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Best Camera for Hiking?
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Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Best Camera for Hiking on 05/19/2008 19:12:25 MDT Print View

No news on the FD100. Fuji have released a patch for the pink banding but I still have not seen the camera.
As others have pointed out, a tripod is still the best type of stabilization, however with the Pana I can easily drop two shutter speeds without noticing any difference.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Best Camera for Hiking - TZ5 vs FX500 on 05/19/2008 19:55:25 MDT Print View

Dondo, Franco, et al:

I found a very useful comparison of the Panasonic TZ5 and the FX500. Something VERY interesting to note: the TZ5 only gets 25mm in 4:3 mode. In 16:9 mode, it gets 27mm because it simply crops the top and bottom of the sensor.

The TZ5, on the other hand, gets 28mm at all 3 aspect ratios.

Check out Panasonic's examples, towards the bottom of the page:



Since I shoot almost exclusively in 16:9 mode, it's a no-brainer for me: I'm keeping the TZ5. If you shoot mostly in 4:3 or 3:2, you may still want to consider the FX500. But I highly recommend 16:9; it's a very fun format to shoot, and it fits much better on today's widescreen monitors. So for me, the FX500 offers 27-125mm, whereas the TZ5 offers 28-280mm. And I don't have to worry about the IQ issues with the FX500 at 135mm.

Too bad the Sigma only received an above average rating. It would be great to see more compact cameras with a large sensor.

Edited by jcarter1 on 05/19/2008 19:58:56 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Best Camera for Hiking on 05/19/2008 22:21:30 MDT Print View

Good point John, the difference between theory and practice..
I look at my test shots on my computer screen at 4:3 and print some on that ratio, however particularly of late I have been using a 50" Full HD panel (not mine...) and I see viewing the shots on the "TV" the new version of a slide night, particularly since we print less and less and LCD panels are coming out with flash memory slots.
I pestered Sony and Pana for a couple of years to include a 16:9 sensor in their line up.( for a few months I was buying more Pana still cameras than any other single shop in Australia and stocked every model sold under that brand) After all they already had a movie mode and TV connectivity via the composite cable. Eventually Panasonic came out with the first 16:9 camera, the LX1.

John Carter

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Best Camera for Hiking on 05/22/2008 04:16:57 MDT Print View

I'll admit that a 25mm in 4:3 mode would add a lot of drama to the foreground that I loose in 16:9 mode. But you're exactly right; ever since my purchase of a 24" iMac, I haven't felt the need to print my photos out except for rare occasions. So for me I'd rather squat down lower to capture the dramatic foreground, and use the 28mm 16:9 to fill my computer monitor. It's a trade off for sure, but one that I am convinced is the wave of the future. So who's gonna be the first to come out with true 25mm 16:9? =)

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/03/2008 21:14:03 MDT Print View

This is a question for early adopters of the Sigma DP1. You've had a chance to play with it a bit. Any comments on the good, the bad, and the ugly about this camera?

(Conductor) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
Best Camera for Hiking? on 06/11/2008 14:50:41 MDT Print View

Has anyone used the Optio M50?

John Roan
(JRoan) - MLife

Locale: Vegas
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/11/2008 15:24:42 MDT Print View

Check out the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. It may not be the lightest, but for what we do, it's great since it's Shockproof. Waterproof. Freezeproof. Crushproof. You actually clean this thing under water!

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
HDTV on 06/12/2008 16:34:19 MDT Print View

I'm looking for a new camera. I know very very little about dig cameras. I have a basic 7.2 MP Canon P&S dig camera and like it, but I'd like to get better photos on the trail.

I've read all the posts here, and it seems like the following, not including the Sigma, are the most popular choices now:

Ricoh GX100, Canon G9, and Panasonic Lumix FX500.

The FX500 is advertised as easy to connect to HDTV.

Is it easy to view pics taken with GX100 and G9 on HDTV??????

Also, I like the GX100 because it offers the option to use AAA batteries, which is a useful feature, I think.

Any advice???


Edited by greenwalk on 06/12/2008 16:35:36 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: HDTV on 06/12/2008 16:56:56 MDT Print View

Hi Michael

> I have a basic 7.2 MP Canon P&S dig camera and like it, but I'd like to get better photos on the trail.

I use a Canon A95 with only 5 MP. I too would like to get better pictures, but in my case I know that changing my camera won't do much to correct my mistakes. I know that I can take better pictures by being more careful about exposure settings, composition, holding the camera steady, and so on. So I am concentrating on improving how I use my existing camera.

But I DO agree that a camera that uses AA or AAA batteries is better for long-distance walking use than one which uses custom rechargeable batteries.


Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/13/2008 02:45:32 MDT Print View

You can use the composite cable (yellow and white (plus red for stereo) RCA plugs) to connect most still cameras to any HD panel (you get a Standard Definition image with this) . Another way is to use a card reader via the USB port on the Playstation 3 . Or get a DVD player that can play JPEG files (you need a CD or DVD burner for that)
Some DVD players also have an SD slot and a few a USB slot as well (generic brands)

Mike Barney
(eaglemb) - F

Locale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
Cameras to HDMI? on 06/13/2008 08:56:07 MDT Print View

Is anyone aware of a camera that has an HDMI interface to an HDTV?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/14/2008 01:37:02 MDT Print View

The Sanyo Xacti HD1000 and HD1010 have a component cable in the box. The HD Sony Cybershot (DSCW110/120/150/300/T170/T2/T300/H10H50) can output HD via an optional component cable (VMCMHC1)
Panasonic has the CDHG50 HMI cable ($99) for the Lumix TZ5/15, FX35/500
Note that the Sonys are optimised for a component output.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/17/2008 14:53:38 MDT Print View

Thanks all for the info and suggestions. I think I'll take Roger's advice and try to see if I can get better pics by using a tripod more often and re-reading the camera's manual. I'll see how it goes, but if I'm not happy with the results, I think the GX100 will be for me, though I'd rather go with the Canon cause I've had good luck with Canons. And Franco, thanks for the tips on getting pics on HD TV; I think the PlaySation 3 and reader might be the way to go for me. @@@@ Anyone have good reports with GX100 or another similar camera that has the option to use AA or AAA batteries?? --Mike

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Best Camera for Hiking on 06/17/2008 15:25:16 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,

Please be aware that the AA/AAA backup capability for cameras designed primarily to use Li-ion rechargeables is an emergency stopgap, as the number of shots drops tremendously.

e.g., The Ricoh GRD II specs 370 shots from the OEM battery and 45 from AAA alkalines. Disposable lithium or NiMH cells will outperform alkalines, but Ricoh doesn't provide a spec.

That said, the GRD II and GX100 are among the top few compact backpacking digicams and spare Li-ion cells aren't terribly expensive.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Best Camera for Hiking on 06/17/2008 15:42:46 MDT Print View

And the spare Li ion batteries probably weigh less than a set of Li AAA batteries for the GX 100

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Best Camera for Hiking on 06/19/2008 03:48:00 MDT Print View

Rick & Roger, Thanks for the extra info. I did note that when reading the specs on the cameras but your info has clarified the matter for me. Important to keep in mind. Cheers, Mike

Joaquin Garcia
(prometheusg) - F
Nokia? on 08/31/2008 04:14:55 MDT Print View

I know most of the responses here have been about stand alone cameras, but has anyone given thought to a camera phone? I know the quality isn't the same, but if you're really looking to lose some weight, it's a valid option.

I'd suggest a Nokia N-series phone, like the N82 or N95. You get a phone (of course), 5mp camera and video recorder, GPS with maps built in, radio, alarm clock, and 8gb of storage space. If you think you need it, you also get a high-speed internet device and music/media player.

If you opt for the newish N78 (3mp camera), or any of the forthcoming N79, N85, or N96 (all 5mp cameras), your pics are tagged with gps coordinates, too. Makes it easy to figure out where you were when you snapped the shot!

If you keep the phone off, and only turn it on when you need it (take pictures, use gps, etc), the battery will easily last well over a week.

They range from 3.4 to 4.5 ounces.

Price is the only concern. You generally can't get Nokia phones subsidized by U.S. carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile), so you pay full price. N82 ~400, N95 ~520, N96 ~850 (suggested price when it arrives in October).

Huzefa Siamwala
Re: Nokia? on 09/10/2008 12:23:06 MDT Print View

Joaquin, your post has got me thinking.

N82 has a 5mp camera with Xenon flash. All that extra features sound great and the whole package is lighter then many 5mp stand alone camera out there. I would love to see a a phone with xenon flash and new geotagging capability.

What I am wondering is what makes a good camera. I really know little about cameras. Are stand alone 5mp cameras really much better then say 5mp camera phone with xenon flash?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Best Camera for Hiking on 09/10/2008 16:37:42 MDT Print View

The size of the sensor and the quality of the lens are the two most important factors in determining the possible quality of a camera, not the amount of pixels. To illustrate, the first Nikon digital SLR (D1) had an output of 2.6MP, however it still outperforms the entire current crop of compact cameras (including the 10/12/14mp models). Its sensor (23.6x15.5mm) was about 15x the size of the one use by the better compacts(5.5x4.14mm), and of course it used the standard 35mm Nikon lenses. Compare that with the tiny sensor and tiny lens used by phones.
Camera phones are for the happy snapper, for folk that just want a record of where they were but don’t care for quality nor intend to print the pictures.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
re. Nokia on 09/10/2008 16:58:27 MDT Print View

I can attest that the two cellphones "mit kamera" I've owned aren't fit for anything but gathering evidence for court, but I've recently seen some decent iphone snapshots--possibly good enough for 4x6 prints.

Just think: if they keep making cellphone cameras better, then they'll only have to figure out how to make the phone bit work in the mountains :-P