by Jules Older
For travelers, some things are essential. Others should be left at home or not acquired in the first place. Here’s this year’s compilation of things you need and one thing you don’t.
The outdoors maxim, “Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints,” is where we’ll start.
TRAVEL ESSENTIAL #1
If you're gonna take pictures, I've got a camera for you. It’s small enough to stick in your pocket, light enough to take on a mountain climb, cheap enough to let you pay your mortgage … and powerful enough to blow you away. It blew me away, and I'm used to great cameras in small packages.
The camera in question is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS. It weighs less than five ounces, fits in a shirt pocket, and costs less than $200. But its real strength lies in what it can do.
Video? Full hi-def. Sound? Impossibly good — doubly so for a camera with such a tiny microphone. Low-light capability? Still can't believe what I've captured in gloomy rooms. Zoom lens? Big zoom but loses sharpness when you really pull in that distant egret. Viewfinder? No, but you'd better get used to that. Like the typewriter or phonograph, the viewfinder is a dying species.
After testing the 100 HS on snow and off, in two hemispheres, I pronounce it the best small camera I've ever tried. And the best buy. www.canon.com
TRAVEL ESSENTIAL #2
From pictures to footprints. I've been testing two shoes — one made for walking and one for running. My first question: Does that designation really make a difference?