Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

ISO new camera

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.

ISO new camera

Postby absinthe52 » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:53 pm

I know, many topics already...looking for a nice affordable d-slr to bring to the tetons and the cirque in a few week. Does one exist? If not, can settle for primo p&s. Any suggestions from you gear heads out there?
User Avatar

Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:24 am
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: ISO new camera

Postby Osterizer » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:15 pm

Is this for hiking and backpacking, or mountaineering/rock climbing? How much weight are you willing to carry?
User Avatar

Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:30 am
Location: California, United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby absinthe52 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:45 pm

All of the above. Mostly one to take on multipitch climbs though...leaning towards a p&s though.dontknow if i wantto lug around a dslr...
User Avatar

Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:24 am
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: ISO new camera

Postby seano » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:16 pm

I've been happy with a Panasonic Lumix ZS-10 P&S, but I'm nowhere near a professional photographer. Its small sensor sucks in low light, but that's rarely an issue in the mountains.
User Avatar

Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:52 pm
Location: Western, United States
Thanked: 104 times in 86 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby Osterizer » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:35 pm

I stay in the class 3 or lower range so I couldn't say what its like trying to use a dSLR when clinging to a wall, but I have heard of people using dSLRs while climbing so I guess you could do that. The issue there is going to be additional bulk, one handed operation, and weight though.

Since p&s cameras are smaller, lighter, have good focal ranges, and lots of mega-pixels, I would probably go that route. Nikon makes a few p&s that have a focal range of 25mm-350mm that have 16mp censors. That would be good for large landscapes like Yosemite, or close-ups where you need a wide angle lens to capture the subject and surrounds. On the other end, the tele would allow you to get wildlife shots. Canon also makes a number of p&s cameras that start at the 28mm focal length. These are in the 2-3 hundred dollar range. The only issue is that the image quality will be slightly less than that of a dSLR.

I have used both Canon and Nikon p&s cameras, and both produce exceptional images for that format. The main thing is that you need the wide angle lens of at least 28mm and a 12mp censor.

Other tips:
1. Get a couple memory cards just in case one fails. I have never had that problem with any manufactures card, but it would be disappointing to not be able to use the camera on a trip.
2. Get extra batteries from the manufacturer of the camera. There are many brands out there that claim to be as good or better when they arent, and in some cases are horrible.
3. If you get a p&s, the issue of dust contamination goes way up compared to cameras with larger lenses. Get a carry case to protect against damage from impacts, but also use a heavy duty ziploc bag to protect the camera from dust contamination. Silt from a trail can coat the inside of the lens causing spotted and blurred images, and cannot be cleaned. There are some water-proof (which would be dust-proof) p&s cameras out there but they are really expensive.
User Avatar

Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:30 am
Location: California, United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby nartreb » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:29 pm

For multipitch climbs, you do not want to carry an SLR unless your partners are OK with you slowing down the climb to get your photos. The size of the camera is bit of a problem too - one more thing that can get in the way in a tight chimney, or make it hard to reach your rack.

Don't worry about pixel count - fewer is often better. Anything over 2MP is enough for Facebook; anything over 4MP is enough for magazine-sized prints. Go for something small and easy to use, with a big zoom range and with image stabilization.

Do budget for extra memory cards and batteries - very useful. I've had plenty of memory cards fail, but usually it's quite rapid, if you got a bad card you'll find out the first time you go shooting. Batteries do vary a bit by manufacturer, but I've no real complaint with the generics I've used. Extra cards and battery are just to carry in the camera case, for that awful moment when you're halfway through an awesome sequence in perfect light, and your realize you forgot to charge the battery and the card is almost full.
User Avatar

Posts: 2191
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:45 pm
Location: online or in boston, Massachusetts, United States
Thanked: 169 times in 141 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:27 pm

With a d-SLR, you will get absolutely great photos... that is, those that you don't miss, screwing around with the settings, or keeping the camera protected in your pack. Then you will reduce those shots to an effective 1024x768 to show on social media.
User Avatar

Posts: 7774
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 786 times in 518 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby Ejnar Fjerdingstad » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:26 pm

My advice: Get a good quality super-zoom bridge camera, that way you can go from wideangle to 10, 20 or 30 times tele without changing leses, which is exactly what you need in the mountains. Most of my photos have been taken with a Fuji camera with a 10 times zoom lens (35 mm equivalent 38-380 mm, real focus length 5 to 50 mm). Though Fuli is rather in the cheaper end, that model (Fuji S5500) had got very good reviews for its lens, which proved true. (I later gave my wife a similar Sony camera with a Zeiss lens, and my brother a Panasonic with a Leica lens - there wasn't any great difference between the three lenses, the Leica lens was a bit sharper than the two others, but nothing you would notice in ordinary shooting.) Nowadays similar cameras will have 30 x or more zoom, but still the whole package takes up no more space, and weighs less than a small 35 mm SLR with 50 mm lens. Using the camera feels very like using an SLR, as you look on a small screen though an ocular lens.

One DSLR aficionado one showed me his 10 times zoom for the DSLR, it was 400 mm log and weighed several kilograms. A lens like that goes in the rucksack, and will only be taken out for a few shots on the summit or on longer rests, no doubt it can take superb photos, but not while it is lying in the rucksack. You have no time to mount it if a chamois or Ibex suddenly appears 100 ft./30 m from you, only to be gone in the next second. I used to have a 35 mm SLR with several lenses, but interchangeable lenses are a bother in the mountains, in truth I went around with the 50 mm lens on most of the time, and rarely mounted any of the other lenses.
Ejnar. :evil:
Spreading more unfounded hatred, as usual.
User Avatar
Ejnar Fjerdingstad

Posts: 7511
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Frederiksværk, Northern Zealand, Denmark
Thanked: 1378 times in 860 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby snowblind » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:10 pm

I have both a nice Nikon dslr and a Cannon S100 P&S....while the Nikon takes awesome photos, I found I missed many photos esp. while on a trial.

I love the Cannon...IMO one of the best P&S cameras available (wide angle, great in low light and has GPS). I only carry it now. For me, size matters.
User Avatar

Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:08 am
Location: san francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby Kai » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:21 pm

New Sony RX100 looks like a great climbing camera.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/07/2 ... real-good/


If you want/need interchangeable lenses, Olympus OMD is a great choice.

User Avatar

Posts: 719
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:26 pm
Location: Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 42 posts

Re: ISO new camera

Postby Wastral » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:11 pm

Depends: What do you want to do with your photos?

Are they screen saver?
Are they Printing wall size?
Are they printing 4x6?

If screen saver/4x6 p&S is just fine.

If you want to print and frame large, the way mountain pictures MUST be displayed to obtain proper perspective, then a P&S will leave you sadly lacking.
That being said quality of P&S keeps increasing. A top end P&S today is equivalent of top of the line DSLR of a few years ago.

For a long time I have taken a Sony R1 2lb camera on multipitch climbing. It has a big grip for one handed operation meaning on very steep snow/rock I can unclip from shoulder attachment and take a picture anywhere on a route while hanging on with my left hand on either rock or ice axe. I have tried doing this with P&S and it is simply not possible to use one handed on a lot of them. I find the grip is all important. I have tried to do this with my brothers GH1 and its grip is too small and hopeless with a glove on and this is far better than all of the P&S I have seen touched, played with from my climbing partners. Along with lacking the controls I want... Different subject...

Still looking for camera panacea. Haven't found it yet.

No free lunch sorry.

EDIT: I have normal sized hands in terms of finger length

PS. If all you want is a snap shot with blown out highlights where the camera is on auto, then P&S are fine.

Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Washington, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 21 posts

Return to Gear


  • Related topics
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2018 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.