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New Travel Camera

After doing a lot of research I've decided to get a small P&S travel camera. Initially I was very intent on getting the Sony RX100 V, but was put off by several things.

First of all, the $$PRICE$$. I accept that this is a pretty amazing little camera, but you could almost buy 2 of any of the competitors cameras for the price of one Sony.

But beyond the price, there are a number of other things that helped me go a different direction. The super fast autofocus, accurate tracking, and shooting speeds are top notch. But outside of the novelty of this I really couldn't see a use for these features with such a small zoom range. Sure, this would be a great thing on a sports shooter, but with a max zoom of 70mm (effective), I can't think of a situation where I would actually use this.

Being able to shoot 4K video is of great value, but Sony claims that you can get only about 5 minutes of video before the camera will overheat and shut down. Based on reviews it sounds like 5 minutes may be optimistic. And once the camera shuts down, you can' t use it until it cools down, so basically you are either without a camera, or required to carry another camera with you, which defeats the purpose, at least for me.

At this point my focus (no pun intended) was on either the Lumix DMC-LX10, or the Canon Powershot GX 7 Mark II. Both cameras have solid builds and take great photos. The Lumix gets points for doing 4K video (without the overheating issue), and I'm very interested in the focus stacking capability in this camera. This allows you to take a picture and set the focus point AFTER it is captured. Sounds awesome, but I have no personal experience with this yet.

The Canon is also a great camera, but lacks the 4K video and focus stacking capabilities. I really liked the look and feel of the Canon, better than either of the others, and the picture quality was excellent. But it lacked the new features of the other camera, and I felt like it would be better to wait for the Mark III.

So what did I buy? None of the above. After all this research I found a good deal on an open-box Lumix DMC-ZS100. It has the same 20MP sensor as the other cameras, and does 4K video and focus stacking. But it has a 25-250 mm effective zoom lens, which might really let me get the shots I want without dragging an SLR or MFT camera and lenses with me.

I know that I'm sacrificing lens speed, I'll have to wait and see how this impacts me. And I will also not get as sharp an image, especially at the long end. But at least this camera HAS a long end. Maybe the biggest sacrifice is the non-articulating view screen, but at least there is a EVF (though quite small).

I'll be using this camera in the months ahead, and will post photos to the site. I'm looking forward to doing some experimentation!

Oh, and with the money I saved I might be in the market for another small P&S that might fill any gaps left by the ZS100. It will still cost me less that the Sony RX100 V!