The Best Camera For Travel: Sony Cyber-shot RX100

Welcome to the 331st Metamorphosis Monday!

Whenever you plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time traveling to another country, it’s inevitable that you’re going to need to buy a few things. Fortunately, my shopping list is pretty short. The main items I need before heading off to Italy in the fall are:

  • Secure travel purse √
  • Comfortable walking shoes that aren’t sneakers (I’ve been told by several folks, including two who live in Italy, no one wears sneakers there) I may be a rebel and wear sneakers anyway!
  • Fast, small laptop or notebook computer to which I can easily download pictures, add picture editing software and works great for writing blog posts
  • Small, but excellent, purse-size camera √

If you’ve been reading BNOTP the last few weeks, you know I found a fabulous travel purse loaded with all the bells and whistles to help prevent being robbed or having credit cards scanned by nefarious passersby.

Best Purse and Bag for Safe Travel

 

This past week I was able to check one more item off my travel shopping list: a great, purse-size camera. Actually, the camera I found is pocket-size, so it definitely fits inside my travel purse. I purchased a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera, also known as “the professional’s compact camera” because it’s a small camera that even professional photographers love and use.

Sony RX100, the Best Travel Camera

 

I’m crazy about my Nikon D7000 and it’s perfect for use at home, but there are two big reasons I do not feel comfortable taking it with me to Italy.

1. It’s way too big and bulky to fit inside my purse, which means I’d have to either wear it around my neck at all times, or carry a bulky backpack or camera bag and risk having it stolen.

2. I would be devastated if I banged it into something, dropped it, lost it or had it stolen while on my upcoming trip. Taking it to Italy is just not worth the risk.

 

Nikon D7000

 

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 was $650 when it first came out, but now that it’s been out a few years, it’s down to $448 at Amazon which is where I purchased it. There’s an awesome package at Amazon that includes a ton of other stuff at no additional charge…more on that in a sec.

One of the things that makes this camera so special is the size of the sensor inside. It has a much larger sensor in it than any other compact size camera. It even shoots video!

Physical Size: The actual size of the camera is: 4 inches wide, 2-1/2 inches tall and only 1-1/2 inches thick! It’s tiny!

Sony RX100, the Best Travel Camera

 

I tucked it inside one of the pockets in my Travelon purse to see how it fit, and it worked great! (I won’t be carrying a book with me each day, I just have it inside the bag to show the space and how everything fits inside.) I love this bag, btw! If you missed the post I wrote explaining all its features, you’ll find it here: Travelon RFID Secure Travel Bag

Travel Purse With Sony RX100 Camera Inside

 

Some features of the Sony RX100 camera are:

  • 20.2 MP 1″-type Exmor CMOS sensor
  • 28-100mm equivalent F/1.8-4.9 lens
  • Bright F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens with 3.6x zoom
  • Up to 10 FPS
  • ISO 125-6400 expandable ISO 80, 100, and 25,600
  • 3″ LCD screen with 1.2M dots
  • 1080p video
  • 10fps continuous shooting in “Speed Priority” mode
  • Rear Control Dial and customizable front control ring
  • Steady-Shot image stabilization
  • Memory Recall feature can store up to three groups of custom settings
  • 330-shot battery life

 

When I Googled for a great travel camera, I found so many folks singing the praises of this camera, I knew it was worth a look. I also thought Amazon would have the best price and they did. The reviews for it are excellent here: 4.5 out of 5 stars, in 554 reviews! (Read the reviews there but check out these deals I found below before ordering.)

In addition to all of the usual Manual settings, it has two Auto-settings for when you just want to shoot and not worry about aperture, shutter speed and ISO. One of the things that makes the Sony RX100 so special is how well it handles low-lighting situations. I expect to run into that a lot while traveling in Italy so that was important. I also love how all the settings are reachable via the control dials on the camera without having to go into the menu.

Sony RX100 Travel Camera

 

 

The Best Deal On Amazon For This Camera

If you end up wanting one of these cameras for yourself, the best deal I’ve found anywhere is on Amazon here: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 . They have three bundles from which to choose and each bundle includes the usual stuff that comes with the camera, plus a lot of other helpful stuff like extra batteries, a memory card and a tripod. The Basic Bundle includes everything shown below. Best Travel Camera for Europe, Sony RX100

 

When I ordered my camera, I went with their Premium Bundle (shown below) instead of the basic bundle. You can see the Premium Bundle here: Sony RX100 Premium Bundle. It was only $20 more and  included a larger memory card (64GB instead of 32GB) and a spider tripod instead of the tabletop tripod. I’ve always wanted one of the spider tripods. It’s a good idea to compare the various bundles to see which one suits your needs.

I love that all the bundles include an extra battery. I’ll carry it in my purse so if the battery runs out of juice while on a tour, I’ll have a backup.

Sony RX100 Travel Camera Package

 

I’m super excited to have a camera that’s so ideal for travel! It fits great inside my purse and is exactly what I had hoped to find for my trip to Italy. I’m going to start carrying it with me full-time in my everyday purse, too.

This camera is easy to use and a lot of the controls can be programmed. You can even program it for your most common shooting modes. In other words, if you typically shoot at a particular aperture or ISO, you can create that setting so if you switch away from it, you can quickly return back to it. It kind of reminds me of how some cars have programmable settings for different drivers.  There is so much this camera can do!

So, that’s my Before and After this week…going from my D7000 to the Sony RX100 as my camera of choice for my upcoming trip. I have a feeling I will be using it a lot for home and garden tours where I hate to carry around a large camera. It’s amazing how cameras just keep getting better and better!

Anyone have this amazing little camera? Do you use it for travel or for everyday shooting?

Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

 

Metamorphosis MondayMet Monday

 

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.




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Comments

  1. Susan, thanks for hosting! I need a new camera, so this post is very timely for me.

    • Thanks, Jan! I’ve been wanting a small one for day trips and home/garden tours. So far I like the photos this one takes.

  2. That camera looks awesome Susan! I used to have a little Nikon J2 and I loved it for the size, convenience and it took great photos, but after 18 months the lens was messed up, so I got a new bigger Nikon, but I really miss it! You continue to amaze me with your organization and thoroughness!

    • Thanks, Jenna! I figure all the leg work I’m doing now will come in handy down the road if/when I travel again. All the work will be done! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for the party!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

  4. Thanks so much for the party Susan – and all the helpful information on your travel camera ( which is tons better than my regular one LOL )
    I’m looking into it for everyday use !
    And I have no idea what a spider tripod is – I’m going to google that now – what an ignoramus I am about these things – I have no business with a blog really LOL
    Have a great week
    Hugs, Suzan

    • Suzan, You are so NOT an ignoramus! If you are, then I am too because I’m stilling learning stuff every day and sometimes I think I forget half of what I have learned! 🙂 The spider tripods are a lot of fun and handy when you need a tripod in a weird spot.

  5. Thanks for the party, Susan! I hope you have a great week! 🙂

  6. I will be very interested to hear your experience traveling with this camera. We are very picky about our pics and video on P&S’s and the newer version have just not lived up to the standards of cameras made 5 years ago. They boast bigger sensors but then the video suffers and gets grainy. We’re on our 5th P&S!! We just returned from a trip of the South (probably the only time we’ll ever go) and I’m super disappointed with the pics and will have to edit about 80% of them to get them to look like a 2 year old didn’t take them. (Had it set on auto most of the time) So please do a follow up after some use with this one because once *again* we find ourselves in the market. Sigh.

  7. Thanks for the party!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  8. I’m leaving on a trip Wed. I wish I had one of these little cameras to take with me. You are a great sales person. I’ve wanted everything you’ve bought for your trip. You are doing such a great job of preparing. You must have been a Girl Scout. Thank you for the linky.

    • Laurie, where are you going? I was just reading a newsletter Mary Carol Garrity sent out and she shared pics of her trip to Provence. Now I’m dying to go Provence sometime! 🙂

  9. Viva Sony RX100!!! franki

  10. Thanks for the information on your travel camera Susan! I have the same Nikon so I know what you mean about the bulk and I would shed many tears if something happened to it travelling : )

    • I know, the more I thought about that, the more I worried. I certainly wouldn’t like it if the Sony got lost or stolen, but I could live with that a lot easier than losing my Nikon.

  11. Looks like an awesome camera, Susan. I just recently bought my DSLR, so I won’t be buying another camera for my Italy trip 🙁 I do have a point and shoot, but it’s not as good as what you are showing here. I’ll have to shlep my giant camera! And…I’m bringing sneakers! I’ve been searching high and low for walking shoes and can’t find anything I like that looks good with shorts or capris, so if you find something, be sure to post it 🙂

  12. I have a Sony Cybershot camera also….I purchased it specifically to take on my France trip as my Nikon D7000, as you described is too large and heavy to carry around when vacationing and the thought of it getting lost or damaged was less thing to have to worry about….Loved the way it takes pics..It is my go to camera when I am traveling…Thanks for hosting Susan…have a great week!

    • That’s great, Shirley! I love mine so far! When you use it, do you shoot in auto mostly or what setting do you use? After watching a review on YouTube where a experienced photographer was saying he always shoots in Aperture Priority, I’ve been doing that and so far it’s working well. I love how you can use the wheel on the back to adjust the exposure. It seems very user friendly!

  13. Good luck with your new camera, and thanks for hosting such a pretty party!

  14. Sounds like a great camera, Susan! I know you’ll be taking some wonderful pictures to share with us! Can’t wait! Hugs…Debbie

  15. I am bookmarking this post for future camera replacement. Thank you for doing all the “leg work” for us. This camera sounds ideal! We are all looking forward to the photos from your trip.

  16. I can’t wait to see pictures from your trip! Getting excited for you. Thanks for hosting.

  17. Kay Berry says:

    Susan, we just got back from France and we were walking on cobblestone streets. I wore a pair of Clarks that could not have been more comfortable. I found them at DSW. they have such a great selection of walking shoes. Try on a pair of Clarks or Easy Spirit. My feet HAVE to be comfortable when we travel. Yes, tennis shoes make you stick out like a sore thumb! ha/ha

    • lol, that’s what I’ve heard! Thanks, I’ll check those out. I’ve purchased their sandals before. Since it will be fall when I’m there, I won’t be able to wear my sandals. Thanks for that recommendation!

  18. thanks…will file away till i need a new camera…..when you get to the shoes…i highly recommend skechers “go walks”…..my feet are never happy in shoes and these are amazingly comfy

  19. Susan, thanks for this review. I’ve considered getting another small camera. I will definitely consider this one.

  20. What a fun time, planning and packing for a trip to Italy! I have never been there, but my daughter keeps talking about me accompanying her on one of her trips there. I hope you have a wonderful time. I can’t imagine it being anything else, actually! I checked out the anti-theft bag on Amazon. I like it. I’m always looking for a more convenient bag to take.

  21. Susan, looks like you have a great camera. I have a small canon that I can take in my purse with me. It also shoots video. Of course I couldn’t figure out to shoot video until I accidentally did! When are you leaving your American followers for Italy?

  22. Thanks so much for hosting this party for us each week, Susan…it’s the BEST! The camera tips are much appreciated…something every blogger needs. Have a great day,
    Cheryl at 22 Applegate Lane

  23. Thanks so much for the party.

  24. I love reading camera reviews. I have a newer Nikon, but it’s always nice to know there are options for travel. And it’s funny about the shoes — I remember being amazed at the Europeans who wore sandals and even low heels to walk around castles in Germany. I guess we looked odd in our sneakers! 🙂 Have a great week. 🙂

  25. Margaret Robinson says:

    Since I’m a shoe person, thought I’d share what I did for shoes when in Italy. Of course, I took a couple of really sweet looking dress shoes (plus husband spotted a pair at Zara’s in Florence he thought I should have), but for walking around, I went to Travelsmith. Lot of good selections and settled on a pair of AK Sport keds with zipper pull. I didn’t want to have to fiddle with tying shoelace and having them come untied when in the middle of a crowd. Also took a pair of inner soles with a little arch support, just in case but never used them. Walked around the house and up/down the street and found them extremely comfortable.

    The only “problem” I had was in Venice where at the end of September they had the runways up to walk about the flooded streets. In one or two cases there wasn’t a choice and we had to ford the waterways. Keds survived and hotel actually had them cleaned for me (thank you, thank you). I had literally worn them out by the time we got home.

    Great price and good looking (my other issue as I didn’t want to look like a hiker/hippie or my grandmother). MMR

  26. That looks like a GREAT little camera. I will have to look into it for future trips. When my hubby & I went to France and Italy, I brought my big Canon Rebel and the huge extra lens. I don’t regret it – I was able to get some absolutely fantastic photos. However, it was heavy & cumbersome. So, next time, I may make a choice to take a smaller camera.
    One BIG recommendation: buy & bring an extra SD card. Something may happen and it is a BIG risk to have all of your photos on one SD card (even if you are downloading as you go). It is super small and not that much money. Frankly, when the trip is done, the photos are what you have left. The extra SD card is like a little insurance policy.
    Best,
    Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com

  27. bobbi duncan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Michael and I were just saying we really need a travel size camera, so you have just saved me soooo much time searching for one. I so appreciate all the great detailed information you always share about quality products you come across. I know you will have such fun on your trip, Susan, and one can just feel your excitement when you write about it….so cute!

  28. Lori R. says:

    You may want to think about joining ebates. I just looked up this camera through their website then to Amazon and I would be able to get the same one (basic package) for the same price plus receive $11.25 cash back through ebates.

  29. Susan, Here are some ideas about shoes for your upcoming trip. I just returned from an 8 day trip to London. Three of us gals all wore Sketcher shoes. We saw lots of Chuck Taylor “sneakers” worn by the locals in all ages. I wore Sketchers “Gowalk Rival” which are light as a feather and make your feet feel like they are wrapped in marshmallows. One gal wore Sketcher “On the Go Cruise” which looks like a loafer or boat shoe and the third gal wore a Sketcher multi colored flat that was adorable and most comfortable. All three styles looked great with or without socks. We each got our shoes at Kohls. You might also think about getting a pair of travel socks to help prevent your feet from swelling while on the long flight across the pond. We went to London primarily to attend the Chelsea Flower Show which was out of this world. We loved all the sights of the city and even went to a small village in the Cotswold and to Oxford. We had sunshine all 8 days temps in the mid to high 60’s. The British people are so nice and I would go back to England in a New York minute. I’m hoping that my daughter and I can go to Italy next year so I will be looking forward to reading your travelogue. Vikki in VA.

  30. Debra M says:

    Susan, DO NOT take sneakers to Italy, you will indeed stand out as an American tourist. Merrill and other shoes brands make very comfortable, attractive shoes and sandals for walking about. I climbed the ruins of Pompeii, Rome and more in Merrill sandals and was quite comfortable. Just break them in first! I also got some very comfortable Clark brand shoes to wander around Venice and Florence. My dear friend is Italian and warned me how embarrassing it is to see Americans in sneakers. My son, who lives in Manhattan, forbids them in NYC unless going to the gym or running in Central Park! Two other foot suggestions: I was aghast at how my feet swelled up on the flight recently to London. I took my shoes off (had comfy cushy socks to keep my feet warm and cozy) during the flight. Well, even after doing the foot exercises they recommended every hour or so (“spell” the letters of the alphabet by twisting your two feet), I could not get my shoes back on without incredible discomfort. I literally limped through customs until I could tear another pair of shoes out of my luggage! Next time I will take a pair of runners or hospital socks to wear on the plane. Also, I always take small band aids or moleskin for and sore spots from shoes rubbing.

  31. Susan, thank you for hosting!

  32. What a great little camera Susan. I’ve read some great things about it and it will be perfect for your trip. Thanks so much for hosting and hope you have a great week.

  33. WOW! I wish I was going to Italy! I went once –when I graduated from high school. I would love to go again-especially Florence. I loved the art. I can’t imagine how much fun you are going to have. I can’t wait to see the pictures.
    Thanks for the party!

  34. Oh Susan, I cannot wait to see the photos that you take from Italy! I have always wanted to go there. You may not know this but I taught Latin to all the students at my elementary school for a few years. Definitely on my bucket list but it may be a few years!

  35. Dear Susan

    Thanks for the camera info. Just returned from Italy and that trip made up my mind that I need a new travel camera! Will be looking into the Sony Cyber Shot. OK I was in Rome, Umbria and Florence, mostly hiking.

  36. Susan, I’m leaving for Italy in a month and am thinking of buying this camera. One thing I noticed is that it has a 3.6 zoom. Did you find this adequate? My new phone has a 8X zoom. I don’t know if these 2 correlate, but I do want something that takes distance pictures well.

    • I thought the zoom was great. It may not have been as good as taking my big Nikon D7000 and my bigger zoom lenses, but I just didn’t want to burdened down with a big, heavy camera and having to swap out lenses. So, I think it did quite well. I would definitely take it on a trip again.
      If you’re going to get it, I definitely encourage you to do it at least a couple of weeks before you leave so you have time to play with it and learn how to use it. I should have done more of that before I left for Italy. It was raining on most of my trip, so I never had the opportunity to get very many landscape/scenic pictures. Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of how it did.
      The front of the Florence Cathedral:
      Florence Cathedral

      And

      The Ponte Vecchio Bridge in Florence, Italy

      Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Florence

      • These two pics were taken on a day when it was pouring rain ALLLLLL day! 🙁

      • Susan, thanks SO much for your quick reply! Just one of the things I love about your blog is that you always answer questions! I think I am going ahead and order this camera. My husband has a fine professional grade camera, but if I were to want one of his pictures while traveling, he would have to email it to me. The 2 pictures above look fabulous. I am so excited! I used your blog to help me get ready. I have had the cross body bag for over a year now and love it. I bought the adapters you suggested and the language book. I upgraded my Kindle to the newest very lightweight one. When we get all our trip paid for, I am going to invest in the DeWalt blower. Don’t we love amazon?? You have a wonderful evening!

        • Thanks, Martha! Hopefully you’ll have more sunny days! Our guide kept saying that it never rains this much in October, but that’s about all it did while I was there.
          I do love Amazon! When I think back about all the driving around I used to do when I needed to buy something. The time and wear and tear on my car that Amazon has saved me is amazing!

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