It’s always a bit of a dilemma when you’re travelling regarding what to pack. Somehow all life choices become distilled into the weight of your bag and whether you should put lithium-ion batteries in the hold or in your carry-on (they go in the carry-on), whether to bring prime lenses (lighter!) or zooms (only need 1!), and whether you really need to bring a second camera body or would the space be better taken up with additional snacks (always choose the snacks!).
But maybe just maybe we are overthinking it, and the best travel camera might not be the ‘best’ camera for your normal day-to-day life or photography. It also doesn’t have to be the most expensive or have all the latest technological advances. In this video, James Popsys is risking life and limb when he leaves his sleeping wife and baby on their honeymoon to go and take some early morning photos in a beautiful Tuscan village, using a camera that cost him just $60.
The camera in question is a Panasonic Lumix GX1 which is currently 11 years old. Paired with the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 lens and you’ve got a nice little point-and-shoot compact digital camera that still packs a punch. Perfect for those trips when you can’t bear to not bring a camera but you have your family with you and you’re not really meant to be doing ‘serious’ photography.
It’s obviously fairly basic compared with today’s offerings, however, it does have exposure compensation on the back so that you do have some control over your images. However, with 16 Megapixels and a micro four-thirds sensor, it was probably ahead of its time when it was first released.
Why not just use your phone, you may ask? Well, that is certainly a valid question and one that many camera brands are asking themselves with the continued downsizing of the compact camera market. However, there’s no getting around the fact that shooting with a dedicated camera, no matter how small it is, is a very different experience than shooting with a digital device like a phone that has many functions and is continually connected to the internet.
Ultimately though, James seems to be enjoying his early morning foray around a Tuscan village (who wouldn’t?) and evidently gets a lot of pleasure from the small, light, basic yet still good Lumix point and shoot.
Would you just take a point and shoot on holiday with you or would you regret it?