Apr 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm #1235311
@rcroft10msn-comLocale: West (Big Horn Basin)
Does anyone know what the best and lightest camera is to be used for ultralight backpacking. I want this camera to take general pictures without a damage on weight carried. Does anyone have any personnal favorites and why?Apr 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm #1491302
@mn-backpackerLocale: Land of 12,000 Loons
I have a Canon 880 IS. It's 6.3 ounces, very compact, 10 MP, has image stabilization, very fast startup, and a wide angle zoom (28-112mm = 35mm equiv) – which is rare on such a small camera. I'd recommend it. No, it doesn't shoot anywhere close to the quality as my Nikon D70, but it's also not 2.5 pounds. :)Apr 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm #1491323
I recommend a 4.5 oz camera.
(4.16 ounces without battery and accesories).
What is great is the 28 mm wide angle lens which is a must for wide-angle panaroma shots.
There may be newer models – I got mine at Costco which has a 90 day money back guarantee, so get yours before your big hike so you can take it back if you don't like it. I like mine and will be taking it again for my entire JMT hike.
to see how good the camera works on the JMT, see here:
Casio Exilim Card Camera, model EX-Z77 (3x optical zoom, 7.2 megapixel, 2.6” monitor). Camera weight 4.5 ounces. I actually had the Ex-S750 model which is a tiny bit bigger, but if you are going to buy one, I’d get the EX-Z77 model instead. I did end up using the spare battery and spare SD card. What I love about the Exilim camera is the best shot picture and best shot wizard – with these wizards, you do not need to memorize your camera manual and settings. These are the two primary settings I use. You interact with the wizard to tell it what type of photo setting you want. It is super easy. Go to a camera store and ask to see the best shot picture wizard feature of the Exilim Camera. Casio sells more expensive models but the EX-Z77 is the lightest of their models (4.16 ounces without battery and accesories).
Some of their newest models:
10 megapixel 28 mm wide angle lensApr 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm #1491362
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
A request please:
I am looking to replace mine also. But I am interested in an old fashion view finder in addition to a LCD screen. In bright sunlight I really struggle to see the picture, and I get better pictures with my el cheapo digital camera than my expensive one as far as setting up the picture.Apr 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm #1491364
Nick, I forgot to mention, the Casio has an old fashion view finder which is what I use 99% of the time. Like I said, if you belong to Costco, choose from your choices there, as you get 90 days no questions asked to return items plus a 2 year warranty.Apr 4, 2009 at 8:40 pm #1491366
@filsingerLocale: Pacific Northwest
How is the battery life on the Casio?
BillApr 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm #1491368
I can go on a 4 week vacation with two backup lithium batteries. Each battery is good for about 1gb of pics taken. I was at day 11 on the JMT when I had to change batteries last year.Apr 4, 2009 at 9:45 pm #1491378
@fastwalkerLocale: SWApr 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm #1491382
Without a doubt, the Panasonic Lumix FX37 is a great camera. It was one I wished Costco had when I shopped a year ago.Apr 5, 2009 at 10:47 am #1491439
Olympus also makes a line of "All-Weather" point and shoot cameras. Basically they're described as "splash-proof" (although they do have one that's good to 8 feet under). I picked up a Stylus 880 All-Weather on eBay last year for $130. I weighs just a hair over 5 ounces with battery and 2 gb card. It's a 8 megapixel with a 5x optical zoom.
Just another thought. I like knowing that I don't have to be as careful using it in the rain or fog.Apr 5, 2009 at 2:40 pm #1491485
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I like knowing that I don't have to be as careful using it in the rain or fog.
EXCEPT that you still have to keep the lens dry!
CheersApr 5, 2009 at 2:58 pm #1491491
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
>But I am interested in an old fashion view finder in addition to a LCD screen.
Absolutely – nothing sucks batteries like the LCD. I wouldn't consider a camera for backpacking if it didn't have a view finder. I'm also a big fan of the 28mm equivalent wide-angle. That combination is hard to find in a compact, but the Canon SD800 IS has both, and has gotten pretty good reviews. I've had mine for almost a year and love it. Downsides – aside from a lack of good manual controls, it takes really poor low-light pictures.Apr 7, 2009 at 11:55 am #1492022
@thinairLocale: 6237' - Manitou Springs
Too, I can't live without a viewfinder. That really narrows down the selections.
I can second the Canon SD series. I have an SD1000. Tough little camera.
But I miss the ability of my little Olympus to disable the LCD. On long trips I would set it so the LCD would not turn on by default.
TimApr 7, 2009 at 12:45 pm #1492034
I agree that the Canon SD800 is awesome. Not much you can do about poor low-light pictures (except use a lightweight tripod if possible) but check out the CHDK firmware addon (http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK) if you want manual controls and many other awesome features.Apr 13, 2009 at 5:23 am #1493570
I'm no photography geek, but I have one of the older Pentax Optio waterproof models and I love it. It is also dust-proof, obviously, which was a plus for me (I bought it in Afghanistan- long story). I would quickly destroy a non-ruggedized camera.
The newer version is the W60, which is available in multiple colors and weighs 4.4oz, though I think that is without the rechargable Li battery. 10MP.Apr 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm #1493977
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
I'm pleased with the results from the camera built into my HTC touch diamond. Just over 4oz, and it also has built in GPS, mapping software, FM radio, internet access via 3G or WiFi. You can even make phone calls with it.
Hi Dean!Apr 14, 2009 at 8:42 pm #1494098
It is not available yet but it has the best camera of any current gen. phones.
8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, wide 28mm Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus, dual LED flash, variable aperture (going through F2.4/F3.2/F4.8), geotagging, VGA@30fps
It has multiple uses:
Phone, GPS, digital compass, FM/music/video player, flash light.
It has a 1200mAh battery and all this for 5.25oz.Apr 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm #1494149
HI ROG !!!
Y'know, I just read a blurb about a camera with built-in GPS that automatically takes each photo with metadata listing the location that it was taken. I was wondering if it was usable as a regular GPS- i.e. will it display your current location on the screen or something. Because that would definitely be a multi-use item.
But the HTC Touch Diamond is a cell-phone, isn't it? I'm going to make an assumption, here: that you mostly hike in Europe. If so, you would almost always have reception, so the phone is a great safety tool, as well. (Not to mention the mapping funtionality.) But just how good is the camera? I suspect that these photo-geeks would be unhappy with it if it is a typical 1.3MP phone camera. But, I also know that some high-end phones are getting better and better cameras these days.
Then again, a true photo-geek would be unhappy with trivial performance parameters of my Optio of which I am totally ignorant, too…Apr 15, 2009 at 6:00 am #1494169
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
yes, it's a phone. The camera is 3.1MP and takes nice shots
http://18.104.22.168/bmi/cache.backpackinglight.com/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1229177546_08880.jpgApr 17, 2009 at 6:29 am #1494825
3.1MP? Crap. It is SO easy to get behind the technology curve these days…
A while ago I got suckered into buying one of those little Digital Hero cameras, for kayaking. What a waste of money!Apr 17, 2009 at 8:01 am #1494849
This guy is a little on the heavy side, but shoots great video as well as taking great pix, and is waterproof (up to a few feet). Its also pretty cheap:
Ps. For those that carry GPS's on trips: Check out GPSPhotolinker – its an app that will geotagg photos by matching up the date/time stamps in the photo metadata.Apr 17, 2009 at 11:43 am #1494910
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
I'll struggle along with my Blackberry Storm with 3.2 mp camera, GPS, recorder, and music (which I seldom listen to). Not much more to ask for.Apr 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm #1495516
@drdystopiaLocale: Upstate NY
I use a Cannon Powershot SD1100 IS Digital Elph.
It weighs 5.7oz
8.0 MP, more then I need since I don't plan on printing posters.
Good battery life but does not take standard batteries so I bought a second.
It has a great digital macro feature but not much zoom, only 3x optical
Had flash and viewfinder.
It has a ton of manual options and other toys.
–scottApr 19, 2009 at 10:17 pm #1495550
@biointegraLocale: Puget Sound
The Casio EX-V8 has proved excellent for me:
I purchased it after doing extensive research and I have used it constantly over the past 8 months. It is a slighltly older model (less $$!) but has VERY unique features that set it apart and make it VERY versatile:
– 7x optical zoom (38-266mm) that is all INTERNAL (the lens does not zoom out of the case and is always protected).
– Compact, despite it's features: 3.76” (W) x 2.35” (H) x 1.0” (D)
– 8.1 megapixel (the amazing zoom range for the weight and compact size
– Has separate LED light for video mode – shoots great low light video.
– Complete optical zoom range operates during video shooting without sound.
– Records high-quality stero sound for video
– 5.26 oz. + about an ounce for the battery (My wife is out using it on a trip, and I forget the exact total…email me in a week or so if you want me to measure it.)
– Widescreen video mode w/ many options, including Youtube. "848 x 480 (roughly 16:9 with square pixels) and 640 x 480 at 30 FPS in a very efficient (small file size)"
– A note on the file size…You can record an incredible amount of video and it is of incredible quality…I think about 18.5 minutes per Gb at full wide-screen resolution and stereo sound. I never run out of space with an 8gb or even a 4gb card.
– Very quick start up and capture.
– Long battery life, even using video and light, + cheap to replace Li-ion battery (~ $20):
– Works well at altitude and colder temps w/ blowing snow! (I've had it to 17,000 feet using it often in strong wind and sub-20 degree temps…not storing it in my jacket but in a neoprene pouch on the outside)
– Highly weather resistant, by the nature of it's design, although it is not gasketed and is not claimed to be thus. I've used it in many conditions w/o care.
– Lacks a traditional viewfinder (my only gripe), although screen works well in direct sun, which is rare!
– Ergonomics are tops and it is easy to deploy and operate w/ one hand, even while wearing mittens.
I know of no other camera that combines these features and yet it still produces great, high quality photos. The video is the best I've seen in a camera and it is so good I never really use my camcorder any more. I also have a Canon EOS Rebel XLi, which of course has nicer color and better overall quality to the pics…but guess which one ends up being used all of the time and has plenty fine enough quality for 95% of what I do.
This review convinced me almost a year ago and I haven't looked back:
It looks like Amazon still has a few and they are not audaciously expensive:Apr 21, 2009 at 7:55 am #1495864
@hellbillylarryLocale: southern appalachians
One more vote for cannon SD1100/1000. Great camera light takes good pictures and stands up to some abuse.
Look at my yellowstone thread in photography to see the pics I have taken with my sd1000.
I don't think i have posted any pics with the sd1100 yet but is is the same camera but with more MPs and image stabilization.
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