On the camera side of things I would be more inclined to take a point and shoot type of camera just so so that the expensive SLR does not get broken or something they are expensive to fix in Australia let alone in a overseas country. So I would be more inclined to leave the SLR at home and if your point and shoot camera does get broken or plays up buy another one there to replace it they are pretty cheap well cheaper than trying to get your SLR fixed at God only knows what charge. Fixing a SLR could take days as well, days that eat into your itinerary. For what you are really going to do a modern point and shoot should be able to do it. Even cameras in phones these days are excellent cameras for quick type photographs. You said you needed to be quick and setting up the SLR and then getting the settings right is not really quick even if you know what to do. The point and shoot would have captured the photo while you are still setting up the SLR almost.Thank you for your response, you raise some good points and make a good argument.
Sure point and shoot cameras or phone cameras are not as good a quality photo as the SLR but most these days are not far from the standard of SLR type photos. I used to have a old film type SLR and a friend had a Kodak Intsamatic and he could get more photos than me at any one place. Mine looked better overall but he could take a few and then choose the best one once we both got our films developed that is. Modern day digital cameras are far superior to even old SLR film cameras.
Easy to store, less worry if it gets stolen or broken, easy to use, less worry actually taking photos, less worry all round.
You are after photos to record your travels, not necessarily great works of art.
I have a long list of pros and cons for the SLR camera.
On one had it is an item I have spent a lot of money on and as such, I would like to get my "money's worth" out of it.
However if did in fact get damaged it would not only ruin the enjoyment of the entire trip, the cost of the repair bill would potentially be devastatingly high as well.
That is the dilemma; trying to work out the 'risk Vs reward' of bringing the SLR camera.
I have some thinking to do....
It largely depends on how good and how comprehensive one needs the images to be. I tend to got to places twice one to look around and the second to photograph the place.
I have three camera's, a Nikon D810 with f2.8 24-70 and f2.8 70-200. A sony A35 with above average quality standard zoom and a Nikon Coolpix 900. THe Sony was bought as kit with 2 lens for around $700, both lens were rubbish, these in the end were traded in for a good quality lens.
The Sony was purchased as a Smallish cheapish camera (less than 20% of the cost of the Nikon) capable of excellent results. The coolpix 900 was purchased as a camera one could take into places that did not allow much luggage.
The Coolpix produces reasonable images, the lens zoom range is massive but the quality of the images at the extreme ends of the range is VERY poor. It is not a patch on the Sony or the D8i0. The battery life on both the Sony and the Coolpix is quite poor where as the Nikon D 810 battery last for many hundreds of shots and one can leave the camera switched on for days with out worrying the battery, thats NOT the case for the other 2.
There is NO issues about switching the Nikon D810 into some kind of point and shoot mode which will also give one a good deal better control over the image then either the Sony or the coolpix.
There's no simple answer to this problem (hence my three kits). If one is used to a decent SLR and one purchase's a smaller cheaper camera there WILL be problems one needs to get used to before one starts to commit some fond memories to images. For instance one has to watch what one does with the Coolpix is it can produce some REALLY awfull images.
Apart from the battery life I find the Sony A35 is an excellent compromise, compact a single lens with a reasonable zoom range and excellent image quality. It also has the advantage on can tale either stills OR movies WITHOUT changing the camera mode (it has a separate movie button, just below the normal shutter).
PS, in most cases the Nikon D810 is used, in cases where one is restiricted the Sony is used. I hardly ever use the coolpix any more, the Sony being not to much bigger and far more versatile.