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Wilderness Photography The Wilderness Photography forum is for the discussion of photography (videography) gear, experience, and technique as it directly relates to wilderness photography. PBF members may also post self-owned photos that have been uploaded to the PB Gallery or as post attachments. Offsite links and offsite photos are prohibited. Please see ("sticky") instructional post located at top of threads.


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  #11  
Old 02-26-2014, 12:20 PM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New South Wales
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My little "tough" camera - an Olympus mµ ~ probably costs less than a quarter of the price of a decent (and "more fragile"..) SLR with a couple of lenses (such as my new Nikon..).

Just the opposite of the question raised in the O/P !
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2014, 12:35 PM
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Bushwalker Bushwalker is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New South Wales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
I believe that's the best way for you to go.

There are several good cameras out there under $200.

Here are just a few features you may wish to consider:
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Optical Zoom (higher the better) [Disregard 'digital' zoom]
  • Low "Shutter Latency" or Lag - This might not be listed with the camera, so do a search for the shutter latency of a particular camera model. [Basically, this will determine how fast you are able to get a shot.]
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Other worthy, but perhaps less important, features: 1080p Full HD Video, Built-in WiFi,...
By the way, the megapixels (ultimately photo resolution) of the most popular brands of compact cameras are all acceptable for amateur photography needs.

The Canon SX280 HS and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 are a couple ideas.

Side Note: In episode 51, of the Practical Backpacking™ Podcast, Kolby Kirk mentions a compact camera that he's taken tens of thousands of photos with in the wilderness.

Reality


THE Olympus "point and shoot" I have cost close to $500 down here in Oz 9-10 years ago ! (In the US at that time they were probably around the $300-350 mark ?).
The current model (with more than double the megapixels and better sensors..), sells down here for well under $300 these days ~ so it's probably under $200 in the USA ?

Sony also has some nice new cameras out these days..
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2014, 07:52 PM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGervin
I've used Minolta X-700's in the heavy mist of a waterfall with no more protection than a rain hood, and have never had a problem.

... X-700's were always considered too fragile to be a pro camera, but I used them with no failures in the backcountry just by taking extra care with them. The traditional approach to hauling serious photo gear has always been to protect the gear like it's the most fragile stuff you own. If you take that mentality with any camera, you should find you can take almost anything you want and it will come back safe and sound. Rely on yourself, not expensive marketing features, to keep your gear safe.

Agree 100% with your strategy to use and protect "fragile" gear!

Also, I owned used the heck out of a Minolta X-700 for about 10 years. I thought it was an awesome camera and it went every where I went - to the beach, backpacking, college field trips, summer camps, etc, etc, etc.

I did not think if it as a fragile camera although I guess compared to my friends Nikon F something or other, my X-700 was probably not as durable. I did have that camera in the shop 1 time in 10 years...the film advance lever (or the gears inside the camera) broke. Other than that it was an awesome SLR and I took literally thousands of photos with that camera.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2014, 01:06 PM
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striker striker is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Gregory Jade 38
Sleeping Gear: MYOG down quilt
Shelter: Bilgy Tarp Tent
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: AZ
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Thanks all for your feedback. We picked up a Panasonic Lumix ZS25 today. So far so good. The quality of the photography has not improved, but the pictures are clear and nice. I am pretty confident that I can keep this little guy safe! Going to make a little silnylon rain cover for the camera case.
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  #15  
Old 03-02-2014, 12:21 AM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Deuter ACT Lite 65+10
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: California
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I bet that camera will work well for you.

Early this year, I finally broke down and got a digital replacement for the old X-700 workhorses. It's also a Panasonic Lumix. I think they're not quite as good as a $10,000 top of the line Canon DSLR, but I bet you didn't pay $10,000 for it either!

If you want a great way to make a perfectly good case for your new camera, get a ubiquitous blue foam sleeping mat. Or take one you already own, and dedicate it to a higher cause. Cut it into pieces, and make a rectangular box out of the foam for that camera. (Make a cardboard mock-up first, and use the mock-up to make cardboard templates for cutting the foam if you need to.) Use Barge cement to glue the foam mat pieces together. Blue foam/Barge cement seams won't come apart.

I've used higher end Lowe Pro cases for my lenses. But Lowe Pro makes their lens cases a lot heavier than they need to be. At one point, I found I was taking a couple of pounds of camera/lens cases with me. I started making my own cases from blue foam mats, and have one each for my 400mm f5.6 and my 5lb. Tamron 300mm f2.8. (I used to keep all my Minolta glass in these homemade cases.) The heavy Tamron will eventually crush the blue foam and I'll have to make another, but it will last a few trips and it protects the lens well. Seems to me the Lowe Pro case for that lens is around 1.5lbs, and my blue foam case is on the order of a few ounces. With your camera, a blue foam case would probably qualify as ultralight. Make a rain cover for that case, and you're really set.

By the way, silnylon isn't completely waterproof. I'd think about a heavier material that is waterproof for the rain cover. Maybe a small dry bag of some sort?

Last edited by GGervin : 03-02-2014 at 12:25 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2014, 08:23 AM
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striker striker is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Junior Member
Backpack: Gregory Shasta, Gregory Jade 38
Sleeping Gear: MYOG down quilt
Shelter: Bilgy Tarp Tent
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: AZ
Posts: 35
Ah I like the idea of making my own case. I also have a Lowe Pro case and it is pretty heavy for what it is. I have some foam laying around, if I have time before my next trip I'll see what I can put together.

As for the silnylon not being totally waterproof, I am not terribly concerned at this point. I live in Arizona and do most of my hiking here so any cover at all is probably serious overkill. On several dozen backpacking trips in this state I have only pulled out my packcover 3 times and I cannot recall any stream crossings serious enough to warrant being concerned about falling in
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