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Skeezix

Digital Camera recommendations?

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Recommendations for digital cam for climbing? Cost is a consideration, but so is picture quality. What do you like or have had experience with? (If I won the lottery I'd get a Leica Digilux 2...)

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I have a Canon A80, 4mp. I guess its heavy compared to that x-20, dunno how much it weighs, and costs $330 online (400 @ stores, search around) But takes amazing pictures. You could get the A70, its 3mp and have heard great stuff about it.

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I'd get the Canon S500 Powershot. Super small, and 5 megapixel. I have a S400 right now, and had the S200 before it. All have been great cameras for me.

 

Oh ya...I forgot to mention the panorama function of the camera (works with a program called 'Photostitch' that comes with the camera.

 

Example of a panorama I took with the S400.

 

 

Edited by olyclimber

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I like the new small Sony for a point & shoot. I carry two batteries.

 

For the higher end I'm jonesing for this puppy. Not many prosumer digi cams have such a wide angle lens. thumbs_up.gif

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I have a Kodak DX6440 - it's small, takes good picture (4MP), easy to get pictures in and out of - and it's been as cheap as $250 (buy.com) lately.

 

At work I have a Nikon Coolpix 5400 that's very nice - excellent quality pics. Too big for climbing really.

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Look for a quality lens and large size CCD over megapixels. Most of the small point and shoot 5mp cameras will take a worse pic than a 3mp camera with a good size lens and larger CCD. You'll get a lot less in terms of chromatic abarations, color blending, etc. Not to mention that the larger lens is going to be better for photography in general in terms of letting more light in.

 

I've always had good luck with Olympus and Nikon. Canons also seem to be very nice. I think my 1,2,3 would be Nikon, Olympus, and Canon for digital. I'd personally stay away from Sony but that is just me...

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Lots of previous discussion of this question:

 

David_Parker's thread

 

OffWhite's thread

 

Alpinfox's thread

 

I got the Olympus Stylus 300 because it's small, lightweight, 3X optical zoom, great battery life, weatherproof, and has an all-metal body (impact resistant). I'm happy with it. It doesn't take the sharpest/best pictures, but its so small and lightweight that I carry it on all climbs and can whip it out mid-pitch, on lead and take a pic.

 

Happy shopping. fruit.gif

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I have a Sony DSC-P1 and V1, my wife has an F707. All take better pics than the AE1-P and Rebel 2000 35mm SLRs we had before (we shot film, not slides).

 

The V1, which I use for climbing now, takes great pics, has nightshot, and a laser-assist AF light. It also takes nice video, unlimited length. It is not as handy to use one-handed as the P1 (and presumably the P10).

 

I'm impressed with the sharpness of the images from the Canon that AlpineDave has (an S40??). One is in a frame in my living room.

 

Sony memory technology is fast, but it's twice as expensive as compact flash or SD, which most of the other manufacturers use. Plan to buy a significantly larger memory card than what is included with the camera. An extra battery is also nice (especially when, unlike me, you remember to charge them up).

 

I agree, the manufacturers have pushed too hard on megapixels at the expense of image quality. The reason I went with the V1 instead of the P10 is that I wanted optics better matched to the CCD.

 

Pics from the P1 (3 megapixel) are good to about 8x10. The 707 and V1 pics (5 megapizel) looks great at 13x19.

 

Don't worry: Whatever you get will be obsolete by this time next year and you'll be jonesing for the latest multimegapixel wonder-widget.

 

FWIW, I figured that my P1 paid for itself in film and processing costs in about a year.

 

-L

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These things change so quickly its good to get a new thread going every once in a while. I was fixing to start a thread on the same topic. I currently have an Olympus and have had so many problems and complaints about it I'm not even considering an Olympus for my next digicam. I've narrowed it down to Canon and Nikon because from what I've heard and read, they have the best photo quality and features. Specifically I'm looking at the Canon Powershot A80, Canon Powershot S1 IS, and the Nikon 4300. None of these are great 'climbing cameras' but I'm willing to sacrifice some weight and bulk for better pictures. Does anyone have any huge complaints about any of these 3 cameras specifically. I'm leaning the most to the S1 IS but it is also the heaviest and bulkiest. Any other complaints about that camera? thanks techno geeks. thumbs_up.gif

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I like my Pentax Optio S4. It fits *inside* an Altoids can, which is a convenient protective case. The only drawback of this 4MP camera, in my opinion, is the difficulty it has with action shots. It was given top nods by the folks at Bicycling magazine for size and shot quality, for what its worth.

 

A new release from Pentax (honest, I'm not a spokesman for them) is water resistant, which would be really nice. Check it out at:

http://www.pentaxusa.com/products/cameras/camera_overview.cfm?productid=18197

 

Greg

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Gerg said:

I like my Pentax Optio S4. It fits *inside* an Altoids can

 

Wow that's freakin' tiny! What is the "problem with action shots"? Have you taken it climbing? Durability? Weatherproofness? Battery life?

 

http://www.pentaxusa.com/products/cameras/camera_overview.cfm?productid=18283

 

Hmmm.... maybe it's time for me to think about an upgrade.

 

 

 

Some things I just thought of that I DON'T like about my Olympus Stylus 300.

-Movie mode only shoots 16 seconds of video and NO SOUND!

-Hard to properly focus on a climber in the middle of a pitch looking straight up or down (I imagine all autofocus cameras will have this problem)

-Lens cover sometimes slides open or part of the way open in my pack or in my pocket (I don't keep it in a case) which can run down the battery and possibly allow the lens to get scratched. This doesn't happen often as I usually keep the camera around my neck when climbing or inside my hat (canadian translation = toque) in my pack. I've pretty much learned how to avoid this problem, but it annoyed me a few times.

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I have the Casio Exilim Z4u - comparable size and price to the Optio S4.

 

it has a 2" LCD and fast shot-to-shot time, and is a miser for batteries.

 

my 2c.

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Lots of previous discussion of this question:

I searched for "digital camera" before I posted, but didn't turn up these previous threads...

Lots of good ideas here, though...thanks. bigdrink.gif

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Specifically I'm looking at the Canon Powershot A80, Canon Powershot S1 IS, and the Nikon 4300. None of these are great 'climbing cameras' but I'm willing to sacrifice some weight and bulk for better pictures. Does anyone have any huge complaints about any of these 3 cameras specifically.

The A80 came out about a month after I bought my A70, I suspect they're pretty similar. I went with the A70 because it had good reviews for picture quality, has lots of manual adjustments and it uses AA batteries. The AA's make it bulkier, but I can use them as backups for my GPS, avi beacon and headlamp.

 

My only complaint with the A70 so far is that it doesn't deal well with high contrast scenes like a lone skier/climber on a snowfield. More experimentation with the manual controls would probably help minimize this.

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Specifically I'm looking at the Canon Powershot A80, Canon Powershot S1 IS, and the Nikon 4300. None of these are great 'climbing cameras' but I'm willing to sacrifice some weight and bulk for better pictures. Does anyone have any huge complaints about any of these 3 cameras specifically.

The A80 came out about a month after I bought my A70, I suspect they're pretty similar. I went with the A70 because it had good reviews for picture quality, has lots of manual adjustments and it uses AA batteries. The AA's make it bulkier, but I can use them as backups for my GPS, avi beacon and headlamp.

 

My only complaint with the A70 so far is that it doesn't deal well with high contrast scenes like a lone skier/climber on a snowfield. More experimentation with the manual controls would probably help minimize this.

 

I read about this same problem in a review of the A80. My Olympus does the same thing and some shots of mountains often get washed out in the sky, which pisses me off.

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This is a trait of digital where print film excels over digital. The best thing to do is properly expose for the brightest part of a scene. When you blow out light areas there is no way to recover the details, but it is surprising how much can be recovered from under exposed areas through post processing.

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I've got the Canon A70 - the A80 seems to be the standard now (3 MP vs. 2MP). I like it for the metal case and slightly beefier build. I've had it for 9 months, so am still in the experimenting phase with it- my g/f has a Fuji Finepix - 2 nice things about it - through-the-lens viewfinder and a 6X optical zoom - most of the digis only have a 3x zoom. Its a bit bulkier, but still on the order of a 35mm compact AF.

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Thumbs up on the Pentax Optio S4. It does fit in an altoids box but I got a small neoprene holder for it that I can clip to my pack or harness. The movie mode is OK not great quality. Reminds me of 8mm movies. The key for me is that it is so light and small I ALWAYS bring it. One hand operation is very easy.

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I love my Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom. It is a 2 mp, but there is a 4 mp version out now C-740 UZ. I really like the 10x optical zoom. It is not one of the super compact models, but it is very easy to use even with gloves on. It is also quite durable. I have gotten it wet on many trips and after I dry it out it is just fine. If I were going to go out and buy a new cam it would be the C-740.

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Wow, this is a long thread. Quick comment.

 

I have a Cannon Elph Digital it has the optical and digital zoom but I'm not sure how many mega pixels. Its real small and the quality is adjustable so its super fine if you want, or you can take a bunch of pictures which are kinda blocky. Overall I like it.

 

It does have difficulty in the cold though. The automatic lens closer thing has a tough time opening if its cold so I have to stick it in my armpit for a few seconds where it gets all wet but will open fine then.

 

.02

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My only complaint with the A70 so far is that it doesn't deal well with high contrast scenes like a lone skier/climber on a snowfield. More experimentation with the manual controls would probably help minimize this.

 

digital cameras can handle about as much contrast as slide film which is less than negitive film.

 

the camera tries to meter the world to 18% gray. So if you are taking a picture that is mostly white (like a snowfield) the camera will most likely try to under expose it and the snow will turn out light grey. (and you may lose detail in the sujects on the snow field) If you have "exposure comensation" on your camera try setting it to overexpose by 1/3rd to 1/2 a stop.

Edited by troubleski

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I just bought a Casio QV-R51, 5mp, 3x optical, which I am liking.

 

It's light (app. 5 oz)

 

It takes AA's rather than proprietary rechargables which are no use for long trips (a week in the alps for example). This rules out most ultra compacts.

 

Snow scenes need practice, often neccessary to over expose which is easy with the Casio.

 

I love the 60 second video but would like sound and higher quality.

 

Having experienced a 2 inch LCD I would not want anything smaller - however it is almost impossible to see in bright sun on snow.

 

Battery concumption is great with lithium disposables (over one GB of photos over 2 weeks plus much reviewing.

 

I also think that an automatic integral lens cover is highly desirable for climbing.

 

The casio is one of the fastest digital point and shoots (click to click) but still not fast enough to catch action (like your pet cat or photo resistant girlfriend!).

 

I wish it were waterproof.

 

I will probably get an 8MP ultra zoom as my "main" camera when prices come down but it probably wont to so suitable for climbing.

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I recently picked up an A80 and have no complaints. The biggest problem is with the focus being off sometimes but that can be solved by using the manual controls. The custom settings C1/C2 are great for saving common camera configs (c1 for wide angle snow shots and c2 for up close action shots for instance). I have pics online from this camera:

http://gallery.ulti.org/2004_garibaldi-ne-face

http://gallery.ulti.org/2004_starr-wall

http://gallery.ulti.org/2004_mamquam

 

--reid

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