Cameras I travelled with
When preparing my first journey to the Baltic countries, I thought about which camera to buy. I guess that I considered reflex cameras (or SLR, for single lens reflex cameras) back then, but I’m pretty sure that they were at that time (and as I was student and not into professional shooting) too expensive, too big and heavy and therefore uncomfortable for me travelling as a backpacker.
My first camera (2004-2009)
So I decided to go for the then freshly released Canon Ixus IIs in 2004 where I cannot remember the price any more. At that time it was a pretty good one and I can still remember that it was small and the body pretty massiv due to the used material (like metal). However, when looking back it was definitely minimalistic when taking into consideration that it boasted 3,2 megapixels (MP) and modest 2x optical zoom :) And taking photos when it was a bit darker, not to mention night, took a lot of efforts. It was possible but needed a lot of tries, (very) still hands and luck, but generally produced blurred photos - this were the times then:
- First experiments just with candlelights
- Or glaring light from the front
- Extremely still hands...
- Foto in the evening in Vienna (Millenium Tower)
- Evening at MQ
- Inside events
This cam I used until its end came in 2009. In this 5 years it accompanied me trough the Baltics, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria and a lot of moments and events. The reason for replacing it was not because I wanted a new and up-to-date one, but a failure in electronics producing errors in pictures (even though it looks like a cool effect):
My second camera (2010-2019)
Repairing my old cam did not make any sense as at that times the progress of electronic devices made gigantic steps.
So, for 2010, when it got obvious that I’d finish my studies that year, I decided to get a new one and can still exactly remember the month where I decided for my new fellow travel mate. I was at that time working at a store (a market selling mainly electronic stuff) and a colleague in the cam department suggested, as I still did not want to buy big and unhandy SLRs, the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. I’d describe it as a cam bridging between small compact cameras and pro reflex cams.
It turned out that my choice was great decision! Despite the fact that the camera offered a big step forward in comparison to my old one with 12 MP and 12x optical zoom, it survived really hard circumstances:
- The battery was extremely long lasting
- Delivered a great performance using it in -15 to -20 degrees during a Husky snow-sledging trip in Sweden in January 2018
- It was falling down several times and once pretty hard exactly into a hole (where I though I’d never get it out again, see fotos taken when I travelled in Italy 2014). And
- Taking fotos in darker circumstances improved a lot and I did excellent night shots when putting it down on the ground or on a stand:
- First experiments with my new one
- Church in Chelyabinsk
- Mosque in Kazan (in the Kremlin)
- View from Tropea to Stromboli (in the background; NOT reworked!)
- Matera at night
- In Kamchatka, standing on the ground where Magma is till glowing
The SX200 was on hard duty during many, many journeys done, starting in summer 2010 in travelling throughout whole Russia, wondering around in Central Asia in 2018, Kamchatka in 2015, the already mentioned Husky sledging tour in Sweden 2018, Vietnam on the turn of the year 2013/2014, but also couple of wonderful tours in Southern Italy, Greece, Belarus and other countries and numerous city weekend trips.
The cam finished its long and adventurous journey. After 9 long years it came to its end due to a technical defect. My description may sound a bit „emotional“, but in fact, I really connect a lot with this cam!
The third and actual camera (2020-?)
Due to upcoming changes in my life - on the verge of quitting my job in 2019 and looking for a new challenge in moving somewhere else - I was not sure if a new cam would be necessary as moving means something else than travelling and therefore a cam is not so in need. But after living in Minsk, Belarus, for couple of months and spotting some nice sights I decided to slowly look for a new one.
I realised that 2020 is different than 2010…because the world and/or market/customers changed. It’s not important for me but there are fewer cams out there (compared to 2010) and in fact, handys/smart phones took a big part of it. My new cam is - again - a Canon and still PowerShot SX-Series, but now 730 HS. You can say that it is a successor of my former one (but in electronic point of view, the 3rd or even more 4th generation later).
The pure performance is even a bit „scary“ as it really boasts now 20,3 MP (what was and is BTW not really important and does not make fotos „better“!), a movable screen and 40x (!) optical zoom. The only gimmick I miss is the panorama function, which I got to know from my mobile and is really nice. Scary because I have to say that I’m skeptical about life-time of this cam when it offers so much electronic possibilities. But I will see and find out.