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Anyone bought a 'travel' compact camera lately?

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  • Anyone bought a 'travel' compact camera lately?

    I am about to buy a compact digital camera to use for holiday/travel.
    I am only interested in 'flat' cameras less than 30mm thick (so genuinely pocket-able)
    It must have X20 optical zoom and cost less than $400.
    Optional manual control is preferred to automatic only. Must have WiFi.

    After a very considerable amount of research on the net I have narrowed it down to:
    Nikon Coolpix S9500. (no manual control)
    Panasonic Lumix TZ40. ( + manual control)
    (not interested in the Sony Cyber-shot WX300 which is a great little camera but too small for me)

    I was all set to buy the Canon Powershot SX280 HS but have been frightened off by the large number of complaints on the net about an inherent program fault in relation to a false 'low battery' warning that shuts the camera down, and the alleged failure (or inconsistency) of the factory 'fix'. Interestingly, none of the many site reviews I read mentioned this.

    I am interested in the experiences of anyone who has recently bought any of these 3 cameras, and in any alternatives that strictly match the requirements mentioned above.
    Cheers.

  • #2
    Could I suggest the Canon s120? Compact with manual control options that can be allocated to control rings around the lens and on the back.

    Apparently has wifi. Only 5x optical zoom though, but one can always take some steps forward or back as required...

    I have its great grandfather and grandfather, the Canon s90 and s95 respectively. Great compact cameras.

    Sniff
    Last edited by SniffCoffee; 9 March 2014, 05:29 PM. Reason: typos

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    • #3
      G'Day Rocky,

      Of the camera's you mention my choice would be the Panasonic Lumix TZ40, loaded with features and the Panasonic Lumix range have an excellent reputation.

      My wife and I both use Nikon DSLR's and lean toward the brand name, however I don't believe the Nikon Coolpix or Canon Powershot range even comes close to the Lumix.

      Good luck with your choice.

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      • #4
        FujiFilm and Olympus also make some very decent compact digital cameras, and are well worth a look...

        Mal.

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        • #5
          Have you looked at gopro units? Can do stills, movies and underwater. Pretty versatile for traveling.

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          • #6
            Hi Rocky,
            I bought a Panasonic Lumix TZ 40 a year ago and couldn't be happier. Brilliant little camera with super sharp images
            The best price I found in Rockvegas was JB HiFi and they were good to deal with
            I would buy again tomorrow
            Cheers
            Dr Dave

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            • #7
              The Lumix range are noted for excellent lens's.

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              • #8
                Hi Guys, thanks for all the good suggestions.
                Sniff - The camera this is replacing is an older Olympus compact with a X10 zoom. Just couldn't live with less zoom.
                Yelta - I have an affection for Nikon and would have liked to buy the S9500 but the Lumix just seems superior to it.
                When I buy a new DSLR it will be a Nikon.
                Dimal - You are right, the choice in compacts is stupifying. The Fuji F770 EXR was a hot contender but at 36mm just a bit too thick for my pocket and the reviews say image quality is behind the rivals. Makes for a very hard decision however as Harvey N has them on special for $225. which is a real bargain
                DD- JB HiFi has the Lumix for $345. at present and this is looking like the GO as the reviews (incl. yours) seem to say it does everything well.

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                • #9
                  I have had 2 TZ40's over the years, one got stolen in Barcelona in 08, and went straight back out and bought another one loved it as a travel camera.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by skippy View Post
                    one got stolen in Barcelona in 08,
                    Obviously a highly desirable camera and a discerning thief.

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                    • #11
                      Bear in mind a 20x optical zoom will need a tripod to be useful.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by herzog View Post
                        Bear in mind a 20x optical zoom will need a tripod to be useful.
                        Not arguing against the use of a tripod if circumstances permit, but I used a Lumix FZ150 handheld at full extension of its 24 times optical zoom to photograph a university rowing competition and the results were very acceptable. I used high shutter speeds and image stabilization was on. I have also used it for photographing birds. There are a wide variety of photographic possibilities for ultra-zoom cameras which don't require a tripod.

                        Best wishes, Russell

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                        • #13
                          BTW I know it's expensive, but I'd be looking at the FZ200. Constant aperture f2.8 in an ultra-zoom is just amazing.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by russellm View Post
                            BTW I know it's expensive, but I'd be looking at the FZ200.
                            It can be purchased for less than $400 at a couple of places... Might be a bit big though

                            Mal.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by russellm View Post
                              Not arguing against the use of a tripod if circumstances permit, but I used a Lumix FZ150 handheld at full extension of its 24 times optical zoom to photograph a university rowing competition and the results were very acceptable. I used high shutter speeds and image stabilization was on. I have also used it for photographing birds. There are a wide variety of photographic possibilities for ultra-zoom cameras which don't require a tripod.

                              Best wishes, Russell
                              Well said Russell, there are many ways to stabilize a long lens, if you don't have steady hands, using any solid object available will help enormously, door frame, car, tree, fence and if you have space a telescopic mono-pod works very well.

                              It all comes down to getting to know your camera.

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