Which Camera to Take on Vacation: Point & Shoot Versus SLR

As many of you know by now, a few weeks ago I was away on Spring Break.  I posted the Sunrise photos this past weekend. So check those out if you missed them.  And today I will share some more pictures from my family vacation.

But first, I will answer a frequently asked question: “What camera and lenses do you take on vacation?” The answer varies of course depending where I am going and what mode of transportation I am using to get to my destination.  When on a car trip to Northern Michigan, I take a ton of equipment.  Even if I do not use it, it does not matter since it goes in the car and does not cause hassle or cost money to bring.

For air travel, I must be more selective.  I consider where I am going and what I will be doing.  I also need to decide how important the photography is to the trip and if I am going to want to carry equipment everywhere I go.  For the cruise we just took on Oasis of the Seas, I knew we were traveling by air, staying one night in a hotel on either side of the cruise, and that I was not going to want to lug around reflectors, flashes, etc…  I knew I wanted to keep it simple.

I used my jill-e jack rolling bag to transport my laptop (which I ended up not using) and my equipment.  I also brought my Shootsac lens bag, which fit inside since I did not over pack gear.  This way if I did want to walk around the ship, or take my lenses off at an island I could.

As for cameras and lenses, I brought my Canon 5D MKII, with the Canon 16-35L f/2.8 Lens (and a Circular Polarizer), the Tamron 28-300 Lens, the 50L f/1.2 and my Canon 15mm Fisheye Lens Which Camera to Take on Vacation: Point & Shoot Versus SLR (which I wanted for the beach).  I did not pack an external flash as I did not want to lug it around when shooting.  But in the end, it would have certainly helped with fill.  I rarely use flash inside with the 5D MKII since I can get decent shots even at ISO 3200.  But outside, without a flash or reflector, the lighting was harsh on the cruise.  Enter …  point and shoot.

The Canon G11 Which Camera to Take on Vacation: Point & Shoot Versus SLR came through for me when I needed fill flash.  It was also light weight so I could through it in a purse and get shots I would have otherwise missed.  Plus I now have a few pictures of me with my girls from the trip.  With the SLR alone, I likely would not have had any.

As far as what I used most, I would say the Canon 5D MKII with the 16-35L for wide angle shots and the Canon G11 P&S.  So when you see these shots, know that at least 50% were from a point and shoot.  Yes – this trip was revolutionary and freeing for me, no internet and used the P&S a ton.  And I would do each again in a heartbeat!

When you look through the images, see if you can tell which photos came from which camera.  If you have a strong option, I would love you to comment below.

So now some pictures… shown in the Magic Blog It Boards, the easiest way to display pictures on the web.


This collage shows some of the many things there are to do on the ship, from pools and water fun areas, to rock climbing (yep – that is 8 year old Jenna).  My girls loved the carousel and fun fake buses and cars.  And as you can see, there is a zip line (but I did not get signed up in time) – that shot is a stranger…

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Here are some more shots of the ship, from the “Central Park” area in the top left, to the reflection of the pools and ocean in the top right. You can see the “Aqua Theater,” the “Promenade,” and one of the 5 pools, plus the “Boardwalk” area.

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Since the Oasis of the Seas is currently the largest passenger ship, around 6,100 passengers per sailing, you can see its size below compared to other ships.

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We stopped at 3 ports.  St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau, Bahamas.  Our favorite was St. Maarten.  It was amazing and fun.  I made a collage of 2 stops.  In the Bahamas we did a Dolphin Exploration where you go in the water with the dolphins.  It was incredible, but since neither of my cameras were waterproof, I only got a few distant shots, before getting in the water myself.

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My girls loved the beach here, and they picked shells and got their hair braided. And of course had to stop at McDonalds just to see if it was the same…

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And this was one of my favorites taken looking up from below, in the solarium area.

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If you got this far and still want to see more, I do not blame you if you do not, you can see more of our vacation images here.

 Which Camera to Take on Vacation: Point & Shoot Versus SLR

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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8 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1

    [...] 1 votes vote Which Camera to Take on Vacation: Point & Shoot Versus SLR As many of you know by now, a few weeks ago I was away on Spring Break.  I posted the Sunrise [...]

  2. 2
    Mike Sweeney says:

    Pretty funny, I just did roughly the same article but focused on intentionally using a semi-pro point and shoot like the Canon G11 for a variety of reasons. Nicely done!

  3. 3
    donna good says:

    great idea…i always wonder what every one else is doing on trips.

  4. 4
    Donetta says:

    I LOVE your pictures!! We are going on a cruise at the end of next month for the first time and I am SO excited!! This makes me even more so. ;) I am planning on taking both of my cameras – my point and shoot as well as my good one. I don’t want to get there and wish I had one or the other so they are both making the trip with me! :)

  5. 5

    Point and shoot cameras rely on separate viewfinder assemblies, so what you see isn’t exactly what you get. Digital Camera

  6. 6
    Nicole says:

    The Hair Braiding pics are so cute!

  7. 7

    [...] is not always possible to get perfect light.  This is especially true for snapshots (such as vacation pictures) & photojournalism where you are capturing what is happening at that moment in time.  With [...]

  8. 8

    [...] Should I bring a SLR or a Point and Shoot Camera (usually I bring both).  This year I brought my Canon 5D MKII and my Canon G11 P&S. [...]



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