Cameras, Cameras everywhere, but how to decide!

Well, it seems that for this trip, its the right time to go Digital with the camera. Last time we hit the backpacking road (10 years ago exactly) digital photgraphy didn’t exist, and so we travelled with a brilliant Canon EOS 1000FN and a small Olympus mju-1. Both of them performed magnificently (and they are both still our everyday cameras). The Canon had a couple of lenses, that allowed us to go from wide angle landscape shots, to a 300mm zoom lens for the kind of shots that allowed us to catch people shots without the subjects becoming aware. It led to some great photograps (one day I’ll scan some of the best and post them). This time, weight is going to be critical, because I’m going to be carrying the clothes & stuff for me and both girls), and we want to be able to keep everybody involved with our travels (family, friends and Charlotte’s classmates) – web publishing /emailing photo’s is going to be a big thing this trip. That means that digital will be best, but with digital cameras changing every five minutes, what do we do?

I was loaned a year old Epson 3.3 megapixel by a journalist (who had it for review and Epson didn’t ever ask for it back), but wasn’t overwhelmed – the 3.3 mega pixels meant that quality was okay, but not great for enlargements (and let’s face it, in a year I’m likely to take a couple of shots worthy of enlargement). It was also heavier than the old Canon, and battery hungry. I don’t really want a rucksack loaded with heavy camera, loads of heavy spare AA batteries, heavy battery charger etc etc).

And so, I started to read the magazines. The one I ended up drooling over is the Nikon 5700 – 8x zoom, 5.5 mega pixels, and seemingly well reviewed. And then I found out that a colleague had just bought one – so I’m now road testing that, and so far it meets my wishes – it is very light (about 400 grammes), has a reasonably long batter life, has a great zoom, and the battery charger weighs almost nothing (which seems odd, because most transformers weight a ton). So knowing that this hits almost my requirements, I’ve started to search for pricing. With a list price of £999(ish), seems that I could buy it on the web in the UK for about £820. But if I waited until Canada (first country to be visited) I could buy it for £700. And then I discovered, if I waited till the US (second country on the list) I could buy it for £600. (But then I’d have no digital photo’s of Canada).

Haven’t yet decided what to do! If I buy it in the UK I’ll get to play, test and be sure it works well, but I’ll pay £120 for the privilege!

(Huh, decisions, decisions – have to decide later!)