Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Digital Camera Question

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Pueblo, CO

Digital Camera Question

Postby Rikrun1210 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:37 am

I am looking to purchase a digital camera and would like to know what people like, don't like about their digital cameras. I would like suggestions on memory and also on printers. Thanks.
"No" is usually just a request for more information!

User avatar
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:55 am
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby firsttracks » Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:43 am

For climbing, I prefer to carry a lightweight, point-and-shoot camera. (I use the Sony DSC-W7, with a 1 Gb card.)

Point-and-shoots usually take great pictures outside in the sunlight, and you can't beat their convenience. In low light settings, they can't touch a digital SLR with a nice lens, but I don't find myself taking a lot of outdoor pics in low light settings when I'm climbing. I usually let my climbing partner haul up his SLR for those situations. :)

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby jimlup » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:15 am

I have a cannon 850 SR and have found it excellent. If I were looking to upgrade I would go with a better optical zoom. I've found 4x limiting for certain situations. Nevertheless, this camera works great in the mountains.
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...

User avatar
Posts: 686
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:10 am
Location: Silt, colorado

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby giarcd » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:35 am

Will both the Sony DSC-W7 and the Cannon 850 SR work for putting pics on TR s for this site? Is digital the way to go for this use? I hesitate to move to "tech" fast but have considered use of pictures with reports.

User avatar
Posts: 1966
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:31 am
Location: People's Republic of Boulder

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby thebeave7 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:54 am

If you are primarily looking for a climbing, hiking, type camera I'd stick with a point and shoot. There are tons of features you have to balance to see what you like. I use an Olympus Stylus for my hiking, running, climbing because it fits in the pocket of my running shorts and is incredibly durable. Image quality isn't quite as crisp as some of the cannon and nikon P&S, but it still does well. Media types are pretty much all the same, I personally prefer a lithium battery as they are small, light, and usually get 300+ pictures. Try and borrow cameras from friends to see which ones you like, each maker has a different layout and setup of the functions.
Eric
Me fail English? That's unpossible. http://www.ericjlee.com/Blogs

User avatar
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:26 pm
Location: Castle Rock, CO

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby Scanner » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:06 am

I would agree with what most people have said up to this point: Point and shoot would be the easiest to transport and use, without danger of smashing it on rocks and so forth. They're also generally cheaper :).

However, if you see yourself taking a lot of pictures in low-light conditions, the point-and-shoot cameras tend to have aperture sizes and image sensor sizes that will not result in good quality images. For me, right around dawn and right around sunset is when I get the pictures that I usually like the most, so it's an important consideration. But if you're not going to be hitting the trailhead at times that get you above treeline at dawn, or you just don't care about pictures that aren't in full sunlight, then don't even worry about it: point-and-shoot all the way.

In the higher-end category, you've got full SLR cameras that people like to spend their time talking about, but don't ignore the "bridge" cameras in between. Most manufacturers have at least one model that's in between point-and-shoot and SLR, and has enough glass, zoom capabilities, and sensor size to be worth consideration, and the fact that you don't have to worry about dust on the sensor since you won't be swapping out lenses is sometimes nice on dusty, windy days. I used to have one of this type, an hp Photosmart 945, and it served me quite well for years of being banged off rocks and dropped in snow.

User avatar
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:26 pm
Location: Castle Rock, CO

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby Scanner » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:14 am

Oh yes, forgot to address your memory question. I used to just have a 256MB card, but actually ran out of space one day and had to start deleting images I didn't like as much to make room for more. Since then I've gone with a 1GB card just to avoid having that problem again. If I did multi-day hikes, I might start to worry about that, but I've not come close yet. Also, I like to take panoramic images, which means that I take a lot of pictures one after the other across my field of view in a very short time interval. If you think you'll do that, then spend some money on memory with shorter write times. It's highly annoying for me to take a picture and then sit there for a few seconds waiting on it to write to memory before I can take the next. And if your camera supports a mode where you take as many pictures as possible in a short amount of time (such as spamming your card as you try to catch a lightning strike, etc.) then you'll have to get a faster memory card to take full advantage of it.

User avatar
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:55 am
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby firsttracks » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:44 am

giarcd wrote:Will both the Sony DSC-W7 and the Cannon 850 SR work for putting pics on TR s for this site? Is digital the way to go for this use? I hesitate to move to "tech" fast but have considered use of pictures with reports.


I've posted several trip reports using pics from my DSC-W7:
Longs Peak
Mt. of the Holy Cross

The pictures are too large to post, so I use iPhoto on my Mac for resizing pictures (800 x 600) for trip reports. To see what a regular size picture looks like, check out a pic or two from my (crappy) website.

Posts: 332
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:29 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby mtnview » Mon Dec 24, 2007 11:52 am

Not sure what your budget is or type of conditions you want to use it in (ie lo-light as others have mentioned).

But if you expect just to take outdoor pics in regular sunlight while on the trail then a basic point and shoot would work. I like the Canon A-Series 560/570IS/720IS ($130-230). Uses 2 AA batteries regular or rechargeable not a proprietary battery, uses cheap SD memory cards, fits in your hand quite well but not too heavy. Has a 4x optical zoom versus the typical 3x for a point and shoot. Has an optical viewfinder and big 2.5 inch LCD while many have only the LCD and no optical viewfinder. I personally like having both hence my going with a Canon A-Series

I would go to a store and see how you like the feel and weight of different camera makes in your hand.

The Sony DSC-80 is another camera line that I have seen take pretty good pictures for an even smaller camera than the Canon A-Series.

If you do buy a camera with SD cards I recommend skipping the low end slower SD cards and spending a bit more for the faster SD cards.
A faster 1gb card is probably all you need.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/ For reviews and photo examples of lots of cameras
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of his return), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
http://www.truedino.com/colorado14ers.htm

User avatar
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:44 pm
Location: Chicagoland

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby Alpine Guy » Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:37 pm

I agree with the posters who say a point and shoot (digital) is the best compromise for most hikers/climbers. The only thing I'll add is that I look for a camera with the widest wide angle rather than the longest telephoto. In the mountains I find I use the wide angle far more than tele.
Jay

User avatar
Posts: 1287
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 9:06 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby Papillon » Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:09 pm

Take into consideration the size and weight. I have a Canon G1 which has been with me for almost seven years but it weighs 14 ounces and is bulky. There are cameras out there smaller than a cigarette pack.

Do not be rused by anything involving digital zoom numbers. You can digitally zoom any image with photoediting software and the digital zoom is limited by the pixel dimensions of your image. Optical zoom is what you want to look for and I'd say 3X should be the absolute minimum.

In terms of printing, I'd seriously consider using an online service instead of dealing with pricey ink cartridges, photo paper, paper cutters, etc. You can get a 4 x 6 for something like $0.19. There are also places where you can physically take your memory card in and have pictures printed for you.

Whatever you do, always shoot at the highest resolution possible. You can always downsize an image via photoshop, fireworks, iphoto, etc., later on.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

User avatar
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:14 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Digital Camera Question

Postby Alan Ellis » Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:19 pm

I agree that point and shoots are the best for hiking/climbing because they are light and easy to use. However, I quickly got tired of the 3x optical zoom because it wasn't enough. Being mostly outdoors, the 3x just couldn't bring in the farther images that I wanted. There are a few point and shoot models that now have 12x-15x optical zooms. They are a little bigger, but the difference in zoom ability and camera capability is huge. Cannon makes a smaller point and shoot with a 10x. However, the cream of large-zoom point and shoots are the Sony Cybershot H series cameras with a 15x zoom. I have the H-1 and I wish Santa would bring me the H-9

Cybershot H Series

Beware of ads which claim a large "digital" zoom in a camera. All the digital zoom does is enlarge the image which subsequently descreases the quality. If looking for large zoom, be sure to look for "optical" not "digital."
Sack up and climb.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests