Best Tavel Point & Shoot for D800/D800e Owners

Started Jun 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP Duke Miller Senior Member • Posts: 1,386
Re: May not be 'best', but it works well


Note: No way would I spend 3 WEEKS in Australia without my best camera!

When I travel, with my wife, I take 3 cameras now on any trip with photographic opportunities. For me, that's a D800e and a V2 with 10-100 lens. My wife has given up her D80 and 18-200vr entirely and only shoots with a Canon s95.

If scuba is involved, the s95 goes into matching Canon dive housing (affordably priced at just over $200), and a Canon SD830is joins it. (Each of us has a dive camera then.)

The s95 is a really good point-n-shoot. Does a lot of things decently, and is 'point-n-shoot portable'. It's weak in terms of low light, compared to any larger sensor, and it's slow to take a shot from powered off. (The V2 is also slow from power off, taking 2 seconds from off to ready). AF is slow in low light as well.

Performance tradeoffs are pretty much where one would expect. V2 with larger sensor is better in dynamic range and low-ish light, but neither hold a candle to the performance of the D800e. V2 AF much faster in any condition than the s95, though it typically doesn't matter much in good lighting. No comparison to ease of control of a DSLR.

When traveling, each camera is 'best' for certain situations. Obviously the Canon is the most portable, with certain advantages in that you can actually put it in a pocket to carry around. Better than a cell phone camera in any measure of performance.

The V2 is nearly as portable in terms of weight, but it simply can't be carried in any but very large pockets in a coat or vest. Pretty much need to have a single lens and the camera around your neck or off shoulder, or you'll be carrying some sort of camera bag as well. With a small bag, you also can easily carry a small flash and a lens or two - those lenses are generally so tiny that you don't notice any weight by adding them. (18.5mm, 6.7-13mm in particular). Add a flash like the tiny SB-N5 and the V2 excels at taking 'dinner table' shot (indoor, flash, with people). Out of camera, the skin tones seem perfect, and far better than the overly-blue results from the D800e and a SB800/900/910. If you don't mind shooting in jpg, the frames-per-second of the V2 is unique.

The D800e can do it all, save for the fps. When the lighting or AF situation gets tough, the DSLR performs where the other two don't. Dynamic range in bright lighting easily favors the D800e as the highlights burn out easily on the smaller sensors.

A key to traveling with a bigger camera is having a way to comfortably carry it and some decent lenses for long periods of time. For me, that's a waist bag. Neck straps get uncomfortable very quickly with all but the smallest DSLRs and lenses, but hanging them off the shoulder works fine for hours. The waist bag shifts (or should) weight onto the hips, plus provides a practical limit to how many lenses one overpacks for an outing. Mine holds the camera (with grip), a spare battery, a 16-35, 24-70 and 80-400g. And I can get away with just the 24-70 and 80-400g. I'm 6'2" though, and quite used to carrying this amount of gear or more for many years. Just not in a shoulder bag anymore.

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Thank you for taking the time to relate your experience and style when traveling. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've purchased the RX100 M2, and I'm going to spend the next few months putting it through its paces to evaluate it's capabilities to meet my expectations.

I totally know where you're coming from, but I've been to Europe 7 times, DSLRs/lenses of various ills in hand, and my goal is to get acceptable quality shots with a lighter gear load. Already, I've determined the RX100 shoots exceptional RAW captures of 20MB. While your right, it can't measure up to the 800e, it's close enough for "memories" work.

Will I miss the 800e? Sure. But I'm not out to get captures like the one that I won 3rd place with in Outdoor Photographer's Great American Landscape Contest last year, using my D300. I'm just out this time to have some fun, get some decent shots, and leave the hassle behind, understanding all along that it's not the arrows, it's the Indian, and I'm confident I'll come back with some great stuff.


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"The mountains are calling, and i must go." John Muir

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