I am taking a Rick Steve's tour later this summer. I am looking for a new digital camera. I would like one that is more of a point and shoot but with a little more of a kick. Any ideas.
Canon S120 or any of its predecessors.
Consider the weight and bulk, and choose one light enough for you to carry happily about 12 hours everyday. The camera that's left in your hotel room doesn't take any photos at all.
Agree with Laura... make sure it is a camera that will be easy to use yet give you the images you want. I tend to like Nikon, so take a look and something with a nice little zoom is definitely a plus.
You could also have a look at one of the "travel zoom" Cameras such as the Panasonic ZS-30 or Canon SX-280. These are both newer models so have lots of "bells & whistles", take good pictures and are small and easy to carry. Have a look at THIS review which has links for both cameras.
Which camera to choose will depend on your budget to a large extent. The cameras listed in the NY Times article tend to be on the "pricey" side, so I'm sure that will be a factor in the decision process. Last time I checked, the Fuji started at about $1700.
there are so many cameras out there and some not so good ones.
take a look at some of the camera review/comparison sites. But you should have an idea on what you want/like in one.
just some info if you chose.
There is a CIPA rating that is more or less a "shots per charge" number. It doesn't include using movies or anything like that,but just plain picture taking. it doesn't include things like GPS either. if you choose to use this info, it will give you some idea on how many pictures you can take with a charge of the battery and you can use that rating to compare other cameras CIPA.
what i found out on my camera research was that a larger pixel count didnt mean a better picture. what it came down to was pixel count, lens quality and internal software.
whatever camera you decide to buy, make sure you buy a 2nd battery pack. It will save some time and if you have a 2nd pack handy.
last hint. make sure you spend some time learning how you use your new toy. both day and night shots.
Thank you everyone for all of your advice. I am currently have a credit card size camera which is just a camera to take pictures. Not much of a zoom. I have an older Nikon where the lens that flips forwards or backwards. I used it the first time I went to Europe. It has a 10mm zoom. It takes good pictures. I would like a little better one than that one. I love taking scenery pictures and museum pictures. I do not really want to buy a big DSLR camera. I am looking for a hybrid of both a point and shoot and DSLR.
I think I have a lot more information to help in shopping. The several links that have been posted have been great, thank you for all the information.
Judy, Consumer Reports has a good guide for cameras including recommendations. I think it really depends on how much you want to spend.
I just replaced my old Sony with a lower-end Canon PowerShot SXxxx after researching.
Judy, I used to carry around an SLR camera and lenses but the more I got into the traveling light mindset the less I liked the bulk and weight of it. Right now I have a Panasonic Lumix ZS8 p&s camera and I just love it. I take wonderful photos with the IA (intelligent auto) setting but it also has numerous manual settings so it's a perfect combo. You can really get creative and artistic with it. It's a tad bit heavier than a lot of other p&s cameras but well worth the extra ounce or two in my opinion. I took a macro photography class at my local community college last fall and the instructor (a professional photographer) actually uses the same camera for some of his work because it's so compact and easy to carry. He showed me how to use some of the 'manual' settings to get better shots. I felt a little bit out of the loop because everyone else in the class had DSLR cameras but when all was said and done and we shared the results of our field trip photo shoot, everyone agreed that my camera took amazing macro shots - even better than some of their fancy high-priced ones.
I know there are a couple of other frequent posters here who also use various versions of the Lumix and like it a lot. There have been several threads on this subject in the past. Do a search and read some of them.
i forgot to add an item.
whatever camera you decide to get, make sure it has a decent wide angle on it. you will want on in many of the churches/building and areas in Europe.
I have had SLR's in the past (and still do), but for my tour this summer I also wanted something lighter weight, but that still had flexibility. I picked up a "bridge" camera, which is a cross between a p&s and an SLR. I'm not sure what your budget is, but I picked up a panasonic Lumix FZ200 for around $500. Yes, Panasonic, Nikon, and Canon also have bridge cameras that are somewhat less expensive, but I picked the FZ200 for a few reasons. It has a wider aperture (down to 2.8) that can be fixed throughout the zoom. (It can zoom from 28-600). This can be helpful for lower light situations. I also picked it because the zoom was both wide and with a long telephoto, which is helpful for the landscapes. I also really liked it, because there is a man named Graham Houghton from Great Britain who has posted several Youtube videos that take you through each of the controls with some tutorials. He even has a manual you can download as a PDF for free. It was helpful for learning the camera. I'm sure if you picked a less expensive Panasonic Lumix, some of the controls would be the same across models, so you could still refer to his videos if you chose another model. I will say that he doesn't teach a "photography course", so you should still have some knowledge of how to take good photos with manual settings/composition, etc. I had taken a class years ago, but I'm taking it again this summer as a refresher before my trip. I obviously don't know your level of photographic knowledge, but that may also inform your choice. As I said, it is a bridge camera and you can choose to use it as a point and shoot. It also has scene settings, such as portrait or night shot that you can use if you want. This camera also got excellent reviews from numerous places on the internet and at the camera shop I bought it at.
I hope this helps you make your choice, even if you don't choose the camera I mentioned. It just gives a few more things to think about.
Gretchen, thank you for your information. I have been spent several hours researching your camera and the you tube video. All the information shared here has been great. I appreciate it all.
I would second the notion of the Panasonic ZS series. They are very good travel cameras. As they only shoot in jpeg format a 32 or 64 GB would hold plenty of photos. They have a 24mm (equivalent lens) and 20X optical zoom. There are other good ones also, but I used this series in the past as the "point and shoot" on some of my trips. IMHO the best place to get info on cameras is http://www.dpreview.com/, but some of the info can be a bit technical if you aren't into photography. One of the strengths of that site is the ability to make a custom side-by-side comparison of cameras so you know what each has to offer.
I have also been searching for the "perfect" packing light travel camera. The bigger DSLR's are to bulky and having to carry extra lens around is a pain, but little credit card point and shoot camera's take some nice pictures but struggle in low light without flash and are not of the quality of the more "pro" gear. I think I have found the best of both worlds: After researching the internet for a month or two I finally decided on the Nikon S9700. This camera is barely bigger than a point and shoot yet has all the features you get on the DSLR type of camera, the zoom lens is amazing and goes to 150mm, the pictures are noticeably better than my older point and shoot yet I can carry this camera in my pocket! The Nikon S9700 has built in Wifi so it will send the pictures to my iPad and iPhone without any wires, I will write a review here on the Forum after my trip to Austria in 2 weeks, can't wait!
Thank you for your response. I have yet to find that perfect camera yet. It is hard to find one in a store to look at and play with. I have Nikon cameras now and the camera you have posted could go well with my current old digital camera. Enjoy your travels to Austria and take lots of pictures!
I have an Olympus PEN EL-5. It has interchangeable lenses but no mirror so t'e much smaller, lighter and cheaper than my Nikon D7000. It is. Micro 4/3 format which makes it smaller. Extrea lenses are also small and relatively inexpensive. It is relatively inconspicuous. You view the scene through an LCD or add-on view finder. I print my pictures to 8x10 or eve 16x20 with no trouble.
There are also fill size 4/3 format cameras.