Back to Basics – Out & About with a Compact Camera

I’ve become so used to travelling with about 12kg of cameras and lenses that it feels quite strange to be without them and have only my Fujifilm X10 compact camera for company.

Fujifilm X10

Getting along with a Compact Camera

I’ve never been a fan of compact cameras. It has nothing to do with their capabilities it’s just that I love the chunky feel of an SLR or DSLR in my – rather large – hands. I always have.

I’ve owned several compact cameras over the years; each one purchased after glowing recommendations and reviews, because I really did like the idea of having a good quality camera that I could just chuck in a bag and take anywhere. But each and every one of them ended up gathering dust on a shelf because I just didn’t enjoy using them.

Viewfinder vs LCD Screen

My particular bugbear with most of the current crop of digital compact cameras is that I like to compose my pictures looking through a viewfinder with the camera held to my eye. I just can’t come to terms with using an LCD screen held at arms length to compose photographs and I have yet to find a camera with an LCD screen that can be clearly viewed in bright sunlight.

Although the technology is getting better all the time I don’t like electronic viewfinders either. There may be some great ones out there but for wildlife photography I find them useless.

Travelling Light

There are some occasions though, where I simply can’t be bothered to lug a camera bag around and this is one of them.

I’m in Greece on a boating holiday and as you might expect that means spending a lot of time on boats and in the water, neither of which are ideal environments for a bag full of expensive (and delicate) camera equipment.

I did think of getting one of the new waterproof, shockproof, go-anywhere cameras but I couldn’t find one with a real viewfinder and I tend to think that you pay a lot more money for one of those than you would for a similar spec camera without the armour plating.

So, about 18 months ago I bought myself a cute little Fujifilm X10.

Image courtesy of

If I’m being completely honest, for the first few months it suffered the same fate as my previous compact cameras and saw very little action. But that was largely due to the fact that I spent a lot of time on safari with a bagful of gear.

But I really like this little camera and so I was determined to give it some outings.

It’s turning out to be a lot of fun.

Having just this camera takes me back to my early days in photography when all I had was a 35mm SLR with a 50mm prime lens attached.

Instead of screwing on a telephoto lens and shooting subjects from a distance I have to get up close.

I also find myself constantly looking for different subjects to shoot. I’m usually so tuned in to wildlife that I shoot very little else, but that’s not an option here.

View from Kondili, Peloponnese, Greece


Click here to read a full review of the Fujifilm X10 from