Decent budget backpacking camera

Vanic

Honorable
Feb 11, 2013
6
0
10,510
0
I am taking a lengthy backpacking trip across Asia in a month and I am looking for a new point and shoot camera.

Unfortunately I am fairly ignorant when it comes to the subject. I don't know what brands are good or what features are needed.

I am looking for something that would perform well in high light and low light, and preferably have a pretty goos zoom for all the outdoors sights. I don't know if this matters but I will also be around water a lot of the time so I am likely to take a lot of ocean and river shots. It would be great if the device slim/flat enough to fit in a pocket as well if possible. Megapixels don't seem like they would be an issue since I'm not printing posters and just about everything is at least 16mp it seems.

I have a loose budget of $200. If there is something just magnificent a little above, that is fine.

Any help as far as brands or what features to look for would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
 

bjornl

Estimable
Mar 16, 2016
399
0
3,060
156
Low light = larger sensor, the larger the better. Also the newer the camera model the better as newer tech improves low light performance. Low light = any time you are under the trees and not in direct sunlight not just in the evenings.
Hiking = weather sealing would be super cool (although not essential).
Good zoom range = larger (bulkier lens) and unless you spend some money likely compromised optics.

This site will let you compare sizes
http://camerasize.com/compare/

This site is the number one camera site and includes lots of well organized, well written reviews. And they have a camera feature search (options include weather sealing, sensor size, and so on)
http://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras#!

You are going to have to make some compromises due to your budget since there is nothing which fits your goals that is close to your budget. Used might get you closer.

The Canon s100 used is around 230. It is a 1/1.7 sensor so not ideal, but not tiny either. lens is of a decent quality for a tiny pocket camera.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005MTME3U/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used
used is around 230, new is 370, refurb is 270.

The 1" sensors do much better in low light. But they are much more money. The best for your uses might be the Panasonic ls100 but it is 700.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-roundup-compact-enthusiast-zoom-cameras/15

It is not weather sealed. The only recent camera with 1/1.7 or larger sensor is the excellent Sony rx10. It has a 1" sensor, an amazingly good lens, but it is a little bulky (nearly the size of an entry level DSLR) and over budget costing 800 new and 500 used. But if you can swing the cash, and deal with a little bigger body the results from this are pretty amazing. I use one to record videos of football games in all sorts of bad weather (video quality is best in class too).

I would strongly suggest you get several memory cards. Swap them out from time to time so a memory card crash won't destroy all your images. Get a quality card brand. I strongly recommend Sandisk as I have had the best luck with them. They are cheap (less than $20) so a small handful is a great idea. Also bring spare batteries. They are small, don't weigh much or cost much and running out of battery when you clear the ridge and see something majestic is super annoying.

Get a camera case. The little extra padding to store it in really helps protect them.
 

bjornl

Estimable
Mar 16, 2016
399
0
3,060
156
Low light = larger sensor, the larger the better. Also the newer the camera model the better as newer tech improves low light performance. Low light = any time you are under the trees and not in direct sunlight not just in the evenings.
Hiking = weather sealing would be super cool (although not essential).
Good zoom range = larger (bulkier lens) and unless you spend some money likely compromised optics.

This site will let you compare sizes
http://camerasize.com/compare/

This site is the number one camera site and includes lots of well organized, well written reviews. And they have a camera feature search (options include weather sealing, sensor size, and so on)
http://www.dpreview.com/products/search/cameras#!

You are going to have to make some compromises due to your budget since there is nothing which fits your goals that is close to your budget. Used might get you closer.

The Canon s100 used is around 230. It is a 1/1.7 sensor so not ideal, but not tiny either. lens is of a decent quality for a tiny pocket camera.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005MTME3U/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used
used is around 230, new is 370, refurb is 270.

The 1" sensors do much better in low light. But they are much more money. The best for your uses might be the Panasonic ls100 but it is 700.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/2016-roundup-compact-enthusiast-zoom-cameras/15

It is not weather sealed. The only recent camera with 1/1.7 or larger sensor is the excellent Sony rx10. It has a 1" sensor, an amazingly good lens, but it is a little bulky (nearly the size of an entry level DSLR) and over budget costing 800 new and 500 used. But if you can swing the cash, and deal with a little bigger body the results from this are pretty amazing. I use one to record videos of football games in all sorts of bad weather (video quality is best in class too).

I would strongly suggest you get several memory cards. Swap them out from time to time so a memory card crash won't destroy all your images. Get a quality card brand. I strongly recommend Sandisk as I have had the best luck with them. They are cheap (less than $20) so a small handful is a great idea. Also bring spare batteries. They are small, don't weigh much or cost much and running out of battery when you clear the ridge and see something majestic is super annoying.

Get a camera case. The little extra padding to store it in really helps protect them.
 
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