The big question – do I bring my big Canon 60D and my heavy bag of various lenses and tripod? Or my cute Olympus Pen micro 4/3 with the interchangeable lenses and hot shoe for either a flash or electronic viewfinder (but not both at the same time)? Having a love for travel photography has amassed quite a collection of camera gear, bags, and accessories. Every time I book a trip, I have to decide on the travel camera, the lenses, the bag and/or camera backpack. Do I bring a tripod? They are bulky yes, but for those razor sharp landscapes, a tripod is a must.
I love photography. I also love my Canon. But I hate lugging it around (especially when my trip involves a lot of hiking). I also have very little patience for using a tripod. So a few years ago, I bought my Olympus Pen. It still has interchangeable lenses (not cheap), but it’s smaller and comes with some nifty filters. My Pen was my go-to camera for a while, but then even it became a headache. When you’re in the moment, having to stop and pull out a different lens, change it out, decide on aperture, shutter speed, etc. etc. by then the moment is over. I also hated having to choose between a flash or an EVF. I was spending too much time behind the lens and not nearly enough time enjoying what was there.
I began to long for the days when photography wasn’t a hobby, and I travelled with my old Panasonic Lumix. It was a point & shoot, but it was a big one (almost the size of a DSLR), it had awesome zoom, which is what I really liked about it.
Then I wondered – has camera technology improved to the point where I can have a tiny little point & shoot that has the best features of a DSLR? I began to research…..
Enter the Panasonic Lumix ZS40
This little 18.1 MP travel camera has a 30x zoom! It also has raw capability (although not compatible with a Mac which is it’s biggest flaw), it has auto-adjust, built-in filters, full manual mode, HD video, and BOTH a EVF and a built-in flash! With the wifi feature, I can set this sweetie up on a gorillapod, connect it to my smart phone, and shoot remotely (which promises a blur-free night photograph). But let’s get back to the zzzooooommmm!
Now Let’s Zoooooommmmm in
I haven’t taken this camera on a trip yet, but when I do, there will be no more squinting for that elusive sloth up in the trees 1/4 mile away….not with this camera! Will it give me DSLR quality? not very likely. But let’s face it, I’m not a professional photographer – my pictures will be posted online, and maybe a select few will be printed, so for me that might be good enough. I can honestly see myself enjoying the moments more, and with the features this camera has, my photography needs might be met too…we shall see.