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

Cameras. . . Again.

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

Cameras. . . Again.

Postby dskoon » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:32 pm

Alrighty, folks, looking for yet more advice on cameras from all you shutterbugs out there.

Here's the situation: looking to buy a decent, moderately priced camera for my son. Graduation present before he heads off to college.
He will most likely be shooting outside, skiing, hiking, etc.
He said he doesn't want one like mine, ie, an older Nikon point and shoot,(forget the model, seems fine for my purposes, but. . ), but rather,
one like his mom's, which I believe is something like the NikonD3100, as he tells me it takes "great pictures!" Better than mine, apparently. . .

Anyway, the kid has never owned his own camera, other than his iphone, and I tend to think a good quality point and shoot would suffice,
though apparently his mom's is a bit more than a p and s. .

Just got done reading a few of the numerous camera threads on here, and most seem written toward higher end stuff, which is great, but I think
overkill for what he's looking for, or needs.

Soooo, looking for a few recommendations that are realistic, ie, for him, and won't break the bank for me. . I'm sure he wants video capability,
and we talked about how a viewfinder seems important, especially for snow/glare conditions.

Uncle of mine just took a Panasonic Lumix to Europe with him, saying he'd done his research and it was the "best in its class," etc. . .
Dunno. . .

Appreciate in advance any recommendations and advice!
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:40 pm

I'm not a camera or electronics expert so my view point is from a climber who wanted an easy to use P&S that takes good quality photos. I have a Panasonic Lumix which I bought after climbing with a buddy who had one. I really like it. It has a top quality lens (Leica), 10x optical zoom, takes super crisp photos, is very ergonomic which is important because I have bumbly hands. When I need another camera I'm going to buy another one.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 424 times in 308 posts

The following user would like to thank ExcitableBoy for this post
dskoon

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby dskoon » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:43 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:I'm not a camera or electronics expert so my view point is from a climber who wanted an easy to use P&S that takes good quality photos. I have a Panasonic Lumix which I bought after climbing with a buddy who had one. I really like it. It has a top quality lens (Leica), 10x optical zoom, takes super crisp photos, is very ergonomic which is important because I have bumbly hands. When I need another camera I'm going to buy another one.


Thanks EB. Viewfinder on that one?
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:02 pm

My camera is the DMC-TZ4 which does not have a viewfinder, just the screen. Other models of the Lumix might, I'm not sure.
User Avatar
ExcitableBoy

 
Posts: 2883
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:33 am
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Thanked: 424 times in 308 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby seano » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:37 am

Second on the Lumix. When my last one broke, I compared a replacement to a similarly-priced Nikon Coolpix, and the Nikon had terrible colors in the outdoor winter shots I took. I've been using one Lumix or the other for several years.
User Avatar
seano

 
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:52 pm
Location: Western, United States
Thanked: 57 times in 50 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby norco17 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:49 am

My .02 cents.

Cameras are like climbing gear. The average person does not recognize the difference between one pack and another, but to a climber there is a big difference. Same thing with cameras, you don't need the high priced model to take a good picture, but in some situations that small difference can make a big difference.

It really is going to come down to what your son can see. If he can see a difference in the color quality form a p&s and a DSLR than he will never be happy with the p&s. If he will be shooting sports then he will never be happy with a p&s. If he wants to shoot wildlife (and shoot it well) then he will never be happy with a point and shoot. If he wants to hike or climb with it than he will not like the weight / bulk of a DSLR. If he wants to do long exposures or night photography he will definitely want a DSLR.

This really comes down to what he requires for what he will be shooting. A good place to look at reviews is http://www.dpreview.com/

Don't be to concerned with megapixels. Those are simply a sales gimmick; anything over 4mp (which is pretty much every camera on the market) will print to 8x10 and if you start packing to many pixels into a smaller censor it starts to screw with your color. Larger censor is better and if you go p&s look for optical zoom not digital zoom.

Also my photography work has slown down the last couple years and I can't recomend any current equipment, but what I will say is cannon and nikon are usually a good choice although seano appears to disagree with that.
User Avatar
norco17

 
Posts: 819
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:53 am
Location: riverside, California, United States
Thanked: 163 times in 106 posts

The following user would like to thank norco17 for this post
dskoon

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby Wastral » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:08 pm

Pick up a used Panasonic GH2. Body is a whopping $400 on ebay. New is $600 -$800 with lens. Its full featured, fairly fast Auto Focus, vastly better than a P&S, but not as good as a higher end C/N/S/P, but better than the lower end C/N/P/S cameras. Ability to produce commercial quality video if you hack it and the ONLY thing that beats it for video quality is a hacked Canon Mark d3 at a tidy $3000. Even then it doesn't except at super HIGH iso.

From what I Have read, but haven't used: (Looking currently myself as my Sony R1 is ancient and tired of borrowing the GH2 :D , so this thread is right up my alley of interest at the moment)

Quite a few reviewers LOVE the Ricoh GR. Small, lightweight, cost $600ish, but has a 28mm fixed lens and your son probably would not like the fixed lens option. Beats out the Nikon A in my opinion, not in picture quality, as they are the same, using the same 16mpix sensor that is in the high end Nikon d7000 and Pentax K5 from two years back, but rather the Ricoh GR wins in features if you had to ask me.

What really is intriguing is a Pentax K-30. Weather sealed at $500. Add a waterproof lens and its $700. Its video isn't great like the hacked GH2. Then again, NO other camera besides the Olympus OMD-5 and panasonic GH3 are. IE switch between stills/video on the fly. All the old fashioned DSLR's can't really do this. Once switched between the modes the DSLR's can do a descent-good job obviously, but really none of these can compare with the hacked GH2 video quality. Do a search on youtube. Its professional grade quality with a few limitations that only a pro would notice. I don't notice. Of course I am not a pro video guy at all. Do have a GH2 and old GH1(dad/brother and have used both quite a bit myself). GH2 fixes several MAJOR image problems with the GH1. I would NOT recommend a used panasonic GH1.

Honestly, regarding image quality, they are all the same for out of camera jpegs until you get into the Olympus OMD, Fuji X-pro1, Fuji E-1, Nikon D800, Canon D3, and Sony 99. All of which are VERY expensive except the Olympus OMD which is still $1000, but these cameras most on dpreview and other review sites claim are essentially the best JPEG's out of camera one can get. If I had tons of money... 99% of the photos I take and probably the rest of humanity only care about JPEG's and could care less about RAW.

No simple answer. If you put a gun to my head, I would probably go with the Olympus OMD, or Pentax K5II, or Nikon D7100. All are weather sealed. A BIG bonus in my book. Pentax K30 for lower budget.

25c down the drain.

I still carry an ancient Sony R1.

PS. Fuji X100s, seems perfect from my perspective for a climbing camera or the Fuji X20, but they ARE EXPENSIVE!

dskoon wrote:Alrighty, folks, looking for yet more advice on cameras from all you shutterbugs out there.

Here's the situation: looking to buy a decent, moderately priced camera for my son. Graduation present before he heads off to college.
He will most likely be shooting outside, skiing, hiking, etc.
He said he doesn't want one like mine, ie, an older Nikon point and shoot,(forget the model, seems fine for my purposes, but. . ), but rather,
one like his mom's, which I believe is something like the NikonD3100, as he tells me it takes "great pictures!" Better than mine, apparently. . .

Anyway, the kid has never owned his own camera, other than his iphone, and I tend to think a good quality point and shoot would suffice,
though apparently his mom's is a bit more than a p and s. .

Just got done reading a few of the numerous camera threads on here, and most seem written toward higher end stuff, which is great, but I think
overkill for what he's looking for, or needs.

Soooo, looking for a few recommendations that are realistic, ie, for him, and won't break the bank for me. . I'm sure he wants video capability,
and we talked about how a viewfinder seems important, especially for snow/glare conditions.

Uncle of mine just took a Panasonic Lumix to Europe with him, saying he'd done his research and it was the "best in its class," etc. . .
Dunno. . .

Appreciate in advance any recommendations and advice!
Wastral

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

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby dskoon » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:52 pm

Wastral wrote:Pick up a used Panasonic GH2. Body is a whopping $400 on ebay. New is $600 -$800 with lens. Its full featured, fairly fast Auto Focus, vastly better than a P&S, but not as good as a higher end C/N/S/P, but better than the lower end C/N/P/S cameras. Ability to produce commercial quality video if you hack it and the ONLY thing that beats it for video quality is a hacked Canon Mark d3 at a tidy $3000. Even then it doesn't except at super HIGH iso.

From what I Have read, but haven't used: (Looking currently myself as my Sony R1 is ancient and tired of borrowing the GH2 :D , so this thread is right up my alley of interest at the moment)

Quite a few reviewers LOVE the Ricoh GR. Small, lightweight, cost $600ish, but has a 28mm fixed lens and your son probably would not like the fixed lens option. Beats out the Nikon A in my opinion, not in picture quality, as they are the same, using the same 16mpix sensor that is in the high end Nikon d7000 and Pentax K5 from two years back, but rather the Ricoh GR wins in features if you had to ask me.

What really is intriguing is a Pentax K-30. Weather sealed at $500. Add a waterproof lens and its $700. Its video isn't great like the hacked GH2. Then again, NO other camera besides the Olympus OMD-5 and panasonic GH3 are. IE switch between stills/video on the fly. All the old fashioned DSLR's can't really do this. Once switched between the modes the DSLR's can do a descent-good job obviously, but really none of these can compare with the hacked GH2 video quality. Do a search on youtube. Its professional grade quality with a few limitations that only a pro would notice. I don't notice. Of course I am not a pro video guy at all. Do have a GH2 and old GH1(dad/brother and have used both quite a bit myself). GH2 fixes several MAJOR image problems with the GH1. I would NOT recommend a used panasonic GH1.

Honestly, regarding image quality, they are all the same for out of camera jpegs until you get into the Olympus OMD, Fuji X-pro1, Fuji E-1, Nikon D800, Canon D3, and Sony 99. All of which are VERY expensive except the Olympus OMD which is still $1000, but these cameras most on dpreview and other review sites claim are essentially the best JPEG's out of camera one can get. If I had tons of money... 99% of the photos I take and probably the rest of humanity only care about JPEG's and could care less about RAW.

No simple answer. If you put a gun to my head, I would probably go with the Olympus OMD, or Pentax K5II, or Nikon D7100. All are weather sealed. A BIG bonus in my book. Pentax K30 for lower budget.

25c down the drain.

I still carry an ancient Sony R1.

PS. Fuji X100s, seems perfect from my perspective for a climbing camera or the Fuji X20, but they ARE EXPENSIVE!


Hey Wastral, et al, this, I totally appreciate your input.
Thinking in this case, ie, my son, that it would be best to prolly keep it simple. He's not a photog, never owned a camera, just uses ours on trips and such,
as well as his own iphone cam. I think he wants something other than his phone, to shoot whilst skiing, hiking, or general usage.
So, the more expensive cameras, for a guy who's never even owned a p&s, is prolly overkill.
I would like to find something for him, ideally in the $300 or less category, that shoots decent video, takes smart pics, and is lightweight, small, and
easy to operate. I think he finds his mom's camera more appealing than mine, as mine is an older p&s, old nikon coolpix 5600, 5.1mp, while his mom's is
a newer, approx. 2yrs, NikonP300. More mp, more features, etc. I see the appeal.
Hers, I believe, is this one
http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/ ... onclusion/

So, ideally, I'd like to find something similar, or better, but not much more $$. Found this one refurbished for $249.O0
But, maybe something slightly better?
Again, ideally w/ a viewfinder. . Maybe even a great p&s is better than that one??

Anyway, again, totally appreciate all the info and insights!
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby Wastral » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:58 pm

Personally, if going with a P&S, limited by budget, I would go with a rugged cam. Better than iphone etc, but can do Anything with them.

Below linky Compares 3 rugged cams. Yea, they are this years, so a bit expensive, but gives a good place to start and look at the previous models that are obviously cheaper, but still just about as good. Their price is close to what you are looking for.

Had 2 friends kill their cams skiing. Gets wet and poof.

This guy gives unbiased reviews from what I can tell. Tells it how it is. Seems this review is right up your sons alley and within your budget.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btcljWkpg5U

PS. AT $250 there is no way you are going to get a DSLR or equivalent body/lens, so all my above suggestions... =)
PPS. The saying, "You get what you pay for" is 100% true in cameras up to a point anyways. What is absurd is that there are many very useful features on P&S that do not exist on the top end cameras.
Wastral

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

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby Alasdair » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:23 am

As far as point and shoots go. Stick with Cannon vs. Nikon. They are better point and shoots(and thats coming from someone who shoots Nikon). The Panasonic Lumix is a good bet also. If he is going to be traveling try to find a camera that uses off the shelf batteries not batteries made for the camera. In cold weather they almost always fail. AA + AAA batteries dont.
www.alasdairturner.com
@alasdairturner
Alasdair

 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2001 12:20 pm
Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
Thanked: 15 times in 12 posts

The following user would like to thank Alasdair for this post
dskoon

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby CClaude » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:10 am

For a point and shoot I'd go with a Canon G15 (altho personally I use a G10). You get the automated functions of most P&S's but you can over-ride it and use aperature priority (Av), Shutter priority (Tv), full manual (M) or Bulb for really long shots (ie: star trails and such). Also having RAW allows you to correct white balance mistakes. Altho you can't do exposure bracketing (atleast on the G10, whereas the G15 I don't know if it allows for it or not) but it allows for HDR conversion to deal with extremely difficult lighting conditions.

But to tell you the truth, 99% of the time I use my Canon 5D MII, since of the full frame sensor (do a lot of low light photography which I never put on websites). Nice thing is , is that you can get the bodies "cheap" (~$1200) since the Canon 5D MIII has come out but you pay for it in lenses for a full frame camera. But after shooting it, I don't think I'll ever go back
User Avatar
CClaude

 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:37 am
Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, United States
Thanked: 67 times in 40 posts

The following user would like to thank CClaude for this post
dskoon

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby dskoon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:36 am

Yeah, looked at the G15(cameras have come a ways since my little Coolpix 5600!), as well as the Nikon P7700.
Reading reviews and crap til I become nauseous. . . In reality, this camera should be an upgrade for me, from
my old one mentioned above, but, it's his graduation present. . . least I know what to look for whenever it comes time for
my replacement. . . Anyway, don't wanna go overkill for a kid who's never owned his own camera. . . yet, don't want to
just replicate his iphone either. . .
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby southerntele » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:58 am

I am looking to upgrade and will buy an Olympus OMD EM5 with a 14mm- 50 mm kit lens. The camera is in a micro 4/3 format which, in short means, that is has the same processor as a DLSR but without the prism. There is a high quality electronic viewfinder which is good for photos in bright light above the snow line.

The camera is weather proof and very small while offering image quality and interchangeable lens in the same league as a DLSR. With a 14mm Panasonic prime pancake lens it is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket for a summit day.

If this is too expensive try the Pen Lite EPL 5 which has the same processor and takes the same range of lenses.

Both have a great retro look particularly in black and silver which, if you son is as image conscious as my daughter, will help you score "cool dad" points.
southerntele

 
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 8:24 am
Thanked: 2 times in 1 post

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby dskoon » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:30 am

Thanks! ^^^^ Both look like nice cams, but, more than I wanna spend in this instance. . See above. Too much, I think, in all ways,
for someone who's' never owned a camera. .
User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3116
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Location: portland, Oregon
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

Re: Cameras. . . Again.

Postby peninsula » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:20 pm

A nice DSLR with everything your son would need is the Nikon D5000. When it comes to saving money, consider buying one refurbished: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/control ... =800952595
User Avatar
peninsula

 
Posts: 1698
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 am
Location: San Diego, California, United States
Thanked: 76 times in 49 posts

Next

Return to Gear

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.