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Digital Cameras

Grafton, Australia
2 posts
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Digital Cameras

I'm spending 2015 living in England and travelling around Europe for my gap year, and I'm in need of a decent camera to take good quality photos! I'd prefer it if the camera was of the small variety, easy to carry and able to be put in my bag while I travel. Prices wise, definitely not any higher than $1,000 and preferably around $400-$600. I've looked into both GoPros and digital cameras, but I have no idea what would be best. Any recommendations?

r c
Portland, Oregon
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4,372 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Digital Cameras

Lisa O,

i will give you some of what i learned when i was researching my cameras.

1. bigger pixel count does not = better pictures. Its a combo of lens, software and pixels.

2. when it comes to lens, look at "optical" zoom. Digital zoom isnt as good. if you want a 200mm zoom, make sure that 200mm is "optical" not "digital"

3. CIPA rating. its sort of a "standard" to quantify how many shots you can make on one full charge of the battery. It doesnt include things like movies, GPS, wi-fi and such. So it can give you a way to compare different features.

> whatever you choose to get, make sure you spend alot of time learning how to use the camera and become what functions do what.

> get a spare battery and make sure you have both charged when you go out.

> look at what type of SD card it uses. Sony at one time had proprietary SD cards so that may translate to hard to find out in the bush.

> upload capabilities. if you search you will find several (many?) questions asking how to upload or "backup" the files on the memory card/camera. If this concerns you, then look into solutions or how you can use the features on that camera to meet your needs.

good luck in your search.

New York
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear
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1,477 posts
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2. Re: Digital Cameras

I am presuming you want a P&S (point and shoot) rather than a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. These days they are pretty compact so it comes down to features. How big an optical zoom do you want (this probably depends on what you are going to use it for most)? Do you want the ability to shoot in RAW? Are you tough on your electronics and need one that may be drop resistant? How are you going to download your images e.g. plugged in to a computer, over wifi, etc? Do you want a viewfinder? Do you want a touchscreen?

Here's a link to a very well known camera store in NYC. I am not suggesting you buy from them since you are in Australia but its website includes the specifications for lots of cameras as well as customer reviews. It's a good place to compare features and see what is available.


If you can help us with what you need a camera then we can probably make some more specific recommendations.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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14,294 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: Digital Cameras

http://www.dpreview.com is a go to site for camera reviews and comparisons of features by both the experts and the users. Have a look at what it is currently saying about the ones in the price range you are considering - then do a price comparison with places like JBHifi (which most of the camera stores are struggling to compete with lately).

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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83,909 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Digital Cameras

I would strongly recommend that you look at the Panasonic range of cameras. They have excellent lenses designed by Leica, a really good optical zoom, and reasonable prices.

Zurich, Switzerland
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14 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Digital Cameras

Since I own a Nokia Lumia 1020, our point-and-shoot camera stays at home :-)

No need to zoom, you just shoot and do the zooming later. You can view some examples on www.lumiagallery.com

(and no, I'm not employed by Nokia or Microsoft, this is just my opinion)


Zurich, Switzerland
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14 posts
10 reviews
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6. Re: Digital Cameras

Also I think if you're talking about 1000$ maximum, what's your idea of the camera? for 1000$ you get a good DSLR, but is this what you want/need? I think it depends on what you expect, if you do photoshopping, or leave the pictures as is, and how much you are ready to play around with the camera's functions.

Point-and-shoot cameras are ususally a hassle to get deep into the menu (aperture, shutter speed, white balance etc.), but easy to use if you go for the 'automatic mode'. However, if you want to go deep into these functions, a DSLR is much easier in my opinion because you have buttons stuff you can access directly on the camera body.

If you need any advise on the Lumia, you can contact me, for me it's the perfect travel gadget (as I have the phone with me all the time anyway).

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3,092 posts
649 reviews
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7. Re: Digital Cameras

Your budget is a healthy one. You should be able to get a great camera for that price.

Sensor size is important for image quality. Most point and shoot cameras have sensors that are only slightly better than the typical phone. They, however, can have significantly better lenses and firmware.

If you want a really good point and shoot camera, look for one with a larger sensor. Canon and Fujifilm, for example, make such stuff.

If you want small, and good, and have the budget you suggest, I would start with the Panasonic Lumix GM1:




I trust that you are interested in both still photos and video? If video is important, certain Panasonic Lumix cameras, like the GH2, GH3, and GH4 have been used by pros as spare indie video equipment. They also take great photos. But these are not so compact as the GM1 noted above. You could get a used GH2 for your budget, from a reliable dealer like KEH (in Georgia, USA, however) - I have been happy with their Website and phone service, and their reaponse when I had a glitch in a camera that was delivered by them. (London has some good used photo places as well.)

If still photos (and not action photos requiring lightning fast auto focus) are the most important, then Fujifilm may have the best offerings, though they push on your budget. For example..


Or (more expensive, but the viewfinder may make it worth the cost):


There is a newer x-e2 - but that makes the close-outs on the x-e2 (and the price for a good used one) more attractive.

tucson, az
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3,856 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: Digital Cameras

Personally I always suggest going to a store and trying them out. The best camera in the world is a waste of money if you don't like where the "take picture" button is or hate what you have to do to delete a photo.

9. Re: Digital Cameras

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