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For over five years now I’ve been using the same camera, the Canon S95. Prior to that I had a bigger and fancier camera, but I’m much happier with a smaller camera, since it makes it easy to take discreet pictures, given the crowded places in which I take pictures.
The Canon S95 has served me extremely well. Any piece of technology which still works after five years is a miracle, in my opinion, let alone one which works as well as the S95.
But it’s time to upgrade, which I’ve been saying for a long time. In July 2014 I posed the question of which camera is best for frequent travelers, but I didn’t end up buying one. I’m an indecisive person and also not very tech savvy, which is a bad combo when you’re trying to decide which product is best by comparing specs you don’t understand.
When I started the process of looking for a new camera I was going to upgrade to something like the Canon S120, which seems to be the updated version of my camera. Having similar controls to what I’m used to sounded comforting, and I figured it would just have improved performance.
But whenever I’ve asked about which travel camera I should upgrade to, the most popular answer has consistently been the Sony RX100. So many rave about it, and say it’s the best compact camera in the market.
So I started looking online at the details, and noticed there are four kinds (at least Amazon shows me four types to compare):
The problem is, for someone who is pretty clueless with technology, the above doesn’t actually seem to help much. The most expensive type of camera has the lowest optical zoom, and all the other specs seem more or less the same.
So I’m hoping you tech and camera savvy people can chime in, because I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to figure out what kind of camera is best for the frequent traveler. In my case, I’m not trying to take photos for a National Geographic photoshoot, but rather just want a good point-and-shoot camera which takes quick and crisp pictures with minimal effort, especially in low light conditions.
I also don’t mind paying a premium for something which would even just be marginally better, since I took over a hundred thousand pictures with my current camera.
Is the Sony RX100 still the best option for the frequent traveler? And if so, which version of the camera is the best overall value? Is the $948 Sony RX100 IV worth the premium over the Sony RX100/B, which is less than half the price, or are one of the inbetween options better? Or should I get an evolution of my current camera, like the Canon S120?