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Can You Take Kick-Ass Photos With a Point and Shoot Camera?

It’s not practical to take a big, heavy DSLR camera on some trips.

When I cycled Australia’s longest bike trail I had to choose between food and spare underwear. A fancy one kilogram lens doesn’t make sense when every gram matters.

Of course you need an enormous zoom if you’re trying to photograph a nat on a bear’s ass or pap Posh Spice on a trip to the moon. But I have to think of weight when I’m trying to get to places on two feet or wheels and I want something handy I can whip out in a flash and hopefully capture the moment.

 

The rapidly changing weather in Patagonia, Argentina

 

Weight is a big issue for me. Having an arthritic spine means I have to carefully consider my load more than most. It’s the main reason I’ve clung to my point and shoot for on-the-go adventures.

 

A castle like entrance sculpted by nature marks the beginning of the Patagonian Icefield in Chile, South America

 

My little Cannon has served me well, but it’s seen better days and lately I’ve felt the need to fiddle more with the controls so I’ve been considering an upgrade.

Galapagos Islands crab having a nibble

 

But I’m told that having $$$$ worth of kit and caboodle dangling from my neck won’t automatically make me better at taking photos and according to the Pros you can take great photos with a point and shoot.

Rice fields Vietnam

Composition is king and the best camera is the one you’ve got with you to capture the moment, say the pros. 

Sunset over Busselton Jetty, Western Australia: The longest timber pier in the Southern Hemisphere

So I’m going to seek out a top end fixed lens compact camera; the dog’s dodars of the point and shoot with manual controls to satisfy my need to meddle.

Have you got any advice or recommendations?

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Tracey Croke is a journalist, travel writer, photographer and adventurist, specialising in stories about roughty-toughty travel, offtrack adventure and anything involving a bike

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17 Responses to Can You Take Kick-Ass Photos With a Point and Shoot Camera?

  1. Nikka | Two2Travel November 9, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Interesting insights, Tracey. We share in your opinion on the DSLRs being bulky but versatile, but you took great photos here! Canon released this new EOS-M model—it’s a big leap from the usual point and shoot performance but with roughly the same size. If you’ve tried any Lumix units—the Lumix LX7 is also a great bet. :)
    Nikka | Two2Travel recently posted..Our love-hate relationship with PagudpudMy Profile

  2. Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag November 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Your photos are fab by my standards, Tracey. We continuously ponder this predicament too. All that weight is a problem. Love your shots in this post though :)
    Johanna @ The Zigazag Mag recently posted..Geographe Crush Wine ExhibitionMy Profile

    • Tracey November 16, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks Jo … I don’t mind sharing my secret….. Take several shots of each scene from several different viewpoints at several different angles until hubby starts rolling eyes and sporting a losing-the will-to-live-expression. Delete the rubbish ones and repeat for several years avoiding divorce if possible.
      Tracey recently posted..Can You Take Kick-Ass Photos With a Point and Shoot Camera?My Profile

  3. Life Images by Jill November 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    fabulous post Tracey and fabulous photos. You certainly can take fabulous photos with a point and shoot. I have done so for years! I do have a DSLR and it is a pain (in the back) to lug all those spare lenses around – just because you never know which one you will need. But I find my point and shoot (though I must say it is a high end point and shoot) takes fabulous photos that have even been published in magazines!
    Linking up to you through Zigazag! I’m off to check out the rest of your blog now! cheers!

  4. Red Nomad OZ November 15, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    I only ever use a point & shoot, and I don’t get any complaints on my blog … but then, I’m not a ‘photographer’s photographer’!!

    PS I think you’ll find Lucinda Jetty in QLD is the longest in the SH (5+ km) – Busselton is maybe the longest wooden one???
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Mind over Madness … Joffre Falls, Karijini National ParkMy Profile

    • Tracey November 16, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      Hi Red, yes you’re right, Busselton is the longest wooden jetty, but I’m always up for a factoid so thanks for the Lucinda Jetty info and please feel free to add any others. I’m sure after 21 years of exploring Oz you’re a travelling Encyclopaedia. Maybe there’s an ebook in the making? “The Big Red Encyclopaedia.”
      Tracey recently posted..Can You Take Kick-Ass Photos With a Point and Shoot Camera?My Profile

  5. Red Nomad OZ November 15, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    Oops, sorry, that’s what you said!! My Bad!!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Mind over Madness … Joffre Falls, Karijini National ParkMy Profile

  6. Katie November 17, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    We just bought a canon 60D, but I don’t think that would meet your needs in terms of being light weight. You should check out what Jodi from legal nomads uses – her pics are gorgeous, and I think she takes most of them with a Canon rebel with a fixed length pancake lens – so that would cut down on the amount of gear you have to carry. My brother is a pro photographer, and he uses a Canon G10 as his point an shot – it has a lot of the functionality of a DSLR in terms of controlling shutter speed, ISO, etc., but doesn’t have replaceable lenses, and is way lighter.

    All that said, I totally agree a better camera doesn’t make you a better photographer – some of my best photos were from my fully manual 1980s Canon SLR – the fact that I COULDN’T put it on auto is probably why the photos look so good…
    Katie recently posted..The Hill of Crosses (and the Time We Took a Taxi to Another Country)My Profile

  7. Tracey | Chronic Adventures November 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Thanks Katie! I’ll check out the G10 and legal Nomads blog.
    Tracey | Chronic Adventures recently posted..The Trials of Australia’s Longest Bike TrailMy Profile

  8. crazy sexy fun traveler December 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    Aw, I remember standing at the same place as seen on your first photo :) I have a DSLR and really sometimes it gets annoying.
    crazy sexy fun traveler recently posted..What to do in Tarija – the capital of smilesMy Profile

  9. Anita Mac December 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    wow – those shots are amazing…I never would have guessed anything other than a full dSLR. Very nice.
    Anita Mac recently posted..Turtle Cruise with Silver Moon…the most memorable day in BarbadosMy Profile

  10. Tracey | Chronic Adventures December 24, 2012 at 1:33 am #

    Thanks! I’m leaning towards a kick ass point and shoot with manual setting options. I dread the thought of lugging around heavy expensive lenses.
    Tracey | Chronic Adventures recently posted..Give the Gift of Reading This ChristmasMy Profile

  11. Paul April 1, 2013 at 12:08 am #

    Tracey,

    DSLR? What’s that? We’ve got proof you don’t need one – every shot on our blog is with a point and shoot…smaller, waterproof, and the ability to shoot with one hand is king.

    -Paul
    http://www.everyonestravelclub.com

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