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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12

    Camera for mountaineering

    Hi there,

    Can anyone recommend me a good camera for high altitudes as I was thinking of shooting past the 4000 m. mark. I am looking for Canon/Nikon that has a quality lense, light and durable.

    This is the kind of photo I am after:





    Thanks in advance,


    G.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    I'm happy with the Canon SDxxx line for my trips, but it would be nice to have a bit more on the wide angle end and you might want manual controls as well.

    I'd definately look at the A620 or new A700 if you think a compact would be good. I like my SD300 for skiing and hiking because the ultracompact format makes it always available on my sternum strap or pocket. It doesn't have manual controls, and that is a negative, but the photos have been excellent.

    I haven't been to altitude with this camera, but I don't think that's an issue. There's not much in the camera that would be affected by altitude. AA batteries would be nice for long trips in cold temps. Make sure you have an optical viewfinder so you can turn off the LCD to save juice.

    -dave-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    399
    Another you might want to look at would be the Pentax Optio W10. The reasons I mention this particular camera: 1)It is waterproof; 2)It is compact and; 3) It uses Lithium Ion batteries, fairly resilent in extreme cold (other batteries types are not).
    Canon S2 w Raynox DCR1540PRO 1.54X Teleconverter
    Hoya UV, Hoya Polarizer on Lensmate Attachments
    Tamrac 5683 with Tamrac SAS Med Lens Case

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    The Li-Ions work only marginally better than NiHM AAs. I have cameras that use both and regularly take them down to -20 F. Both work about the same.

    I find that for the best range of shots you need something that is in your hand or very close by. That's why I use my ultracompact most of the time. But a good compact adds many features that may be worth it. I haven't found a need for a waterproof camera yet, but in some enviornments it could be a lifesaver. I'm not convinced that the picture quality of the Pentax is up to the Canons.

    The picture you posted is dramatic, but I think that most cameras could take that shot very well. There's lots of light and contrast, those are the easy ones.

    -dave-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12
    Thanks for your replies.

    David, could you be a bit more specific about the digicam you are using, please?

    I have been suggested the following cameras (but maybe I need something a bit different, like the Powershot or Coolpix series):

    Nikon D70
    NikonD200
    Canon 350D Digital Rebel XT
    Canon EOS 5D (out of my current budget)
    Canon EOS 20D & 30D


    Problem is that all these cameras look nice but they might not be the best choice for an alpinist.

    And as I said I care more about the lense quality than what the body looks like.

    Please help me to decide.


    Thanks,



    G.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,146
    DSLRs take lots of space for lenses etc. I suggest the Canon S2 IS. It;ll do video, 5mp photos and has a 12x zoom. Plus, as it takes AA batteries you can use NiMh or throwaway lithium batteries. Plus, it's fairly small. It's not waterproof but ziploc bags are cheap enough!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    I use an ultracompact Canon SD300 for most of my trips.

    Personally, I'd recommend against a dSLR. They're just too big and heavy to climb or ski with and still have them immediately available for shots when you need them. You can carry them in your pack (and I've done that) but it's just not handy. Also, they weigh too much and are very bulky when trying to pack.

    If you want more zoom and manual controls, one of the ultrazooms would be a good choice. Rhys mentioned the Canon S2 which would be a good choice, but there are a few others (Panasonic, Nikon, Olympus) that you should also look at. I'm not as up on the ultrazooms, but it would be very useful to have one that goes below 35mm for landscape shots.

    Go to a camera store and pick up and play with a few of them. If you think you can comfortably carry a dSLR while climbing, then go for it. You'll get the best results with that assuming you buy good lenses. But for my money/time/effort, I no longer carry an SLR while hiking/skiing.

    -dave-

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12
    Rhys, I read bad reviews about the Canon S2IS. I guess it's a matter of personal preference. Thanks anyway for your suggestion.


    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    If you want more zoom and manual controls, one of the ultrazooms would be a good choice. Rhys mentioned the Canon S2 which would be a good choice, but there are a few others (Panasonic, Nikon, Olympus) that you should also look at. I'm not as up on the ultrazooms, but it would be very useful to have one that goes below 35mm for landscape shots.

    Go to a camera store and pick up and play with a few of them. If you think you can comfortably carry a dSLR while climbing, then go for it. You'll get the best results with that assuming you buy good lenses. But for my money/time/effort, I no longer carry an SLR while hiking/skiing.

    -dave-

    Dave, could you be more specific again about the ultrazooms?

    Again which is the best camera of this lot in terms of lense quality.

    So I can start now a list which will enable me to pick from:

    1. Canon Powershot A620

    2. ?

    3. ?


    Thanks,


    G.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    399
    I will say that any bad reviews you read concerning the Canon S2 were either specifically designed to damage the sales of the camera and/or they were written by someone you wouldn't want teaching your kids!

    The camera is one of the best Point and Shoot models to ever come down the pipe, period.

    BTW, you should be able to see from my signature that I own one - among others. I still hold my ground on recommending the Pentax Optio W10 for its small size, weatherproof design, Lithium cell and ease of use. I do a ton of mountain hiking, whitewater kayaking, etc. and less camera means more room for something possibly more important - I take a Canon Elph when weight/size is a concern, not my S2.
    Canon S2 w Raynox DCR1540PRO 1.54X Teleconverter
    Hoya UV, Hoya Polarizer on Lensmate Attachments
    Tamrac 5683 with Tamrac SAS Med Lens Case

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    The Canon S2 is a fine choice, I'm not sure either what reviews you are reading.

    You have to decide what you are looking for in a camera before we go too far. Do you want manual controls? How big is too big? Does it matter what type of batteries it uses? How much optical zoom do you need? Is video important? How about burst mode? Do you want weather/water proof?

    Based on what I do, I went with an ultracompact that takes excellent shots (but minimal manual controls) and an ultrazoom that I rarely use these days.

    -dave-

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