Feb 1, 2008 at 7:34 am #1227043
Folks -Lots of new cameras coming out this time of year (PMA etc). For example the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW and Fugi F100FD which have been discuss here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/11521/index.html
I’m not sure what the optical quality of the GE E1050 is going to be like but it looks like a great camera for backpacking on paper. Features that I have been waiting for include a wide angle lens, HD video capability, and GPS coordinates for each picture taken. Check this one out (I’m holding out for the reviews):
SPECS: 5.1 oz (sans battery), 28-140mm, 10.5 MP, Built in GPS, 720p HD video, 3” LCD touchscreen, $250
GE makes cameras? General Imaging (a GE company) started producing cameras in 2006. A retired president of Olympus Imaging Corporation recruited a group of industry veterans to start this new company.Feb 1, 2008 at 4:15 pm #1418737
At best General Imaging has some design input but they don't make cameras. My guess is that they are made by Sanyo or sub-contracted via Sanyo.
The previous GE models have had less than stellar reviews and are best described as a "Wall Mart" product.
The GPS module is an accessory.
I see GE becoming as popular as Toshiba,HP and Epson as camera re-sellers.
FrancoFeb 1, 2008 at 9:42 pm #1418768
Too bad GE had poor reviews in the past. Maybe the Oly or Fugi offerings this year will pan out. I really want a lightweight, wide angle P&S with a bit of a zoom. Until this year we've been really limited.Feb 2, 2008 at 10:53 am #1418811
PMA was uninspiring this go-round, with little for backpackers to get excited about. That said, there's been a little movement on the wide-angle front. I've compiled a list, which isn't complete but hits the major makers. Note: NONE of these upcoming models has RAW format or a viewfinder, which really, really limits them for shooting outdoors on sunny days (but, what backpacker wants sun every day? ;-)
Some have active image stabilization, which is a Very Big Deal for hand-holding in low light or when your pulse is racing and the camera weighs a scant few ounces.
Canon–nothin' Come on guys, you're the market leader!
Sony–DSC W120/130, 32-128
Sony's not exactly setting the world on fire with their Zeiss collaboration.
DMC FX35, 25-100
That's more like it.
Pany gets it, but is allergic to viewfinders. Why, guys?
Water, shock and bearproof–has obvious appeal to hikers who don't baby their gear.
Fuji 100fd, 28-140
Fuji has a near-cult status following for their chip and lens performance.
Casio Ex-Z200/100 28-112
Sigma again showed the DP1 and is threatening a spring ('08) release. *If* it lives, and lives up to its promise, it will be the most important backpacking digicam ever. They also tantalized with this new lens. Feel free to place a deposit at your nearest dealer.Feb 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm #1418824
Yeah, that sigma looks pretty sweet. Can't wait to see some actual hand-on reviews of a production model.
The olympus is what has my curiosity piqued, though.Feb 2, 2008 at 4:15 pm #1418842
Nothing exciting from Canon, and as expected..nothing from Kodak.
The Sony DSC W150/170 have some real potential, note that the 170 has a slightly bigger sensor, hence the wider angle. Note also that in Sony "speak" the real CZ lenses are the T* , the others (in the compact series) are mostly made by Tamron. The Super Steady Shot is always optical and since the Konica-Minolta takeover, usually it is the CCD shift version.
The DSC W150/170 do have an optical viewfinder.
Since they have 3 underwater WB settings, I would expect an underwater housing to be available. (for water sport enthusiasts…)
Note also how "similar" the Casio EX200 and the Nikon Coolpix S600 are.
FrancoFeb 2, 2008 at 4:23 pm #1418847
Water and shock resistance is nice, but I'm not willing to sacrifice anything in terms of picture quality and manual control to get it.
I've carried a dslr for the last couple of years and it still works, but will probably get a bubble pakit like carrier to protect the DP1. This thing looks sweet.
Here's a link to some sample images that I found in the dpreview forum.
The fuji looks decent. And it's predecessor the f50 has gotten good reviews. One test confirmed that noise was significantly lower when shooting at less than max resolution. That would be a tempting camera if they hadn't left out aperture priority and raw modes.
The rest have a big fat pixel count jammed into a teeny tiny little sensor. Hard for me to get excited about these.Feb 3, 2008 at 9:45 pm #1418994
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
So which of these is the lightest? And for that matter, what's the lightest digicam on the market?
I'm looking for the lightest possible for my SUL adventures and so far it seems that Pentax has it…
But should I be looking elsewhere?Feb 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm #1419000
@kreppartLocale: Pacific Northwest
dpreview.com has a comparison tool that allows you to choose various criteria. Fortunately for you, one of them is weight. They show only 2 cameras under $400 with image stabilization (a must these days), the Olympus Stylus 830 (4.4oz) and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 (5.3oz)
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.aspFeb 3, 2008 at 11:04 pm #1419001
@kreppartLocale: Pacific Northwest
Ok there are a few more when I turned off the "ultra compact" selection. 7 to be exact
- Pentax Optio A20 (5.1 oz)
- Pentax Optio A30 (5.1 oz)
- Olympus Stylus 830 (4.4 oz)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 (5.3 oz0
- Pentax Optio A10 (5.1 oz)
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX2 (5.2 oz)
- Ricoh Caplio R7 (4.8 oz)
Boy that Sigma DP1 looks pretty sweet but a bit heavy. I've been thinking for a long time that a fixed focus camera like that would be a great option but only if it's really compact and can focus like an SLR.Feb 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm #1419002
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> image stabilization (a must these days)
Generations of photographers have taken myriads of superb photos without any image stabilisation at all. Can the current generation not do as well?
Note: so-called 'image stabilisation' is never perfect.Feb 3, 2008 at 11:21 pm #1419003
"So which of these is the lightest?"
Shouldnt it be what camera gives you the best picture for the least weight (factor in Optic's, Mpix's, Battery Life, Reliability and oh-yeah Image StabilizationFeb 3, 2008 at 11:54 pm #1419005
Optical stabilization ( lens or sensor shift) can be very useful but indeed ,with some care and or the use of a tripod you are usually better off. I have posted pictures on how to turn a sub 2 oz Ultrapod into a full size "tripod".
The level of quality desired is up to the individual. What is considered to be great quality by one could be absolute crap in the eyes of another. Since this is a light weight backpacking forum I try to keep my comments focused on the "light" side but without sacrificing too much quality. There are sub 3 oz "cameras" that I would not bother taking with me , therefore I never mention them.
FrancoFeb 4, 2008 at 12:23 am #1419006
To me image stabalization is a workaround for the fact that compact digicams suck at anything above iso 100. A tripod is a fine if slightly cumbersome solution for landscape shots. But for wildlife it's hard to tell the mountain lion to hold still while I set up my tripod.
Again the dp1 supposedly takes decent photos at iso 800 so IS isn't so critical. But I wish it had been included.Feb 4, 2008 at 6:45 am #1419014
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
I have different cameras for different purposes. I love my Digital Rebel for quality shots. When I have the time to do "real" photography, that's my choice.
I also have a Canon SD850IS. I must say that the IS works very nicely. It can't match my DSLR for low light, but it's sure better than my old Pentax Optio in these situations. It really works and it's improved the picture quality when I don' have time to use my Gorillapod.
But last, I'm looking for the lightest possible digicam for SUL backpacking when I'm really counting ounces. The trips where I'm considering leaving a camera at home…
Any other ideas?Feb 4, 2008 at 8:25 am #1419031
Aiptek PocketCam X- a cheapo 2 megapixel camera for $19, probably around 3 oz.Feb 4, 2008 at 10:05 am #1419043
Probably better to pick a target weight (e.g., 4-5 oz) than worry about a few grams here and there as to who's got the lightest *today*. I don't know whose is the very lightest, but I'll give 70% odds it's a crummy camera and 50% odds it's being replaced within the next two months.
All the major makers have multiple models in the 4-5 oz range. Decide which are your must-have features and functions to narrow down the list (which probably numbers in the hundreds).
Gadget 2 and 3oz cameras are inevitably too compromised to deliver anything better than snapshots.Feb 4, 2008 at 10:29 am #1419050
IS (the active type, not the auto-ISO shift substitute) is now a mature technology that extends any camera's usefulness. It's good enough that in selecting among otherwise like cameras, it would be foolish not to pick the one with IS.
At least three significant benefits come to mind:
1. Allows handholding of lower light scenes, with at least two stops extended range.
2. As mentioned, allows handholding at lower ISO settings, minimizing high-ISO sensor noise and overly aggressive in-camera image processing.
3. For long-range zoom fans (noting that 400-500mm equivalent lenses have become common in compact digicams) provide the only hope of producing sharp handheld results. Handholding a 400mm/6.5 lens takes a lot of light and a lot of luck. Or a camera support.
My sole IS camera is the Oly E510. Through a firmware update Olympus just added the ability to use IS with non-system manual focus lenses, so yesterday I mounted my 500mm f8 mirror lens (1000mm equivalent) and took a number of handheld shots. To my amazement, all the shots that were correctly focused are sharp. Not a typical backpacking scenario but ample proof of functionality.
I won't be tossing out my existing non-IS gear but have to confess I'm completely sold on the utility and benefits of the technology.Feb 4, 2008 at 11:49 am #1419061
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
hey, I havent read through this entire thread, but ive been back and forth on which camera to get.
I somehow settled on the CASIO EX-Z1080 a few months ago
any problem with this camera for outdoor use.
seems pretty solid for decent price
10 mega pixel, $250Feb 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm #1419067
I can't know your needs, but on at least three counts I'd rule this one out: no viewfinder and a low-resolution LCD screen, and only 38mm eq lens at its widest.
YMMVFeb 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm #1419101
Just to add another plus with image stabilisation that can be useful to backpackers : slow sync (flash)
Several cameras that have IS also allow you to use the slow flash mode.
When you use the standard flash mode typically you get a somewhat overexposed subject and dark background. The slow mode mixes available light (via low shutter speed) and flash , the IS will help in getting a sharp shot.
Try it at sunrise/sunset, around the camp fire and inside dense forest.
I don't know of a sub 4 oz camera that I would bother taking with me. The Pana FX35 at 5 oz with batt (25-100mm lens) looks pretty sweet.
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