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View Full Version : Digital camera suggestions for outdoor use:hiking,skiing,etc



Haneski
02-12-2007, 08:31 AM
I enjoy all the photos on the Mt Washington Observatory site as well as pictures posted here. I would be looking for a camera with close-up ,distant,wide angle. Anyone really love their camera! Thanks for the help.

climbabout
02-12-2007, 03:23 PM
I'm on my 3rd digital camera and I think I finally found the one! This is either my second or third winter with it. It's a sony dscw1 I believe. I believe the current model is a dscw5 or w7. Mine is a 5 megapixel, large lcd screen, has all kinds of program and manual controls, takes decent quality video and I have a memory cards up to 2gb, and its very small. But here's what I like about it best - it takes 2AA batteries, so you can buy batts for it virtually anywhere. I generally use it with the sony rechargeables and keep a spare set in an inside pocket, but I usually also have with me a spare set or 2 of lithium AA's which are great in the cold. Another benefit is that my headlamp and gps also use AA batts, so I always have some redundancy with the batteries. Hope that's helpful.
Tim

KD Talbot
02-12-2007, 04:25 PM
I started shooting in July '05 with a Nikon Coolpix 8800. I stuck with Nikon for digital as I knew the Nikon system and had been using them for years. It is lighter than my film Nikons, and I found it harder to hold still at first. I wear a small camera bag over my shoulder and take it out as needed and put it away when done, very handy and much easier than the heavy bags and cameras I used before. It can shoot an 8 megapixel shot, but I usually shoot about a 5. It has a 35 to 350 10X zoom but don't let this fool you. The actual zoom is good up to about 210, then the digital takes over. Digital zoom sucks, the photos are grainy and not very sharp focus. Adding the cheap lenses that are available for this model doesn't help. So if what you want to shoot are people, landscapes and sunsets this is a great camera. It also takes excellent close-ups with a 1.2" macro. If you're interested in the zoom for wildlife, forget it. I have managed some good wildlife shots, but only because of willing participants who got close enough to me so I could get good shots. It also has vibration reduction which is good when not using a tripod. It can also take a 60 second MPEG of decent quality. It has a rechargeable lithium battery, I carry two. I have a 512 mb card and can take about 250 shots on the card at 5mb on one fully charged battery. It's selling for around $760.00 right now. Not sure how much you want to spend. You can check out it's performance on my website, look for anything in the Mount Washington or 4000 footer section dated after July '05. Hope this helps.
KDT

Patrad Fischroy
02-13-2007, 09:46 AM
This is a real loaded question as there are so many choices out there and with these choices there are so many advantages and disadvantages. For the most part the best camera is the one that you don't leave at home. That said there are a ton of choices. For hiking and climbing, I would probably recommend staying with the point and shoot variety (P&S). These can be slipped in a pocket or a smaller bag and whipped out easily when you see "that shot". I personally like Canon and Fuji, but most of the other major brands are just as capable. Some seem to be more weather resistant than others as well. There are a ton of on-line reviews out there, I recommend www.dpreview.com or www.imaging-resource.com to compare things. For my own work, I usually use a DSLR where I can change lenses, but that is sometimes a little too big to carry comfortably. I know this doesn't really answer your question but if you use these resources to narrow your search and then just eenie-eenie-iney-moe it, you will probably get something that fits for you. I agree with KD that having something that uses AA batteries is handy as they are universally available and you have the rechargable options as well. In anycase enjoy the hikes and get the pictures so you can have something to keep the memories alive.

Bill O
02-13-2007, 10:18 AM
I fully endorse Canon point and shoots. A DSLR is great, but not if you never take it along. They tend to get left at home or in the bag. It's sad, but my Canon DSLR basically lives at home, while my point and shoot is always in the bag on my hikes.

Mike D
02-13-2007, 11:15 AM
Several years ago I began using the Konica Minolta Dimage Z1. It is a terrific point-and-shoot. The image quality is excellent in outdoor lighting. The optical zoom of 10x is at the high end of inexpensive point-and-shooters. They have released many Dimage models since, improving megapixel size and optical zoom among other things. I highly recommend the successors to the Z1 as long as the quality has been maintained.

forestgnome
02-15-2007, 06:58 AM
Request many recommendations from as many shooters as possible.

I agree that a point'n'shoot is superior unless you're serious about going to a high level. With a DSLR, you can use lenses that are specific to your intent, such as a zoom for [I]some[I] wildlife, a macro for flowers, etc. However, a quality p&s can handle scenic vistas and people shots very well. It can also handle flower-type shots very well, although a pro would explain that there is more potential in composition with a dedicated macro lens.

Capturing distant or small wildlife can be difficult/impossible. If a moose is at a distance, you won't be able to fill the frame with the subject. You also may be surprised to see how little a pileated woodpecker at 10 yards appears in the picture if you don't have a zoom. However, I've sqandered a few opportunities because I had the zoom on my DSLR and I got sufficiently close to a moose, so that my scenic lenses would have made a much better image. Toads, frogs, newts, gray jays, and many more critters are easily captured with a p&S.

Happy Trails:)

Haneski
02-16-2007, 04:16 PM
Thanks to all who took the time to advise me on my digital camera purchase. Very much appreciated. Jane

6288
03-05-2007, 12:41 PM
Well, I'm a bit late with this reply, but FWIW. I have had great luck with the Olympus optics. I think they and Canon have the best optics in low priced digital cameras. But I would never do without the Olympus 10X zoom. It makes for a slightly larger camera, but the shots are well worth it IMO.

Brad
05-13-2007, 08:06 PM
I had to do some camera research today as my wife wanted a new one. The requirements were "small, simple, easy to take pictures, easy to get pictures onto the computer, just like Joy's camera - Joy is a friend). So, I checked Joy and she has a Canon SD700IS. Well, this is not a current model any more.

This led me down the A-series with Canon and found they are heavier and a bit larger than the SD series. There is a SD750 but no where did it say "IS". So, I ended up getting the SD800IS. What a nice camera (at least in the store). The built in lens is wide angle and it has a reasonable zoom and Image Stabilization. A small package.

We held the SD750 and SD800IS up in the store to see the difference the wide angle lens makes and it is a good 10-15% more picture. For outdoor pictures that would be very nice. Inside a house a wide angle lens is almost a requirement. The SD700IS used to have an optional clip on wide angle lens. Today's packaging looks a lot nicer.

When the camera and I meet up in Maine next week I will see how well it takes pictures.

spyboy
05-13-2007, 09:38 PM
I love my Canon Rebel XT DSLR. It is bulky with all the lenses and whatnot though. But, I just picked up the Tamrac Adventure 9 camera backpack (http://www.tamrac.com/5549.htm) which I have yet to test out on a hike.

I would think a small point & shoot is the way to go for long hikes. I'm not a serious hiker, so I enjoy photography more (just want to hike up onto a mountain to get good shots). The small point & shoots are good because you can keep them attached to the front of your pack, or in a pocket at the ready. DSLR's are usually packed away for protection incase you slip (I wouldn't hike with it hanging around my neck)

Those shots I took of Tuckerman Ravine from Wildcat were with my Rebel XT (wrapped in tshirts in a small backpack, with my telephoto attached).

Kirk

Steve M
05-13-2007, 10:29 PM
I love that camera backpack and that seems to be the answer. The point and shoot can be in a front pocket or pouch and The DSLR can come out for the shots that demand such a camera.:cool:

billysinc
06-06-2007, 01:37 PM
I had to do some camera research today as my wife wanted a new one. The requirements were "small, simple, easy to take pictures, easy to get pictures onto the computer, just like Joy's camera - Joy is a friend). So, I checked Joy and she has a Canon SD700IS. Well, this is not a current model any more.

This led me down the A-series with Canon and found they are heavier and a bit larger than the SD series. There is a SD750 but no where did it say "IS". So, I ended up getting the SD800IS. What a nice camera (at least in the store). The built in lens is wide angle and it has a reasonable zoom and Image Stabilization. A small package.

We held the SD750 and SD800IS up in the store to see the difference the wide angle lens makes and it is a good 10-15% more picture. For outdoor pictures that would be very nice. Inside a house a wide angle lens is almost a requirement. The SD700IS used to have an optional clip on wide angle lens. Today's packaging looks a lot nicer.

When the camera and I meet up in Maine next week I will see how well it takes pictures.


So how did that camera work for you? I'm still shopping around and that was one I was looking at.

Brad
06-06-2007, 09:13 PM
So how did that camera work for you? I'm still shopping around and that was one I was looking at.
Extremely well. It is simple for her to use. The image quality is very good - and the camera is very small. Having the wide angle lens is exactly what she needed. I am sure there are all sorts of settings she has not played with - but that does not matter to her. It is a very nice camera.

When I ask to borrow it for a hike I know her answer. Not a chance. . .

Steve M
06-06-2007, 09:27 PM
When I ask to borrow it for a hike I know her answer. Not a chance. . .
That's funny...usually I have to beg my wife to take the camera from me :confused:

lwa11
06-08-2007, 12:14 AM
I have a Canon A710S and it is great for the outdoors. Very light and the pics are great like almost all Canon cameras.

Only drawback with this camera is the flash load time. You will miss a shot IF you need to use flash. By the time it recycles the shot will be gone. It takes a few seconds and is frustrating but if you can supplement the light or buy an attachable flash it is would help. However, for me it has been fine. I have taken shots of hockey games and they come out just fine.

You can also buy various lenses for it that expand the versatility even more.

LWA11