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Camera for ultralight purposes
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Ethan Croft
(rcroft10@msn.com) - F

Locale: West (Big Horn Basin)
Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 16:51:45 MDT Print View

Does anyone know what the best and lightest camera is to be used for ultralight backpacking. I want this camera to take general pictures without a damage on weight carried. Does anyone have any personnal favorites and why?

Dan Cunningham
(mn-backpacker)

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 17:56:16 MDT Print View

I have a Canon 880 IS. It's 6.3 ounces, very compact, 10 MP, has image stabilization, very fast startup, and a wide angle zoom (28-112mm = 35mm equiv) - which is rare on such a small camera. I'd recommend it. No, it doesn't shoot anywhere close to the quality as my Nikon D70, but it's also not 2.5 pounds. :)

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 19:13:34 MDT Print View

I recommend a 4.5 oz camera.
(4.16 ounces without battery and accesories).

What is great is the 28 mm wide angle lens which is a must for wide-angle panaroma shots.

There may be newer models - I got mine at Costco which has a 90 day money back guarantee, so get yours before your big hike so you can take it back if you don't like it. I like mine and will be taking it again for my entire JMT hike.

http://tinyurl.com/dcmtu7

to see how good the camera works on the JMT, see here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/roleigh/collections/72157607171206490/

Casio Exilim Card Camera, model EX-Z77 (3x optical zoom, 7.2 megapixel, 2.6ā€ monitor). Camera weight 4.5 ounces. I actually had the Ex-S750 model which is a tiny bit bigger, but if you are going to buy one, Iā€™d get the EX-Z77 model instead. I did end up using the spare battery and spare SD card. What I love about the Exilim camera is the best shot picture and best shot wizard ā€“ with these wizards, you do not need to memorize your camera manual and settings. These are the two primary settings I use. You interact with the wizard to tell it what type of photo setting you want. It is super easy. Go to a camera store and ask to see the best shot picture wizard feature of the Exilim Camera. Casio sells more expensive models but the EX-Z77 is the lightest of their models (4.16 ounces without battery and accesories).

Some of their newest models:
http://www.casio.com/products/Cameras/Exilim_Zoom/EX-Z100BE/

10 megapixel 28 mm wide angle lens

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 21:30:38 MDT Print View

A request please:

I am looking to replace mine also. But I am interested in an old fashion view finder in addition to a LCD screen. In bright sunlight I really struggle to see the picture, and I get better pictures with my el cheapo digital camera than my expensive one as far as setting up the picture.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 21:37:19 MDT Print View

Nick, I forgot to mention, the Casio has an old fashion view finder which is what I use 99% of the time. Like I said, if you belong to Costco, choose from your choices there, as you get 90 days no questions asked to return items plus a 2 year warranty.

Hoot Filsinger
(filsinger) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
battery life on 04/04/2009 21:40:03 MDT Print View

How is the battery life on the Casio?

Bill

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: battery life on 04/04/2009 22:04:27 MDT Print View

I can go on a 4 week vacation with two backup lithium batteries. Each battery is good for about 1gb of pics taken. I was at day 11 on the JMT when I had to change batteries last year.

R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 22:45:17 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=18984&skip_to_post=147433#147433

Edited by FastWalker on 04/04/2009 23:13:26 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/04/2009 23:08:47 MDT Print View

Without a doubt, the Panasonic Lumix FX37 is a great camera. It was one I wished Costco had when I shopped a year ago.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/05/2009 11:47:54 MDT Print View

Olympus also makes a line of "All-Weather" point and shoot cameras. Basically they're described as "splash-proof" (although they do have one that's good to 8 feet under). I picked up a Stylus 880 All-Weather on eBay last year for $130. I weighs just a hair over 5 ounces with battery and 2 gb card. It's a 8 megapixel with a 5x optical zoom.

Just another thought. I like knowing that I don't have to be as careful using it in the rain or fog.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/05/2009 15:40:45 MDT Print View

> I like knowing that I don't have to be as careful using it in the rain or fog.

EXCEPT that you still have to keep the lens dry!

Cheers

Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/05/2009 15:58:58 MDT Print View

>But I am interested in an old fashion view finder in addition to a LCD screen.

Absolutely - nothing sucks batteries like the LCD. I wouldn't consider a camera for backpacking if it didn't have a view finder. I'm also a big fan of the 28mm equivalent wide-angle. That combination is hard to find in a compact, but the Canon SD800 IS has both, and has gotten pretty good reviews. I've had mine for almost a year and love it. Downsides - aside from a lack of good manual controls, it takes really poor low-light pictures.

Tim Heckel
(ThinAir) - M

Locale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/07/2009 12:55:11 MDT Print View

Too, I can't live without a viewfinder. That really narrows down the selections.
I can second the Canon SD series. I have an SD1000. Tough little camera.
But I miss the ability of my little Olympus to disable the LCD. On long trips I would set it so the LCD would not turn on by default.
Tim

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Re: Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/07/2009 13:45:09 MDT Print View

I agree that the Canon SD800 is awesome. Not much you can do about poor low-light pictures (except use a lightweight tripod if possible) but check out the CHDK firmware addon (http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK) if you want manual controls and many other awesome features.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Pentax Optio on 04/13/2009 06:23:53 MDT Print View

I'm no photography geek, but I have one of the older Pentax Optio waterproof models and I love it. It is also dust-proof, obviously, which was a plus for me (I bought it in Afghanistan- long story). I would quickly destroy a non-ruggedized camera.

The newer version is the W60, which is available in multiple colors and weighs 4.4oz, though I think that is without the rechargable Li battery. 10MP.

Edited by acrosome on 04/13/2009 07:02:37 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/14/2009 15:02:53 MDT Print View

I'm pleased with the results from the camera built into my HTC touch diamond. Just over 4oz, and it also has built in GPS, mapping software, FM radio, internet access via 3G or WiFi. You can even make phone calls with it.

Hi Dean!

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Nokia n86 on 04/14/2009 21:42:16 MDT Print View

It is not available yet but it has the best camera of any current gen. phones.

8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, wide 28mm Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus, dual LED flash, variable aperture (going through F2.4/F3.2/F4.8), geotagging, VGA@30fps

It has multiple uses:
Phone, GPS, digital compass, FM/music/video player, flash light.

It has a 1200mAh battery and all this for 5.25oz.

Edited by huzefa on 04/14/2009 21:42:46 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/15/2009 00:03:37 MDT Print View

HI ROG !!!

Y'know, I just read a blurb about a camera with built-in GPS that automatically takes each photo with metadata listing the location that it was taken. I was wondering if it was usable as a regular GPS- i.e. will it display your current location on the screen or something. Because that would definitely be a multi-use item.

But the HTC Touch Diamond is a cell-phone, isn't it? I'm going to make an assumption, here: that you mostly hike in Europe. If so, you would almost always have reception, so the phone is a great safety tool, as well. (Not to mention the mapping funtionality.) But just how good is the camera? I suspect that these photo-geeks would be unhappy with it if it is a typical 1.3MP phone camera. But, I also know that some high-end phones are getting better and better cameras these days.

Then again, a true photo-geek would be unhappy with trivial performance parameters of my Optio of which I am totally ignorant, too...

Edited by acrosome on 04/15/2009 00:11:40 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Camera for ultralight purposes on 04/15/2009 07:00:02 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,
yes, it's a phone. The camera is 3.1MP and takes nice shots
For example:
http://1.2.3.10/bmi/cache.backpackinglight.com/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1229177546_08880.jpg

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
phone cameras on 04/17/2009 07:29:43 MDT Print View

3.1MP? Crap. It is SO easy to get behind the technology curve these days...

A while ago I got suckered into buying one of those little Digital Hero cameras, for kayaking. What a waste of money!

Edited by acrosome on 04/17/2009 07:30:50 MDT.