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pete_a

good camera for climbing and skiing trips?

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So my little crappy point and shoot camera finally died last summer and I need to get a replacement.

I'm buying it to use primarily for a trip to climb volcanoes in Mexico in just a few weeks.

Its been years since I've used an SLR but I'm kinda interested in getting one so I can get creative (night time-exposure shots, etc). But weight is also an issue as I don't want to carry a ton of camera gear on glacier slogs.

Anyone out there know of a good point and shoot or SLR (not too expensive) to take a look at? I've heard that Yaschica makes a good lightweight camera that Rock and Ice raved about a year or two ago. Anyone remember what it was?

Thanks in advance.

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I have a Canon EOS which is a bit heavy for climbing. Make sure to buy a chest harness camera case is what I'm really trying to say. If you have to fuck with it too much you just won't be burning the film. Minoltas are cheaper and lighter weight. Whatever you do, experiment with the damn thing BEFORE YOUR TRIP!!!! Just take stupid shots around town in different light conditions and get it developed before you leave. I had to learn with a whole new system in Alaska and ended up blowing a bunch of shots!

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I have a couple of different cameras. If I'm going somewhere that is going to be nasty, grimy, cold, icy, generally icky, I'll take my pentax k1000. It's all manual and will funtion without any batteries if need be and is pretty indestructable.

If I'm on a glacier or craggin I'll take my Nikon N70. I think that the N65 is the replacement for the 70. Anyway, it's light and pretty much automatic.

I also have a bitchin' APS camera thats been every where with me and is a great back up.

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The Yashica T4 and the Olympus Stylus Epic are both good choices. They quality point and shoot cameras that are weather proof and light weight. Cost is 150.00 and 100.00 respectively.

FWIW, I would not bring an SLR on another climbing trip. Trying to focus and frame, set exposure etc, is very difficult while climbing. Its worth the weight in the hands of a talented photographer, but for me a point and shoot takes better photos with much less weight.

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I made the switch from point and shoot to SLR about a year ago, and the quality of my photos went way up. I've found that used older SLR technology works well and is available cheap (body and lens ~$200). I’ve got Nikon 4004 which is a bit clunky heavy but can be set on idiot proof, and a Nikon FG (mostly manual with light meter) which is fairly light and compact even with a 35-70 mm lens. As for taking shots while climbing/ skiing with a manual camera, it’s not that hard you just need to get you shot set up before your subject climbs/skis into the field.

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no matter how nice your outfit is it won't do any good if its sitting in the car. i've got a great canon t70 that spent a lot of time on the ground and many trips went undocumented. i got a olympus wide angle point and shoot and the photos are pretty decent quality especially with good film or slides and i find that the camera comes along much more often. i guess you really have to decide what's more important, having the highest quality pictures or having them at all.

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The Yashica you are probably refering to is the T4. It was just recently discontinued. It had a sharp lens (Contax T) that was sharp enough for slides. I'll have to disagree with the suggestion that the Olympus Stylus is a good choice. It's metering does not have any manual or automatic exposure compensation for shooting on bright snow in midday conditions. You will endup with a lot of underexposed (dark) photos.

I own a LOT of cameras and here are my suggestions: 1) a used Olympus XA. (NOT an XA1 or any other variant.) Expect to pay about $125 for one in good shape. It weighs 8 1/2 oz. You can open 1 1/2 f-stops with a switch on the bottom. 2) The Yashica T4...if you can still find one. $159, weighs about 7 oz.

My favorite point and shoot is my Ricoh GR1. Sharp lens, but kind of pricey.

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I think the camera depends purely on what you want to get out of your shots.

If you just want regular prints to remember the occasion or show friends go get a $100 point and shoot and print film. They are lightweight and get the job done.

If you want to blow your shots up to put up around your place or to give as gifts, then get an SLR, shoot with a good slide film, and bring a tripod. The newer SLRs can be fully manual or fully automatic so they really aren't a pain to shoot. The drawback is weight and $.

If you want a light SLR setup here is my recommendation. A used Nikon N70 or a new N65, with a Nikon 28-80 G lens. The later will run you about $300 new and weighs a scant 21 ounces (light for an SLR setup). There is a rebate going on now until the end of the year on this setup. This is a great camera, even pros use this exact setup for lightweight trips. The Nikon light meter is far superior to anything point and shoot, you exposures will be good all the time. Normally you have to compensate 2 stops for snow but not with the Nikon's. I've not had one snow shot come out dark, and this is on slide film. For night stuff put it on the tripod, set the timer and let it do it's thing, the shots will come out great.

If you want to get into photography you will quickly find yourself very limited with a point and shoot.

Need more info fire me a PM.

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Great thread on cameras. A year ago I started searching for a good camera to take backpacking and started with the old Rollei 35, just because it's so fucking cool. Instead, a camera guy told me about the older Olympus XA'a that have been covered here. Supposed to be better than the new Olympus P&S's. Based on this thread, I'm now taking a very close look at the Yashica T4. My understanding is that the Carl Zeiss Tessar lens is really really good.

But I have a question for you SLR guys. While I still want a small pocket camera for the boonies, I also want to play with an SLR. I have in my possession a mint 1992-vintage Nikon N6006, with two lens, that a friend has loaned me. He never uses the damn thing and I have to admit that I am not experienced with it, but I know it takes pretty good pics. It's an auto focus motor drive camera, and although auto, it's nowhere near as intuitive (user friendly?) as the modern Canon EOS cameras. I don't have the instruction booklet for it and the dials, settings, etc., are confusing to me. My question: This guy will probably sell this camera to me for a song, but I'm wondering if I should think more about one of the more modern, non-metal framed SLRs. Or perhaps, just find a used K1000 Pentax and actually learn photography. A lot of this is personal preferences on my part, but I would appreciate hearing others opinions.Thanks,Cliff

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In my eyes, it comes down to this:

Any shitty SLR body on the market will take really good photos if you put some good glass on the front, shoot fine grained film, and bracket your exposures.

In P&S, the weight difference between cameras is for practical purposes insignificant. The single most important feature on a P&S is the widest aperature opening of the lens (for a zoom this will be a range i.e. f4-f5.6). The smaller that number, the better (a small number indicates a wide opening, and hence better light gathering capabilities allowing use of slower finer grained films and/or faster shutter speeds for hand held shots). Most P&S have a best case wide open ap of f4 or so. The stock "normal" lens of old SLRs, typically in 35mm or 50mm focal length, usually has f2.0 or lower, there are plenty of 50mm f1.0 and f1.7 Pentax lenses out there.

Since it's definitely more expensive to build a lens with a bigger opening (lower wide open f-stop numer) chances are if you find one with a low number, the rest of the quality of the lens will be good as well. Kind like you wouldn't be putting a Chrome 600cfm Holley carbuerator on a Pinto. I've had some decent luck shooting with a tiny APS camera, even though the negative is smaller (enlargements show more grain than the same speed of a larger neg at the same speed). It's a piece of junk Kodak, but I've taken it on climbs where it could have easily been crunched and not worried about it.

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I think I have a similar APS kodak, it's been frozen, baked and dropped...alot. It still works like a champ. I keep hoping it will break so I can justify a newer 35mm P&S.

I agree with Jon that the nikons (n65 or n70) are great cameras. Lightweight and take bitchin' pictures, especially on slide film. I also think that one of the benefits of a Nikon is the availability of high quality cheap lenses. Most lenses are inter-changeble, that depends on the model also.

One important thing to remember as the N70 has a metal lense mount whereas some of the N60/N65 and maybe the N80 have partial metal mounts, but mostly plastic.

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I just bought an Olympus 80 point and shoot. It's auto, has a zoom, and several auto flash settings for different conditions.

I am planning to take this camera on a trip south next week instead of my Cannon EOS, because of the weight savings. I was planning to shoot slides, but based on some of the comments here am not sure if they'd turn out. Any thoughts?

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Lenses are the main component of photos, the cheapo 28-80 lense is alright for most pictures and the most disposible. I have several lenses and the two I use most are the 50mm and the 28 -80. If I drop them, I'm not gonna cry too much. If I drop my 300mm I might start to bawl like a little baby, that would really suck.

As far as film, I pretty much stick to Fuji Velvia or Kodak Ekta-chrome (i think). Slide film is waaaaay more saturated than print film, and as mentioned previously cheaper.

Other things to include are a decent flash. With the new cameras TTL makes using a flash almost a no brainer. The built in flashes of most P&S cameras are pretty weak, and won't fill in your buddies face from 10 feet away, that sucks.

CLIFF- I think you should by the camera if you can get it cheap.

sean

[big Drink][big Drink][big Drink]

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Film Saturation? Apertures? Auto-Bracketing?

You guys are all a bunch of camera-totin geeks.

And if you find a green disposable on the North side of Prusik in the Spring let me know - I lost it there this fall. tongue.gif" border="0

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Has anyone had any experience with digital cameras out there? I too own a Yashica T4 Super which has served me very well, but just got a really nice 4.1 Megapixel Sony that seems to do everything (shutter/aperture priority, auto bracketing...the works).

I'm interested to hear any horror stories people may have had with digitals in the outdoors before I start using it much for backcountry shots.

Thanks for any info... [big Drink]

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I have a Sigma SLR (w/ various lens') but I never take it on trips because it is too heavy.

I always take my Yashica T4 and only shoot slides when I am in the hills. I have been happy with the results. There are point and shoots that have manual modes so I can not see any reason to get a big, heavy SLR for climbing trips unless photography is your main reason behind the trip.

Ricoh...................nice.

I have a friend in Manhatten who is a photographer (semi professional). She uses a point and shoot on all her adventures and gets great shots. I forget the brand but it was a little pricey ($3K I believe). But i will ask her if she could recommend a good p&s for a decent price.

Jedi

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This is something I've agonized over a lot. I've got a mostly-manual Olympus OM-PC about twelve years old, with a 28-200 Tamron lens that I've taken some good shots with, but it's big and bulky (especially the lens). I also use an Olympus Stylus P&S that's small and simple to use, but frustrating, as mentioned above. One thing that really infurates me is that it almost always tries to use the flash, unless you manually shut the flash off every time. This fouls up the exposure, of course. And, you can't change the f-stop, see the shutter speed, or anything.

I've been intrigued by a couple of AF SLRs: the new Minolta Maxxim 8000, which is supposed to be the lightest-weight SLR available (and has a partly metal lens mount) and the Nikon N80, which looks really slick, but is bigger. One thing I've read is that if you get the Nikon, don't get the 28-80 lens that they offer with it; it's pretty poor quality.You might look at (www.popphoto.com) which uses the ultimatebbs software, so there's lots of discussion threads about this-vs-that.

Unfortunately, the camera question is one of almost complete trade-offs. If it's small and lightweight, it's going to get banged up more easily, and have a darker (mirror) viewfinder. If it's good quality and has lots of useful features, it's going to be heavy and bulky. Oh, and expensive.

But whatever you get -- ALWAYS take spare batteries, and know how to change them. My first time on Rainier's summit, my camera batteries died immediately after the first summit photo. On the way down, there was a spectacular multiple lenticular cloud formation that I would have loved to get some shots of.

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quote:

Originally posted by ehmmic:
I just bought an Olympus 80 point and shoot. It's auto, has a zoom, and several auto flash settings for different conditions.

I am planning to take this camera on a trip south next week instead of my Cannon EOS, because of the weight savings. I was planning to shoot slides, but based on some of the comments here am not sure if they'd turn out. Any thoughts?

Just be conservative with your speed selection and they'll come out fine. The meters in todays cameras are pretty darn good under most circumstances. As long as you shoot 200 or 400 you should be fine. Even 100 will work great on bright sunny days. Trying to shoot Velvia (ISO/ASA 50) would be likely be problematic. Be aware that the latitude with slide film is much narrower than with print film...meaning there's not as much room for error in exposure. IF the shots will be really good and your camera has an exposure override (or even better, auto-bracketing) bracket your exposures with the slides (i.e. shoot at the recommended exposure plus over and under exposures...how many and how far under or over is up to you...I typically bracket in either 1 stop increments in a three shot series, or in 1/3 ev increments and shoot recommended, 2/3 under, 1 under, 2/3 over, and 1 over.) Slide film is cheap to develop, so if you only get one "keeper" per roll big deal, it'll be worth the $8 you paid for slide film and developing when you enlarge it. BTW, I've got 8x10s from Velvia (50), Sensia (100), Kodak 100 APS print, Kodak C40 (or whatever, it's B&W that uses color chemistry to develop...develop it anywhere), and Kodak Elite Chrome 200. The Velvia is spectacular, the rest are ok/good. I've also had the same enlargement look drasticxally different using different labs.

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This is a great thead. Will is right about the apature on a P&S, you want a fast camera for most climbing stuff not using a tripod. I'm not sure about the mount on the N65, I'm pretty sure the N80 is a steel mount. I'm getting an N80 very soon.

Typically the heaviest part of an SLR setup is the lens. Now with the cheap Nikon lens, yes it is a cheaper quality lense but that is why it is cheap. A cheap lens uses cheap glass and not a lot of glass. As you move into a more expensive lenses the apature become faster which requires more glass in the lens, hence more weight. So if you want a light lens you going to have to go with a cheap Nikon, Sigma, or Tamron lens or go with a fixed lense like a 50mm Nikon which is pretty light, and the lens won't be very fast.

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I have a Elph Lite. Very good use and tiny lightweight.

Dont rule out diposables. WOrk great for people that ruin anything. You dont have to care for them wink.gif" border="0

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