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Buying Camera + Camcorder for Europe Trip

I await the opinions of the gods. Which camera/camcorder is best for my European trip in September:

Seeking point/click cam w/ video 200-400$? need for 3 wk EUROPE trip. portable, sdhc. mainly vids during  trip, but photos after. Ideas?

Canon PowerShot G9 12.1MP $449, Canon SD 750  $149 Kodak Easyshare V1253 12MP $180, Canon FS100 $319, Canon SD750 $180,Canon PowerShot SD870IS 8MP  $249.

Others: Kodak Easyshare V1253 12MP $180, Aiptek A-HD+ 1080P $153,Casio Exilim EX-Z80 8MP $150 Not Flip!

Concerns: How to recharge in Europe, main use will be for snapshots, not vid. Will it fit in pocket? must bring only one camera.

After my  trip, I will use this device mainly to take photos, but it would be nice to have some advanced video capabilities.

So far, this webpage seems to be the best source of information. This digitalcamera-hq is also a good aggregator of information, with original reviews.

More information.  I have a Sony HDV-HC1 (a $1500 HDV camcorder ) at home.

I expect to spend $100 for extras (Europe battery charger, extra SDHC, etc).

Update: I wrote more info in the comments. Cameralabs has good reviews and camera recommendations and dpreview is good (but in the forums you need to view in Flat mode).  Looks like the Panasonic TZ5 is also a contender (at $299, it’s $100 cheaper too). Also the Canon PowerShot S5 IS also at $300 supposedly has superior audio+  video capability (though not in HD).

Update #2: I visited Frey’s Electronics and tried a few cameras. First, The S5 is bulky and out. The G9 is probably big too, although I haven’t ruled it out altogether. Form factor, the Canon  SD750 was incredible, and there are lots of subcompact cameras by Sony which I didn’t even know about until visiting the store.

Update #3. The Panasonic TZ5 was the winner by a longshot. And I am very happy with its performance.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Marina Martin 7/28/2008, 5:16 am

    Where in Europe are you going? I lived in Germany earlier this year and visited quite a few other countries – there are ample electrical outlets and stores that sell batteries. (Pick up a US-Euro adapter before you leave – you can find them there, but they’ll be more expensive.)

    Go for the video capabilities! I love travel photography (though I’m not very good at it), but sometimes you want a minute or two of film footage to really absorb a place. Canon makes a number of quality miniDV camcorders that are in your price range.

  • Digicams 7/28/2008, 6:04 am

    Try Canon PowerShot G9: I use a Canon Powershot a640 (the model just below the G9) myself which is a great cam for photos and has video capabilities well above avarage (movie resolutions: 640×480, 320×240, 160×120, movie frame rate: 30, 15, movie lenght: As long as your memory card lasts!)
    Both run with AA batteries, rechargers a aviable all over Europe …
    Have a nice trip!

  • Robert Nagle 7/28/2008, 7:56 am

    Oops, I forgot to include a link to my travel plans. I was leaning toward the PowerShot too, but it’s a little expensive. After doing a little googling, I saw a blogger named mostlylisa did a good video sample. (By the way, check out that awesome gorilla tripod on Lisa’s site. I think I’ll buy it for my trip! Here’s another video review of the camera (not of the video capabilities!). See this helpful video by Gordon Lang.

    As cool as the G9 looks, some “negatives” (if you can call them that). First, it’s expensive. That makes me more paranoid on trips. Second, it’s not supercompact and may be unwieldly to carry around (and probably not in my pocket). I’m sick of cameras you can’t keep in your pocket. Third, I don’t need RAW capability although the advanced features would be nice. On the other hand, it would be nice to have some of the other advanced features, and it seems a bit easier to set shutter speed for example.

    Over the last two years, I’ve been saddled with a crappy camera (Canon PowerShot 530), that eats batteries like candy and takes awful photos besides. I need a better camera, but I don’t know if I want to spend that much, especially if HD video can be bought for less. On the more positive note, I’m relatively familiar with the PowerShot’s controls, so I’ll be building on previous knowledge.

  • Anthony Leyton 7/29/2008, 7:19 am

    I take two cameras when I travel usually: a Nikon 40D for the actual go-out-to-take-photos stuff, but the rest of the time it tends to stay in the hotel safe. I’ve found the Kodak Easyshare to be more than adequate for general travel snapping, pocket-friendly, and its video’s not to be sniffed at either. You should have nothing to worry about in terms of recharging or support – most of the places you go to will have readily accessible camera shops and a simple adapter will sort the charging.

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