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Lazlo


Jan 8, 2012, 8:58 AM
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Mountaineering camera
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I'm in the market for a camera to take on multi-day snow, ice, and rock routes.

Battery life is very important. Rechargeable is very preferable.

Image quality is very important. I took a point and shoot (panasonic Lumix) on my last trip; took over 200 photos and was not pleased with a single one.

Ability to function in low light would be a plus.

Durability would be a plus; but not necessary.

Light weight and compact would be nice... but still; I'd rather have a good camera than a light camera.

Thoughts?


scrapedape


Jan 8, 2012, 10:05 AM
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In theory the Olympus Tough series should be great, but I can't recommend one any more.

I had a first-gen 770SW and it was great. Wife left it in a rental car and we never saw it again. Loved it so much we replaced with a newer version, which sucks. Poor image quality, bad in low light. Waterproofness is great for when we need that capability, but it creates a serious tradeoff.


styndall


Jan 8, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Lazlo wrote:
I'm in the market for a camera to take on multi-day snow, ice, and rock routes.

Battery life is very important. Rechargeable is very preferable.

Image quality is very important. I took a point and shoot (panasonic Lumix) on my last trip; took over 200 photos and was not pleased with a single one.

Ability to function in low light would be a plus.

Durability would be a plus; but not necessary.

Light weight and compact would be nice... but still; I'd rather have a good camera than a light camera.

Thoughts?


Might you be happy with one of the Go Pro video/still cameras? The newest one looks really nice. They're tiny, have attachments for helmets or chest straps, the video quality looks pretty good, and the stills look tolerable.

Otherwise, a Canon S95 is your usual go-to for best point and shoot. One of the new mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras might work, too - the Sony NEX, the Nikon J1, something like that.


marc801


Jan 8, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Lazlo wrote:
Image quality is very important. I took a point and shoot (panasonic Lumix) on my last trip; took over 200 photos and was not pleased with a single one.
There are a lot of different Panasonic Lumix cameras - and that's just the P&S models - using different versions of Panasonic's software, depending on model/production year. The lenses are made by Leica, and all the Leica digitals are rebranded Panasonic Lumix models. Frankly, if you didn't have one shot out of 200 that pleased you out of a Lumix, perhaps its not the camera that is the problem.

What was it that didn't please you? Did you use default settings when you made the shots or did you use some modification? For example, on my Canon P&S, I use Canon's "vivid" setting and drop exposure by 2/3 of a stop. I can recover shadow detail with post-processing, but no one can recover blown-out highlights. Did you do any post work in PS or whatever? There are extraordinarily few digital photos that do not need some degree of adjustment in the digital darkroom, even if it's just a subtle boost in saturation and a very gentle unsharp mask.

A "better" camera does not mean you will get better pictures.

If you want a pocket P&S that takes great photos and offers just enough adjustments, get a Canon S95 IS. It uses the same sensor and software as the G11 and G12 but with a faster lens at a lower price point - and it's not as bulky.

Read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/...ommended-cameras.htm
for some suggestions.

Then for some real perspective, read these:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/...bout-your-camera.htm

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm


(This post was edited by marc801 on Jan 8, 2012, 1:26 PM)


rtwilli4


Jan 8, 2012, 1:00 PM
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Not sure what the modern day equivalent would be, but I bought a Canon SD 850 in 2006 and it still takes great pictures. That, and I've dropped it about a million times, had it snowed on, etc. Not waterproof though.

Like Marc said, if you can't get a good picture with the Lumix then you might not be any happier w/ any other camera.

A busy schedule and a lack of ability/motivation keeps me from doing any post production and I'm still happy with my pictures.

+1 on the GoPro, even though that is not what you are looking for.


Lazlo


Jan 9, 2012, 8:38 AM
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marc801 wrote:
Lazlo wrote:
Image quality is very important. I took a point and shoot (panasonic Lumix) on my last trip; took over 200 photos and was not pleased with a single one.
There are a lot of different Panasonic Lumix cameras - and that's just the P&S models - using different versions of Panasonic's software, depending on model/production year. The lenses are made by Leica, and all the Leica digitals are rebranded Panasonic Lumix models. Frankly, if you didn't have one shot out of 200 that pleased you out of a Lumix, perhaps its not the camera that is the problem.

What was it that didn't please you? Did you use default settings when you made the shots or did you use some modification? For example, on my Canon P&S, I use Canon's "vivid" setting and drop exposure by 2/3 of a stop. I can recover shadow detail with post-processing, but no one can recover blown-out highlights. Did you do any post work in PS or whatever? There are extraordinarily few digital photos that do not need some degree of adjustment in the digital darkroom, even if it's just a subtle boost in saturation and a very gentle unsharp mask.

A "better" camera does not mean you will get better pictures.

If you want a pocket P&S that takes great photos and offers just enough adjustments, get a Canon S95 IS. It uses the same sensor and software as the G11 and G12 but with a faster lens at a lower price point - and it's not as bulky.

Read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/...ommended-cameras.htm
for some suggestions.

Then for some real perspective, read these:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/...bout-your-camera.htm

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm

The camera I was using is a Panasonic dmc fh27. I had it on it's automatic function. Particularly, what I didn't like about the photos was everything had a 'dull' feel to it. Maybe slightly smeared or out of focus. The photos just didn't 'pop'.

The album is here: https://plus.google.com/...hkey=CKHTr5z2koXhnAE
if anyone is interested.

I haven't done any photo shop work.


Lazlo


Jan 9, 2012, 8:58 AM
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Thanks for all the advice and thoughts. I do need to learn a little more about camera function. I don't know enough.

We bought the Panasonic at Cost Co, so we're looking right now at two others they have that have good reviews.

The Fuji xp10



Canon - PowerShot ELPH 100 HS



Thoughts?


rgbscan


Jan 9, 2012, 9:25 AM
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I took a few minutes to look at your album. Honestly, I think they are pretty typical Point-n-shoot shots. Some basic photoshopping (levels mostly) would really make those look nice.

Honestly, looking at your album and results, I don't think the two cameras you've selected will do any better.The nice thing in general with the Lumix series is the long zoom and wide angle of the included Leica glass. That Canon you listed is the equivalent of a 28-112 optical zoom (whereas your lumix is 28-224) and the Fjui is a 28-140. you'd be giving up some zoom if you swapped out your camera.

The Leica glass and image processor in the Lumix are generally considered quite good and rivaled only by that Canon listed in the replies here.

Honestly, if you're trading out camera for features I can understand (like if you want that ruggedized one) for if you're doing it for image quality I think you'll be dissapointed.

Images quality wise, you're going to have to step up to s DSLR or EVIL type setup. Alternatively, you could just learn more about using the manual options on the Lumix and seeing if that doesn't work better for you than auto mode.

Best of luck!


Lazlo


Jan 9, 2012, 9:44 AM
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rgbscan wrote:
I took a few minutes to look at your album. Honestly, I think they are pretty typical Point-n-shoot shots. Some basic photoshopping (levels mostly) would really make those look nice.

Honestly, looking at your album and results, I don't think the two cameras you've selected will do any better.The nice thing in general with the Lumix series is the long zoom and wide angle of the included Leica glass. That Canon you listed is the equivalent of a 28-112 optical zoom (whereas your lumix is 28-224) and the Fjui is a 28-140. you'd be giving up some zoom if you swapped out your camera.

The Leica glass and image processor in the Lumix are generally considered quite good and rivaled only by that Canon listed in the replies here.

Honestly, if you're trading out camera for features I can understand (like if you want that ruggedized one) for if you're doing it for image quality I think you'll be dissapointed.

Images quality wise, you're going to have to step up to s DSLR or EVIL type setup. Alternatively, you could just learn more about using the manual options on the Lumix and seeing if that doesn't work better for you than auto mode.

Best of luck!

Thanks for the response! ...I'm starting to see what everyone is telling me. I've been researching this morning how to actually use a point and shoot. I've been doing it wrong. My camera probably is actually fine. I'm going to give it another chance.


sp115


Jan 9, 2012, 9:46 AM
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Lazlo wrote:
Thanks for all the advice and thoughts. I do need to learn a little more about camera function. I don't know enough.

We bought the Panasonic at Cost Co, so we're looking right now at two others they have that have good reviews.


<snip>

Thoughts?

Neither of those will be appreciably better than what you have.

Image quality is largely a funtion of sensor size and and low-light capability is combination of sensor size and maximum aperture.

If you want compact (shirt-pocket size) look at the Cannon S100 (last year's S95, as Marc mentioned above) or the Panasonic LX5. Aftert that your next step up in image quality will be a step up in price and physical camera size.


rgbscan


Jan 9, 2012, 9:50 AM
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Found a brief tutorial on levels if you're interested... I think this would fix most of the washed out shots in your album and you'd like the results. This is for Photoshop (I'm using Pixelmator on a Mac), but most of the better photo editing tools should have a levels tool available.

http://www.digital-photography-school.com/rescuing-poorly-exposed-photos-with-photoshop-levels


Colinhoglund


Jan 9, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Most point and shoot cameras actually give you quite a bit of creative control these days. I had an olympus styluss 600 for about five years before i toasted it.(cracked the screen on a sharp rock. I brought the newest Olympus stylus TG and it works great! Luckily I brought it just in time for my trip to the Bugaboos. I how have a great deal of awesome photos from that trip. Comparing them to my photos from a pervious trip with the older model the difference is huge. Learn to use the custom functions and you should get good photos with any good Olympus/Canon?fuji/nikkon.

Ps
(however I'm a Canon snob for DSLR, and IMHO olympus makes a ridiculously durable pos that takes great pictures)


styndall


Jan 9, 2012, 12:28 PM
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Lazlo wrote:
rgbscan wrote:
I took a few minutes to look at your album. Honestly, I think they are pretty typical Point-n-shoot shots. Some basic photoshopping (levels mostly) would really make those look nice.

Honestly, looking at your album and results, I don't think the two cameras you've selected will do any better.The nice thing in general with the Lumix series is the long zoom and wide angle of the included Leica glass. That Canon you listed is the equivalent of a 28-112 optical zoom (whereas your lumix is 28-224) and the Fjui is a 28-140. you'd be giving up some zoom if you swapped out your camera.

The Leica glass and image processor in the Lumix are generally considered quite good and rivaled only by that Canon listed in the replies here.

Honestly, if you're trading out camera for features I can understand (like if you want that ruggedized one) for if you're doing it for image quality I think you'll be dissapointed.

Images quality wise, you're going to have to step up to s DSLR or EVIL type setup. Alternatively, you could just learn more about using the manual options on the Lumix and seeing if that doesn't work better for you than auto mode.

Best of luck!

Thanks for the response! ...I'm starting to see what everyone is telling me. I've been researching this morning how to actually use a point and shoot. I've been doing it wrong. My camera probably is actually fine. I'm going to give it another chance.

At this point, a copy of Adobe's Lightroom would probably give the most benefit for your dollars. If you know someone with a .edu email address, you can probably get it really cheaply.


Lazlo


Jan 10, 2012, 7:31 AM
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Thank you everyone for the tips and pointers. I appreciate your time.

I took a few dozen photos yesterday trying different settings. I took one particular photo three times with the correct setting, auto, and one other setting that I had been using. The result? I've been doing it wrong. The camera is fine.

Adjusting levels will be the next task at hand....


Lazlo


Jan 10, 2012, 8:12 AM
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First go at adjusting levels.

Also cropped the image.


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