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  1. #1

    Default Good light durable digital camera

    For my upcoming GA->ME thru-hike in 2007, I am looking for a good light durable digital camera to take with me. I'd appreciate any ideas. Also a related question - I will carry a cell phone (sorry, purists!). I know some cell phones can take pictures, though I've never had one. Is that an option to consider? If so, what models would you recommend. Thanks in advance.
    Early Bird 2007

  2. #2

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    I am a long way away, but I picked up a Casio Exilim 6 mega pixle that is only 112 grams and fits in the pocket with ease. It is the newer model and the 7.1 megapixle is supposed to be the really deal. It takes both video and tons of shots of course. For me it works well, even has antishake, but it is the weight that gets me every time. The SD cards are dropping in price and again weigh the same as a nickle, so why not take something so light!
    Hoping to help

  3. #3

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    Cellphone cameras aren't that good. If you want good pics get a camera too. Olympus makes a "shockproof/waterproof" camera.

    And don't be yakking on your cell phone at shelters, mountain tops or looks outs!

  4. #4
    Registered User otterman's Avatar
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    I just purchased the Fuji F30. 6.3 megapixels. 5.5 oz. metal body. ISO of up to 3200 for great low light pictures. Exceptionally long battery life. 3x zoom. It fits in a shirt pocket. You can get it at Adorama right now for $209.00 after a $50.00 rebate. It gets great reviews and you can make good enlargements from the images. Something that I doubt will happen with a phone camera.

  5. #5

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    I am also in the market for a LW camera as well and will keep an eye on this tread. BTW never apologize for carrying a cellphone, you're carrying it and its your business.
    E-Z---"from sea to shining sea''

  6. #6

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    I just picked up the Canon A710IS. Runs on 2AA's and using NI-MH can get 350 shots per charge. 7 Mpix, 6x zoom and full manual controls. Another cool option is the Image stabilization system which allows you to take hand held shots down to 1/20th of a second shutter speed. Normally you can only hand hold 1/60th. That will allow me to get that blur effect of running water without having to use a tripod. Overall I am very pleased with this new camera and it weighs 9.5oz with batteries. I found it on buydig.com for $303.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly View Post
    Cellphone cameras aren't that good. If you want good pics get a camera too. Olympus makes a "shockproof/waterproof" camera.

    And don't be yakking on your cell phone at shelters, mountain tops or looks outs!
    I'll be sure to use it as close to you as possible. Seriously, I view them as a necessary evil. My wife would shoot me if I didn't take one.
    Early Bird 2007

  8. #8
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    I just bought a Pentax Optio M20. 7.0 mega pixels, 2.5 inch LCD monitor. It uses 2 AA batteries. Weighs 5.8 ounces with batteries and memory card installed. Cost $162.80. Bought it from www.abesofmaine.com. I haven't used it yet so can't give a review.

  9. #9
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I don't recommend the cellphone camera due to resolution and lack of zoom.

    Look for a camera with at least 3X optical zoom, 3 megapixels (MP), a 2" LCD screen, and self-timer. Ideally it will be waterproof, weigh less than 6 ounces, have a direct viewfinder (LCD images tend to wash out in bright light), and be small enough to fit in your pants pocket while you walk without nagging you.

    There are a lot of opinions out there about batteries, but frankly I would buy 1-2 extra proprietary batteries and ship the recharger ahead in a bounce box to the next town. The weight and capacity of standard AA or AAA batteries just aren't worth the convenience in my mind.

    I'd also think about buying several 256 MB memory cards, shipping them home periodically (in a padded envelope!) to download to your home PC.

    You'll get a lot of opinions about which camera to buy. If I was going to buy a new one I'd look at the Pentax OptioWP. The good lightweight ones are pricey but worth it to document an event like a thru-hike in my mind.

    BTW, your wife should realize that your cell phone won't function along most of the AT (even in some trail towns), and in fact you will probably keep it turned off most of the time to save battery life. I've actually wondered if something like a Blackberry might be a better emergency option, where you can type off-line and wait for a sufficiently strong connection to ship a short text e-mail. Battery life is better, but I'm not sure what the coverage would be (although I got a signal in Kinsman Notch and Crawford Notch on my section hike this Fall where we left our car).
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  10. #10

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    Thanks, I'm looking for a new camera. Please keep posting your ideas.

    Third Times a Charm

    GA^^^~~~~~^^^^~~~~~^^^^ME 2007

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimhfoster View Post
    I'll be sure to use it as close to you as possible. Seriously, I view them as a necessary evil. My wife would shoot me if I didn't take one.
    LOL.. I'm mostly only kiddding. Especially since I got a cell phone myself! However, if you see me using in in ashelter, on a mountain top or a look out. kick me!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Third Times A Charm View Post
    Thanks, I'm looking for a new camera. Please keep posting your ideas.

    Third Times a Charm

    GA^^^~~~~~^^^^~~~~~^^^^ME 2007
    I just bought a Canon Powershot A710 IS. The best price I could find was at 42th Street Camera for just under $300 shipped. I also found a couple Sandisk 1Gig SD cards on Ebay for $20 each including shipping.

    Edit: 42nd St Camera didn't provide a USA warranty. For about the same price you can get it at Beach Camera with a 12 month parts and labor warranty.

    In hand this is an awesome camera.

    Steve's Review.

    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/a710.html

    The specs...

    Canon PowerShot A710 IS Specifications Type of Camera
    • Type of Camera: Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 6x Optical / 4x Digital / 24x Combined Zoom with Image Stabilizer (IS) System
    Image Capture Device
    • Type: 7.1 Megapixel, 1/2.5 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
    • Total Pixels: Approx. 7.4 Megapixels
    • Effective Pixels: Approx. 7.1 Megapixels
    Lens
    • Focal Length: 5.8-34.8mm f/2.8-4.8 (35mm film equivalent: 35-210mm)
    • Digital Zoom: 4x
    • Focusing Range:
      Normal: 1.8 ft./55cm-infinity
      Macro: 0.39 in.-1.8 ft./1-55cm (WIDE)
    • Autofocus System: TTL Autofocus
    Viewfinders
    • Optical Viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
    • LCD Monitor: 2.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD
    • LCD Pixels: Approx. 115,000 pixels
    • LCD Coverage: 100%
    Aperture and Shutter
    • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8 (W) - f/4.8 (T)
    • Shutter Speed: 15-1/2000 sec. (settable in Tv and M)
    Exposure Control
    • Sensitivity: Auto, High ISO Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800 equivalent
    • Light Metering Method: Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot* (* Metering frame is fixed to the center or linked to the AF frame)
    • Exposure Control Method: Program AE, Shutter Speed-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Manual
    • Exposure Compensation: +/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
    White Balance
    • White Balance Control: Auto, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Underwater), Custom
    Flash
    • Built-in Flash: Auto, Auto w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Auto w/ Slow Synchro, Flash On, Flash On w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Flash On w/Slow Synchro, Flash Off
    • Flash Range:
      Normal: 1.8-11.0 ft./55cm-3.5m (W), 1.8-8.2 ft./55cm-2.5m (T)
      Macro: 1-1.8 ft./30-55cm (W-M) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)
    • Recycling Time: 10 sec. or less (battery voltage=3.0V)
    • Flash Exposure Compensation: +/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
    Shooting Specifications
    • Shooting Modes: Auto; Creative: P, Av, Tv, M; Image: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot, Color Accent, Color Swap), Stitch Assist, Movie
    • Photo Effects: My Colors (Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom Color)
    • Self-Timer: Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./10-sec. delay, Custom
    • Wireless Control: Not available
    • Continuous Shooting: Approx. 1.7 fps
    • Display Languages: 25 display languages provided (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian)
    Image Storage
    • Storage Media: SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard
    • File Format: Design rule for camera file system, DPOF Version 1.1
    • Image Compression:
      Still Image: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
      Movie: AVI (Image: Motion JPEG; Audio: WAVE (Monaural))
    • JPEG Compression Mode: Normal, Fine, SuperFine
    • Number of Recording Pixels:
      Still Image: 640 x 480 (Small), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3), 2,048 x 1,536 (Medium 2), 2,592 x 1,944 (Medium 1), 3,072 x 2,304 (Large), 3,072 x 1,728
      (Widescreen)Movie: 640 x 480 / 320 x 240 (30 fps/15 fps) available up to 1GB or 60 minutes, 320 x 240 (1 min. at 60 fps), 160 x 120 (3 min. at 15 fps)
    Obviously the Canon name was a big factor, and the Olympus I was looking at didn't have very good reviews, too many to list here. This camera shined. Other factors were 6x optical, manual controls, image stabilization, only uses 2 AA's, viewfinder, etc, ect, ect...


    The only drawbacks I could see were that it's not weatherproof and there's no adjustable diopter in the viewfinder.

  13. #13
    Section Hiking to Maine. little bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimhfoster View Post
    For my upcoming GA->ME thru-hike in 2007, I am looking for a good light durable digital camera to take with me. I'd appreciate any ideas. Also a related question - I will carry a cell phone (sorry, purists!). I know some cell phones can take pictures, though I've never had one. Is that an option to consider? If so, what models would you recommend. Thanks in advance.

    I have the Olympus Stylus 720 SW that is both shock proof and water proof. You can drop this camera from 10 feet onto rocks and it will be fine. It is also water proof to 15 feet. It is a 7.1 megapixel camera. I have had mine for about a year now and love it. I weights a little over 5 oz, and holds a lot of pictures and the battery life has lasted me up to a week and a half while taking pictures on the trail. If you have any questions bout this camera just shoot me a PM.

    Happy Hikes
    Little Bear
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

  14. #14
    Section Hiking to Maine. little bear's Avatar
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    The Olympus (mju) 720 SW main features:
    • Waterproof up to 3m*
    • Shockproof (equivalent to 1.5m)*
    • 7.1 million pixels
    • Bright 3x optical zoom 38-114mm (equivalent to 35mm camera) 1:3.5-5.0
    • Tough metal body in three colours: Dusky Pink, Polar Blue & Steel Silver
    • BrightCapture Technology for better low light photography
    • 6.4cm/2.5 LCD
    • 24 scene modes (incl. Portrait, Candle, Landscape and various underwater modes)
    • Movie function with sound (640x480 pixels, 15fps)
    • Macro and Super Macro mode for shots from as little as 7cm
    • Editing functions (e.g. Red-eye Fix, Calendar Composition, Layout Composition, Title Composition)
    • PictBridge compatible
    • 19.1 MB Internal memory plus xD-Picture Card slot
    • Multi-language menu plus possibility to download further languages from the internet
    • Supplied with Olympus Master Software and LI-42B
    • Optional underwater case PT-033 (waterproof up to 40m)
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell

  15. #15
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    Here is my vote: The Canon Elph.

    I've had it for a year and have taken it on multiple backpacking trips. Tiny, 5 megapixels, 12x zoom, lots of features but easy to use, good battery.

    It got voted "Best Small Digital Camera" by Consumer Reports.

    I've had bad luck with the Olympus cameras (2 of them), which BOTH broke for no apparent reason. I'll never buy Olympus again.

  16. #16
    Formerly CoralRives
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    Default Casio

    Quote Originally Posted by fujiboots View Post
    I am a long way away, but I picked up a Casio Exilim 6 mega pixle that is only 112 grams and fits in the pocket with ease. It is the newer model and the 7.1 megapixle is supposed to be the really deal. It takes both video and tons of shots of course. For me it works well, even has antishake, but it is the weight that gets me every time. The SD cards are dropping in price and again weigh the same as a nickle, so why not take something so light!
    Hoping to help
    I just got this Casio Exilim EX-Z70 7.2 Megapixel Digital Camera (Silver)
    Link: http://www.abesofmaine.com/viewproduct~id~csexz70.htm

    I have played with it for almost a week now and love it. Its very light and user friendly, and as to SD cards, BEST BUY was selling three 1 gig SD cards in a pack for an amazingly low price. This will make it nice to fill up a card, send it home to be uploaded and insert a fresh one and rotate them around!
    Last edited by Boat Drinks; 12-06-2006 at 14:55.
    "Be good and you will be lonesome" M. Twain

    There is a road, no simple highway,
    Between the dawn and the dark of night,
    And if you go no one may follow,
    That path is for your steps alone

  17. #17
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    Default Caveat Emptor- Buyer Beware

    Sly-"Edit: 42nd St Camera didn't provide a USA warranty. For about the same price you can get it at Beach Camera with a 12 month parts and labor warranty."
    If you had checked way,way down on 42nd St Camera's web site you would have seen the following in very small print. I have put some of it in bold.
    When you purchase "imported products" sometimes referred to as "grey market items" from us you are not covered under the manufacturer's one Year USA Warranty. This is mainly because the item was not purchased by the an agent authorized by the manufacturer, for purchasing and reselling. We do offer a wide range of extended warranties that will provide the same coverage that you get with the manufacturer.

    Is there any kind of Coverage Offered?

    Yes, 42nd St Photo offers a full 30 days warranty. Our warranty is much like the one offered by the manufacturer. Except, our warranty is hassle free as it does not require you to fill out any cards or do any type of product registration. All you need to use our 30-day warranty is a copy of your invoice. After the 30-day period, you will be able to take your item into any repair shop that is authorized to do work on your item and pay for the repair.
    If you plan to buy a camera mail order or via the internet, check out resellerrating.com to see if the store is one you'd dare to give your credit card info or money to. A LOT of the online stores are bait-and-switch or just outright crooks. If Sly had checked 42nd St Photo's rating he would have seen reviews from customers that say things like:
    "This store sells Grey Market products. No warranty except if you purchase extra. Sells cameras cheap but grossly overcharges for accessories. I purchased an additional Nikon EN-EL3e battery for $149 which I found out can be purchased for $50 elsewhere :-(. Extremely rude treatment of customers if you take something back to the store. Charges a $20 stocking fee."
    42nd St Photo isn't a great store with a 7 out of 10 rating but you can also find "Best Price Camera" (a.k.a. Infiniti Photo, also, bestpricecameras.com, jandkcameras.com) with a 0 out of 10 rating and countless reviews that go:
    Complete fraud! After I ordered, I got an email to call them back about the order. They wanted me to buy a battery for the camcorder for $180 since "the camera does not come with a battery." Obvious lie. I declined. Days later, I was notified that my order was put on the eternal backorder, all the while the price of the camcorder kept changing on their website and there was no indication that they were out of stock. The price jumped up $90 one day so I called to see if there were any available for me at that price. The customer service rep told me "No. We put it at that price so that nobody would order it."!!! No Joke!
    I was able to cancel the order; however this week there were several fraudulent online purchases made on my credit card. Gee, I wonder who could have done that...
    There are also hundreds of unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau against this store. If you are interested in some honest stores with good ratings, try B&H or Adorama. I just ordered a high-end DSLR from Adorama. I chose them because they take PayPal which is my online banking. PayPal sends money to whoever I'm buying from but the store never sees any of my credit info. This wasn't a concern with either B&H or Adorama but with other unknown online store it could make a big difference.

    Another way to check online stores is to simply Google 'store name fraud scam' and see what comes up. Be aware that there are some rating sites that are actually run by the scammers and they only have fake good reviews on their stores. Never trust the "5 star rating" you see for some online stores, most of these are bogus! Some of these stores are blocked from posting reviews on resellerrating.com because they try to post countless positive reviews on this ligit site to make their store look better.

    This was a long post but I hope it helps someone from making a big mistake.

  18. #18
    Registered User Kaptain Kangaroo's Avatar
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    Default Make it waterproof !!

    Whatever brand of camera you buy, I would strongly suggest getting one that is weatherproof/waterproof. You will be hiking through a lot of rain, and digital cameras do not like dampness. Three other thru-hikers I hiked with this year had digital cameras die from moisture. While you can protect your camera by double bagging it in ziplocs and burying it in your pack etc. this makes it pretty much impossible to take photos (and that's why you've got a camera right !) And to take a shot you have to take it out of the bags, so you can't take photos in the rain.
    My camera was a Pentax Optio (waterproof) & I just kept it in a pouch on my pack strap. I could take it out easily to get photos & could take shots in the pouring rain (seemed to get a lot of that) It survived the entire hike.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,

    Kaptain Kangaroo

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