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Recommended Digital Point And Shoot Cameras For Travel

Updated on April 10, 2011
Phimai National Park, Korat Thailand
Phimai National Park, Korat Thailand | Source

Digital point and shoot cameras are versatile these days and perfect for leisure travelers needs. With high mega pixels for large printouts and HD quality videos, compact cameras these days are giving the big professional SLR cameras a run for the money.

I love traveling and taking photos and you can see it on my hubs. When I'm out on an excursion I never want to be hunkered down with a lot of gear. Which is why compact digital point and shoot cameras are perfect for my needs. Small sized digital cameras today can take high quality digital photos optically, not digitally and I will explain why optical is better.

Every year newer better electronic point and shoot cameras are coming out with an array of impressive functions and the prices are more affordable too. Though there are very inexpensive point and shoots these days I do not recommend getting one that is too cheap. I mainly buy cameras that are in the mid range price. Think of it as an investment for your lifetime travel memories. It is worth the money.

Personally I have 6 compact point and shoot cameras that I have done extensive research on before buying. But I'm only going to recommend 3 because from my experience they perform remarkably well on my travels and served me well.

What I like about these recommended 3 cameras are:

  • photographic quality
  • battery life
  • durability
  • ease of use

I also like these cameras because they are perfect now and perfect for the future. Cameras are not like computers where you have to buy a brand new one ever so often. The minimum mega pixels I need is 10. Anymore than that is purely overkill. And even 10 mega pixels is too much for my needs since most of what I print on paper is 8.5x11 inch paper.

Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom

Most point and shoot cameras have optical zoom and digital zoom which when you add up the zoom frequency you get more powerful focus. Cameras will use digital zoom once you've reached the maximum focusing power on the optical. In nutshell optical zoom is better because the photographic quality is truer. Digital zoom uses the camera's internal software to sort of fill in the gaps to produce the photo. And even though digital zoom is becoming smarter as an old school photographer I mainly rely on the optical lens.

Nikon Coolpix S8100 12.1 Mega Pixels

The primary reason why I bought the Nikon Coolpix S8100 is because of its powerful 10X optical zoom. Which is quite powerful for a small camera.

The camera is simple to use with plenty of easy to use menus and the ability to change picture taking settings on the fly. No complicated settings to mess with is always a plus.

It has a 1080 HD resolution and you can take still shots while filming which is a very useful function. The 3 inch view screen offers excellent resolution and color.

Canon G12 10 Mega Pixel

The Canon G12 is the biggest camera in my point and shoot camera arsenal. That said, it's not as bulky as a digital SLR and you can quite easily tuck the G12 into the pocket of cargo pant or shorts. Since the Canon G12 comes with a strap I usually place it around my chest and just walk around that way with it so I can make quick shops.

The G12 is very easy to use for novices but if you are a professional who knows about exposures the G12 is tops because you can do all sorts of adjustments to your likings by over riding the manual settings. Yes, all digital cameras allow you to do that these days but the Canon's manual settings has much more options that professionals truly appreciate it. The Canon G12 is certainly my favorite go to point and shoot.

Sony DCS-TX7 10.2 Mega Pixel

I wasn't a huge of Sony cameras until I received this particular Sony DCS-TX7 as a gift. That said, this is probably the only best current point and shoot Sony camera in my inventory.

Sony DCS-TX7 is very slim with a whopping big touch screen at 3.5 inches. It's very stylish and definitely one of the most compact cameras in the market that feels remarkably durable yet won't give you that heavy feel when you keep it in your pocket.

I usually carry two cameras around with me whenever I'm out and about and the Sony DCS-TX7 is one that I always keep as a back up and leave it in my hotel room.

Pictures From My Travels in Asia

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, MalaysiaSunflower Field in Chok Chai Farms Korat, ThailandTaken From a Bus in BangkokA Nice Tall Cold One in Khao San RoadAyyuthayah Floating MarketChatuchak Weekend MarketErawan ShrineCheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, MalaysiaPratunam MarketMoo Kata Restaurant
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, Malaysia
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, Malaysia | Source
Sunflower Field in Chok Chai Farms Korat, Thailand
Sunflower Field in Chok Chai Farms Korat, Thailand | Source
Taken From a Bus in Bangkok
Taken From a Bus in Bangkok | Source
A Nice Tall Cold One in Khao San Road
A Nice Tall Cold One in Khao San Road | Source
Ayyuthayah Floating Market
Ayyuthayah Floating Market | Source
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Erawan Shrine
Erawan Shrine | Source
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, Malaysia
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Penang, Malaysia | Source
Pratunam Market
Pratunam Market | Source
Moo Kata Restaurant
Moo Kata Restaurant | Source

A Piece of Essential Photography Equipment to Consider

It doesn't matter how expensive or how advanced the camera's lens is if you don't take that picture with a steady hand. One of the most important tip for photography is to keep your hands as steady as you possibly can to achieve crisp, clean photographs.

You can always find something to prop your camera on like a table or a low wall to take the picture but that's if one is available. So I recommend getting a small tripod, one that is durable and not too light but not heavy either. The reason why you don't want one too light is because if you're taking pictures on a mountain on a rocky terrain, a strong gust of wind will knock your tripod along with your compact camera to the ground.

I travel alone a lot in places where there are not too many people. So a tripod is handy if you want to take a self portrait near a temple ruin or scenic landscape. I found it's also quite handy for fending off aggressive stray dogs that smell my ham sandwich in my backpack.


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    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      I wasn't a fan of the Sony cameras until I got DCS-TX7, but I am now. GusTheRedneck, yeah I can shoot as much pictures as I want and not worry about wasting film. Thanks for visiting all!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 7 years ago from USA

      Edwin - These digitals surely do beat the ancient "point and shoot" box cameras of earlier years.

      Gus :-)))

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Happy New Year Edwin!

      Thanks for sharing such great information!

      Yep, I am with Katiem2! I love my Sony's! Am on my fourth and love it!

      Blessings to you and yours! EarthAngel!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Great review, I have the Sony Camera and it is a great camera to have. Thanks for the great point and shoot tips. :) Katie

    • Edwin Clark profile image

      Edwin Clark 7 years ago from Thailand by way of New York

      Karen Ray thanks for dropping by!

    • Karen Ray profile image

      Karen Ray 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Good information, especially for those of us who don't have a clue what to look for in a new camera.