Apr 16, 2007 at 9:19 am #1222833
Any suggestions here for PCT thru hike? I am hoping to have a robust zoom and light weight (under a half pound). thought there was a Canon out there like that–but can't find it. Much appreciated!
BenApr 16, 2007 at 9:32 am #1386151
Were you thinking of the Canon S3 IS?Apr 16, 2007 at 9:48 am #1386155
@kdesignLocale: Mythical State of Jefferson
The Canon A series cameras are lighter than the S3 and use AAs. The A630 ( which has been well reviewed and is a great bargain) weighs 245g (8.6 oz.) w/o batts and 11 oz. w/ batteries. The S3 weighs 410 g (14.5 oz.) w/o batteries.
The A630 zoom is only to a 140 mm equivalent but there is a supplementary lens option( albeit a little heavy and clumsy). Both cameras have lots of manual control options.Apr 19, 2007 at 11:10 am #1386630
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I'm hoping to thru-hike the PCT in 2008, and just went through this thought process. I like my Kodak V570 a lot because of the built-in wide angle lense and on-camera stitching software, but I didn't want to rely on mailing batteries back home to recharge or hassling with a charger in my bounce bucket, so I looked for something decent that takes AA batteries (I'll use lithiums) and isn't too heavy or bulky.
Measured weight for my Pentax Optio M20 with NiMH rechargeable batteries and an SD card is 6.9 oz (195g), that includes the little carry strap. With no batteries but the SD card left it it's 4.7 oz (134g).
My notes say that a pair of lithium AA's weighs 0.9 oz (25g), so with those the total weight should be 5.6 oz (159g).
No optical viewfinder unfortunately, but I think the reviews said it nevertheless does pretty well on battery useage.
I haven't yet used this often enough to comment on how well it works on a long backpacking trip, but I think it's likely it will work out fine. And a really big (2 GB) SD card isn't too expensive these days, which limits how often I'll have to mail the SD card home, if at all. It seems like I read in too many trip logs how a camera memory card mailed home fails to make it for whatever reason!Apr 20, 2007 at 8:13 pm #1386809
The Canon A550 is nice. Abbot 8 oz with lithium, or for up to around 800 shots over three months or so, 4 x Sanyo AA Eneloop, they retain the charge. Do not be misled by the low (2000 mAhH) amperage.
FrancoApr 20, 2007 at 8:37 pm #1386811
@greyhoundLocale: Sierra Nevada
I have an S3 IS, and I love it. It takes 4 AA bateries, and with good batteries it seems to last forever.
I use the S3 IS for backpacking and for occasionally for work, and have used it with a gorilla pod (regular, not SLR).
My friend has the A630, and its also a great camera.Apr 26, 2007 at 5:25 pm #1387420
I found a 4MB Casio Exilim on ebay for less than $30 that weighs 5 oz with battery versus 19 oz for my Canon S2 IS which is also 4 times the size of the Casio. For trips where weight is the issue, the little Exilim has been the better choice for me.May 6, 2007 at 4:01 pm #1388337
@junkLocale: The Great Lake State
I just picked up one of these , 9.5 oz with 2 AA's, 6X zoom, 7.1 mega pixels. So far I like it a lot, it does what I need in a camera.May 8, 2007 at 4:03 pm #1388624
Canon A710IS (7MP, decent 35-210mm for the size, full manual mode, stabilizer, 7.3oz/210g + 2AA batteries). Gets quite good critique and I am quite happy with mine.May 22, 2007 at 1:50 pm #1389925
@kenknightLocale: SE Michigan
I'll add some praise for this camera. The interface is easy to work with and the photos it takes are pretty good considering its cost. If I had a single complaint it would be that the lens wide setting is so high. I'd rather it have been more along the lines of my old S70 Powershot at about 28-100 (35mm equiv). However, wide angle adapter lens exists that I may have to try out. For what the camera is the lens is fast enough and I think I'll be happy with the camera for the foreseeable future (I'll have my first batch of photos online from that camera soon).
I liked my S70 for its flexibility and ruggedness and the A710IS doesn't feel quite as tough but so far so good.May 24, 2007 at 3:45 pm #1390197
I own the A710IS as well. I bought the camera for the manual controls, image stabilization, and good zoom. These features sold me on the Canon over my next option, the Pentax Optio W20, which is a little lighter and waterproof. My Canon is listed on my gear spreadsheet as 7.5 oz with 2AA NiMH batts.
I was hoping to get better results shortening depth of field but that's possibly user error as I'm no camera wiz. I've been able to cheat this some using the macro mode.
The biggest downside of the camera (and this is well documented) is the extremely long recycle time for the flash. At full flash, it can take 5 seconds or more to cycle. But, that's a function of only using 2 AA batts, which was a selling point for me considering the camera's weight. Of course, I don't find myself taking many too many pics requiring flash usage when I'm hiking.
One comment on durability: the printing on the mode selection dial are starting to wear off after maybe a half-dozen times in the field and some casual home use. This is potentially a big problem as I'll have to rely on the LCD screen to tell me which mode I'm in.Dec 15, 2007 at 11:43 pm #1412684
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I ended up with a Nikon Coolpix L12 on a trade and it isn't bad– 6.7oz with batteries, 3x zoom, 7.1MP and plenty of features. It runs on 2 AA's and doesn't seem to be too greedy with them. The viewfinder is big enough for my aging eyeballs too.
But I want one of the new Olympus 790SW for hiking. It is a hiker's dream– light, tons of features, waterproof, shockproof, and the lens doesn't extend from the body– that is a feature to look for now– it is heartier, and allows better sealing.
I would figure out a way to charge the batteries :)Mar 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm #1423792
I lucked out on a good deal on the Canon A720 IS. Office Depot had an Instant $50 deal going to make the camera $149 and then I price challenged at the local AFB and got it for the $149 with no tax. 8.5 oz with 2 AA and strap.
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