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LeeLee29

Camera for Cruise to Alaska

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Hi everyone, 

 

Looking for suggestions on the best camera to take on cruise to Alaska.  I don't want to bring my DSLR, it's bulky and will take room in luggage, so I'm looking for suggestions on a Bridge Camera to bring.  For those who have taken the cruise, I will be going May 2020 out of Vancouver.  I've seen lots of great pictures posted on these forums, but not sure what everyone is shooting with.  I don't want to rely on a cell phone as they do not produce the quality of pictures that I am looking for.  Suggestions greatly appreciated.  I'm just counting the days and reading everything I can about cruising.  This will be my first cruise and my first trip to Alaska.  

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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You probably are looking for a fixed lens ‘bridge’ camera.

 

There are several categories 

 

So called ‘one inch’ sensor cameras, such as Sony RX10 or Panasonic FZ1000

 

Smaller sensor cameras with a larger zoom range. Some in this range like Panasonic FZ300 are weather sealed. 
 

I would give special mention to Nikon’s P1000 with it’s ludicrous zoom range. At the long end of the range you will see every speck of dust or droplet of water between you and your subject. 
 

If possible, try to find a camera store where you can see how any one fits your hands and style. You may also want to check discussions here, or even head over to the wilds of dpreview.com (sort of like Cruise Critic for camera hardware fanatics)

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I was very satisfied with the results I got with my Canon SX530 for our Alaskan trip.  It has a good optical zoom lens (50X) and excellent image stabilization.  It is a tiny bit smaller than most bridge cameras and lighter in weight.  The biggest negative for the SX530 is it doesn't shoot in RAW.

 

Here are a few of my favorite images.

image.thumb.jpeg.ccedc6672a9d441d435cf45f126c5f4c.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3ac131a40c4344e810ee244ad72114b5.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.6f7a318608d8cc15af601d6a4920f9a2.png

 

image.thumb.jpeg.ca84fcc006f9ecdf2435cde709c83277.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.9b8a8760c9a38fcc7f40acd3a6f010ba.png

 

IMG_2258.thumb.JPG.40bec990d87afa8e36763a94289f83bf.JPG

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e627e5c1a372cc6dc22e785e16cfb961.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.20c2ce3dfc46058d17524272b4b90dc2.png

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For wide angle I'm almost thinking a iPhone with their pano will be pretty good.

 

But you also need reach, doesn't matter if FX, crop, or P/S you want the longest lens and even with that you will still wish for more reach.     As to bulk why worry about it except for the lugging to the boat, it isn't like you will be walking around with it.  Just a good monopod.  

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45 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

These are great images!!!! It can't get here soon enough

 

 

I was very satisfied with the results I got with my Canon SX530 for our Alaskan trip.  It has a good optical zoom lens (50X) and excellent image stabilization.  It is a tiny bit smaller than most bridge cameras and lighter in weight.  The biggest negative for the SX530 is it doesn't shoot in RAW.

 

Here are a few of my favorite images.

image.thumb.jpeg.ccedc6672a9d441d435cf45f126c5f4c.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3ac131a40c4344e810ee244ad72114b5.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.6f7a318608d8cc15af601d6a4920f9a2.png

 

image.thumb.jpeg.ca84fcc006f9ecdf2435cde709c83277.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.9b8a8760c9a38fcc7f40acd3a6f010ba.png

 

IMG_2258.thumb.JPG.40bec990d87afa8e36763a94289f83bf.JPG

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e627e5c1a372cc6dc22e785e16cfb961.jpeg

 

image.thumb.png.20c2ce3dfc46058d17524272b4b90dc2.png

 

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I was the opposite way. I had an RX10 and sold it to buy a Canon EOS R because I wanted to be sure I was happy with the photos I took. I know the DSLR is bulky, but, if you're not going to go back to Alaska frequently, maybe rethink not bringing it.

What DSLR do you have?

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1 hour ago, bronzey214 said:

I was the opposite way. I had an RX10 and sold it to buy a Canon EOS R because I wanted to be sure I was happy with the photos I took. I know the DSLR is bulky, but, if you're not going to go back to Alaska frequently, maybe rethink not bringing it.

What DSLR do you have?

Nikon D90 and an older Cannon Rebel

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This is most of my response from your post on another thread. 

 

 

...if you already own a good DLSR (or two), use them. To me, not traveling with my "good" cameras is like buying formal wear but hitting the red carpet in t-shirt and shorts because it's more comfortable and you might spill something on your "good" clothes.

 

I've owned Powershots and a Sony HX-5V and while I liked the size and convenience, I always ended up with the big camera when the pictures mattered. When I picked up a Nokia Icon phone about six years ago, I stopped carrying the compact camera because with the exception of occasionally missing the compact's longer zoom, the phone took better pictures. My current Pixel didn't do anything to change my mind about compacts but I still use the big camera when the photos matter. (Full disclosure...I like my camera and I like using it.) There are compacts like the Sony RX100 series that will rival or beat phones in overall versatility but nothing under the $500 mark and most over $1000. 

 

Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars on a cheap camera for Alaska, pack a DSLR, rent a good zoom and have fun taking pictures. I assume you bought the DSLRs because you like taking pictures and if that's the case, you'll find that Alaska is worth a little effort. It is a target-rich environment for photography.

 

My opinion. Your mileage may vary.

 

Dave

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20 hours ago, LeeLee29 said:

Nikon D90 and an older Cannon Rebel

 

Since everyone seems to be telling you to use your DSLR I will make a suggestion too.  Use your Nikon D90 and buy the Tamrom 18-400mm lens.  That way you won't have to carry a camera bag with lenses.  Couple that with the camera on a good smartphone and you shouldn't really need anything else.

 

I'm 74 years old and I no longer want to lug a heavy DSLR and lenses with me.  For my purposes a bridge camera from Nikon or Canon with a long zoom is all I need.  I'm not going to be making mural sized pictures from the photos I took in Alaska.  The photo of the mountain goats I posted was taken from a moving cruise ship with my camera fully zoomed (1200mm).  They were little white dots and hard to spot on the mountainside and hard to spot with the naked eye and it was luck that I got two shots of them.  I'm a big fan of bridge cameras with long zooms and I think the photos I posted can stand up to anybody's criticism.

 

 

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Have you thought about a new camera strap for the DSLR? DW and I each bought a Black Rapid double breathe to carry two cameras, and if we only have one camera each with us we split the double and use it with the brad breathe underarm stabiliser strap. We each have a Fuji X-H1 with battery grip as the main camera, and a selection of lenses up to a 100-400, which combined is fairly weighty, but the strap gets the weight off our necks onto the shoulders with a good balance and we can walk around all day hardly noticing it. This is especially important for DW as she moved up from an X-T10 and was worried about the extra load, but with the new strap it isn’t a problem. I’m sure there are other brands which will do a similar job. Maybe something like this would help?

Edited by Paul S
Mistype

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11 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

 

I'm 74 years old and I no longer want to lug a heavy DSLR and lenses with me.  For my purposes a bridge camera from Nikon or Canon with a long zoom is all I need.  I'm not going to be making mural sized pictures from the photos I took in Alaska.  The photo of the mountain goats I posted was taken from a moving cruise ship with my camera fully zoomed (1200mm).  They were little white dots and hard to spot on the mountainside and hard to spot with the naked eye and it was luck that I got two shots of them.  I'm a big fan of bridge cameras with long zooms and I think the photos I posted can stand up to anybody's criticism.

Thanks for the input.  I like your suggestion for a bridge camera.  I'm not planning on making any mural sized photos either.  I like the idea of a bridge camera to save space.  United Airline doesn't allow a carry-on, so the weight of my Nikon and desire to back it separate from my checked bag is my primary concern for wanting a smaller and easier to manage camera.  I'm going to check out the Cannon you recommended and make a decision.  I know my local Wal-mart just marked down the CannonSX530.  

 

11 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Paul S said:

Have you thought about a new camera strap for the DSLR? DW and I each bought a Black Rapid double breathe to carry two cameras, and if we only have one camera each with us we split the double and use it with the brad breathe underarm stabiliser strap. We each have a Fuji X-H1 with battery grip as the main camera, and a selection of lenses up to a 100-400, which combined is fairly weighty, but the strap gets the weight off our necks onto the shoulders with a good balance and we can walk around all day hardly noticing it. This is especially important for DW as she moved up from an X-T10 and was worried about the extra load, but with the new strap it isn’t a problem. I’m sure there are other brands which will do a similar job. Maybe something like this would help?

it's more the added weight and desire to have my Camera with me and lack of ability to bring a carry-on with Untied Airlines.  I don't want it backed in my checked luggage.  I'll check out the straps your suggesting for future trips.  Thanks so much.

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14 hours ago, pierces said:

This is most of my response from your post on another thread. 

 

 

...if you already own a good DLSR (or two), use them. To me, not traveling with my "good" cameras is like buying formal wear but hitting the red carpet in t-shirt and shorts because it's more comfortable and you might spill something on your "good" clothes.

 

I've owned Powershots and a Sony HX-5V and while I liked the size and convenience, I always ended up with the big camera when the pictures mattered. When I picked up a Nokia Icon phone about six years ago, I stopped carrying the compact camera because with the exception of occasionally missing the compact's longer zoom, the phone took better pictures. My current Pixel didn't do anything to change my mind about compacts but I still use the big camera when the photos matter. (Full disclosure...I like my camera and I like using it.) There are compacts like the Sony RX100 series that will rival or beat phones in overall versatility but nothing under the $500 mark and most over $1000. 

 

Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars on a cheap camera for Alaska, pack a DSLR, rent a good zoom and have fun taking pictures. I assume you bought the DSLRs because you like taking pictures and if that's the case, you'll find that Alaska is worth a little effort. It is a target-rich environment for photography.

 

My opinion. Your mileage may vary.

 

Dave

Dave,

Thanks for your suggestion.  It's more about traveling and having to pack my camera in my checked luggage.  I want the Camera with me and my flight doesn't allow a carry-on.  

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is that a specific United Airlines flight?
 

all their literature allows a carryon plus a personal bag.

 

United Airlines Carry-On Allowance

1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights & excluding all other Basic Economy fares*)

 

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Sounds like LeeLee29 i s looking for a change. If I wasn't so invested in lenses, I might be looking for another, more compact system. 

@LeeLee29

Just for "cruising", a good compact "point and shot" would do fine. However, we're talking Alaska. You will need some reach.

 

If you aren't heavily invested in lenses, sounds like you could be do for a change. If you do have a mess os lenses, I know Canon offers an adaptor to use your EF lenses on their mirrorless. 



 

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7 hours ago, Docker123 said:


is that a specific United Airlines flight?
 

all their literature allows a carryon plus a personal bag.

 

United Airlines Carry-On Allowance

1 personal item: FREE
1 standard carry-on bag: FREE (including Basic Economy Transatlantic flights & excluding all other Basic Economy fares*)

 

@Docker123 that’s what I thought but when I researched after purchase this is the info I found. 60D253AD-7BD9-4D66-8E98-BE2F508F860E.thumb.png.dcb423fc7405b599397eca659bda5414.png

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9 hours ago, LeeLee29 said:

Thanks for the input.  I like your suggestion for a bridge camera.  I'm not planning on making any mural sized photos either.  I like the idea of a bridge camera to save space.  United Airline doesn't allow a carry-on, so the weight of my Nikon and desire to back it separate from my checked bag is my primary concern for wanting a smaller and easier to manage camera.  I'm going to check out the Cannon you recommended and make a decision.  I know my local Wal-mart just marked down the CannonSX530.  

 

 

 

Since you have been using a DSLR you might also consider the Nikon P900 because it has a viewfinder.  I know when I switched to a bridge camera many years ago I "had to have" a viewfinder.  I have since adjusted and no longer feel the need to have a viewfinder.

 

The Nikon P900 has an outlandishly big zoom at 83X which is the 35mm equivalent of a 24-2000mm lens. A 2000mm lens would be about the same as a 40X pair of binoculars so there will be a lot of camera shake without using a tripod or monopod.  The Nikon P900 is bigger and heavier than my Canon SX530 but would still be a great choice for a bridge camera.

 

I have one more suggestion for your Alaskan trip, bring a pair of binoculars that are fog proof and waterproof.  I used Wingspan NaturePro 8x42 binoculars and was very satisfied.  At the time I was able to buy them for less than $100 on Amazon but I think prices have gone up a bit.  I bought them because of their compact size which is perfect for travel. 

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14 hours ago, LeeLee29 said:

Dave,

Thanks for your suggestion.  It's more about traveling and having to pack my camera in my checked luggage.  I want the Camera with me and my flight doesn't allow a carry-on.  

 

Ah, basic economy. Very familiar since we usually fly United. We typically check a couple of bags and carry only one under-seat item on anyway since we fly stand-by a lot  (except on the get-to-the-cruise flight).

 

You might consider picking up a basic two-compartment backpack that would fit under the seat. I have a PacSafe dedicated camera backpack that I bought specifically for under-seat storage. I carry two bodies and 2 or three extra (small) lenses, chargers, cards, cleaning equipment, laptop and shoulder straps. In a typical school backpack, there should be plenty of room for a DSLR and a couple of lenses and still room for necessities. My wife has an under-seat necessities tote that she stuffs her purse into to make a single item. It could fit a camera easily.

 

Anyway, these are just options to consider. An inexpensive tote is a lot cheaper than a $500 bridge camera. 

 

Dave

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22 hours ago, LeeLee29 said:

it's more the added weight and desire to have my Camera with me and lack of ability to bring a carry-on with Untied Airlines.  I don't want it backed in my checked luggage.  I'll check out the straps your suggesting for future trips.  Thanks so much.

I wore my Nikon D500 with a Tamron 18-400mm lens onto the plane then sat it in my tote under the seat for the flight.

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17 hours ago, LeeLee29 said:

@Docker123 that’s what I thought but when I researched after purchase this is the info I found. 60D253AD-7BD9-4D66-8E98-BE2F508F860E.thumb.png.dcb423fc7405b599397eca659bda5414.png


very strange. Remind me not to fly with them.

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 6:03 PM, LeeLee29 said:

Hi everyone, 

 

Looking for suggestions on the best camera to take on cruise to Alaska.  I don't want to bring my DSLR, it's bulky and will take room in luggage, so I'm looking for suggestions on a Bridge Camera to bring.  For those who have taken the cruise, I will be going May 2020 out of Vancouver.  I've seen lots of great pictures posted on these forums, but not sure what everyone is shooting with.  I don't want to rely on a cell phone as they do not produce the quality of pictures that I am looking for.  Suggestions greatly appreciated.  I'm just counting the days and reading everything I can about cruising.  This will be my first cruise and my first trip to Alaska.  

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

I was also having the same dilema before I went on my Alaska cruise.  I didn’t want it taking up all my room in my carry on bag and deal with the extra weight.  We cruised out of Seattle and when we got to the space needle, that was when I regretted not bringing it.  Everyone kept telling me to just use my iPhone.  My suggestion is to bring your DSLR and take the breathtaking photos.

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14 hours ago, naskarina said:

I was also having the same dilema before I went on my Alaska cruise.  I didn’t want it taking up all my room in my carry on bag and deal with the extra weight.  We cruised out of Seattle and when we got to the space needle, that was when I regretted not bringing it.  Everyone kept telling me to just use my iPhone.  My suggestion is to bring your DSLR and take the breathtaking photos.

An iPhone, to a DSLR, is a quantum leap. There are many options in between. I wouldn't consider a smartphone as a primary camera.

For most cruise images, I would consider a good point and shoot sufficient. If uploading is your end game, this should also do fine.

But, heading to Alaska, there are good odds of capturing print-worthy images. If you're really good at composition, you might squeeze an 11 x 14 out of a point and shoot. But, an APS-C or full frame will give room for cropping. 

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:06 AM, pierces said:

...if you already own a good DLSR (or two), use them. To me, not traveling with my "good" cameras is like buying formal wear but hitting the red carpet in t-shirt and shorts because it's more comfortable and you might spill something on your "good" clothes.

 

LOL truth be told. I normally take 2 bodies with an assortment of lenses to AK.  I evaluate what I'm doing each day and carry the minimum amount in my bag/backpack.  My iphone7 works perfect for food/menu/documents and a fast internet post. 

For many excursions in AK shooting wildlife you can never have enough lens power.  That 18-400 might be worth checking out.

I never thought I'd be using a iphone camera but for many things it works best and it's always with me.

 

Have fun in AK next year.  I have to wait till 2021 as we have other cruises planned in 2020.

 

framer

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2 minutes ago, framer said:

My iphone7 works perfect for food/menu/documents and a fast internet post.



Better check with some of the threads on "dining hygiene". Many are "appalled" that people will take their phones to the dining table. It's assumed that everyone takes them to the toilet to text! 

🤣

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