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 Camera Advice 
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Master Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am
Posts: 914
Location: Worcester, MA
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 Camera Advice
Hi all,
In preparation for the Glacier trip in August, I'm in the market for a new camera.

Requirements:
- Algorithms smarter than I am. One where a professional would tell you that the point-and-shoot algorithm on their camera does a better job 95% of the time as their own eye.
- Shutter speed adjustment - gotta get those starry night pictures
- Interchangeable lens filters
- Reputation for taking great landscape shots
- Tri-pod mountable

A few people have recommended the Canon Powershot to me.
When looking at them, there are at least 2 dozen variations in that model - it's hard to choose.
Also, for DSLR vs. other digital... does the single lens reflex really make a big difference in image quality?

Finally, are there any specific filters you'd recommend to create really killer landscape shots?

Thanks for the advice in advance.
Oh... trying to keep it under $500 for everything.

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Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
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Mon May 02, 2016 9:39 am
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:21 am
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Location: Lynn MA
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 Re: Camera Advice
I did a quick look on the current lineup of power shots. Unless you spend closer to your max budget you are going to be framing a shot with a 2 or so inch display. This may be a PITA to do on a sunny day. Having a viewfinder makes it much easier. Also displays eat batteries so budget in an extra battery or 2. And a large capacity memory card.

I don't think I've seen a camera in the last decade that didn't have a tripod mount.

A professional is unlikely to be using automagic mode often or if at all. Most modern auto modes will do a good enough job for what you are looking for.

Bottom line. Pick a reputable brand like Canon or Nikonand others within your budget including accessories and you will likely be fine.


Mon May 02, 2016 11:55 am
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Re: Camera Advice
There's only one PnS I know of that has filter adapter made for it that you can leave on the camera with it turned off and that is the Canon Powershot.

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/port ... ot-sx60-hs



http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catal ... r-fa-dc67a

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Mon May 02, 2016 1:46 pm
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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 Re: Camera Advice
You can buy a Cokin mount for point and shoot cameras that have the mount socket in the bottom (the one you use for tripod mounting.) It is not what one would call ideal, but offers you the ability to use the full line of Cokin filters from graduated neutral density to polarizing and beyond.


Mon May 02, 2016 5:56 pm
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Hiking Forums Are My Crack
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 Re: Camera Advice
DSLR's are about controlling as many as aspects of the photo as possible, and wanting to, as opposed to being happy most of the time with what an auto PNS can do and sometimes tweaking it to get the shot perfect. If all you want to do is point, shoot and load to the computer as is, well, you buy a point and shoot. 4x6 pics look great from almost any camera. DSLR's are what you want if you like to make sure everything is aligned, placed and exposed the way you want it or you want maximum detail for post processing adjustments. Is that branch where you want it? Is that street sign out of the picture? Is that harsh shadow out of the shot? Do you want to shoot in RAW and spend more time processing on a computer than taking the shot and settling for in camera jpgs? Or tweaking the programming to get the look you want in your photos? That all takes a little more effort, time, learning, trial and error etc, so if you're not willing or wanting to do that don't bother with one no matter how much better the photos are. And, after all that, it really depends more on the lens than the camera itself. Even a low end DSLR will take much better pictures color/contrast/clarity-wise with a good lens, as opposed to the kit lenses they are usually bundled with. Better low light photos. Blurred out backgrounds. Razor sharp images. All those interchangeable lenses have a purpose. And that all costs more money. A lot more money.

If you do want to use filters Joe and Brian listed some good options with the PNS cameras. Graduated split neutral density and a polarizer would probably be all you'd need. I rarely use any myself on the trails.

Looking at the specs on that camera Joe listed I don't think it would be very good for star pictures but is probably excellent for almost everything else, especially zoomed in shots of wildlife. The relatively slow aperture will make blurred backgrounds tough on close ups, and star trails and night photography impossible if the slowest shutter speed is 15 seconds. You'd want something with a full manual mode and a bulb setting for really long exposures. You can bump up the ISO and try at 3.8 to get stars but with a smaller sensor you'll probably only get a few to show up and a lot of noise. If starry night pics are your thing I'd look for a camera with more manual control and a wider aperture, probably at the expense of the mega-zoom.

As Peter said no pro is likely to use auto mode and the in camera algorithms very much unless they're really in a hurry. They're probably trying to control the exposure for the part of the scene and the lighting they want, and auto almost never works for that. Filter this part, expose for that part, let the rest fall where it may and touch it up later. Any camera with even minor adjustments can take great landscape shots, it's all how you set it that matters. A $5000 dollar camera is still going to take lousy pictures if it's set wrong. Really, it's not rocket science to get good pictures, but it's not just having a good camera that does it either. Someone who knows their way around a camera will get better pics with a higher end adjustable point and shoot than a 4 year old with a DSLR on auto. Someone who knows their way around a DSLR will get amazing photos out of it, but not just by pointing and shooting.


Mon May 02, 2016 7:41 pm
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Peak Bagger
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 Re: Camera Advice
I'm a big Pansonic Lumix fan. For a P&S, I use a Panasonic LUMIX ZS40. The ZS-50 is the current model. When I want a luggable camera that takes great pictures and didn't break the bank, I use a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70 with 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom. It's a steal at $209. Both cameras have viewfinders, which is unusual these days.

I used to use Canons, but gave up on them about 10 years ago. The quality was too erratic.


Mon May 02, 2016 8:25 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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 Re: Camera Advice
One other nice thing about a DSLR is that within a fraction of a Second of flicking the switch it will take a picture. No splash screens and a jingle.. Just pull it to your face and shoot.

Keep in mind for after the hike. This hike is your last hurrah (so to speak) before you have a kid. You will likely use this camera to take pics of your offspring as well.


Mon May 02, 2016 8:59 pm
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 Re: Camera Advice
Never tried star shots with my PowerShot. Does the moon pretty good but that's a hell of a lot brighter. I'll have to add that a view finder is a must. I'd never own a camera without out one. GG had a good point with the super-zooms, great for wildlife close-ups. I'm loving my 10-24 lens but I'm dreaded the day I see some cool wildlife and can't get up close and personal with the lens.

DSLR's are great. But they are heavy and expensive. Good luck trying to come up with a complete set-up for $500.

Primarily for your cost cap, I'd compromise and live without the night shots. And who knows, you still might be able to take some decent ones. The high end PnS will be fine for everything else. And I do miss having my super-zoom capability.
Image
Image

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Tue May 03, 2016 5:49 am
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Flatfoot
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 Re: Camera Advice
What kind of camera do you want?


Mon May 16, 2016 1:14 pm
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 2:35 am
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 Re: Camera Advice
Nikon and Canon are good cameras, these are a few of models http://thedigitalcamera.net/canon-eos-70d-vs-80d-vs-nikon-d7200-whats-the-difference/


Mon May 16, 2016 1:16 pm
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Master Mountaineer
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am
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Location: Worcester, MA
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 Re: Camera Advice
Just wanna say thanks to everyone who contributed to the camera discussion. I spent a solid month playing with a bunch of cameras, and ultimately settled on the Olympus OM-D series. They have way more lenses, and I love having all of the controls right at my finger tips.

So I was out two nights ago testing night shots and familiarizing myself with the camera. While changing lenses, the camera slipped out of my hand. I caught it... but accidentally smudged the sensor in the process. I haven't had the camera two weeks, and I've already had to take it in to get cleaned. Maybe sticking with the old point-and-shoot is the best idea for a clumsy putz like me.

My favorite one to play with was the Sony Alpha series. I've never seen such a fast auto-focus, but their stuff is wicked expensive.

I tried out the Canon super-zooms as well. I ultimately wanted an interchangeable lens camera, but the Canon superzoom is probably the best bang for your money if you want a redonkulous point and shoot. I zoomed in to a DVD display case about 50 yards away, and could read the price tag. Amazing camera - great images. Really sturdy too - it'd probably make a great hiking camera given it's versatility. I may have even bought this one if it had more options for shutter speed.

Thanks again for the feedback.

_________________
Nothin' on the top but a bucket and a mop,
and an illustrated book about birds.
You see alot up there, but don't be scared:
Who needs actions when you got words?


Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:04 am
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Flatfoot
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:33 am
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 Re: Camera Advice
DSLR's are great cameras but they are just too bulky to carry around while hiking.


Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:22 am
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