I'll have to elaborate on my point-and-shoot recommendation. .. I've
found the camera that takes the best pictures is the one I actually
have with me :-)
I have a Nikon DSLR with 8 or so lenses, flash, extension rings - even
a bellows. I never bring it any where. Why? Because its a royal PIA!
Heavy, cumbersome and a hassle.
My super zoom Canon is small, light weight, easy to use, and takes
great photos. The only short coming really is the increased grain
you'll see in low light conditions. But even then, the new super zooms
have gotten very good at dealing with this.
Matter of fact, I would be willing to bet you couldn't see the
difference between a good super zoom and a DSLR unless 1.) You were
shooting in very low light conditions or 2.) you were blowing your
prints up to something over 8x10. Since for me 99% of my images are
displayed digitally rather than large prints, thats not a
consideration for me.
But if I'm going to be out hiking around I know I won't carry 25
pounds of camera gear around with me - especially for the generally
imperceptible difference in quality. And fumbling around with
different lenses leads to more missed shots.
I think like so many things, cameras are a personal choice. Whats best
for you depends on what you want to accomplish. But if $400 will buy
you a new camera that will do 99% of what you'll likely use it for (
compared to much more for a DSLR and comparable lenses), you might
want to check them out - see if they fit your goals.
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