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Digital and Light
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Vic Lipsey
(vlipsey) - MLife
Pentax Optio on 12/14/2004 22:57:29 MST Print View

What's your fave digital camera for the trail?

Last summer, I replaced my Nikon Coolpix 2500 with a Pentax Optio S40 and have been loving it. It's 20% smaller, lighter (4.4 oz), and twice the megapixels (4 MB). And if nothing else, I can use "real" AA batteries -- specifically lithiums -- rather than that rechargeable block that dies 4 days into a 6-day hike. Plus, I can still find rechargeable AA's as an option. I prefer the dual use as backup batteries between my GPS, camera, flashlight, and propeller cap . . .

In high contrast situations, the lens shows its weakness. Just a touch of distortion on bright sunsets. But those are slight.

I keep the camera and a spare SD card tucked in a small Aloksak that rides in a front belt pouch. It powers on fast enough to shoot everything but the most skittish critters. And stayed dry through 4 days of solid North Cascades rain.

By comparison, my brother-in-law tried hiking with one of those Ebay digital cameras, the size of a lighter. Very lightweight, but when he got home all the photos looked like Bigfoot sightings. Next hike, he picked up a late model Olympus. I'll see if he'll post a review . . . Eh, Scott?

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Waterproof camera on 12/15/2004 13:39:49 MST Print View

Pentax makes a waterproof version of the Optio, the 43WR. It can survive being underwater for a short period of time, and rain isn't a problem. It's a little heavier at 7.5 oz, though. Takes 2 AA's and an SD card.

I totally agree on the utility of AA batteries in a camera. Lithiums for the trail, NiMH at home.

That said, I've started carrying an 8-megapixel Nikon with a truly wide-angle lens on short hikes. I just carry a spare battery.


Vic Lipsey
(vlipsey) - MLife
Waterproof camera on 12/15/2004 15:04:50 MST Print View

Which Nikon do you own? I've been thinking about the digital SLRs, especially for the print publications I work on.

Scott Gnile
(sierratrekker) - F - M
eBay Camera??? on 12/15/2004 17:03:31 MST Print View


It wasn't an eBay camera, it was an Aiptek MegaCam and at 2.2 oz it is almost as light as the two AA batteries you carry for your camera.

However the lack of a flash and LCD preview screen led me to give it an early retirement.

I am really happy with my All-Weather Olympus Stylus 410 which weighs in a 6.8 oz. The battery pack weighs only 1.1 oz and lasted our entire nine day trip. I have a 256 mB xD Memory card and took over seventy 4 Megapixel pictures, including a thirty second video of you chewing a ClifBar "just like mom used to buy".

The all-weather feature worked flawlessly during the last four days of North Cascades rain, giving me pictures during the rain while your Optio stayed dry inside your pack.

Edited by sierratrekker on 12/15/2004 17:08:57 MST.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Digital SLRs on 12/15/2004 19:24:14 MST Print View

Hi, Vic,

The Nikon I mentioned is a compact digicam, the Coolpix 8400. It has a built-in 24-85mm (equivalent) lens. I use it as my personal camera, and as a 'carry camera' at work. (I am the staff photographer at a university.)

For publication work, any of the Nikon SLR digital cameras would work well. The D-70 and the D-100 are terrific, with the nod going to the D-70 for price. I use Canon D-SLR's at work, so I'm not particularly familiar with the Nikon SLR line. You may feel free to contact me off-list of you want to talk further.


Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
New 4MP Olympus weatherproff 3.7oz on 12/15/2004 19:29:25 MST Print View

Edited by vlipsey on 12/16/2004 01:02:04 MST.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Olympus Stylus Verve Weatherproof 3.7 oz 4MP digicam on 12/15/2004 20:49:11 MST Print View

Kim thanks for posting that. We need a graphic emoticon here for drool. That's a very cool camera - nice and tiny too. Those batteries are about 1/2 oz so 4.2 oz for a weatherproof 4MP...not bad.

Vic Lipsey
(vlipsey) - MLife
Digital SLRs on 12/16/2004 00:54:33 MST Print View

Has anyone attempted a Che-ez Foxz2 camera? Under 2 oz for 3MP, and it's currently online at Target.

Trust me, this is not an ad for this camera, but if it's working for web shots other than Bigfoot journals, I'd love to know.

Edited by vlipsey on 12/16/2004 00:58:22 MST.

Kim Skaarup
(skaarup) - F

Locale: Cold, wet and windy Scandinavia
Reviews of digital cameras on 12/16/2004 06:19:18 MST Print View

There is a counterpart to BPL on digitalcameras:

For review on The Olumpus Verve try to look at:
Please note he has a submenu with a lot of insights: ------ Select Review page ----

Also a nice feature for the Olympus Stylus Verve is the lightweight waterproff case you can take snorkling in The Caribeans, to about 10ft. under water.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Digital camera reviews on 12/16/2004 10:21:16 MST Print View

Even more comprehensive than Steve's site (as good as it is) is:
the Digital Photography Review. Very highly regarded by professionals.
it's interesting to compare and contrast differing tests from different sources before plunking down the plastic.

Edited by kdesign on 12/16/2004 17:07:02 MST.

Mike Storesund
(mikes) - F
Sony DSC-W1 Compact SLR on 01/17/2005 23:46:56 MST Print View

At 6.9 oz. (189g) this is a performing compact 5.1 megapixel SLR. I have taken some great pictures, but winter camps need to warm up in an inside jacket pocket first.

Edited by mikes on 01/17/2005 23:48:06 MST.