewfinder which reduces the bulk by a lot. However, they are still pretty large and you would be hard pressed to carry one in your pocket or purse. And they still have a lens caps which I hate!

For $200-300, you can buy a nikon s9900 or the canon sx710. I believe that each has a 30x 750 mm equivalent zoom. That is a a lot of camera for very little money. That is almost as big as those telephoto lenses carried by pro photographers in the NFL end-zones (of course the quality is not the same). But the disadvantages are the sensor and lens aperture is pretty small which affects the IQ.

So my pref would still be something like the G7X or RX100.

As discussed by others, technique is more important than expensive equipment for composing and taking good photos.

Posted by
16 posts

Alright everyone you have diverted my plans! I think a high end point and shoot makes more sense for me. More compact, less of a target from thieves (I'm sure I'll already look bewildered and clueless there let alone packing expensive gear), ease of use and no I do not plan to invest into many lenses. That will lead to me leaving it behind for sure in the future. I wI'll definitely research and learn how to use before the trip ( Adele in vancouver!!) So I am not a total useless nut with an expensive gadget. I've looked and the Sony rx100 ranks high as well as the Canon g7x. Is there new reiterations coming out again I should wait for? Or at least will cause older models to go on sale. I value the wifi, compactness, and move able screen. Would love view finder but if the older variation of Sony is suffice then maybe I should go with that or pony up a few more hundred. I live in Canada. I can't believe there's so many choices out there! I would at most print 8x10 photos. I decided to get a real camera because I printed 4x6 photos from an iPhone and Samsung and they came out grainy and awful. I don't wanna have regrets and disappointment after this huge trip! Planning is half the fun! Ordered the Europe through the back door 2016 guidebook and am getting so excited! Thank you everyone again! Ps I've always had canons all my life. Full disclosure.

Posted by
5687 posts

At least you have more than a year to break in the new camera, learn how to use it, make a few 8x10 prints and see how they look, etc. And you don't have to rush out and buy a camera. I might even wait a little longer the technology is still evolving, and you either might get better technology next fall or get a bargain on this year's model by say the end of the summer. But if you want/need the camera now, go ahead and get it.

Posted by
1250 posts

Are you from Vancouver?

London Drugs carries all four versions I-IV of the RX100 ($549/699/899/1099). Each new version added more features, but the two key things, large sensor and excellent lens, remained basically the same. Pay the extra if you want the features, but the photo IQ will be excellent with all of them.

I believe that the G7X is still current but it may be phased out with the introduction of the G9x. Last year the G7X was $799 and is currently on sale at $649. During Boxing Day, i believe it was as low as $599.

Go to the Canon Canada website (shows G7X as out of stock). The new G9X has the same sensor and a lesser lens (only 28 mm, 3x, f 2.0-4.9) compared to the G7X (24 mm, 4x, f1.8-2.8) at a lower starting price of $599. The G7X has a wider and longer zoom and faster/brighter lens (smaller f-number across the range). If you can pick up the G7X on sale before it is discontinues, that would probably be the way i would go.

I really wanted to get the G7X last year before our trip, but I made a point of not spending any more money on cameras abour 10 years ago. I limit myself to getting a new camera every few years by Airmiles. I got the very good Canon S120 by airmiles which is the next level down from the G-series. Smaller sensor (but bigger than average point and shoots) and more compact.

Whatever camera you buy, you can buy extra battery and case on eBay at fraction of OEM prices.

Posted by
3696 posts

No matter what camera you choose take the advice to learn your camera so it is simply a tool... You don't want to think about the camera.. You want to think about the image. Most importantly learn about what it takes to make a good image. Lighting, composition, but most important is the subject. Give some thought to your images and challenge yourself as a photographer.
I am a professional photographer who prefers to travel as light as possible... I do use a zoom lens as I find that enables me to get the images that I want, but everyone has their own style... So find yours.
The camera is just a tool for the photographer to realize her image.

Posted by
4528 posts

A word about shooting in museums - don't bother! Buy postcards on the way out. They will be professionally lit and framed and there won't be someone's Aunt Bertha pushing her nose against the canvas. And you won't have to worry about flash/no flash/tripod etc.

Posted by
1068 posts

If you go to DP Review you can do a side by side comparison of the cameras (go to the camera tab, then side by side comparison and plug in the names.) Things I would consider that favor the RX100 include a larger sensor (better in low light), shoots RAW (better quality, RAW contains all of the data captured by the camera and permits lossless white balance tweaking and has additional advantages when editing), when shooting jpeg has extra fine in addition to fine and standard in the HX90. One final thought, should you actually enjoy shooting, the RX will be a camera that will "hold its own" for years. I still use my RX100 V1 as my "walk around" pocket camera when I travel. Get a bit more information about the meaning of sensor size and RAW before you buy. I bring this up because lots of people don't understand the significance of sensor size or RAW to getting a good looking pic. Finally, specs don't mean much if you don't like a camera. Try them both and go with what you really like. If you decide the DSX-HX90V works for you, good luck with it.

Posted by
5687 posts

Ray, I shoot Canon RAW and understand the benefits well, but for the average casual photographer, RAW is a needless complication and a waste of time. Jenn is going to print only up to about 8x10. It seems highly unlikely she would get much benefit from shooting in RAW format.

Posted by
1250 posts

The HX90V is good camera.

However, there really is not a huge difference between this camera and a "standard point and shoot" in terms of image quality. Both have a standard minimal 1/2.3 inch sensor. The f-number starts at 3.5 and goes to an abysmal 6.4 at the long end.

The Rx100 has a sensor which ia about 3 times larger and a lens which is 2 stops faster. This mean the lens will let in 4 times as much light and the sensor will produce images with less noise in low light conditions.

You will still take good photos in most general conditions. You would only see the difference if you take the same photos with both camera and then compare them side by side.

The big plus of this camera is the 30x (24-720mm equivalent) zoom which will let you take nice wide landscape shots and zoom in on faraway objects. (As a comparison, if you want a 600 mm lense on the SL1, you will need to spend about $12-15,000). Just don't expect fantastic photos in low light conditions. This camera also has all the latest most up to date features including wifi, electronic viewfinder, large flippable LED display, etc (none of which affect imagequality) and seems to me the most compact of its class eg S9900, SX710 etc. Oh yea, and no lens cap!

I also do not consider the lack of RAW in this model to be an issue. I cannot be bothered to do all of the post processing required. Raw is important if you are a pro or (think you are) a serious photgrapher. My way is to take photo and view it on the LED and if it looks too dark or light or off in some way, i tweak the adjustments and just retake the photo. Good enough to produce great photos (to my eye), but i do not have to sell them for a living. Besides, the sensor is so small, i doubt that you could do anything substantial in post processing raw images.

Posted by
33 posts

You travel to make pictures or you make pictures while travelling? Professional photographers travelled to your destinations before, with more time than you to search and find the best spots, to wait for perfect light and wheather.

Under decent lighting conditions, a high-end smartphone will be sufficient for pics you intend to show on TV screens or tablett computers. They made sub-$200 compact cameras redundant. You can directly mail or upload pics, rather than handle adapters or wireless connections between smartphone and camera.

Cameras with larger sensor than 1" can be rewarding, or be a challenge to the unskilled photographer. You have to learn and to practice. Zoom- or interchangable lenses expand possibilities, but also bulk and distraction. If you need advice which lens to choose, you are not ready. Don't feel obliged to change lenses all the time. Leave the other lenses at least in your hotel, at home or better in the shop.

If you intend to carry the camera around your neck or to carry additional lenses, the little extra bulk of a DSLR body won't matter. If you want to pack the camera away most of the time and stick to only one or two lenses, pay the premium price for a smaller mirrorless camera body.

Some expensive features can be worth it, i.e. Sony RX100 Mark III versus RX100, Sony a6000 versus a5000. With optical or electronic viewfinder rather than just an LCD like on your smartphone, you can frame (or review) pics even under bright sunshine or without reading glasses.

Posted by
16 posts

Okay now I'm back to the Sony RX100 Mark III for myself. I will learn how to use it but don't want an overzealous complicated one but I think this one will hold its own for years to come. I don't plan to invest that heavily with buying multiple lenses so mirror less doesn't make sense for me the thing that sways me is that large sensor and superior image quality. Might as well go big if I'm already gonna spend at least 500 and it's on par with normal point and shoot cameras. I think the EVF is necessary right. Otherwise I'd go with the Canon G7X. I think better to have it and seldom use it than wish I had it I plan to take lots of selfies lol and transfer to my phone quick so those are musts. This camera will cost just as much as my flight to and from Europe :'(

Posted by
393 posts

I know nothing about the Sony HX90V, but I think it is a good one for Jenn. For two reasons.

Don't know why Jenn wants a viewfinder, and few point and shoots have this feature. I for one will not buy a camera without a viewfinder. Part of it is out of habit from film camera days, and part is for stability (more to follow).

Without raw, Jenn won't be tempted to go down that path, at this stage. With raw, files are much bigger, shots are slower, native sw that comes with the camera for raw conversion is typically not the best, better raw conversion sw can be expensive. The learning curve will be steep and post processing time can be lengthy, 500 page books are written on the subject. But the real kicker is that 99.99% of the shots for Jenn's purpose don't need it.

The RX100 is an excellent camera. If its zoom range is better, say to 200mm, I would own one. I'm hopeful that there will be one in the future. If Jenn should compare the Sony HX90V vs the RX100 in a store, try the longest zoom on the RX100 first, followed by longer zooms out to 200mm on the HX90V. That range would cover the majority of shots she will encounter. Then she can appreciate the difference, and decide if it is significant or not

Once Jenn has her camera in hand, and after reading the manual (she will do that, won't she?), the first thing to learn is how to hold it correctly for sharp photos. Here's a good simple intro about the upper body. Search the net for tips on lower body stance, and on breathing. Holding a camera with a viewfinder against the head adds stability. Without these techniques, holding phone/camera with stretched out arms will not result in consistently sharp photos. Many who don't hold their cameras correctly will blame their equipment for blurry photos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0uoFNTVgaM

Posted by
1068 posts

Okay, my last post on this thread. I disagree about RAW being only for serious photographers/pros. For one thing, most cameras, such as the RX100 will shoot RAW and jpeg together. Memory is extremely cheap so larger RAW files are just not an issue for me. Since RAW permits correction of white balance (gee, I don't remember the lights being green in the museum?!?) and has more flexibility in exposure range it permits you to save lots of photos you would throw out if they were jpegs. Sure, you can tinker endlessly with RAW, as you can with jpeg, but there is lots of software that does a very nice auto conversion for you..... RAW sharpening, auto setting exposure, white balance, blacks, whites, etc., with the click of a button. The difference..... in RAW you have a lot more flexibility to change if you want to, with jpeg you can do some changes but are more limited. Some software will even apply your development preset (non-destructively) when you first view your shot. Also, not all larger sensor size cameras require changing lenses etc. The RX100 has a larger sensor size yet looks like a point and shoot. It easily fits into my pocket, along with the small padded case which contains a spare battery and 2 spare memory cards. Finally, as to zoom range, IMHO the majority of shots are done within a 35 to 100 mm frame. But, like others, I appreciate wider and closer shots at times. The RX takes care of the wide shots with a 24 mm lens and a panorama feature. However, because it has a larger sensor and captures more data, you can crop a photo with good resolution to replicate a higher zoom. When you do that with P&S sensors, you get a lot of picture degradation (or not depending on your purpose.) All this may not make a difference to people who want to put tiny shots of well lit stationary objects on Facebook (not knocking them) but to print a photo it is nicer to have your bases covered. Finally, people talk about how complicated cameras are now. Sure understanding the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed and how each can affect a photo can be complicated. However almost all cameras today have an automatic mode which takes decent shots and the better ones let you start by controlling one factor at a time (e.g., you set the aperture and the camera auto sets shutter speed/ISO..... then you ease your way into taking better pics.) But many people never take their camera off auto and get decent pics. I'm NOT saying there is one way to go with cameras. If someone likes their phone, P&S or full frame and it does what they want -- great. It is, I think, useful to have information to make an informed decision and consider camera capability with what you want to do with the pics and how interested you are in photography. It all starts with the question: Are you a photographer who travels or a traveler who photographs. I am the later so my bent is take the best pictures you can but don't miss the forest for the trees.

Posted by
2261 posts

I agree that RAW is not to be feared, and concur that the RX100 will shoot both RAW and jpg at the same time; I'll often delete one or the other file type later. In jpg you can also select different file sizes, depending on if you are just taking snaps, or need something better. I find it an extremely easy camera to get great results with, whether using full manual mode, with which I can pretty much dial in light how I want it, and what you see is what you capture, or when using aperture or shutter priority or full auto. At the current 398 USD for the base model, I think it's a bargain.

Here is a good example of the RX100 in full Manual mode. Shot in one of the Traboule in Lyon, using ISO 800, 1/25 at f4, I selected a reasonable shutter speed, then opened up the lens a bit. In RAW, just using standard iPhoto on my (old) Mac, I can balance it a bit and have what I want using simple sliders. Most photos take about 30 seconds to edit. I'll move to the Aperture software when I get a new computer.

There's lots of cameras that can do this, but paying a bit more for that larger sensor, great IQ, RAW capability, and good optics is well worth it, imho, and makes that choice to go to a DSLR that much harder. Also, for many cameras someone has written a book specifically for it. Far more comprehensive than a factory manual could hope to be, the book I have has really opened even more doors for a small, quality camera. Enjoy!

Posted by
1250 posts

Jenn

Glad to see that you are going with the RX100. You will not regret it. Sony was the leader in this class. In fact, the Canon G7X followed Sony and uses the exact same sensor.

You now have the ability to take RAW with the RX100 if that was ever important to you.

You may wish to consider forgoing the electronic viewfinder. I was a traditionalist and had always considered a viewfinder to be essential. However, as i adapted to digital, i actually found shooting with the LED to be much better. My early digital cameras all had viewfinders, but over timei found that i did not use the vf very much. One of the reasons i don't like using my older Canon Rebel DSLR (besides the bulk) is that the older LED does not allow me to shoot live through the display very efficiently. Holding and composing a shot at arms length with both eyes open and being able to see around me at the same time is much better than squinting through a small viewfinder. No bumping into people or stepping into a manhole. And i find it much easier to take a level photo by composing through a bigger display. Shooting with an iPad does look dorky, but a 9 inch display really allows you to see all the details in the image.

First of all, you will save a ton of money if you foregoe the EVF. Secondly, you will save battery power; the EVF will use up power. You should always carry an extra battery, but the fact is when you run out of battery at the end of a long day with still more to see, you will be cursing. Thirdly, it is another moving part which can go wrong. Personally, I am not even a fan of flippable LED displays because of the added thickness and another source of possible failure. Fourthly, you will find that the EVF will pale in comparison to the vivid and large LED screen; i think you will find the screen to be better and you will end up not using the EVF much, if at all. The problems of shooting in bright sunlight are overstated. Thousands of people take photos of the Eiffel Tower everyday in the sunshine with an iPhone without any difficulties or complaint. Most of the "mirrorless" cameras, which is the most current trend of digital photography, do not have a viewfinder. Why? Because most people don't need or use the vf. IMO, the EVF is an extra expense and extravagence which does nothing to improve the image quality.

Posted by
16 posts

Oh yes for sure I had already been eyeing out the Sony Attachment grip like so:
http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-Attachment-AG-R2-RX100III-RX100II/dp/B00KD62HN4/ref=pd_sim_421_6?ie=UTF8&dpID=41LRLMka29L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0R547BG1NVQ5G2WMZ85H

The one you showed looks a lil taller. I had also seen this guide that I planned to buy with the camera, http://www.amazon.ca/Photographers-Guide-Sony-Dsc-Rx100-II/dp/1937986187. If i am already spending almost a grand i'd better spend another 30 bucks to try and learn its full potential. Unfortunately, I had noticed a month too late that the RX100's were on sale in my city over christmas holidays. Now I wait and hope it goes on sale again even a smidge. Very excited to learn something new though and use it for years to come.

Posted by
2261 posts

jenn, sounds great, and that is the same book that I have (for my earlier model), it's very helpful!

Posted by
1250 posts

Jenn

I had to re-read your 5:36 am post more carefully. (it would have helped if the punctuation was better!)

I now see that taking selfies was your main point, not the evf. If that is the case, then i believe the Mk III Rx100 is the only one with an LED which flips 180 degrees to allow you to see yourself. If that is important to you, then that would be your best choice. Enjoy.

FYI, my s120 does not have a flippable screen, but i have learned to take selfies (without selfie stick which is taboo on this forum!) by holding my camera at arms length. With practice, you can learn to adapt to anything.

Edit: if it was on sale a month ago, try asking if they will match. You never said which city you are in. I have found that Broadway Camera in Vancouver has a lot of leeway. Even London Drugs, especially if you catch the manager of the electronics dept in a good mood. The III is not the latest model, so may be discounted more easily.

Posted by
16 posts

Oh yes. I am in Winnipeg, MB. I have tried contacting the assnt mgr and he said he couldn't honour the price. I thought it was bizarre but didn't push.

Posted by
32241 posts

jenn,

Given that your stated purpose for the camera appears to be long term use (including baby photos), I still feel that a DSLR will provide the most flexibility and the ability to grow. After returning from your Europe trip, you may still end up buying one. The smaller entry level DSLR's are easier to carry than the larger model that I use. Even with the size and weight of my camera, there's no way I'll travel without it. I figure that I may only get to some of the locations I visit once in my lifetime and I want to provide the best opportunity to get good pictures.

Just curious, are you dealing with London Drugs? I believe you have Henry's, Black's and Don's Photo there. You could also check those.

Good luck with your decision!

Posted by
16 posts

oh goodness now I am back to considering the G7X because of its cheaper price tag by $180 dollars if the EVF isn't all that necessary. My dad actually has airmiles and he is 300 miles short from that reward...but if not then would I buy the canon ?! this is becoming a merry go round..

Posted by
1250 posts

Check out this latest discussion thread regarding some scrapbooks websites designed by RS members:
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/first-2015-scrapbook

And here is the direct link to the websites:
https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/scrapbooks

The photos in David and Tamara's site are particularly good. They are a great example of good equipment in the hands of a very good photographer with a lot of skills. But don't go changing your mind and blowing a lot of cash on a Nikon D5200 and high end glass expecting your photos will match (at least not without a lot of work).

Jenn, you cannot go wrong with either the G7X or the RX100 III.

If i had to pay cash (which i would not), i would definitely get the G7X. You may want to talk to your local camera shop and see if this model is being discontinued because the Canon.ca site says it is out of stock. I would hate to see you miss the boat on this one at this current pricing at least in Vancouver (what is it in Winnpeg?). Although the new model G9X is cheaper, the lens on the G7X is superior.

On the other hand, if i was going to use Airmiles, i would jump at the RX100. I value airmiles at about 10 cents a mile (you can buy them from Airmiles.ca to make up the diff, but you need to pay a bit more). At 7,600 miles, that works out to be about CAD$760. If i were to buy the camera in vancouver, i would have to pay $899 plus PST and GST! so the airmiles option is a real deal. You should go to the site to see how much it would cost to buy the missing miles. We love collecting airmiles. In Vancouver, we go to Safeway (a supermarker). If we buy $100 in groceries, we collect 200 airmiles.

Posted by
16 posts

Alright everyone the decision has been made. I have spoken to my Dad and he isn't using his airmiles right now! He said it's fine to get the camera, after I showed him reviews and the current price tag!! So Sony RX100 Mark III here I come! Guidebook on amazon, looking for spare batt and charger (2 batt and charger on amazon for 20) but will look on ebay then attachment grip at local store. I felt it in store yesterday and realized the EVF actually isn't great for me as I wear contacts. Both eyes can't see well alone but together they can; but that LCD screen is so great to look at anyway. Ps I have offered my dad money (not 900 though) and he will be taking the camera to Hawaii soon. Thanks again everyone for all your input! ! One thing less on my to do list for this mega trip of a lifetime!!

Posted by
33 posts

The RX100 Mk III EVF is tricky. After it pops up you have to pull out the ocular until it locks in place. If don't pull out, everything remains out of focus.

I need glasses for reading. Without glasses I can't see the LCD well. At least I can't read the numbers and symbols on it. On the EVF I can adjust the diopters, for use with or without reading glasses.

Posted by
1829 posts

If you narrowed it down to the Rx100 series, here is my take:
Have owned the Rx100m2 and m3 models previously as well as many other higher end Sony models

Don't get the m1, M2 added many nice features, likewise the M3 was a nice upgrade over the M2 in my opinion.
The M4 as far as I can tell mostly just added 4K video and you pay quite the hefty premium for that, I most definitely would not recommend that.
Once you get used to using a viewfinder it is very hard to not have one which is the main reason to go for the 3 over the 2 however the focal length did change as well becoming wider for the 3 and not as long on the other end.
It also is a little faster and better quality lens/sensor and I did notice that difference.
Other nice conveniences like the M3's built in ND filter are a nice touch.
You will need multiple batteries, this little camera has an equally small battery and you will always need a backup or two.
It is one of the only brands (sony) that does include a wall battery charger, so add that to your cart.
I also recommend buying a grip, the model without one is slick in the hand
Also a wrist strap to prevent dropping it and also theft.

It does have it's limitations for serious photography and really for baby photos it is not a great choice due to what I consider rather proof AF compared to the original cameras you were looking into.
Nikon and Canon DSLR's are still the king for AF and AF is nice to have when that baby is a toddler and does not sit still for you.
For travel the Rx100 compared to those other 2 with their kit lens are about equal IQ for travel purposes and obviously much smaller. The Rx100's large MP count is nice if you ever do want to print big, I printed some fairly large canvas wraps from it. The smallish sensor (large for it's camera size but small compared to professional cameras) is a limitation when you want to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene at sunrise or sunset for example.
On the whole though the main benefit I see to large sensor files vs smaller sensor ones is the ability to push/pull the file in post. if you are not planning on editing your photos this is not a factor so lessens the differences.

To your original post if choosing a new DSLR the best advise is to buy into a brand not a specific camera model.
I would recommend buying either without the kit lens and buying lens separately since the kit lens on these starter level DSLR's really hold the camera back.
Some are Nikon fans, others Canon and Sony is definitely the new larger player in the field.
If you don't make a roadmap of where you are willing to go with the hobby it will cost you more money and time in the long run.
The glass in front is often more important than the camera body and can cost more too.
Lens though don't depreciate like the bodies do.
There are other mirrorless options as well, enough to make you dizzy and some do have really nice options for quality glass at reasonable sizes and costs.
The interchangeable lens cameras are a lot to learn though and can cost a large fortune by the time you are done.
For someone just starting to get interested and wants to learn more I do suggest starting out with the Rx100m3
Just make sure you get to know it inside and out before you take it on a trip if you want to return with any quality images.

Posted by
1829 posts

Just wanted to add the best source of information and assistance for your new Rx100 M3 can be found at the DP Review Forum, Sony Cybershot subforum. Most of the posts are regarding this specific camera and there are some very nice and welcoming folks there and is a very active forum much like here.
I have printed images as large as 20" x 30" which hang on a wall at home from the Rx100 (with a little help from Perfect Resize and Photoshop).