A tiny, flat camera, the Nikon Coolpix S5 is a decent little travel camera. One of the primary benefits in addition to the small size is that it doesn’t have a lens that goes in and out for zooming, which means no moving parts that will get dirt and dust stuck in it and eventually necessitate cleaning or mean death for it.
It weighs in with 6 megapixels, and has decent zoom and video capabilities.
Our new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera that we purchased just before we left was our primary camera on the trip, so this one was used for a backup/watersport camera coupled with the Nikon Field Jacket FJ-CP1 Waterproof Housing. This arrangement worked very well for us, and I would recommend the same for you if you are going backpacking in Asia.
If you just want to take some casual photos on your trip, this is a good camera for you. If you are a little more serious about your photography on the trip though, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera is a better investment.
My best recommendation: If you want to be able to take great pictures most of the time and still good pictures at times you don’t want to worry about killing your first camera – on the beach, canyoning, learning to kayak, rafting trips, etc., then do what we did and bring the Lumix as a primary camera and the Nikon as a back-up/watersport camera, along with the Nikon Field Jacket FJ-CP1 for Nikon Coolpix S5 Waterproof Housing. This worked out really well for us.
Bring or don’t bring?: Maybe bring