Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Camera Gear, How-To, Questions
sheilakpdx
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Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by sheilakpdx » July 21st, 2017, 6:52 pm

I have seen many beautiful pictures posted and both this and viewing my own pictures (most times I am disappointed at the result of my phone pictures) I am inspired to research and potentially purchase a small lightweight point and shoot type of camera. If anyone has any recommendations, I would appreciate you posting them. So far (from online reviews) Ricoh GR II has received the best recommendations. Thanks --

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kepPNW
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by kepPNW » July 22nd, 2017, 6:31 am

I'm on my fifth Panasonic Lumix now. Between volcanic ash and rain and "stuff" like that, I tend to beat the hell out of them out there. Just bought a new ZS50 to replace the beat-up old ZS40. (There are newer models, but this one used all the same accessories.) Love the Leica lens and big optical zoom. Photo results can be judged via that link in my sig. :)
Karl
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jdemott
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by jdemott » July 22nd, 2017, 9:19 am

When people ask "what camera should I buy" the first thing that comes to mind is "what do you want to do with it?" Also, since this is a question asked by both novices and experts alike (along with everyone in between) it's hard to know what type of answer to give.

The Ricoh camera that you mention has a fixed focal length lens, which has both pluses and minuses. The biggest negative is that you get a fixed field of view, so the only way you can take a close up is by getting physically close to your subject and the only way you get a wider view of the subject is by backing up. On the plus side, you get a high quality, wide aperture lens without the compromises inherent in a zoom lens. A camera like the Ricoh is good for street photography, for interiors, and for wide angle landscapes. Not so good for isolating subjects, either close up or far away.

If you would like the flexibility of a zoom lens, there are many more choices. A very nice option, but more expensive than the Ricoh, is the Sony RX100V, with a useful, but limited zoom range, very wide aperture, electronic viewfinder and excellent image quality. You should also look at the various cameras in the Canon GX Powershot series -- GX1 Mk2, GX5, GX7, and GX9, which all have very good image quality and a variety of zoom ranges and camera sizes to choose from. The GX7 MK2 might be a good compromise choice in offering a fairly long zoom range, and wide aperture in a pocket size package for not much more than the Ricoh.

Since you're thinking about using this for hiking, you might also consider a rugged camera, like the Olympus TG-5--waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, bulletproof (just kidding). The image quality is not as good as the cameras mentioned above, but it's way better than a cell phone camera, and it has a nice zoom range, plus you won't worry about it on the trail when you shoot in the rain or throw it in your pack or whatever.

Lastly, I'll mention that a lot of hikers like so-called super-zoom cameras with a really long zoom range. These cameras give you a chance at photographing wildlife and taking other shots of distant subjects without the expense and weight of a $5,000 plus pro setup. The image quality is definitely compromised, but still better than a phone, and they offer surprisingly good results for the price and size of the unit.

Also, remember that the best camera is the one you have with you (especially if you are really familiar with it). So find a camera that seems right for you and enjoy it. I have lots of cameras, but I really like having my iPhone in my pocket all the time and I use it a lot.

Webfoot
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by Webfoot » July 22nd, 2017, 9:41 pm

kepPNW wrote:I'm on my fifth Panasonic Lumix now. Between volcanic ash and rain and "stuff" like that, I tend to beat the hell out of them out there. Just bought a new ZS50 to replace the beat-up old ZS40. (There are newer models, but this one used all the same accessories.) Love the Leica lens and big optical zoom. Photo results can be judged via that link in my sig. :)
I am in the processing of degrading an ZS50 with dust and rain myself and I've concluded I can't afford not to have weather resistance on its eventual replacement. Have you considered and dismissed that option? I suppose five cameras in it is not cost that's stopping you, but rather the size and weight of something like a PowerShot G3 X?

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kepPNW
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by kepPNW » July 23rd, 2017, 6:22 am

Webfoot wrote:
kepPNW wrote:I'm on my fifth Panasonic Lumix now. Between volcanic ash and rain and "stuff" like that, I tend to beat the hell out of them out there. Just bought a new ZS50 to replace the beat-up old ZS40. (There are newer models, but this one used all the same accessories.) Love the Leica lens and big optical zoom. Photo results can be judged via that link in my sig. :)
I am in the processing of degrading an ZS50 with dust and rain myself and I've concluded I can't afford not to have weather resistance on its eventual replacement. Have you considered and dismissed that option? I suppose five cameras in it is not cost that's stopping you, but rather the size and weight of something like a PowerShot G3 X?
That looks like a pretty nice camera. And I've not seen many weather-resistant units with nice optical zoom like that. The bulk of it would definitely be a big negative for me, though. Actually, cost would be a huge factor with that one too, because I've never felt "weather" was much of an issue. It seems my affinity for volcanic landscapes is what kills my cameras, and I'm sure blowing ash would foul anything with moving parts like that. So yeah, I'd rather trash one that costs 1/4 as much, I guess. :)
Karl
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VanMarmot
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by VanMarmot » July 23rd, 2017, 10:49 am

Olympus TG-4 or TG-5

comparison

These are as tough as advertised and so go everywhere with me - including through a set of rapids on the Rogue! And, for posting at least, they take fine photos - even RAW if you want.

As jdemott says: "...the best camera is the one you have with you (especially if you are really familiar with it). So find a camera that seems right for you and enjoy it. I have lots of cameras, but I really like having my iPhone in my pocket all the time and I use it a lot."

sheilakpdx
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by sheilakpdx » July 23rd, 2017, 5:05 pm

Thank you to all who replied. I have some recommendations now that I can research. Appreciate it!

Sheila

Webfoot
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by Webfoot » July 23rd, 2017, 6:14 pm

kepPNW wrote:Actually, cost would be a huge factor with that one too, because I've never felt "weather" was much of an issue. It seems my affinity for volcanic landscapes is what kills my cameras, and I'm sure blowing ash would foul anything with moving parts like that. So yeah, I'd rather trash one that costs 1/4 as much, I guess. :)
Oh, I was hoping the G3 X weather sealing would survive that. :| What's the characteristic of the ash that's so destructive? Abrasiveness? Would fine silica beach sand cause the same problems?

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kepPNW
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by kepPNW » July 23rd, 2017, 7:06 pm

Webfoot wrote:
kepPNW wrote:Actually, cost would be a huge factor with that one too, because I've never felt "weather" was much of an issue. It seems my affinity for volcanic landscapes is what kills my cameras, and I'm sure blowing ash would foul anything with moving parts like that. So yeah, I'd rather trash one that costs 1/4 as much, I guess. :)
Oh, I was hoping the G3 X weather sealing would survive that. :| What's the characteristic of the ash that's so destructive? Abrasiveness? Would fine silica beach sand cause the same problems?
Well, I sure can't say for sure about the Cannon... But yeah, that ash is not only extremely abrasive (think of all the cleaners that include pumice), but can be the consistency of talcum powder so it'll get (almost?) anywhere. Dunno if sand ever gets ground down that fine, but if so, maybe?
Karl
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bghiker
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Re: Camera Recommendation for the Trail

Post by bghiker » July 24th, 2017, 1:50 pm

I like my Nikon AW100. It takes pretty good pics and is durable...I've had it for 4-5 years and used it anywhere from underwater at the beach to the top of Kilimanjaro, with lots of volcanic landscapes in between. Its light and small and fits in the waist pocket on all of my packs. The zoom isn't great but all in all I've been really happy with it.

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