travel cameras

Travel Cameras – Daring to Leave the DSLR at Home

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.

My Friend Jason, the best travel photographer I know - but it comes at a cost - very expensive, very heavy gear.

My Friend Jason, the best travel photographer I know – but it comes at a cost – very expensive, very heavy gear.

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.

My Olympus Pen with an electronic viewfinder in the hot shoe. Notice no flash. You have to buy it separately ($300) and swap out the viewfinder. All in the name of keeping things compact.

My Olympus Pen with an electronic viewfinder in the hot shoe. Notice no flash. You have to buy it separately ($300) and swap out the viewfinder. All in the name of keeping things compact.

 

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
DMC-ZS40S_400

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!

Taken from my condo balcony, focus on the apartments way off in the distance

Taken from my condo balcony, focus on the apartments way off in the distance

 

Now Let’s Zoooooommmmm in

The 30x zoom capability on the Lumix ZS40 is unreal!

The 30x zoom capability on the Lumix ZS40 is unreal!

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.

 

 

 

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Comments 2

  1. I think you’ll surprise yourself with how good the pictures will end up being. Technology has come a long way, and with your talent for editing? Success is virtually guaranteed.

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