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Climbing with a camera?

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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby RyderS » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:49 pm

Sorry, if I'm adding to the noise, but I would go for the DSLR, too, even if it is bulkier. One of my climbing partners at Seneca always had his slung around his back in a fairly burly case, and the case protected it from long, rocky scrambles upwards to technical 5.8 (sometimes sandbagged) terrain. He still seems pretty comfortable moving around on the wall with it. Even with all the work of climbing and staying safe, he's managed to get some photo gems that definitely wouldn't have been the same quality had he used a point and shoot. I've obliterated a point and shoot when climbing, and I didn't even get any on-route photos with it!

The one thing that I'd worry about with a DSLR is more of an risk of frozen parts. I've had video camera components freeze and lock up because the conditions were really cold. Probably could have avoided that had I not left the camera in my pack's brain... but you said you're doing a summer ascent, so I would guess this problem would be less likely.

All that said, just give it some bomber but manageable packaging (those cases that are more molded to the camera shape) and if things get cold, have the camera in a place where you can keep it warm.

Good luck! Adams sounds like it'll be a blast.
Last edited by RyderS on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby albanberg » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:11 pm

I do have thoughts of taking a high quality DSLR to the mountains, with a goal of taking some nice pictures. Some things to think about are how hard is the climb compared to your fitness, how important are the pictures, is the climb more important than the pictures, etc.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:04 pm

Yep, there are people who take DSLRs all sorts of incredible places. There are also people who can climb in sandals or even barefoot.

It all comes down to your comfort level. I think some non-technical scrambles are probably tougher than real rock climbs or snowy alpine climbs (where the real limitation may be what you can do with gloves, when it is really cold-- a P&S can be a PITA there). I am biased because I do an awful lot of squeezing through tight spots, and actually, my pack hangs me up the most. I have a lot of junk on my pack straps, so the compact camera is actually the least of my hindrances.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby MarkDidier » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:16 pm

I am seriously considering moving up to a DSLR, mostly because I would like to use a polarizer for landscape shots. I do get some good shots with my P&S (Canon PowerShot SX110) but I am very tired of blue sky being whited out. Granted, I am not a technical climber, so I don't have to worry about the camera getting in the way, but still I can relate to the convenience of the P&S - it is always within easy reach of one of my water bottle holders in my backpack.

If there is a way to correct the sky white out issue with a P&S, I'm all ears. Everyone I have talked to said DSLR is the solution???
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby albanberg » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:19 pm

MarkDidier, I've never had a problem with that and I don't have a polarizer for my LX3. There may be one available though.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby albanberg » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:22 pm

there are a couple of filters available, including a polarizer:

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Lumix-D ... B00260XGQ2
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby radson » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:24 pm

Some further comments..

I think dSLRs are less likely to freeze up than P+S due to a number of reasons. They have manual zoom and 'lens cap' and larger batteries. The more weather proofed cameras like canon 5d, Nikon d300s, 7000, Pentax k5 and Sony a77 etc are designed to handle more extreme conditions.

As for P+S wide angle limitations. Yes true but the Panasonic Lx series, Olympus zx-1 etc have 24 mm equiv lens. Also the built in stitching software is getting better and better and can be a great alternative to get that WA shot. Especially a pano in portrait mode.

As per mark, I'm a big fan of polarizes. A filter that's hard to emulate in Lightroom etc.

Great comments all round.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby albanberg » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:31 pm

yeah radson I agree (although I have not experienced such temps). Also, the 5D is getting pretty cheap used. I'm interested in getting a 5D or 5DmII eventually...or whatever they come out with next.

Temp issue: one thing that I've done is keep my camera inside a couple of layers, where I can still get to it, but most of the time my body keeps it relatively warm.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby Kai » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:39 pm

Buy a high quality point and shoot (Fujifilm X10, Panasonic LX5 or Canon S95 or S100)

They have excellent image quality, and fit nicely in your jacket pocket. (Canon is smaller than Panasonic which is smaller than Fuji)

If you absolutely must have interchangeable lenses, a micro 4/3 system (Olympus Pen EP-2 for example) is much lighter and less bulky than a DSLR.

One of the point and shoots I mentioned, or a micro 4/3 with a decent lens will give you all the image quality you need, even for relatively large prints.

My personal climbing camera is a Panasonic LX5. Its combination of excellent image quality, compact size, and light weight make it a great mountaineering camera.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby radson » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:38 pm

Panasonic Lx series are a great camera. Would like to see fuji's new x10

One of my favourite pics taken under slightly cool conditions with a LX3

Image
A close up of the upper section of the 'step' by radson1, on Flickr
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby Jaskic » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:44 pm

We're still pretty much even between the P&S and DSLR crowd here. But great information on both sides.

But of the cameras suggested thus far, almost none of them are rugged (i.e. water/shock/freeze/dust proof), or have GPS for automatic coordinate tagging. Are these features not as necessary or desired as I seem to believe they are?
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:40 am

MarkDidier wrote:I am seriously considering moving up to a DSLR, mostly because I would like to use a polarizer for landscape shots. I do get some good shots with my P&S (Canon PowerShot SX110) but I am very tired of blue sky being whited out.


Could you adjust the white balance, or perhaps save in RAW and post-process?
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:50 am

There are programs that will read the times from your jpeg exif files, and the times from your gps track log, and correlate the photos with position.

Ruggedized cameras often get rugged by having no external lens movement, hence no joints that need to be made waterproof. All focusing is done by moving a lens between the sensor array and the main lens, or by moving the sensor array. They tend to have relatively small lenses and small lens-array distances, which lead to fuzzier shots. It's a trade-off. I bring my olympus stylus in wet canyons, because I know how hard it is to kill, but a full-sized camera, with much better light-gathering power, would get much better shots.
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby Mooner » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:13 am

MoapaPk wrote:
MarkDidier wrote:I am seriously considering moving up to a DSLR, mostly because I would like to use a polarizer for landscape shots. I do get some good shots with my P&S (Canon PowerShot SX110) but I am very tired of blue sky being whited out.


Could you adjust the white balance, or perhaps save in RAW and post-process?


You could also just buy a polarized lens cover and hold it over the lens of you P&S :D I have done similar things with my GoPro to get certain shots and it works
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Re: Climbing with a camera?

Postby MarkDidier » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:04 am

MoapaPk wrote:
MarkDidier wrote:I am seriously considering moving up to a DSLR, mostly because I would like to use a polarizer for landscape shots. I do get some good shots with my P&S (Canon PowerShot SX110) but I am very tired of blue sky being whited out.


Could you adjust the white balance, or perhaps save in RAW and post-process?


The software that came with the camera is pretty limited for post processing - at least for this specific issue. Any particular recommendations on good reasonably priced "photoshop" software?
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