September 24, 2014

Vacation Cameras: What We Shoot With

A comparison of different cameras and their uses including the Nikon D600, Fuji XE-2, and Nikon 1 AW1

Over the past year we have added a few cameras to our collection.  For awhile we had been exclusively using our DSLR's to take pictures.  As the camera market and technology has changed, as well as my desire to carry a heavy camera everywhere, we have added two more compact size cameras for the everyday as well as when we go on vacation.

We went on a cruise a few months ago where we packed all three cameras for the first time.  Having access to all three as well as needing different cameras for different parts of our trip, provided a lot of insight into how each camera benefited us the most.

To be honest, we barely used our Nikon D600.  Though this is my go to camera for blogging/photography and vacations in the past, lugging that thing around proved to be inconvenient, especially on a cruise where we were coming and going a lot and not carrying much.

We mainly shoot with a 50mm lens.  We also use our 24-70mm and 70-300mm lenses for professional shoots.

Here are a few pictures on our cruise that we took with the Nikon D600:


Instead I found myself using the Fuji XE-2 as it fit in a small purse or could be easily worn around my wrist (with a wrist strap--we have this leather style case that came with a free wrist strap).  This camera is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.  It has full and easy access to manual settings as well as an impressive shutter speed, quality, and high megapixels.  Besides being on the go, I often grab this camera as it is quick and easy to use and fits in my everyday purse.  I got tired of lugging our SLR to fancy dinners out so having something a little more discrete has been ideal.  You can also view the image through the back screen (versus looking through the viewfinder) which allows asking strangers to take our photo a lot easier and more likely to come out in focus.

We shoot with an 18mm lens.  We debated over getting a smaller pancake lens (27mm) which would make the camera even more discrete--to put in my purse or Brent's pocket--but I decided I wanted the 18mm because it provided just a little bit more of a wider angle.  I wanted to be able to take photos of ourselves from arms length and get our faces as well as the background in the shot.

Here are a few pictures on our cruise that we took with the Fuji XE-2:


The other camera we have, which we bought specifically for our cruise, is the Nikon 1 AW-1.  If you are familiar with the Nikon 1 J1, this one is very similar except it is waterproof.  Since I knew we were planning on visiting Dunns River Falls in Jamaica, I wanted to make sure that we would be able to take pictures on our own while climbing the falls.  Photos are one of our top priorities when traveling and so investing in this waterproof camera allowed us to better document our memories.

We researched a variety of waterproof options but the AW-1 won us over.  It is waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof!  It has the ruggedness that you would find in a Go-Pro but the ability to adjust manual settings with interchangeable lenses.  The quality is not as good as the Fuji but for a waterproof camera, it is pretty impressive.

We shoot with a 10mm lens on ours.  The camera is interchangeable with the Nikon J1 lenses but is only waterproof with the AW-1 10mm and 11-27.5mm (comes with camera).

Here are a few pictures on our cruise that we took with the Nikon 1 AW-1:


If you are camera crazy like us, I think these three cameras are ideal for covering all photo needs.  If you are in the market to invest in just one camera, consider your specific photography needs. 

If you are adventurous and want your camera to be kid proof, then the Nikon 1 AW-1 is a great choice!  If you want a quality professional like image but not the bulkiness, the Fuji XE-2 is a dream! 

As technology and photography trends change, we are seeing more and more brands focusing in on the smaller compact yet interchangeable lenses.  SLRs will always be around but as consumer needs change, there are a lot more options for non-professional photographers that are user friendly but still provide a top quality image. 

*And in case you were wondering, all three cameras do great high quality video as well!

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