Thanks for those links. Denise sure takes some nice shots with a compact camera. I think I am going to travel with a point and shoot. I went into a store today and played with a Canon S90. Its extremely compact, which also makes me nervous with my giant meat hook hands, but it takes beautiful photos. It will allow me to enlarge up to 16 x 20, which is about how big I would go anyway and doesn't feel like a weight on my back from carrying it everywhere because I can't leave it on the bike. I think being my first tour and all I should be a little more minimal and if I feel like I can carry the extra load then I will next time.
The camera has almost nothing to do with taking good pictures. I would never carry my Nikon D2s and a full set of lenses on a bike tour unless I was getting paid a large amount of money.
This is what I recommend:
1. You must be able to use the controls with your bike gloves on. If you can't, do not buy the camera, look for another.
2. You must like and understand the software that controls the camera so you can change modes and override the automatics. If you are going to just trust the automatics, a very inexpensive camera will suffice. You can spend far less than $200.
3. Pixel denssity is not a feature, it is a marketing scam, A bicycle tour, generally, is documented via e-mail in tiny jpegs. When people say they will blow up their prints to 16x20 dimensions my crap detector goes off; I hear a salesman talking or wishful thinking.
4. Do not carry a camera you cannot afford to lose or replace quickly if it is stolen.
4a. Backup: you must have a way of offloading and keeping your image files separate from the camera because, if the camera vanishes, your card does, too.
5. Your budget must include at least one spare battery system, additional cards, an offloading/storage system, a wrist lanyard, and a protective case.
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