Hello all! I am planning a trip to Buenos Aires and Montevideo. What is the best travel camera for such a trip? I have read warnings on several travel sites that these countries have neighborhoods where cameras can get stolen out of your hands while taking photos. I also don't want to lug my Canon DSLR with multiple lenses all around with me for weeks, and I read that such a camera can draw a lot of attention in some places in these cultures. I have a small SONY full frame mirrorless point and shoot but I would feel terrible if it was to get stolen. What camera would you choose for such a trip? I guess my criteria are small size, great picture quality, and not too expensive in case it is stolen. I am posting here because I know that you all will have some opinions. And I always end up posting some photos from my travels on FAA. One of the cameras that came up in my research is a Panasonic Lumix. Thank you in advance for any help! Joe
The SONY, that you have will be great for safe countries, as you well know the picture quality is awesome.
I've been looking around, too, for a more affordable zoom lens compact camera, I'm still looking.
But I did come across, this beauty, for less than $300, which got a 62% likes of 5 stars on Amazon: KODAK PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ405-WH 20MP Digital Camera with 40X Optical Zoom 24mm Wide Angle 1080P Full HD Video and 3" LCD
There is the ~ Panasonic DCZS80DK Lumix 4K Digital Point & Shoot Camera, but no one has posted a review on Amazon.
The OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, ultra compact is on my wish list - Waterproof (50 ft. / 15 m), dustproof, shockproof (7 ft. / 2. 1 m), crushproof (100kgf), freeze proof (14°F/ -10°c), anti-fog
- High-resolution F2. 0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor
- Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1cm from the end of the lens
- 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes
- 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high-speed movies can be recorded; Operating temperature: Temperature -10 - +40℃ (when in operation) / -20 - +60℃ (when stored)
At gunpoint anything can be stolen. A large camera attracts attention especially when people put on the strap that shows in huge white letters - EXPENSIVE CAMERA IV.
Generally you don't want a strap because it can be cut off. And one with a built in wire will strangle you if its a bike grabbing it. A small camera makes sense, something with a strap around your wrist. Something with a good zoom. Maybe one of those 1" ccd. Or a mirrorless with a compact lens. It depends what you plan on shooting. I don't know what the latest cameras are. Mostly you want a bag that doesn't look like a camera bag.
Also newer phones have built in optical zooms, so it might be better to upgrade the phone and you'll get a pretty decent camera that doesn't look like a lot. Just keep a firm hold of the slippery thing.
Overall one of the best things to do at least around BA or the areas around there that aren’t so great is to dress down. Jeans, plain clothes, don’t wear any expensive Nikes or anything else that stands out that says I’m from the US and I might have money.
Driving down there is a free for all.
The chocolate and wine down there are on par with anywhere in Europe. The steakhouses are amazing and most any restaurant. The nightlife down there is fun but skews a lot later than in the US.
If you are into hats, look for Lagomarsino hats. They are amazing!
Thank you for the ideas! We are planning to dress down and dress plainly, I have read this advice so we have already gotten ready for dressing down. I got new shoes that are very comfortable and supportive that are plainish/drab color. I haven't read anything about any sort of violence where anything is stolen at gunpoint. Just lots of warnings about people grabbing cameras and phones out of your hands and running. I also have read where people bump into you or spill a drink on you etc and then your pockets are cleaned out while a fuss is made.
We do live in Baltimore so we do have some experience with being careful while out and about but I have read that in some of the neighborhoods it will be a whole next level. Thank you for the help!
Apart from looking into camera equipment, I would also suggest (if you don't already have it) insurance for your gear when away from home, so if it was ever stolen you can make a claim for its replacement. It would probably be a small cost relative to replacing whatever was lost, damaged or stolen, so worth it just for the peace of mind it gives.
I'm amazed at the quality from a phone these days, interior shots often look nice, a bit tricky to hold or be taken seriously though. Great for through the window shots. Just get a durable case. You can even get a motorized tracking gimbel if the case is light enough, for those video shots of you standing in front of stuff. And provided the flash is off, its the easiest way to get a candid shot. And it fits in the pocket. I wonder if there is a case that makes the phone look like junk. Like if you got a printed case. And made it look beat up as an image.
Phones can - and do - get snatched too and are actually more popular targets because they are easier to offload than a camera. Be alert to passing motorbikes, especially if they have someone on the back. They will drive by very closely and the passenger will grab it out of your hands. It is also not uncommon for thieves to do a trial run. When you are crossing a road, for example, you may notice that a bike passes very closely n front of you instead of behind you. They might be staking you out. I lived in a developing country with a high street crime rate and going out with my camera wasn't always fun. Physical crime (someone actually robbing you with a knife or gun) wasn't that much of an issue but I've witnessed and almost fell victim to numerous snatchings.
I'm not sure if you have a budget, but maybe pick up a cheaper second hand camera that you can afford to lose but also want to continue using if you don't? Maybe a second hand Fuji? They have a compact, fixed lens camera (x100) that gets favourable reviews, is discrete and is light. The latest model (x100V) is commanding absurd prices because it was hyped on tiktok and is extremely sought after, but maybe you can pick up one of the earlier models for a good price.
My wife and I are currently on a road trip - about 2500 miles thus far in 10 days. We start the trek homeward tomorrow. I have been shooting with both my Olympus and my iPhone and will likely use more of the iPhone images for uploads after I get home and do a bit of post processing. The iPhone makes it very easy to grab quality photographs without attracting much (if any) attention. If you've got the eye for framing and composition you can and will produce quality results.
another camera worth considering is the Ricoh GRIII or GRIIIx. I carry mine in the back pocket of my jeans. No need to take a bag but you would need some extra batteries though. It's small, light and very discrete, but the lens and IQ are fantastic. AF is not the snappiest for moving subjects and there is no viewfinder, but you could take this with you at night and not draw any unwanted attention.
I got this little guy. Small, waterproof, shoots 20 frames per second, great macro AND it shoots in RAW. That is a must have. Only downside maybe is that it's red. Upside of that is if you drop it in the water you will be able to see it.
I actually used an RX1R for years in higher crime areas. I definitely got less 'overly inquisitive looks' than carrying my regular DSLR but felt still felt uncomfortable because it was just so expensive. Great little camera.
The Ricoh was no problem though. In and out of a pocket in seconds and nothing to snatch. Snatch thieves will basically try and grab anything that makes an easy target. One time they even swiped one of my friends take-away food. Grab first, check what they had grabbed later. No bag and no dangling camera made me feel the safest.
Another thing to consider is that not many people really carry cameras around anymore. For most, a phone will suffice. Carrying around a camera may help to identify you as a tourist. The way people interact with me when I'm carrying my camera is very different and I am approached way more by tourist scammers and other unsavoury characters.
I recently replaced my mirrorless camera and lens with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 for $400. It comes with a 1” 20mp sensor for resolution and image quality and a 25-250mm optical zoom. It includes MANY creative shooting features and modes including RAW. I strap the camera case to my belt so a thief would have to carry me with them. Panasonic also has the ZS200 which comes with a 25-360mm lens but somewhat slower and not as sharp.
Someone mention the Olympus TG series. They just announced the TG-7. For me the 25-100mm lens and the 12mp sensor is a little to limiting as a travel camera.
Some suggested cell phones. Don’t be fooled! As much as they have improved recently, “true” wide to long telephoto optical zoom, the external options for quickly adapting to different shooting conditions and overall handling of a dedicated camera will be much more enjoyable and practical on any trip.
Whatever you end up with, make sure you practice with it well before the trip, get extra batteries, an extra charger, and cards. And know how to use it before you go. I've seen people get it the day before and learn on the job. Still remember that person asking of if the little tulip symbol could be used for any kind of flower.
Finding the perfect travel camera is like finding the perfect purse or the perfect camera bag or the perfect walking shoe.
Whatever you take will be just fine, as long as you're familiar with how it works.
One think I do now when I travel...I transfer my images (I'm currently using an OM EM5-III) to my iPhone, and then they go to the icloud. That way, if my camera does get stolen or lost, the images are safe. Cameras can be replaced, images can't. I paid for more GB before my last trip just to make sure I had adequate storage on iCloud.
I use a 14pro max, my best advice is to look around you and look for any shifty characters that me be following you or observing you, all clear then pull the camera out, always be aware of your surroundings.
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