Author Topic: Photography on a fortnight's family tour - practical and tech advice?  (Read 4129 times)


  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
I think a camera like the Canon Powershot A630 could be good enough in terms of image quality and metering, while providing you with a handgrip and a protected position for the screen when you're riding. It takes a cheaply available battery.

Alternatively you could go for a Powershot A570 which is lighter and cheaper still, though it lacks the fold out screen. Also good enough.

Maximum ISO setting 800? Hmmm! Unless that means something completely different from my old photography (SLR 35mm film) days it's a bit low. I mean travel means low light photographs and possibly action ones too. So higher sensitivity possibly an advantage. Even just taking shots out walking in the day I got up to 800 on my film camera at times. Low light and couldn't get a stable surface for the shot in the Lakeland fells.

I was looking at cameras and thinking ISO 3200 or 6400 for a £20-50 premium at the weekend.

Whilst this camera we're considering getting is a cycling holiday one it's use will be for pretty much all our activities. One camera to do it all! Probably mediocre in a lot of roles but without big investment it's not possible to get a system good for everything, not without bulk too.


  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Yeah, ISO means the same now as then. Image stabilisation is another way of getting usable shots with a slower shutter though. Essentially, it reduces camera shake. Generally it gives you a couple of stops.


  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Of static scenes, yes. Landscapes, streetscapes and still lifes, but not moving subjects. I find it gives me a false sense of superpowers.  ;D
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.


  • Old fool in a hurry
Absolutely the best travel camera I ever had was a Panasonic DMC-TZ3.  It came out in 2006, it had a 7.2 Mp CCD sensor and a 10x Leica[-branded] zoom. I don't know whether it was a real Leica lens or not, but the quality was superb. ISO performance was limited, but for daytime shooting it was great, and with care you could get decent shots at night:

That's an 8-second exposure at ISO 100. From 400 up it got messy.

One of my greatest regrets was giving that camera to my daughter when I bought to the TZ30, which turned out to be crap.

TZ3's are going for around £40 on eBay.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.


  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Maximum ISO setting 800? Hmmm!

Maximum ISO is the manufacturer's way of politely saying, "Shitty, noisey, low contrast ....but technically possible"

I've never met a maximum ISO that I liked and it's been the biggest improvement on digital cameras since their inception.  My first camera was hideous at ISO400 but my latest is totally usable at 3200 (Max ISO is up at 128,000 or something silly...and unusable of course).

800 ISO is enough in most situations but that means you should be looking at a maximum of at least 1600.  You'll never want to use 1600 in this case but it does mean that 800 will be better than total crap.

Unless there's a good reason, set it manually to the lowest ISO and, if necessary, use a pocket tripod rather than push the ISO to its limits.  I have a couple of tiny "pocket" tripods (circa £3) that have come to my rescue many times.  If nothing else they are good for family group shots on self-timer but they add a lot of sharpness (even if you think you can hold a camera perfectly can't).

Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.


  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
If you like dials and buttons, there's this. I find them rather heavy for their size, but they are nice to use and reassuringly solid.

Here are some for sale, secondhand.