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d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:34 am

Is anybody here using digital SLR cameras in the backcountry? I am getting close to dish out some major dough for the newest <a href="http://www.dpreview.com/articles/nikond70/">Nikon D70</a> with a DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G lense, and I am curious if anybody here used cameras like Canon 10D, Canon Digital Rebel 300D, Canon D60, Nikon D100/D1H/D1, or Fuji S1/S2 Pro. I am worried about their durability and quality in tough mountain conditions (moisture, cold temperature, very strong sunlight, etc.).

Any thoughts/advice would be helpful. Thx!
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Jgrant » Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:29 am

Finally, a topic I can contribute some useful info on! I have a 10D, had it since about October of last year.

I've taken it snowboarding (packed in my camelbak) up at mammoth three times so far, I've taken it packing out at Yosemite this winter and up in the Whites for a long weekend as well. I even take it mountain biking in the local mountains (Orange County).

I haven't had a problem with it yet, the chassis has been coated with a pretty good sheet of ice out at Yosemite, and powdered with the fluffy stuff at mammoth. It's taken at least one good fall when I first got it. I always strap it to the outside of my pack so I have easy access to it in case of a photo emergency. It used to swing around quite a bit when I dropped my pack, and one time it took a good little hit on the ground as I did that. Scared the crap out of me, but it never seemed to hurt it.

I think with just some basic precautions like keeping it in a plastic baggie when changing temps (into the tent after a long day) and keeping your batteries warm these cameras will do fine in most environments. It was taking pictures just fine in temperatures in the teens all winter long for me so far.

I'm not gonna start the whole Canon Vs. Nikon debate, as there is no winning that one for either side. Just remember you are buying a camera system, rather than just a body, look at the lens selection and features of the systems. Determine if Nikon's better flash is something you like, or if Canon's IS system is appealing to you, or any number of other factors on either side. In all likelihood you know this already though, so good luck. I've heard good stuff about that D70, when is it supposed to be available to the public?

If you haven't seen these sites: dpreview.com, photo.net, fredmiranda.com, luminous-landscape.com they are all really, really good places for general photo info (there are a few backpacker/climbers on the boards there too).

Here's one of the first good previews of the d70 I've seen: http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/first ... _EN01.html

Side note, Canon is supposed to release a 10D Mark II (possibly 8m, improved feature set) later in the year. Though you can always get into a game waiting for the 'next big thing', so ignore this entire section.

Edit: a couple of my favorite pics
<A HREF="http://www.jodag.net/Mammothmoon.jpg">Mammoth Moon</A>
<A HREF="http://www.jodag.net/SA/sierramorning.jpg">Sierra Afternoon</A>
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:57 am

Thanks for your advice.

<i>It was taking pictures just fine in temperatures in the teens all winter long for me so far</i>

Do you know what 10D is "officially" rated for?

<i>remember you are buying a camera system, rather than just a body, look at the lens selection and features of the systems.</i>

One of the main reason why I lean towards Nikon is because of my existing selection of Nikkor lenses. I don't want them to go to waste.

<i>I've heard good stuff about that D70, when is it supposed to be available to the public?</i>

It is supposed to ship in the US in ~2 weeks. All major Nikon resellers already offer you to pre-order. I'll wait for the final dpreview.com review before ordering mine :)

<i>Here's one of the first good previews of the d70 I've seen: http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/first ... _EN01.html </i>

Thanks. I haven't seen this one yet!

<i>Side note, Canon is supposed to release a 10D Mark II (possibly 8m, improved feature set) later in the year.</i>

Yeah, I've seen it. Minolta also just announced their first dSLR - <a href="http://www.dpreview.com/news/0402/04021220maxxum7digital.asp">Maxxum 7 Digital</a>. Both of these new cameras are supposed to be pretty expensive (closer to $2K for the body). I am not sure if I want to spend nearly twice more for the camera that may not work better than D70. From what I'm hearing, D70 is supposed to be a better product than Nikon D100 ($1400 for the body at this point), and MUCH better than Canon dRebel 300D. So, it is probably a rival of Canon 10D.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Jgrant » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:26 pm

From memory, I seem to think the 10D is likely rated like all consumer electronics at 32-104F.

Yeah, the 300d has just too many limitations for the sake of marketing rather than logical to make any sense for me. I've also heard complaints about the d100.

One thing I didn't realize is the CCD in the Nikon's has a nicer cropping factor (1.5) than the current Canon CMOS (1.6). That is nice.

What are you shooting with now?
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:36 pm

<i>What are you shooting with now?</i>

Minolta Dimage 7i (prosumer digital) and Nikkormat FT-3 w/ Velvia 50 and 100 (100% manual 35mm SLR). I want to replace both of them with a new d-SLR.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Craig Peer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:08 pm

I'm thinking of getting the digital SLR Pentax body so I can use all my Pentax lenses one of these days!
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:06 pm

Craig,
If you are referring to the Pentax *ist D, I've heard some negative things about it. Most commongly, a relatively high noise level & a high price for the offered quality. But of course if you have a large investment in their lenses, it may be worth while. Here is the <a href="http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxistd">detailed review</a> of this camera.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Craig Peer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:11 pm

Interesting review Misha. At B & H Photo it is cheaper than the Canon or Nikon in the review. I'll wait a while.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:34 pm

<i>At B & H Photo it is cheaper than the Canon or Nikon in the review</i>

It is ~$350 more expensive than the upcoming Nikon D70. From what I am hearing, D70 will be a very formidable camera, and the absolute best in its price range. If you are interested in Nikon D100 (aside from its alloy body, I don't see any other reason to buy it instead of the new D70), wait for a while until Nikon finally ships D70. I expect that D100 will be $300-400 cheaper in a couple of months. This will in turn force Canon to drop their price for 10D

BTW, Pentax *st D debuted last year (September-October) at the hefty $1700 tag. It is now at $1350... I wonder why such a sudden drop. Perhaps, they don't get sufficient demand, and are trying to compete with better and cheaper Canon/Nikon cameras.

My personal preference would be with Fuji S2 Pro (or their new S3 Pro), but it is much more expensive than I can afford to spend on the new camera right now.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Craig Peer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 8:32 pm

All cameras - digital still and digital camcorders - debut at a higher price, drop after awhile I've noticed and then get discounted about the time they're being discontinued. That is the time to buy in my opinion. Right when they're being phased out!
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:51 pm

Good point Craig. I just can't wait for another 2 years for Nikon to discontinue D70. And buying a two year old digital SLR right now is like buying a two year old PC.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Craig Peer » Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:02 pm

Camcorders seem to move faster than 2 years, but a Sony VX2000 is still a great camcorder more than 2 years after it's release now that it's discontinued. Just wait until more D - SLR's come on the market for price drops. I will just shoot film and have it put on CD's while I wait ( the Fujifilm comparison on that review still beat all the 6.1 megapixel resolution shots anyways ), or use my 4 megapixel point and shoot!
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Joeyroo » Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:31 pm

I use a D1x in the backcountry. It's like carrying bricks, but I've taken it up Shasta, Baldy, San Gorgonio. I even took it on Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand which required squeezing through crevasses and sliding through tiny ice tunnels.

Been through rain, hail, sleet, and snow with the D1x.
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby mpbro » Fri Mar 12, 2004 11:46 pm

For my brithday, I got an Olympus C-5060. So far, I love it! It's not an SLR, but you get a bigger lens than a point-n-shoot, and some lens options, like a filter adapter, and fisheye and zoom add-ons. The Super-Macro option is simply spectacular. I went right up to a flower (maybe 5 cm away) in low-light conditions and snapped an amazingly crisp photo. The camera weighs 15 ounces....
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Re: d-SLR cameras

Postby Misha » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:15 am

Nikon still did not ship D70 in the US, &*%$@&*%$!!!
It has been on sale in Asia for a month already. I am getting desperate...
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