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Old 04-17-07, 12:04 AM   #1
Spire
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Digital Camera for touring.

Looking for advice on a camera to take while I go on a one-month tour.

I guess the primary thing is it has to be durable and not break, even while in a bag. What sort of cameras have people had good experiences with?

(if possible a camera that runs on Compact Flash memory would be better as I already have 2GB CF at home, but that is not a requirement)
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Old 04-17-07, 02:11 AM   #2
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We've had good experience with this Canon...

Some of the positive aspects:
-Rechargable battery
-Good zoom
-Lightweight / Tiny
-Very durable
-Can take LoRes Video

Downside:
-Sometimes it hesitates (for lack of a better word) when shooting in automatic mode
-It takes a few seconds to turn on... (we've missed a few good shots)

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Old 04-17-07, 04:41 AM   #3
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Olympus mu 720/725/770 SW.
Moderately shockproof, very very waterproof, quite small. I keep mine in my bento bag (which collects a lot of sweat!) and can quickly pull it out to take a snap without stopping. With a spare battery (these are tiny) good for 400 or more shots over a month.
3x zoom. Runs XD cards.
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Old 04-17-07, 04:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losligato
We've had good experience with this Canon...

Some of the positive aspects:
-Rechargable battery
-Good zoom
-Lightweight / Tiny
-Very durable
-Can take LoRes Video

Downside:
-Sometimes it hesitates (for lack of a better word) when shooting in automatic mode
-It takes a few seconds to turn on... (we've missed a few good shots)


I have a great Canon SD800. Very cool indeed. Tiny, pic quality is great, feels solid enough, but i don't usually check my cameras for shock-absorption.
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Old 04-17-07, 07:29 AM   #5
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Make sure it uses AA batteries. That way you can always cary spare batteries and never have to worry about looking for a charger.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:06 AM   #6
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I have a Cannon SD400, its not very shock absorbant. I am on my thrid LCD screen on it only from being in my pocket. I don't know about the 500, but I know that this is a common problem with my model.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:28 AM   #7
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I have an older Canon A80 that's served me well. As noted above, I like the AA batteries for convenience.
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Old 04-17-07, 09:08 AM   #8
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Pentax W10. Compact, excellent, durable, waterproof, no moving lens housing. 6MP, 3x optical zoom + digital zoom, shoots 640x res video. allows "F-stop" steps, "ISO adjustments" , white balance adjustments and real time histograms for exposure control.

Quick, short time lag for operation. very slow drain on rechargable batteries, charger is lightweight and compact, about the size of a dollar pack of gum.

Pentax W10 - 's best for me. waterproof and no moving lens parts clinched it for me...
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Old 04-17-07, 09:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCastrovich
I have a great Canon SD800. Very cool indeed. Tiny, pic quality is great, feels solid enough, but i don't usually check my cameras for shock-absorption.
Also have a Canon, the SD700i. Absolutely love it!
Bought it as a smaller lighter take anywhere backup to my battery sucking space taking Minolta.
Turns out my little Canon takes better pictures.

I don't have the delay issues mentioned by the poster with the 500.
The battery lasts FOREVER! Went on a plane ride with a buddy, took 814 pictures on an already used battery and it didn't kill it. Used the LCD, switching modes, zoom... it just lasts and lasts.
Turns on in less than 2 seconds, ready to take pictures.

The only thing slow about this camera is charging the flash. In low-light indoors, it can take a couple seconds between pics.

Uses SD, which can be found VERY cheap. Bought my last two 1GB cards from Kingston for $22 each. Dell has them on sale occasionally for $20-25.

It doesn't use AA, but with as long as the battery lasts, it will be good for quite a bit of a long trip. A second fully charged battery standing by will take care of you for... well, guess that depends on how long it takes you to take 1000+ pictures...
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Old 04-17-07, 09:38 AM   #10
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For a month I would take an older film camera that advances the film with out batteries. IMHO For a week tour I take one extra camera batterie some rolls of film and my Minolta and I am happy I would hate to carry scads of AA batteries
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Old 04-17-07, 10:15 AM   #11
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Does anyone take a digital or film SLR? I have a cheapie Kodak digital point and shoot that I am learning to take good photos with. However, we also have large digital SLR Canon EOS and I also have an older film Pentax. It seems that the extra weight of the SLR's would be a downside to touring, but the photo quality is so much better.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:35 AM   #12
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I carry a SLR. I even carried two because I didn't have a real wide angle for the DSLR. Ideally, I'd carry a DSLR and a compact.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrydirt
Does anyone take a digital or film SLR? I have a cheapie Kodak digital point and shoot that I am learning to take good photos with. However, we also have large digital SLR Canon EOS and I also have an older film Pentax. It seems that the extra weight of the SLR's would be a downside to touring, but the photo quality is so much better.
I carry a Minolta SLR film I will carry a wide angle lens and 50 mm and I will put em in zip lock bags and wrap socks arround them. The SLR is my luxury item when I am in the back country
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Old 04-17-07, 11:17 AM   #14
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I love shooting SLR (prefer photochemical to digital), but on tour I go digital... Maybe if I was doing some real photography, but just for snapping stuff as I go by, digital makes way more sense.

Good luck fitting an SLR into your jersey pocket, or having it handy at the exact right moment when its buried in your panniers. If you're a shutterbug the film could get bulky and it would be a pain sending home packages of filmn every few days. I have one of the smallest and lightest manual SLRs ever made, and its still heavy and bulky compared to pretty much any digital out there. Add in replacement lenses, flashes, winders etc. and you're already outweighing your camping gear...

If you get an ultracompact digital with a viewfinder (to save batteries) and shove a 2gb card in (bring an extra if you're photographing non stop) you'll have all you need with a weight around 75 grams and really minimal bulk.

My luxury item is a customized 216 gram espresso maker. I have a portable grinder too, but its bulky, heavy and hard to use, and the results aren't that great. Better to find good beans and have half of it ground where you bought it, and save the other half for when you pass somewhere that you can get the rest ground for you (cafe, supermarket etc.)
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Old 04-17-07, 11:26 AM   #15
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Espresso machine lugger here too.

works great on my alcohol stove.

(Do you bring the frothing pitcher as well like I do?)

Oh, and a Pentax Optio, similar to Bek's but older, has been great for me. The biggest thing is there is no shutter delay. I keep it in an Altoids tin.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
Espresso machine lugger here too.

works great on my alcohol stove.

(Do you bring the frothing pitcher as well like I do?)

Oh, and a Pentax Optio, similar to Bek's but older, has been great for me. The biggest thing is there is no shutter delay. I keep it in an Altoids tin.
I have one of these (2 shot Bialetti Mini Express):

I lightened it quite alot by removing the plastic handle, removing one of the copper pipes and plugging it with a screw which I then ground the head off of, and then I cut/ground off the second 'shelf', and went crazy doing a 'drillium' treatment on the remaining 'shelf.' It looks insane now and produces one respectably sized cup of coffee. I always have my coffee black so I don't need a frother or anything like that. Sometimes I add hot water to make an americano though.

I pop it on my MSR pocket Rocket for a little while on low, but maybe a trangia would be a better option...
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Old 04-17-07, 11:52 AM   #17
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Cool!

Mine's a Bialetti Kitty D'Oro. . .



Unmodified.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:13 PM   #18
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I was just going to bring my classic Bialetti moka pot, but I got an attack of gear lust and went for a lighter option that I could tinker with. I suppose I am lacking somewhat in the 24 carat gold department, but for what that pot costs you could buy a half-respectable espresso machine AND a regular moka pot!


PS. I am going to pick up a Pentax Optio A20 in the next few weeks to use as my touring camera. I had a canon powershot that just died unfortunately. A big thing for digital cameras is to try to get ones with as few moving parts (ie. telescoping lens, sliding lens cover etc.) as possible, as those will break first as the mechanics of cameras are VERY fragile.
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Old 04-17-07, 02:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiznaz
I suppose I am lacking somewhat in the 24 carat gold department, but for what that pot costs you could buy a half-respectable espresso machine AND a regular moka pot!
I bet mine was cheaper than yours!
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Old 04-17-07, 03:20 PM   #20
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I wonder how much one of these lovelies weighs?

Aeropress espresso machine

Edited to add: the whole schmear weighs 13 oz!

Last edited by Lolly Pop; 04-17-07 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 04-17-07, 03:40 PM   #21
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Yeah I run my electric bean grinder off of my gen hub
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Old 04-17-07, 03:53 PM   #22
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We have an old Canon A20. They are quite durable - ours has been dropped. Damaged the battery door, but everything still works. We also got it for the AA batteries. We take way too many photos to use non-digital.
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Old 04-17-07, 04:56 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erick L
I carry a SLR. I even carried two because I didn't have a real wide angle for the DSLR. Ideally, I'd carry a DSLR and a compact.
I've carried an SLR for ages. Used to carry a Pentax K1000 but now I use a Pentax MZ-7. Yes, it weighs a bit more. Yes, you have to have the film developed. No, that isn't a problem because my developer will scan the negatives to disc for next to nothing. On my latest 2 trips I took around 500 pictures each but I don't have to worry about the camera as much as I would if I had a $600-$1000 dSLR. My MZ-7 cost me $150 for a really nice camera - new.

The K1000 would survive a nuclear explosion and it only takes a little button battery. But it is a tank
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Old 04-17-07, 06:30 PM   #24
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Cannon, A series.

Simple, durable, and the only camera in that price/size bracket that I know of that allows full manual control of aperature and shutter speed. Also, quite reasonably priced.
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Old 04-17-07, 09:28 PM   #25
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I used to take a SLR, but two years ago I went digital so I now use a digital SLR. If you are looking at "typical" photos of people or sceneries and especially if you are looking at web-quality, any smallish digital camera will work, but I prefer to photograph flower close-ups, droplets that escape from a waterfall and other things like that for which a reflex is definitely better.

Over the years, I have carried the camera in different setups:

– a homemade handlebar bag with wooden compartments in it and foam on top of the wood (that's back in the days before decent handlebar bags were available around here);

– loose in its case in one of my rear panniers (perfectly safe, but not the best for improptu shots;

– in an Arkel large handlebar bag, into which I have added the Ortlieb camera insert.

The Camera insert was not essential, but it was a quick and easy way to get the velcro enclosures I needed to have the compartments in place; I could have sown my own insert if I had the time, but I didn't.

Here are two photos:
– the yellow lining (which is barely seen) is original from the Arkel bar bag;
– the grey lining and dividers come from the Ortlieb camera insert;
– the black divider is homemade.

In it I have a DX70 fitted with a 18-70 mm lens and a 70-300 mm lens. The bag could also fit the camera with its 70-300 mm without problem. With those two pieces of equipment, There still is room for either the full-size flash (which I don't take on tour) or miscellaneous items like reading glasses, pen, paper...

BTW, I haven't used the tripod on tour yet; sometimes I wish I carry it, but each time I have it, I forget about those "special" tripod shots. Must be due to travelling with kids!

P.S. For the photo, I had my old 1980 Pentax film camera in it.
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