Which Camera Captures Memories Best on Vacation?

Before I jump into this topic let me just quickly introduce myself. I’m Drew Bennett and I blog at BenSpark.com. That blog is where I post my photo-a-day photos and it is something I’ve been doing for just shy of 7 straight years. In that time I’ve used a ton of camera equipment to capture my daily photos. Cameras from Cell Phones to DSLRs and everything in between. I was gearing up for a family vacation, both in my mind and literally with all my camera gear and I stopped and thought, “Do I really need all this stuff in order to capture the best family memories possible?

So, I did an experiment.

I contacted Kodak and asked if I could get one of their M580 cameras, it is a pocket size point and shoot camera. I already had a Nikon D80 DSLR as well as a FLIP for video. Add to that camera lenses and various other pieces of equipment (I am a gadget junkie) as well as an iPad, laptop and all the charging equipment and I was carrying a back breaking backpack. Did I want to take that into an amusement park, like the one with the initials W.D.W.? Not, really. But I have done that very thing the previous year.

Kodak came through and gave me an M580 to review. I still took all of my other equipment on the trip but decided that I’d start out carrying the M580 for the first day and see what happened. I had a camera bag that fit on my belt, freeing up my pockets. I was able to take out the camera get a ton of photos quickly and easily and even take some specialty shots like panoramas, including this one below.

How cool and fun is that. I was able to get my daughter to stand in three separate places and make this photo all on the camera. That is definitely something fun and memorable.

The second day I took my DSLR with me and while I got some good photos I felt a bit of a distance between me and the family with such equipment around my neck the whole day. By the end of the day I was done with the DSLR in the park. I had gotten great photos the day before with the point and shoot and I didn’t have to constantly carry a large camera, something not very conducive to walking around a busy amusement park. So, for the rest of the trip I had my point and shoot on my hip and captured so many fun family moments.

What it came down to, I believe, is that the smaller camera was unobtrusive and always easily accessible so I could be more spontaneous. Also I wasn’t hampered down by a heavy bag with things I just didn’t need to have with me. It was a perfect accompaniment to our family vacation.


  1. I use different cameras depending on where I am going and what I will be doing there! I use my DSLR for action shots or when I really want top quality pristine images, and then I use my Canon Point and Shoot for good pictures on the go where I want convenience with a camera!

  2. This is great information. I am in the market for a camera but am clueless about what I would need or what’s good. I get all caught up in thinking I need a camera with a ton of attachments and realistically walking with three kids and tons of camera equipment is just not happening. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s extremely helpful!