It’s been a while since I’ve bought a compact camera. The last one was probably my Panasonic Lumix many, many years ago.
In 2008, I bought my first smartphone which became my “go to” device for everything. Sometimes I’d pull out my DSLR but it’s a beast of a thing to carry around and I don’t need it for most situations. The image quality is heads-and-tails above my phone though #nofilters
In March of this year (2017) I traveled to Asia for the first time. It was amazing! I took my old iPhone and Canon DSLR. I figured I’d use my phone as my “snap-and-go” and the DSLR for those special moments. In reality, I hardly used the DSLR.
For starters, my one-and-only SD card was almost full and I had no way of freeing up the memory. I was in the middle of the pacific ocean and had no choice but to use my phone. Granted, this was my fault but then I found using my phone so much easier anyway. I could throw it in my pocket and pull it out in a second – ready to go!
Why not keep using my iPhone?
Unfortunately, my phone’s not as quick-and-snappy as it used to be. I have the iPhone 6 – a phone that’s been replaced by the iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X. In mobile terms it’s kind of old despite doing everything I want a phone to do.
Sometimes the camera app takes 2-3 seconds to load. I don’t know about you but that can be a reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally long time. Also, the battery life is about half of what it used to be. Recording video only lasts about 10 minutes before my phone gives up and goes to sleep. Maybe this is all due to wear-and-tear and the tumble it took in the Matterhorn (Disneyland) last year, maybe?
Why not buy an iPhone 7, 8, X or Android?
If I’m completely honest I’m not ready to spend another $1,000 on a new phone that’s only marginally better in terms of what the camera does. Also, I still feel like there’s some life left in the old one so I’m going to see if it’ll last another year or two. And who knows, I’ve considered giving Android a go but we’ll see how I feel when I have to upgrade.
Why a portable/travel camera?
We’ve established I needed something I could throw in my pocket which meant it had to fit in my hand and be light but also have good image quality and be ready to go. After some thought, I did what almost everyone does – I jumped on YouTube and looked up “best travel camera”.
I found the two most recommended cameras:
Why buy the Canon G7X Mark II over the Sony RX100 Mark III-V?
In my research, the most common complaint I’ve seen about the Canon is the focusing speed. About a month or two ago I got to test one in a store and sure enough it was a bit slow but it wasn’t that bad. I think I can live with it.
The focusing also seemed to be an issue with the Sony’s until the RX100 Mark V which is like lightning and butter rolled into one. Unfortunately, for me, the price was a barrier at over $800 more than the Canon in New Zealand Dollars (NZD)!
What really sold me on the Canon was a special offer at my local – $799 with a further $100 cashback offer from Canon themselves. That’s a $400 saving from it’s normal RRP and $1,100 cheaper than the Sony. After months of comparing and price watching this is what sealed the deal for me so here we are!
I guess for yourself you can do what I did and wait for a killer deal, or you can just go for the one you want. Maybe you can suggest it as your next Christmas gift, maybe?