Thats a tough one. What is your experience with digital? How big of a camera are you willing to carry?.
My experience is limited. No photography qualifications and have never taken seriously to 'SLR level'. My strengths are in composition, I've only ever tinkered with the more advanced features of my brothers camera equipment, with some nice results . Basically I'm a novice with ambition I guess and time to learn before I leave..
The trip is quite unplanned in many respects so my only issue with size is the security of having a big camera that looks the part. Then when it comes to lenses, external flash etc I also realise that some of the parts can be sensitive to shock and this is a worry. Dealing with damaged equipment while out on the trip is really something I don't want to do..
Hence the idea to go with a high end compact cam - as far as size for this goes, any size/weight if the quality is high. Is it a bad idea to limit to compacts?..
Well, for the best quality images, I would go with a dslr (Nikon D40, Oly E-510 etc) but maybe you should also consider a camera like the Canon G9. Since it is a long trip, you should also be thinking about batteries and storage.http://www.dustandrust.com..
If you have time to test out and use a DSLR for few weeks to check for defects and learn the basic usage, that may be the way to go. For 500GBP, Pentax K100D or some of the Olympus offerings with two basic lens setup may fit the bill. If that's not feasible, I would try out the Panasonic FZ18, at least for day light situations. For low light situations, I would try get a Fuji Finepix f30/f31 or newer model, which can double as a backup for whichever primary camera you choose..
For a long trip like this, a laptop computer or one of those high capacity media storage device may be needed to download images from your camera, especially if you shoot raw...
I would try to settle with camera question as fast as possible and start doing training with camera. During travel you will see lot of beautiful landscapes, street life. All could be covered by 1 good PS camera like Canon G9, or DSLR with multiple lenses set..
DSLR will be more challenging for you since you didn't divwe into it earlier. DSLR requires better lenses, understanding of exposure rules, proper filter use, heavier tripod..
With G9, you will need light tripod, Circular Polarizing filter, maybe 2 stop ND Grad filter,spare batteries, memory cards - all of it will fit into medium size camera bag..
You need to buy many memory cards or bring laptop to store images. Try to shot in RAW or RAW+JPG with DSLR mode, since with RAW you'll have more options to fix exposure flaws and WB problems..
Unless you definitely intend to be selling your photos to glossy magazines you won't need a DSLR. Something like the Fuji 9100 with a 28-300 lens (see my 'Back to the Bridge Camera' link below) should be all you need - it works on AA batteries too. If you want a compact camera then look at the Canon G9..
If you want a DSLR then be very mindful to the ergonomics, especially the viewfinder. Olympus for example puts the data up along one side whereas the others bury it at the bottom (bad news for glasses wearers). Canon 30D would likely be most pleasing to use, but it might blow your budget. Nikon D40x plus an 18-250 (28-375 equiv) Tamron lens would be a good compromise for travel..
John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..
Having traveled around Asia a fair amount and gotten soaking wet on every trip because of the incredible downpours/monsoon rains, I'd go with a waterproof/highly water resistant camera. Pentax makes one called the Optio W30 but I'm sure there are others (Olympus?)..
A small compact digital, able to take dampness and rain, would be my choice were I headed for VN/Cambodia area again..
Sure sounds like a great trip. Make a lot of friends, take their pics and share them with us when you can..
Yes, I do have a camera...
Second that, get a water resistant or waterproof one. Take several smaller cards rather than one big one, lose that and you will be really gutted. That Optio looks good. Bear in mind you will have to power it - AA batteries will be far more common than 110/240volt, plus you won't have to leave your camera sitting somewhere charging..
I travelled 6 months with a fairly cheap Olympus Mju 115 35mm film camera - got great shots, weatherproof and sliding lens cover, handled everything. Still does sterling duty on my friends trips, even when she dropped it in the sand on the beach. My mates one did a year in Africa, and despite heat warping the pics turned out fine. Thats the sort of robustness you appreciate..
Then I got a Sony P200 - brilliant size and great pics but now it has dirt inside it and every photo is covered in spots. Unless you want to baby your camera it will get a hard time travelling..
Mickey Spittoon wrote:.
Having traveled around Asia a fair amount and gotten soaking wet onevery trip because of the incredible downpours/monsoon rains, I'd gowith a waterproof/highly water resistant camera. Pentax makes onecalled the Optio W30 but I'm sure there are others (Olympus?)..
A small compact digital, able to take dampness and rain, would be mychoice were I headed for VN/Cambodia area again...
Forgot to add, if you don't get a waterproof camera then a waterproof case is well worth the investment, and helps protect it from the inevitable drops and knocks!..
Hey, Thanks for the info...
I think I'm leaning towards the G9 at the moment, seems to fit what I'm after and isn't as expensive as I was expecting. Although when adding on the associated costs of backup and storage, batteries etc I'm sure it will add up a bit more. I think a DSLR would be a little bit too much for this trip, mainly in terms of ease of use and the time i'd need to get to grips with it (although I have time I've also got a lot of other things to be doing!), as well as bulk..
Some people have suggested waterproof/resistant cameras' such as the pentax W30 maybe good for a trip like this. The examples ive seen are good and it does have the advantage of waterproof that maybe great for underwater moments or peace of mind in a rain storm. I'm not so sure if it's advantages are *really* worth the compromise in quality. Any thoughts?..
Hey, Thanks for the response..
You mentioned taking a few filters. As a novice I'm not sure on the situations these would be used in. Is it worth taking some filters along and is it easy to learn when to/not to use/best use of them? I'm leaning towards the PS G9 at the moment. Thanks for your help...
I would by the camera you want first, then pick up something like this if you need waterproofing:.
At the moment I'm right between the Canon G9 and the W30 you guys have suggested..
Underwater is an appeal to me as I went to the Caribbean last year and took many under water photo's with just a disposable, it would be nice to head to clearer waters with a better quality camera..
After a bit of searching ive seen 'aquapac' thingy, looks just like a bag with a clear window in it to shoot through - are these completely not worth considering as a compromise between the quality of a G9 and water advantages of a W30?.
As you guys have both first hand experience of the area and suggest the W30 or similar I'm obviously giving more weight to your suggestions. Is it better to take a reasonable quality camera for ease of use and peace of mind than it is to have the moments of struggle with something like a G9?.
Thanks very much Matt..
Wow your quick sean! Thanks .
Yes I'd seen the aquapac when searching around. Have you had experience with using one / similar? I'm tempted to agree with you on this topic, kind of camera comes first. Have you done much travelling? Or travelling similar to what I'm planning? Ive seen some cameras have the shock proofing as well as the waterproofing that could be advantageous on a long trip I would imagine... ?
After 5+ years of photo hobby I often use ony Circular Polarizing Filter, and Neutral Density Graduated filters. (It's me only)..
Circular Polarizing filter is very handy at sunny days, when rotated correctly - save's blue sky. By reducing glare from bright subjects it makes image look more in focus(sharp).
Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.
It also clears more or less reflections from water surface, or any other "non metallic" surface helping define shape.
Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.
Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.
Neutral density filter is very handy to balance contrasty sky and ground. Especially at sunsets/sunrises and cloudy days..
Here is discussion with examples. http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=25221113.
The camera is secondary IMHO. Your memories, the people you meet, the friends you make, the places you experience are what the trip is all about. Asia is so different (not sure if you've traveled there before) and challenging as a tourist, I found trying to 'see' everything in terms of what kind of a pic it will make distracting. I know I lost something subtly important by using the camera too much..
I envy your trip and the new experiences you'll have but were I to go again, I'd buy lots of postcards of the scenic places for keepsakes, and use the camera to take pics of all the warm and friendly people..
Yes, I do have a camera...
Thanks for your comments. I've thought heavily about that very issue, I don't want to be (and know that I eventually wont be) looking for camera shots all the time. I'm not that sort of person. I've sort of concluded that the main time when I'm going to want a quality camera will be on expected tours/sights (eg to Temples of Angkor, Ayers rock etc), and for general use I'd be very happy with something easy to take reasonable shots to remind me of the people and happenings at that time..
For that reason I have thought about getting one of the recent camera phones, I'm intending on going onto a mobile phone contract (where you get a free phone, free mins and all that) when I get back from this trip. However I'm wondering about doing that early to get a recent camera phone (one of these 5mp reasonable quality, maybe K850i), then having that as a general carry around, snap happy for the moments camera. Im sure I can persuade someone to go halfs on the contract deal where they'll get the free mins/texts etc and I get the phone, and I want to have a phone for travelling with anyway so it almost makes sense..
Any thoughts on this idea?.
Matt,Completely different result may happen too....
3 years latter you will recall this AMAZING travel and blame yourself for not having good camera (G7 is very good, just start reading manual and using to get best shots for each situation)..
I blame myself not being seriously in photography during travel to Italy, Finland, Holland, British Columbia, first travels to West Coast..
But I bought digital camera prior to London travel 3 years ago... Here is album I shot there with Olympus UZ camera and light tripod:.
Then was Florida, Myrtle Beach, NYC, Georgia and Delaware. I brought good enough images back from each place and don't regret having camera with me..
I plan to visit my parents In Estonia next spring and will drag my entire camera backpack with me (7 lenses, external flash, backup camera, light tripod and other accessories)..
I see the aquapack more for storage then to actually shoot with it. It really is up to you, but if you have a little money, get a G9, and one of the waterproof cameras as a backup. Keep all of the boxes, and sell off the unwanted gear on ebay when you get home.http://www.dustandrust.com..
Impressive shots of London there. I think I'm really likely to go with G9 (no idea why I put G5 previously, laps of memory in a busy day) and try get a phone upgrade for those times when I just want a pocket cam. I'm sure that I'll look back and regret not being more dedicated to Photography sooner, suspecting i'll be hooked by the time I get back!..
Yes that's a good point actually, it would be good as a protective storage in my bag at least. Not sure I've got enough for another cam for underwater, but maybe if there's a bargain on ebay sometime soon...
The Canon G9 has a built-in Neutral Density filter...
Personally, I think you're making a good choice by selecting the G9. Canon cameras (point-and-shoots and DSLRs) are known for their superb image quality..
Don't sacrifice image quality for whatever "bells and whistles" cameras of other brands come equipped with...
You will want:-Camera only large enough to comfortably fit in your hand.
-For this trip a compact or super zoom is best. Changing lenses on the road is a hassle to keep them clean and dust free..
-Uses either SD or CF memory cards (available world wide). Get 2gb or larger and as fast as practable or affordable..
-Uses "AA" batteries is a big, big plus. There will be time when it is not possible to recharge batteries and "AAs" are cheap, easy to find and easy to pack.
-A minimum of 6x zoom lens with stabilization on anything over 10X (Fuji 9100 being the only exception to that)..
-Make sure is can take decent movies. There will be some things you will want to remember with more and still photos..
-Don't feel like you have to use the higest resolution on your camera for every photo you take. Even 3 megapixles settings will make great 4X6 photos if that is all you plan for a particular shot..
You will have plenty of selection with Canon, Fuji, Panasonic and Nikon..
Good luck and may God watch over you... it will be something will remember and think about the rest of you life..
I just bought a G9, and think it would make a great travel camera, compact and robust. It is taking a while to get to grips with though - lots and lots of options and there is no way you could take the manual with you..
Personally though, I would buy another smaller, cheap, waterproof camera if I was doing a 6 month trip through Asia, mainly because I would be gutted if I destroyed my G9 in a rainstorm or falling off a boat or if it got lost/stolen but also because it would be easier to have to hand or tucked in a pocket. I nearly destroyed my "weatherproof" Olympus crossing Lake Atitlan (Guatemala) in a rainstorm, backpack and camera case soaked through, only the fact it was weatherproof saved it (I still had to dehumidify it though). I would take a loss in image quality over having a camera that I didn't have to fret over if it started raining/was dusty, also travelling light is imperative for a long journey..
Unless you get a camera which takes AA batteries all of them will have similar issues in regard to power and storage - especially if you are going somewhere where power supplies, voltages and environmental conditions will be a problem! Take spare batteries, stay in a hotel every other week to recharge them all and try and find booths to burn to CD might be a way around it..
Hey, Thanks for the info...
I think I'm leaning towards the G9 at the moment, seems to fit whatI'm after and isn't as expensive as I was expecting. Although whenadding on the associated costs of backup and storage, batteries etcI'm sure it will add up a bit more. I think a DSLR would be a littlebit too much for this trip, mainly in terms of ease of use and thetime i'd need to get to grips with it (although I have time I've alsogot a lot of other things to be doing!), as well as bulk..
Some people have suggested waterproof/resistant cameras' such as thepentax W30 maybe good for a trip like this. The examples ive seen aregood and it does have the advantage of waterproof that maybe greatfor underwater moments or peace of mind in a rain storm. I'm not sosure if it's advantages are *really* worth the compromise in quality.Any thoughts?..
I did almost the same trip as this 20 years ago, I waited until Singapore to buy my camera (huge savings over uk) I was able to afford a canon t90 their flagship slr of the day and 2 lenses and spent the next week studying the manual, yes it was big,heavy,cumbersome and sometimes inconvieniant but the results, WOW !.
Dont sacrifice image quality because it's heavy, I still travel today and the very same camera still travels with me and the images are still great.Whatever camera you buy remember the savings to be had in the far east...
Thanks so much for the great advice and help that you provided me .
I've got the Canon G9 as my main camera for the trip. To compliment I have 3x 2gb cards (and spare batteries) will be arriving this week as well as a jobo giga one for backup, and an aquapac for those watery times I've played around with the G9 and it really does take fantastic shots very easily, I'm sure there's a lot more to be got out of it and as I learn the camera better hopefully I'll be getting towards that..
For the random shots I'll be taking a camera phone, Sony Ericsson K850i. I haven't got this yet but with the research I've done I'm sure it's going to be fine. I had spent a week playing with the LG 'Viewty' KU990 and that really does have an excellent camera on it however I decided not to go with it as the sound effects of the camera can not be silenced (thus drawing attention to the mobile, I'm thinking for security here)..
Sounds like a lot of kit! But that should cover what I need without being over the top or beyond my skills. I leave in about a week and a half, everything is coming together nicely. I think everything, including the cameras, backups, extra cards, batteries etc came to just over 500pounds so the budget wasn't bad .
Thanks again for everyone's advice, so very helpful!Matt..
...and take a lot of pictures!.
Say hi to Soi Cowboy for me Our horizons are so far, our vision is so weak..
Places you must go, otherwise your trip wouldn't be worth it:Cambodia: Angkor WatThailand: BangkokAustralia: Sydney, MelbourneNew Zealand: Queenstown (winter), Milford Sound (south island)Fiji: Shark diving on the south coast of the main island (cheap)California: San Francisco, Las Vegas.
Places I highly, highly, highly recommend going, but if you don't go, it's not the end:Cambodia: Angkor ThomVietnam: Mekong Delta, HanoiThailand: Koh Samet/Koh Samui (1-2 days to relax, cheap!)Australia: Gold Coast, PerthNew Zealand: Auckland, ChristchurchFiji: meet the locals, go to a remote village, go meet school kidsUS: California (Santa Barbara, San Diego), New York (New York City).
Places that people think are great, but aren't worth visiting:Australia: Brisbane (sorry guys!)Fiji: Nadi (get out as fast as you can!).
US: California (Los Angeles, with the exception of Hollywood if you have lots of $$$ to spend on clothes).
I've got TONS of information on all these places if you want more info or details..
It's cheaper and more convenient to take Greyhound up the east coast of Australia than to do OZ Adventure. I did Kiwi Experience and Feejee Experience in NZ and Fiji and it was fantastic..
Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..
I can add - if you're going to NZ and especially the Queenstown area - get down to Glenorchy and the Rees-Dart rivers and also Arrowtown. Queenstown isn't the cheapest place around but you won't want to skimp on stuff there - the jet boating is fantastic and your waterproof case and a strong strap will come in handy - you may want to use the movie mode or set the camera to auto as you won't get much chance to set up a shot!.
Public transport in NZ is pretty poor, which is why backpacker buses are growing in number. Depending on your time/budget hiring a car in Christchurch gives more flexibility - it only takes 6 hours to drive to Queenstown and you can easily break it up and stop off wherever takes your fancy - Mt Cook National Park is a stunning area. For example you could head down to Queenstown, around to Te Anau, up through the Haast Pass (beautiful spot) to the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers then up the west coast to Arthurs Pass and back through to Christchurch in a week with stops. You can camp in lots of places but be careful in the winter - it can get very cold in the central South Island.....