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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3

    Question Camera for hiking/backpacking

    Deciding on a camera shortly as will be hitting the trails. Pictures of waterfalls, wildlife, across the valley shots, dawn/dusk, you get the idea. This will be my everyday camera also. Figure something with IS in case I need to freehand a shot although I'll take a tripod with me. How much zoom? It can fit in my fleece/jacket pockets or in a camera bag I wear at the waist. This will be my "one" purchase so I figure something in $400-$600 range.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    107
    Quote Originally Posted by nialriver
    Deciding on a camera shortly as will be hitting the trails. Pictures of waterfalls, wildlife, across the valley shots, dawn/dusk, you get the idea. This will be my everyday camera also. Figure something with IS in case I need to freehand a shot although I'll take a tripod with me. How much zoom? It can fit in my fleece/jacket pockets or in a camera bag I wear at the waist. This will be my "one" purchase so I figure something in $400-$600 range.
    Try the Panasonic DMC-FX7. It's 5mp and 3x optical zoom and it's small enough to out in the shirt pocket, and it get a big 2.5" LCD display. The street price is about US$450-$500.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    187

    Smile My choice

    Your camera needs sound almost exactly like mine. I chose the Olympus C-60. It's small, sturdy, has 6MPs, a macro & super macro, 3x zoom. I researched mine mostly on this site & bought it here from B & H Photo for $299 (About $100 more for ex battery & film card. )
    Check out the reviews & User Comments, see what you think.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3

    Question

    The Olympus C-60 doesn't appear to have IS whereas the DMC-FX7 does. Don't you find taking oportunistic shots while hiking a trail a problem? Also, is 3x adequate zoom?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146
    NialRiver-

    Provided a steady two handed grip is used and you are not attempting to deal with very low level light conditions you can probably do without the IS. You mentioned that you were looking for more zoom as well.

    How about the Olympus C-765 which is 10X optical zoom and 4mp but no IS, or the Canon S-1 IS which has has IS as indicated in its name, which is 10X optical zoom with 3.2mp. The pansonic LZ-1 and LZ-2 (reviewed on this website) are small stabilized and have 6X optical zoom, but no optical viewfinders are a possibility as well, though not as strong as the others in my opinion.

    Speaklightly

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,146
    NialRiver-

    Provided a steady two handed grip is used and you are not attempting to deal with very low level light conditions you can probably do without the IS. You mentioned that you were looking for more zoom as well.

    How about the Olympus C-765 which is 10X optical zoom and 4mp but no IS, or the Canon S-1 IS which has IS as indicated in its name, which is 10X optical zoom with 3.2mp. The Pansonic LZ-1 and LZ-2 (reviewed on this website) are small, stabilized, and have 6X optical zoom, but no optical viewfinders are a possibility as well, though not as strong as the others in my opinion.

    Another option, but in a rather square-ish configuration, is the 10X optical, 4mp, Kodak DX-6490. It has no IS but is selling at a record low price right now.

    Speaklightly

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3

    Olympus C-765

    Thanks for the guidance, everyone. Question about the Olympus (leaning that way); looks like it was introduced Apr '04, will there be a newer model shortly?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Marietta, Ga
    Posts
    39
    Sounds sorta like the specs for my next camera. One thing that I want that you left out is that I want it to be weatherproof, too. Ya' know -- weather happens!

    No, I don't really think that 3x zoom will get it, not in my experience. I was not able to get acceptable wildlife pics with my old 3x 1.3MP Oly (but I do have acceptable waterfall, cross valley, landscape, etc. with it, though). I can get acceptable wildlife pics with my 10x Oly C-755, but it isn't weatherproof, and has some issues with auto-focus in low light. Not a huge problem for me, as I just override it with manual focus. I don't really have a huge need for IS, I have a prettty steady hold, and a tripod, too. And I take plenty of opportunistic shots with no IS. My only real complaint with the C-755 is that it isn't weatherproof.

    Do you hear that, Olympus? If you'd make a weatherproof UZ, the world will beat a path to your door! Or any of you other camera makers? Listen Up! UltraZoom! Weatherproof! Better Low Light Performance! Get the point?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    I've got two cameras I take hiking and backcountry skiing. My Oly C-720 has been the workhorse for a while, taking excellent photos. I'm sure the C-765 or C-770 would be an improvement in nearly every way. I'd still like an AF-assist but it's only been a problem occasionally.

    I now carry my Canon SD300 for a more lightweight and compact model, it's really nice to just clip to my sternum strap and use more frequently.

    I don't think IS is essential, especially if you are willing to carry a tripod. I've missed a few shots but I can't blame the lack of IS. I've taken thousands of images while hiking, and a lack of IS doesn't seem to have been much of an issue, even at full zoom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    187

    Yes,but...

    Quote Originally Posted by nialriver
    The Olympus C-60 doesn't appear to have IS whereas the DMC-FX7 does. Don't you find taking oportunistic shots while hiking a trail a problem? Also, is 3x adequate zoom?
    Yes, you're right, it doesn't have IS, but I feel I would miss more "opportunistic shots" if I took the time to set up a tripod. I do carry a mini tripod for macro shots. Sometimes I have to take a few shots (especially with no flash) to get one I feel is good.
    I see that Speaklightly mentioned the Oly C-765. I almost bought that one, but I felt the protruding lens would be too vunerable & large to carry at my waist while crawling under branches,etc.
    The 3x zoom isn't alot, but it's a quality optical zoom & I wonder if more zoom would make a tripod more necessary. I didn't go for the weather-proof Olys because they didn't have as good macro capabilities, which was important for my use.
    Like everyone researching cameras here, you need to decide what's best for your use & then be prepared to likely not find every feature you want in one camera.

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