Good travel camera

Started Oct 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jacques Cornell
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,802Gear list
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LX7 compact or GX1/GX7 m43
In reply to melinj, 11 months ago

melinj wrote:

So, this is my first post. It is also the first time I am on this forum, and it is also the first time I am buying a camera. I've no clue what I should be looking for and what not.

So I turn myself to this site, which a friend told me about.

My girlfriend and I will be travelling around Europa and Australia a lot the next few years, and we want a good camera. I've already figured out that a compact camera is the best fit for us. We will probably mostly be taking photos of landscapes, buildings, bridges and such. I have no issue changing lenses or anything like that and of course I want the best possible quality. And I do not think I will be editing any of the photos either. And I guess a little bit of zoom would be a bit convenient.

I have been looking around for a few days and I got my eyes on a few different cameras. The Sony NEX 6 & 7, Nikon 1 J2 & 3 and also Canon EOS M. Could you guys please share your expertise and advise me on what camera to buy? Or at least what camera to have a look at and where I might be able to find these cameras for a good price, or for at least under $1000?

I will be very grateful for answers and thanks in advance!

For a long time, I used a Panasonic DMC-LX3, then LX5, then LX7 compact as my main walk-around camera for shooting landscapes. The LX7 focuses and shoots fast, can shoot RAW as well as JPEG, and has a truly superb, bright lens that makes very crisp, detailed images. I have made 16" x 24" prints from LX5 RAW files that look fantastic. It works great on full-auto, but also offers complete manual control if you want it. Great for beginners and experts alike. For shooting in bright light where it's hard to see the display on the back of the camera, you can attach Panasonic's LVF2 electronic viewfinder, which allows you to shoot the old-fashioned way with the camera held to your eye. Very handy.

I can see only two reasons to get more camera than this for general travel photos.

1) You want an angle of view either wider than 24mm equivalent or narrower than 90mm equivalent. For this, you'll need an ILC (interchangeable lens camera).

2) You want to print larger than 16"x24". For this, you'll need a camera with a larger sensor and at least 12 megapixels.

If either of these apply, you might consider a Micro Four Thirds kit for maximum portability. A Panasonic DMC-GX7 with 14-140mm zoom would make a great do-everything travel camera. To save some money, you could opt for a recently-obsoleted GX1 or G5 camera body instead. These lack some newer features but still offer excellent image quality.

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