The humble point and shoot camera doesn’t get a lot of love these days, replaced by low-cost DSLRs and mobile phones with increasing resolution. Although you can turn your mobile phone into a better digital camera, most of us are still carrying a point and shoot to capture our
lunch travel memories. Aside from an iPhone 4, my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 is the only camera I travel with and responsible for nearly all of the pictures on this blog over the past two years.
Which digital point and shoot camera do you take pictures with on your travels?
Recently, my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 became slightly damaged in Yemen so I’ll need to upgrade to the latest DMC-ZS20 model of Lumix later this month. I’m often asked what camera I would recommend for travelers not wanting a heavy, conspicuous DSLR. Without hesitation I can recommend the Lumix DMC-ZS10 but want to hear what you would – or wouldn’t – suggest based on your own experiences.
Let me know in the comments below and I’ll compile your answers for an upcoming post that might help you make your next camera purchase a little easier.
I also carry a Panasonic Lumix with a good zoom and then edit any minor details later. I’m surprised by the number of DSLRs out there now (EVERYONE has one!) and although I’m sure I’ll get one at some point, for now I’m happy in the knowledge that no-one wants to steal my Lumix 😉 Also, it’s so much more lightweight and easy to carry in smaller bags.
I like the inconspicuous nature of point and shoots, a gadget-class I think is losing some of its value perception, making it less of a tempting target for theft.
Sony DSC RX 100II. A bit pricey but it is the best point and shoot on the market right now!
A damn good lens on that one.
No surprise to see your pic of the Lumix, Anil. I too rely on mine (albeit a tad older model – ZS3, 12X – but still taking great shots). Nice too, to have the video. I also have a DSLR but… when push comes to shove, the off-grid travel I do, the DSLR gets left behind ‘cuz of weight, bulk and obtrusiveness. In short, my trusty Lumix serves me quite well.
I’m glad to hear the older model is just as popular. I wish I didn’t have to upgrade mine but there’s something inside the lens I can’t get rid of easily.
I have the Nikon Coolpix AW100, but the picture quality is a little grainy unless you have really bright light. I’ve been looking at the Olympus TG-2. I’ve heard great things about the picture quality and I like that I can take it snorkeling.
I don’t have any personal experience with it but the advantage of underwater without extra casing is certainly appealing.
Have a DSLR for the past 7 years that has been wityh me on my trips. However for my new adventure which is a 7 months long trip through Central Africa, I decided to get a point and shoot just to not have to “flash” around with a DSLR too much.
I got myself a Nikon Coolpix P310 as I bought one of those to my ex girlfriend last year when we went to Albania for vacation. I tried it out and was amazed how much tech was packed into this little format. Another thing that kind of made my day is that you can film HD in 60fps which bcomes a nice slowmotion effect when played back 🙂
Very useful and a cool – yet often neglected – feature to play around with.
I guess the Canon G series counts as a point and shoot. I use the Canon G11 and bought it after the recommendation of 2 photographer friends. Great camera, shoots RAW and has many excellent features, no need to carry equipment or lenses, which is important to me when I travel. I’m still learning to use it, though! 🙂
It sure does – it’s actually the line of camera I considered before going with the Lumix. I like a gadget, especially camera, with many manual functions and features.
I use a Lumix LX5 when I don’t want to carry my DSLR and I can’t fault the picture quality, sometimes I can’t tell the difference between it and my DSLR. Only down side is lack of zoom.
I don’t know if I could do without zoom on a camera.
I have the Lumix DMC-ZS20 and I have been quite pleased with it except for a small defect I had to get repaired (I am sure it was a one-off manufacturing issue and was easily repaired). I think I first heard of that model from Wandering Earl, but I went on to do my own research before choosing it. If anyone is interested in my research process, I wrote about it at: http://www.lengthytravel.com/the-best-digital-camera-a-buying-guide/.
The DMC-ZS20 was a nice nice improvement over the ZS-10 I carry. Lighter, with a better lens and zoom, good choice.
I absolutely love my Olympus Tough cameras. I have only upgraded mine once since buying my first in 2008 (serious increase in mega pixels). The original from 2008 still takes such good pictures that my cousin used them for her wedding when her hired photographer failed in 2011.
It probably doesn’t produce the best pictures possible, but they are more than enough for me. While I love that it is waterproof, I think people fail to see the real benefit: they are disaster proof. Mine has fallen from tables, been doused in beer more times than I have, and gone swimming in Iceland. It still works wonderfully.
Toughness is not a quality many point and shoots have – sounds like a feature especially handy for you 🙂
I also have the ZS10 and I just bought the ZS20 for an upcoming hike across Spain. I thought that recharging the batteries might be a problem, so I purchased a Nikon 610 which uses AA batteries which are available everywhere. However on a recent trip to the UK the 610 was eating a pair of batteries a day with the Eye Fi card installed. My grandson now has a new camera. I have rigged a solar panel on my backpack to charge the ZS10/20 batteries as I walk through a 12V port. So far so good. The Eye Fi card does not seem to drain the ZS20. I have 7 batteries (cheap replacements at $7 each), so it should work. The 610 did not have geotagging, but the Eye Fi card says it will geotag. It was not very good, so I appreciate the ZS20 and the kid loves the 610.
Was the solar panel a DIY hack?
No. The solar panel is off the shelf from Goal Zero. It comes with a AA pack of rechargeable batteries and a connection housing with USB and a cigarette lighter connection. I have a ZS10/20 charger that has a 12V vehicle attachment and that plugs into the Goal Zero panel. I tried recharging a drained ZS10/20 battery on a 13 mile walk Sunday and it charged up just fine.
Very cool – and I’ll add that I find my ZS10 battery lasts well over the 500 shots or so they say it will as well.
Let me see: 500 photos per battery, 7 batteries….hmmm 3,500 photos before I have to recharge. 21 days on the El Camino. I will really be able to bore a lot of people to death. 😉
Tom, I´ll be on the Camino on October 7th. Will you show me yours or will I show you mine 3.500 first ?? 🙂
Good for you. I finish 29 September. I have an Eye Fi card and a SmugMug account. So you can see my photos at http://www.raftery.com. I have been playing with it and the photos there now are primarily from a recent trip to a birthday party on a barge in the Thames and an excursion to York after.
One thing about point and shoot cameras: they work best if you understand a little bit about exposure. Exposure meters in cameras try to make everything a medium tone.
Absolutely, so much of photography comes down to understanding lighting.
My husband and I each bought the same model of Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 from Newegg.com for the low, low price of $99 last August and have really been pleased with the cameras. They take great pictures and are easy to slip into a pocket. They’ve taken a lot of abuse as we’ve been travelling for almost a year now but the pictures are great for a point and shoot camera. When we have to replace them we’ll stay with the Panasonic Lumix model (after we check your blog for advice!). Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
A good line of cameras – I can’t imagine my upcoming camera post without them!
I am going to Africa for Safari in March 2014. Does anyone have any good recommendations for a Safari Trip? I am looking to spend about $300-$400. Any advice would be great! I am also going to try and take a photography class or two before going.
I’ll have a post on my recommendations in a week or two, but I can recommend the Lumix I use:
Hi Lisa, here’s that post I was mentioning, hope you find it useful!