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Northwest Nature & Wildlife Photography Message Board Northwest Nature & Wildlife Photography Discussion Forum › Small Camera for Family Vacations

Small Camera for Family Vacations

Rob S.
Kent, WA
Post #: 3

I've learned that it is pretty much a total failure to try and indulge my "photographer" bug in any major way when I'm on a vacation with the family. They have no patience while I wait for the right light and hauling the 5D/7D , four lens and a tripod around Disneyland is a fiasco waiting to happen.

Yet I'd still like to indulge the photography bug when I'm out with the family. So I've been thinking about getting a small, lightweight camera that I can easily carry around with me on these occasions but that at the same time indulges my desire for a reasonable level of IQ and control of the exposure triangle. I also know that I'd like to stay at or below $1000, be able to shoot raw and in full manual, and have a reasonable focal length range and low light capability.

However, I definitely have alternatives paralysis. There seem to be so many models out there that I'm having a really tough time settling on the best mix of brand, features and price (and there seem to be new ones introduced almost every day!) Also, I can't decide between enthusiast compact, bridge or ILC. I am tending to shy away from ILC because I can see that becoming an obsession all of its own and I really want to try (!!) and stick with the one camera/one lens idea, but at the same time some of those ILC cameras seem like great values.

Any thoughts, opinions, experiences or recommendations that can help a guy out?

Dan D.
user 60267772
Snohomish, WA
Post #: 54
No suggestion but would look at how easy it is to set the camera for the shot, i.e. how is shutter setting changed, ISO changed, aperture, etc. I had a major brand point and shoot and it was a nightmare to operate. They have changed that problem, but I would still look at how these work. One of the members of the group showed up at an earlier activity and we had to read the manual and push two buttons and then turn a nob to change the shutter. Did not seem friendly to me.
Roland W.
user 13166014
Kirkland, WA
Post #: 19
Sorry I am kind of late in a reply on this. I am a bit stuck on Canon, and since that is your "big boy" camera brand, I will respond with Canon alternatives. Since you were considering interchangable lens cameras, I will assume you do not need a super compact camera. I have experience with the Canon G series cameras, and they have worked well for me. The latest ones seem like improved versions of the ones I have used and still do use, so check them out.

The Canon Powershot G16 is a nice mix of performance and price. It still has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful for some situations, and is a very natural way to shoot for someone that uses a DSLR most of the time. It has a reasonably wide range zoom lens, and the frame rate and responsiveness is good compared to many point and shoot cameras. It has a full mix of shooting modes, including of course manual, and it does RAW or RAW plus JPEG. It even has a night shooting mode, which is supprising to me.

The Canon Powershoot G1 X Mk II is an even more powerful version of the G16. It has a better lens that goes wider, and does full 14 bit RAW while the G16 only does 12 bit RAW. It has additional ways to control the settings, and is more customizable for how controls work. It is a fair amount more expensive than the G16. The G1 X II does lack an optical viewfinder, so keep that in mind.

Both the G16 and the G1 X II can accept any modern Canon brand flash unit, so you get compatability with a flash you may have for your regular Canon DSLR's. That could be a nice feature, or may not be important at all, depending on what you shoot.

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