Compact Zoom Travel Camera - Africa

Started Jan 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Billx08 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,373
Re: Compact Zoom Travel Camera - Africa

dssxxxx wrote:

Have been to Africa 3 times and first 2, took the Canon AE1 and all the accessories. Way to bulky and heavy.

Last trip in 2007.....took Panasonic Lumix 10x or 12x zoom (cannot remember) and took video and pictures which came out very well.

Now the question: We are going to So. Africa in April and will spend about 5 days in Kruger. Need a recommendation for another camera......seems like the only time I get a new one is when we go on vacation....:-)

Here are the camera that seem to meet the needs (after vacation it will be the camera that is used to take perhaps 100-200 total [pictures a year). Budget is less than $400 US.

Fugifilm F750EXR - new
Pentex Optio VS20 - new
Nikon S9100 (read the S8200 is better)
Sony HX9V

Any comments or additional suggestions?

Also, since I have not done any research lately, which memory card would you suggest and size (how many pictures per size card)? Batteries...will take 2 additional with a charger. Typical small case to wear on belt. Total 9 game drives and the normal camp, fireside, dinner, etc. pictures.

I'm not familiar with the VS20 so you should take that into consideration. That said, I'd go for the F750EXR if it is at least as good as the current F600EXR, which I'd take before the S9100 or HX9V. Fujifilm has their own case that's probably the smallest that you can get for their small EXR cameras and it's quite inexpensive. I have a couple of them and one was included with a memory card and tripod in one of Fuji's special F300EXR kits. There's no space in it for a battery, even though Fuji's NP-50 batteries are very small. That's fine for me since it means that it easily fits in any pants pocket. I use a very slightly large case when I want to bring along an extra battery and don't want to put it into a shirt pocket.

As for the picture sizes, I almost always shoot Fuji's EXR cameras in their smaller M size, which for the F600 would be 8mp. The resolution is very high for 8mp photos, and you get the advantage of the EXR sensor hardware that tremendously increases the dynamic range to DSLR levels. In bright, contrasty daylight it keeps from blowing highlights and reduces the washed out white skies that other P&S cameras would produce, so if you like blue skies, EXR cameras should be considered. The M size photos naturally save space, and they should average around 3.5mb per photo. The 16GB memory card in my F600 still has 190 photos on it, a few of them RAW files. When set to M size the F600 reports that it has space for 3,677 more photos. If I change the resolution to L size, the number drops to 2,321 photos. These estimates are usually conservative so I'd probably get closer to 3,800 or 2,500 photos, but either way that's plenty of capacity. If you get an F750 or F600, it might be safer to get a couple of 8GB or 4GB cards instead. With these file sizes you probably don't really need large memory cards unless you intend to shoot some videos.

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