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So I want to buy a camera to travel with....

I want to buy a used digital camera but one that has manual adjustments and manual focus but that still has a memory card. That probably sounds super vague and like i have no idea what i'm talking about haha, but i want a camera that still has digital features but that lets u operate in manual mode like hand adjusting the focus and zoom. If you could give me some brands or names of what i want so i can search online for some used ones would be great. Thank you!!!!

Posted by
12040 posts

Because you live in the Philadelphia area, go to a Ritz Camera store. They can show you what's available and what fits your needs. The features you described aren't usually available on the cheaper cameras, but you can get them on most mid-price models. It also might help to describe what sorts of pictures you want to take. It sounds like you want to do more than just snap pictures of yourself in front of landmarks...

Posted by
88 posts

I recommend a Canon. They have great advanced point-and-shoots that have great automatic settings but also have a lot of manual functions. My favorite Canon model is the A650, but it seems to be out of production right now. It had a great swivel LCD that made it easy to take pictures at unusual angles. I believe they have another Powershot model (S6IS or something) with a similar feature. Amazon is a great resource for buying digital cameras--they have hundreds of customer reviews.

Posted by
12040 posts

The Powershot also has one feature I particularly like... I'm not sure what they call it, but here's what it does: For nightime photography, the camera will snap a picture of the subjects in the foreground (usually people) at regular speed using a flash, but will use time-exposure for the background. To get an idea of how useful this function is, you can now take a killer shot of yourself at night with the Eifel Tower in the background. Of course, you need a tripod to use this function, but most camera shops sell travel-sized units.

Posted by
88 posts

That is a great feature! It also reminds me to suggest looking into a tripod made by Joby called "Gorillapod." They make small, light, flexible tripods that can stand alone or wrap around objects ($25 or so, I think). They have small ones for point-and-shoots and larger ones for SLRs/heavier cameras. It'd be a nice accessory to go along with your new camera.

Posted by
1760 posts

Abby, I've owned a Sony H50 for 4 years, and love it. Way easy to use, great photos. Fantastic zoom, 3" LCD screen, and a view finder. Takes huge memory card, uses regular batteries.

I noticed today that the Sony H50 is on sale for $349. That's a great price for this camera that is lightweight, easy to use, and still not "huge" in size. Fits comfortably in your hand, or in your shoulder bag.

I use my camera on our bike trips, it fits in the rear "trunk" on our bike. No need to purchase a DSLR, this camera does it all.

Posted by
199 posts

I bought a Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 for my up coming trip to London, Paris and Rome.I does have the features that you are looking for. Though I have not used on a trip, my parents used theirs on their trip to Italy and China and loved it.

Posted by
31271 posts

abby,

Based on the criteria you listed, I believe a basic digital SLR Camera would be your best choice. Virtually all of the small P&S Cameras, including the Canon "A" series have adjustable zoom but I don't believe there is manual adjustment of focus. The main "difficulty" in travelling with a dSLR is that these are somewhat larger and heavier than a P&S Camera, so not as convenient to travel with.

If you have a large Camera store in your area, check with them to see if they have any "pre-owned" dSLR's. I'm most familiar with the Canon line, so have a look at the Rebel XSi or more basic XS. They may also have XTi or XT models available (older but still very good basic digital Cameras - I started with an XT and it's capable of taking excellent photos).

In addition to the Camera, you'll need to budget for extra Memory Cards, at least one extra Battery, a good quality Case and of course extra Lenses if using a dSLR. You might give some thought also to image storage, as you'll need the capacity on your computer and a method for organizing images as well as backing these up (DVD Burner?).

Have a look at both the reviews and User Forums at www.dpreview.com for information on various digital Cameras.

You could also check EBay as I'm sure they will have LOTS of used Cameras listed (although with anything purchased on EBay, remember "caveat emptor").

Good luck!

Posted by
4536 posts

I have an older Panasonic with a Leica lens that takes great pictures. Take a look at the Panasonic DMC-FZ series (e.g. DMC-FZ8).

www.dpreview.com is a great website with reviews of digital cameras. They have ratings and detailed reviews of various cameras.

Posted by
9 posts

thank you all so much for your info and for taking out the time to answer my question. I really appreciate it. I'm looking for a camera that I can do more with than just take pictures of friends when i travel, so thank you all so much!

Posted by
506 posts

I have the Canon PowerShot A620 and bought it for the reasons you state (plus, it was highly rated by Consumer Reports). You can go auto on several different settings, but it also has many manual settings. I think more and more cameras are mixing the auto and manual features.

A lot of people look for the smallest camera available, something that will fit in a shirt pocket. My Canon is not one of these. It runs on 4 AA batteries, which increases it's size, but the battery arrangement is such that it forms a comfortable hand-hold.

I agree with the suggestion that you visit a camera shop and talk to the staff, fit the cameras into your hand, etc. Like many things, cameras are a compromise of price, convenience, features, and so forth.

Your budget will determine what choices are available to you. If money is no object, and you don't care about size, go with a digital SLR. But that's more camera than most casual users (like me) have a need for.

Posted by
34 posts

Canon Powershot SX110IS, Got mine at beachcamera.com for a very reasonable price, free ship, no tax.
Good comprehensive review here:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SX110IS/SX110ISA.HTM

I'm taking this with me for 27 days to Greece & Italy this summer. Get an 8 gig SD card and you'll be set. Make sure to carry lithium batteries with you, one set will take 300-400 images.

Enjoy. /Steve

Posted by
21164 posts

Lets throw a little caution on Steve's recommendation for an 8 g card. I am not a big fan of large cards. If it goes bad all pictures are gone. In the days when a 512 was a large card I had one fail -- lost about 100 pictures. I now carry several 1 g cards and change when about half full. The down size to that is you now to keep track of 3 or 4 cards. Of course, since then, I haven't had a card fail either. Some risk either way.

Posted by
850 posts

If you go with a dslr the D40 is a great entry level camera. Getting harder to find now but you should be able to find a good deal on one. It comes with a nice kit lens (18-55) but you may want to get a lens with a little more reach maybe 55-200 although you will want the wider kit lens most of the time especially in cities. If you wanted to get one lens to keep from changing you could go with the 18-200. Depends on your budget. I have a D40 and a D90 and the image quality on the D40 comes close to that of the D90.
I am a little puzzled as to why you would want to manual focus though. I understand the other manual adjustments but auto focus is usually so good that I very seldom go to manual focus. If you can live with auto focus then you could maybe opt for a p&s for its smaller size. A good p&s camera will allow you to use aperture, shutter, program or manual mode for your settings. For versatility and low light photography though the dslr would be better.

Posted by
182 posts

Abby

I like alot of what's been said above, and as in most cases it often comes down to $$$.

I'm a Nikon fan. I presently am using a D80 (after having a D70) and have enjoyed it. I use the 55-200 lens. I looked into the D90, but got discouraging info about the video aspects of the camera (not sure if Lane has experienced any problems). Canon also has a dual camera (DSLR with video) to eliminate the need for a seperate video camera. If the video is poor, then the dollars aren't worth spending.

I think also that the D40 is a great entry level DSLR and yes they are becoming harder to find but worth the look. If you have the money, try to get the 55-200 lens. It's worth every penny. I've used small cards and larger cards and luckily have had no problems, but I think it's a good point to consider to have multiple small cards for potential lost photos if a card fails.

The D40 has some good automatic and manual abilities too since you're interested in those aspects. Be willing to spend the time at a Ritz-type store if you can and do the touch-and-feel thing. Be willing to spend the money on a good comfortable case too. Don't forget to pack your electrical converters!

Posted by
850 posts

Gary brings up some good points especially the reminder to bring a converter. I would invest in an extra battery and keep the spare fully charged. If you shoot in higher resolutions a 4 gb card or an 8 gb would be fine. If you shoot in raw you will find that you don't get that many images on a card so if you compare the number of images an 8 gb card would probably be equivalent to a 1 or 2 gb on a smaller mp camera set to a lower resolution.
Carry more than one card though. Several 2 gb cards and/or 4 gb.
Gary, I don't use the video on my D90 very much at all but the times I have used it I have had no problems and the quality is quite good being in HD. Of course it has its limitations but the video was not a feature that sold me on the camera. Its image quality being on par with the D300 for a lesser price and smaller size was a big reason. My wife usually takes care of the video part of our travels with her video camera. I have found it to be a pleasant feature to have the video available on the D90 on a couple of ocassions. Since it does not take away from the still images of the camera I consider it an added bonus. It does eat into the storage of the card so I keep a lot of cards with me.

Posted by
31271 posts

Abby,

Before rushing out to buy an "electrical converter", some clarification is important. You will first need to determine whether or not one is even required!

Many Camera manufacturers these days provide Chargers that are designed for "world" operation from 100-240 VAC. That will probably be the case if you buy either a Canon or Nikon Camera, so only an inexpensive Plug Adapter will be required. The exception may be the Canon "A" series, as I don't believe these are supplied with a Charger (they use AA batteries). Many A-series users simply buy an AA Travel Charger kit with Ni-MH batteries.

In the unlikely event your Camera is supplied with only a 115 VAC Charger, then of course you'll need to consider a Voltage Converter as well.

Cheers!

Posted by
850 posts

Ken you are correct. The nikon battery charger did not need a converter, nor did my wifes Fuji p&s, video camera or hair dryer. In fact we did not have to use a converter at all. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by
242 posts

I love my 40D and highly recommend it! It has enough automatic settings for my husband to feel comfortable using it, but is easily adjusted in manual for me to get the right shot quickly. I love the option of being able to save settings.

We have the gorillapod (http://www.joby.com/) and have found it very useful, especially when taking night shots and it is small enough to fit in the camera bag.

I would recommend getting a LowePro (http://www.lowepro.com/) bag. It has great sling feature that allows you to get to your camera quickly and easily so you don't miss a shot. We bought one that has room for an extra lens or two, an external flash, and still has room for a picnic lunch. The bag was the best accessory we bought.

Posted by
875 posts

The Canon Rebel XSi (or XTi -- sorry can't remember) is a good option for the items you describe.

Posted by
515 posts

Two trips to Europe with Canon PowerShot A700. Loved it. Took along ample supply of AA batteries, as well as an extra memory card. Just got a new Canon PowerShot SX110IS. Love it, love it. Small enough to fit into small compartment of my cross-body bag, and big enough to get great shots.

Posted by
3 posts

I have both a Canon DSLR 40 D and just purchased a Canon G10 which is amazing! I am going to only take the smaller G10 to Italy this summer. You might be able to find the older G9 used, and it can shoot all automatic, or all manual! you can even use manual focus, but the auto focus works great and you can choose to focus on a different part of the frame, etc. like an SLR. Some friends took their G9 to Asia on a 7 month trip and were so happy with all the photos. It also has a decent zoom.
Just an idea!

Posted by
213 posts

Abby, I agree with those who suggest getting an entry-level DSLR such as the Nikon D40 (or D60) or a Canon Rebel equivalent. Not only will they offer the manual control you desire, they will have numerous advantages over the various point-and-shoot varieties that are popular because of their small size and automatic-everything convenience. Keep in mind that all point-and-shoot cameras have a sensor that is much smaller than the kind used in DSLRs. The consequence of this is that, if you ever shoot at an ISO speed higher than the lowest (to get a photo in dim light), you will get "noise" in your picture. "Noise" refers to artifacts that look like graininess in an image. Noise degrades the quality of a photo. It is usually most noticeable in darker areas of the image. Noise limits how large a picture you can make from an image. Point-and-shoots--even the best--are usually limited to 4x6 or 5x7 for a quality photo.

You said in one post that you want to do more than just take pictures of friends. A DSLR will give you the versatility to do that. The lens you get may not have the range (for example, 18-55mm) of a point-and-shoot, but it will be a much higher quality lens. If your interest is in scrapbook snapshots, you will be well-served by a point-and-shoot. If you think you might want to take some pictures you can frame and hang on your wall, you will be better served by an entry-level DSLR. I personally carry both a Nikon DSLR and a Canon point-and-shoot. I use the Canon for snapshots, the Nikon for "serious" photos.

Ritz in Philly is a place to start. Also check out any locally-owned stores in your area. They are usually very good with service and advice.

Posted by
518 posts

I would go to a locally owned camera store with the information in your post. I have found the locally owned stores to have better information and more time to help. They are interested in you being happy with your camera. They usually also offer classes to help learn how to use the camera.

Posted by
2788 posts

I have been looking for a smaller sized digital camera that comes with GPS and have had no luck here in Hawaii, googling it, etc. except to find a Sony video camera for $1200. Since I already have a $1000 HD Sony video camera, that is not an option. Any suggestions?