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Would a New Camera for Christmas Help Me Take Better Travel Photos?

I kind of want a new camera for Christmas. Sort of. I’ve really developed a fascination with both photography and videography lately so I’m torn about whether I want a new camera or a camcorder.


I’ve never had a camcorder before. I only got my first digital camera a few years back. It was a little Canon PowerShot SD1000 7.1MP Digital Elph camera that came with a video function. I was immediately smitten with my new toy!

It’s been an awesome camera. I carry it with me everywhere. (Much to my husband’s chagrin. It used to only be I’d take a camera with us on vacation. Now he never knows when I’ll have him stop so I can get a shot of who knows what.)

The trouble is it’s started acting up. Sometimes the lens doesn’t want to pop out and work. I freaked out and ended up buying a new camera last July right before I went on the Old South Pitsburgh Hospital jaunt to be sure I’d have something in case it totally conked out.


I bought a Sony DSC-W370 14.1MP Digital Camera with 7x Wide Angle Zoom with Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization. The reason I went with it was because of the price. It was just right. (About $150, which is about all I had to spend.)

But I have to admit I also fell for the sweep panorama mode. It lets you take shots like these:

 Panorama of New York City skyline as we sailed away from it at the start of our Canada/New England cruise

The cove at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park

It’s an okay camera. It also shoots video, in HD even. I still prefer my Canon, though. It’s easier to work. (Maybe because I’m more familiar with it because I’m still not used to the new one.)


Even though both cameras shoot video, they still leave a little to be desired on that front. I’ve seen what some camcorders can do –namely, the ones that have night vision. That’s what I’d really like to have.

However, I’ve got myself convinced I could take better pictures of my haunt jaunts and be more like Jessica of Ghost Stories and Haunted Places or Julie from Above the Norm if I had a fancier camera. (Although in my heart I know the equipment is only part of it. You have to have a special eye. I’m not sure I can learn that. I do believe both of those ladies were born with a natural knack for capturing brilliant images.)

Still, if I just had something a little better, what might I accomplish? And do I really need a camcorder to lug around in addition to a camera? I don’t really make videos per se…and the ones I do make are just short and sweet and don’t require much more than the video functions my cameras provide now anyway. It’s really more a matter I want a camcorder but I don’t really need one, you know?


 During the U.S. Open I saw commercial after commercial for the Olympus PEN. There are two kinds:

  1. Olympus PEN E-P1
  2. Olympus PEN E-P2


They’re basically the same camera, just the E-P2 is an upgrade of the E-P1.  It added an accessory port which allows for the attachment of an electronic viewfinder. I don’t know what that all means exactly, but from what everyone who has one says you want the electronic viewfinder because it’s awesome.

All I know is I was impressed that they shot the entire Olympus PEN commerical using one. I’m also intrigued by its art filters. Again, I don’t know what that means exactly but it sounds like an outlet for my photographic creativity. Yes, please, I’d like that!

Oh, and in Movie Mode you have full control of the shutter. That I do understand and what a nice feature that’d be to have on my camera when I shoot video!

However, the other cameras I have my eye on are the Canon EOS Rebels. (Specifically, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i and the Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Again, like the PEN, they’re both basically the same. The latter has a couple extra features the former doesn’t and there’s about a $150 difference in price.)

And since all of these have HD video, would I really need a camcorder? Especially since all I want it for is to shoot in the dark. (A feature I rarely need anyway since I’m not a paranormal investigator.)

All of the cameras I want to upgrade to come with hefty price tags. (Anything over $500, which they all are, is hefty to me.) I’d have to spend about the same amount on a camcorder to get the night vision function too. We certainly don’t have an extra $1,700 or so to indulge my electronics fantasies this Christmas.

I can make do with what I have now and continue saving up. However, Santa, if you read this and happen to find any of these on sale, I sure wouldn’t mind finding one under the tree Christmas morning!

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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3 thoughts on “Would a New Camera for Christmas Help Me Take Better Travel Photos?

  1. I bought a Nikon Coolplix and so far love it. I am still learning some of the special features but basically it is easy to use. The video feature is HD, and very sharp. Sharon has a flip video camera and loves it. It is a small enough to put in your pocket and comes with some cool features. I am sure you will find exactly what you want. Looking forward to checking out your pictures of all your haunt jaunts.

  2. Hey Julie! THANKS for letting me know which kind of camera you use. I’ve always wondered but never thought to ask! All I know is you take awesome pics. And I knew Sharon had that Flip. I had a chance to use a friend’s and while I liked the size I wasn’t nuts about the feel. BUT it is inexpensive and small so…it is one I have my eye on too. Thanks for the comment full of info!

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