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Camera or cell phone for European trip
Old 08-02-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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Camera or cell phone for European trip

We are booked for a European river cruise in September and I'm trying to decide whether to use my cell phone or invest in a camera to record the sites and scenery. Our photographic "orientation" is more casual these days, but DW would like to create a photographic trip memories book using one of the commercial services. I used to take tons of pix using a SLR but they remain mostly stored and unseen these days.

I've used the cell phone for photography almost exclusively lately. Advantages are: 1) I generally have it with me, 2) it takes pretty decent pictures, 3) pictures are easily uploaded to the "cloud" via wifi. Disadvantages are: 1) Hard to compose shots if screen is washed out in bright sunlight, 2) uses the battery heavily when I'm taking pictures, 3) limited photographic options, 4) no optical zoom, 5) no image stabilization

Looking for recommendations from all the travelers out there.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:32 PM   #2
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I would say that image stabilization, optical zoom, a real viewfinder, and battery life make the DSLR far superior. I would not travel without mine.
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Camera or cell phone for European trip
Old 08-02-2016, 04:37 PM   #3
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Camera or cell phone for European trip

I would go with a point and shoot. Great for trips. Fits in your pocket. Has most features of a DSLR. Shoots in raw/jpg and photos are easily edited like DSLR photos. Can be used with a tripod. Shoots movies, panos.

I have the Sony RX100. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

Problem with point and shoot is no image stabilization (that I know of). And no viewfinder. Just the back screen that is tough to see in sunny conditions.

I also have a DSLR that I travel with. But I take about half of my photos with the point and shoot because of convenience.

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Old 08-02-2016, 04:41 PM   #4
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We were in Austria for ten days. We carried:
- Nikon Coolpix S7000 16MP of recent vintage. Really awesome optical zoom. One card held a lot of pictures. Never thought to take video. Oops!
- (2) iPhone 4s.

I had phone service on my 4S, so I could upload pix while moving about. When we got to wifi, we'd use WhatsApp or other messaging to converse, show pictures, etc.

I was able to get better pictures with camera, since more pixels available, and better stabilization. It had manual settings for ISO, etc.

A big factor was battery power. If you have two devices charged, it defintely comes in handy. Sometimes the camera went dry, sometimes the iphone...

Just before leaving I had battery replaced on iphone. That helped some.
Also, I got a power adapter with USB, so I had two ways to charge.

Power Gear International Travel Adapter with USB-94313 - The Home Depot
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misanman View Post
Disadvantages are: 1) Hard to compose shots if screen is washed out in bright sunlight, 2) uses the battery heavily when I'm taking pictures, 3) limited photographic options, 4) no optical zoom, 5) no image stabilization

Looking for recommendations from all the travelers out there.
SOME of these disadvantages can be overcome by downloading a 3rd-party camera app and not using the native phone camera software. There are some pretty nifty Android camera apps that do quite a bit (not all) what you call out above. Maybe not to perfection, but it gets you a lot closer and may keep you from lugging around a DSLR. Poke around in the app store and play around with some of the options between now and Sept.

JMO
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:05 PM   #6
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A wide brim hat performs miracles when shooting in bright sun.

Cargo pants are indispensable, too. Lots of quick storage for the phone, camera, sunglasses, etc. Also take a lightweight nylon shoulder pack.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:12 PM   #7
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A camera can be superior, but only if you have the skill to use it. I don't, and the photos on my iPhone are just as bad good. So we leave the extra weight behind and take the phones now.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:22 PM   #8
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Agree with the suggestion of the point and shoot if you as a compromise.

A point and shoot probably gives more options (bigger zoom, for example) than a phone but at the same time is more portable than a DSLR.

Of course, if you really really need to best looking photo, probably a DSLR is the way to go.
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:41 PM   #9
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Used Samsung s5 on 3 week tour of Italy and convenience and picture quality were great.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:11 PM   #10
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Phone, maybe a small waterproof pont and shoot if you expect rain.

Take fun pictures and save the artistic photos for the pros. Every time we go somewhere and try to take nice pictures, I find i can use google image search, and get much nicer pictures than I took. (better composition, better angle, better color, etc.) plus, spending too much time behind the camera makes it easy to miss the actual experience.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:27 PM   #11
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I have done European river cruises and more recently a Greek islands cruise. I had with me my Sony A7-II (mirrorless ILC), Sony RX100M2 and iPhone 6. All saw use. As I remarked after an earlier cruise, "the best camera is one you have with you". If I was in a situation where I would be taking a lot of pictures in variable circumstances, the A7 was preferred. The RX100 went into my pocket if I didn't feel comfortable carrying the larger camera, and the iPhone was of course always with me. Sometimes the phone was the only camera I had when something interesting happened.

If you don't already have a good larger camera, then compact cameras such as the RX100 are an excellent compromise. Phone cameras are much better than they used to be, but they have their limits.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:34 PM   #12
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Just to reiterate some of the previous thoughts in the thread...

I typically bring the SLR and phone for trip pictures. The SLR is a bit of a drag in some ways. I'll end up hauling more gear like lenses and a portable tripod. If you're not going to make use of some of the cooler features of the SLR, it's not worth bringing IMO.

If I didn't bring my SLR, I'd bring a (small) point and shoot if just to help save battery life on the phone. For pictures that I know I'd want to immediately post on social media/send, I'd instead take it with my phone.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:35 PM   #13
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I have a DSLR and a Nikon Coolpix as well as my phone and take all 3 on big trips. Very handy to have a backup when the battery of one dies.

I'd also find the loss of my phone far more catastrophic than the loss of a camera, so I prefer the camera in places where the phone might accidentally get wet or even dropped into water.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:04 PM   #14
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Nikon S7000 - 5.82 oz
iphone 4S - 4.9 oz

Considering the flexibility of two devices, approximately the same weight, I'll take both on memorable trips.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
I would go with a point and shoot. Great for trips. Fits in your pocket. Has most features of a DSLR. Shoots in raw/jpg and photos are easily edited like DSLR photos. Can be used with a tripod. Shoots movies, panos.

I have the Sony RX100. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera (Black) DSCRX100/B B&H

Problem with point and shoot is no image stabilization (that I know of). And no viewfinder. Just the back screen that is tough to see in sunny conditions.
....
I agree a point and shoot is great, convienent, easy and much better than a phone for shots.

I would not pick the one above simply because there are many terrific ones for $250 or less.

They have optical stabilization.

Features to look for are:
Optical stabilization (the other image stabilization is really fake).
Optical zoom of 4x or more (the Digital zoom is fake).
16 mega pixel size.
HD video recording (here your phone if a good one could be used).

Here is one with all that and more for $99

Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 Digital Camera (Silver) 0137C001 B&H
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:18 PM   #16
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Nikon S7000 - 5.82 oz
iphone 4S - 4.9 oz

Considering the flexibility of two devices, approximately the same weight, I'll take both on memorable trips.
Seriously, if you value the quality of your photos enough to drag along an SLR, consider getting a newer iPhone too.

I had an iPhone 4S and the newer iPhones have improved the camera a lot!

The iPhone 6S is virtually the same weight (5.04 oz) and the camera is significantly better.

Personally, I have an iPhone 6S+ with optical image stabilization. It's all I take on trips these days. It's heavier, but the battery is much larger and I've never run it out in daily use.

My photos are so much better than with older phones - and my non-SLR older cameras. Optical image stabilization is awesome. My only complaint is no zoom. We'll see what the iPhone 7 brings in a month or two...
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:28 PM   #17
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Seriously, if you value the quality of your photos enough to drag along an SLR, consider getting a newer iPhone too.

I had an iPhone 4S and the newer iPhones have improved the camera a lot!

The iPhone 6S is virtually the same weight (5.04 oz) and the camera is significantly better.

Personally, I have an iPhone 6S+ with optical image stabilization. It's all I take on trips these days. It's heavier, but the battery is much larger and I've never run it out in daily use.

My photos are so much better than with older phones - and my non-SLR older cameras. Optical image stabilization is awesome. My only complaint is no zoom. We'll see what the iPhone 7 brings in a month or two...
I'll stick with this for another year or two. It's all paid for...
Here's the Coolpix S7000 stats. Plenty good for me.
Nikon COOLPIX S7000 | Read Reviews, Tech Specs, Price & More
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:30 PM   #18
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I was browsing my photo library last week and I definitely could tell the older photos (4S) from the new ones (6S+). Significant difference. I was glad I had the new camera.

Still, it's always nice to have a working older device that does a good enough job.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:36 PM   #19
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I was browsing my photo library last week and I definitely could tell the older photos (4S) from the new ones (6S+). Significant difference. I was glad I had the new camera.

Still, it's always nice to have a working older device that does a good enough job.
And also nice to have another device that does a superior job.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:07 PM   #20
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I use a Canon SX20 I bought used on eBay, and I love it. It has a 20 to one zoom and does not need any other lenses.
I keep it in a Lowepro case that is small, but has enough room for spare batteries and an SD card.
The attached images are of a snow play area below the Jungfrauhoch in the Bernese Alps
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File Type: jpg IMG_2046.jpg (440.2 KB, 9 views)
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