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What the best camera for climbing?


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I use a small cannon power shot camera when I go climbing simply because of the size. The picture quality is fine for me but the zoom is so limited. I'm not a camera guy and don't have a lot of knowledge about them. So I was wondering if any one knows of a camera that is small enough to pack and has better zoom options. I want to be able to take a range of shots but don't want a big camera around my neck. Any input would be great.

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Though I do not use it*, the Canon G Series is a great little camera with some punch. Here is a review of the newest G12:




What you want is something that will have a good wide angle for those close ups but descent zoom. Cameras with mega zoom typically have poor lens qualities (i.e. soft). At the same time something will work descent in low light.


*I shoot a Leica but that is another story.

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I like the Canon A1000 IS for climbing. It is very compact, takes AA batteries (which I have anyway for my headlamp), has an optical view finder (great when glare is an issue), and takes great pictures...even one handed. I keep it on the strap of my pack while climbing...very handy. I also have the Canon G11, which has a great wide angle lens, optical view finder, and manual as well as auto controls (nice for timed exposure shots and such). I find it a bit heavy and bulky for climbing though and usually use it for scrambles, hikes, and easier climbs. All the cameras previously mentioned would take great pictures for you...it's a matter of finding the features you like. Good luck!

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I have this, for hard leads, and it works reasonably well, though it doesn't have the zoom you want:



The point and shoots are getting better all the time. I also had the g5, and it took great pictures in it's day, with a reliable movable focus point.


It's surprising how many of my climbing friends are moving up to DSLR's lately. The T2i, with the cheap plastic lens is not that much heavier than a G12. People are making short films with the T2i that are simply amazing to the long time video people. Leave the beer behind and you've made up the difference.


And now you've got a camera that can be manually focused through the glass. In low light situations like this:



it is the rare point and shoot that can bring home a good picture.


and then you can get into lenses, which takes you to a whole new dimension of fun:



But I understand you are after ultra light weight in a small package, and the extraordinary power of a DSLR may not be worth it.


For myself though, I'm thinking about upgrading my 50d to a 7d. The hd videos people are shooting with t2i and 7d are very compelling.



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A few months ago I decided I wanted a new/better camera for climbing. I bought the Sony Nex-5. I was torn between the new generation of mirrorless large sensor cameras (NEX, Olympus EPLx, Panasonic GF1) and the high end point and shoots (canon s90/95, G11/G12, panasonic lx3/5, and Samsung EX1). Of this batch, the Sony Nex has by far the best sensor. It also probably has the best video. With the 16mm (24mm equiv) pancake lens, it fits nicely in a medium size shoulder bag. I use this bag: http://www.rei.com/product/800118


I like the wide angle most of the time, but there are definitely times where a 35mm equiv prime would be more desirable. With the zoom lens, the size gets a bit big for my tastes for technical climbing, but it is nice for hiking, and I will use it skiing, or climbing in groups of 3. Another advantages of the NEX is a super high 12800 ISO, so it can shoot grainy, but acceptable pictures in very low light.


There have been a few times still where I wish I had just settled for something smaller with decent quality and a medium zoom (s90/95 in particular), but overall I am pretty happy with my choice. The only other concern I have is that it is a bit scary climbing with a $700 camera on your chest.



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I learned everything I know about macro photography here:



You will need a DSLR, a macro lens (canon 2.8 100mm macro) and an external Flash(canon 430ex) plus an external flash bracket and the cord that allows the flash to run off the camera.


The external flash allows you to stop down to f13 for maximum depth of field, stops the motion, and still light the insect.


Some of the new point and shoots can do decent macro, but for the high end bug photography, see above.

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