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Camera recommendation

Old 09-02-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Taking picture and riding are two separate events. You need to plan to do one or the other to do either well. Good photography needs your undivided attention. I have a more recent, but still older version of the Powershot. When my Gopro was run over by a car, it became my sole portable camera. They may not be waterproof, but they're still rugged enough and easy to carry on a bike ride.
I disagree. Photography has been an integral part of all my activities since I was a kid when my dad used to let me run around with his Leica IIIf. I also had access to his darkroom. I have taken photos in every activity I've ever done, including parachuting, mountaineering, rock climbing, canoeing, flying, work, as well as cycling. Most of these activities do not allow "undivided" attention for photography. I may not be a great photographer, but I have been very competent in my other activities; and every once in awhile I do get a good picture. There are about as many ways to bike tour as there are bike tourists, and there is not a wrong way.

A scan of a picture of my wife taking a picture

Last edited by Doug64; 09-05-18 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 09-03-18, 12:49 AM
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and again, sorry ... ;)
its the content of a pictures what has to tell us a story, let us dream, show us beauty, show us ugly ... and so on.
how to compose and how to "read" why a picture works may take years to learn. most never learn it.

and if one does not print BIG any tool does.

film versus digital, no digital black and white image beats the beautiful ample tonal range of a well made baryta paper print.
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Old 09-03-18, 10:03 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by str
film versus digital, no digital black and white image beats the beautiful ample tonal range of a well made baryta paper print.
if all of the other factors come into play, ie shot properly, developed properly, printed properly.

again, as an ex long time professional black and white developer and printer, like anything in life, lots of attention to detail and all the factors I mentioned come into play. Even if I give the greatest negative to someone who is a so so printer, compared to a printer who has lots of experience and is a great printer, the final results on paper will be completely different.

but lets face it, already back in the day, really good b+w people were sort of rare, and nowadays its kinda like finding a dinosaur.
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Old 09-03-18, 03:07 PM
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It's interesting how the commenters on this thread have widely variable goals. From just documenting a ride with snapshots, all the way to careful, fine photography. I think the whole spectrum is valid. I like to take a little more composed and edited photos than just firing off a quick smart phone shot. I especially like challenging lighting conditions when I have my good camera with me. But I'll do either type, depending on the day, and if I'm solo or not.

Originally Posted by Doug64
We did a a rough estimate of the time we spent taking pictures on a 3-month tour that we did in 2011. Using an average of 5 hours a day of actual riding time, we estimated that we used a little over 2 weeks of riding time or the equivalent of about 600 miles, for taking photographs Photography is an integral part of bike touring for us, and that is what we love about the bike, we can stop almost any time or place we want. We still get our 5+ hours of actual riding time a day regardless of how many time we stop.

On a tour this summer we were about the same as the 3-month tour, and this one was only 2 months long. I use about a minute a picture as the average, because sometimes I was shooting at 11 frames/ second. I also used half of the actual pictures we took for calculating the estimate, because we seldom take just one shot of a subject. However, I'm thinking that my estimates are still a little on the conservative side. I can think of several instances where I spent up to an hour shooting street "events" and maybe only ended up with 15-20 shots. After editing, that number will go down to 2-4 keepers (hopefully).
After your comment, I realized I have actual stats from my GPS.

I recently did a 66 mile, crushed rock surface rail trail ride, out and back, no baggage.
I took about 250 photos that day.
ridewithgps says:
Riding time: 5:15
Stopped time: 2:20. Included was 20 minutes for a lunch stop, and various sight-seeing pauses, not just photography.

That averages about 30 seconds each photo. Maybe half of the shots were just a quick document of what the trail was like. The rest were more composed and took longer. That's actually less time than I expected.

Last edited by rm -rf; 09-03-18 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 09-03-18, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by str
and again, sorry ...
its the content of a pictures what has to tell us a story, let us dream, show us beauty, show us ugly ... and so on.
how to compose and how to "read" why a picture works may take years to learn. most never learn it.

and if one does not print BIG any tool does.

film versus digital, no digital black and white image beats the beautiful ample tonal range of a well made baryta paper print.
Or you can get it just by chance. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:11 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by str
and again, sorry ...
its the content of a pictures what has to tell us a story, let us dream, show us beauty, show us ugly ... and so on.
how to compose and how to "read" why a picture works may take years to learn. most never learn it.

and if one does not print BIG any tool does.

film versus digital, no digital black and white image beats the beautiful ample tonal range of a well made baryta paper print.
I agree, and am still trying to learn, but something I've never done with my digital cameras was open the back of the camera before I rewound the film It's a long story.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
if all of the other factors come into play, ie shot properly, developed properly, printed properly.

again, as an ex long time professional black and white developer and printer, like anything in life, lots of attention to detail and all the factors I mentioned come into play. Even if I give the greatest negative to someone who is a so so printer, compared to a printer who has lots of experience and is a great printer, the final results on paper will be completely different.

but lets face it, already back in the day, really good b+w people were sort of rare, and nowadays its kinda like finding a dinosaur.
I was fortunate to have access to my dad's cameras and darkroom when I was a kid. I was also fortunate to help him, and watch him print. Unfortunately, even though he was a patient teacher, I was never as good as him. On the good side, I was the only 11-year old running around town with a Leica IIIf or a Rollieflex. He really wanted me to learn.

I found these dinosaur bones the other day when I was cleaning up the garage. They were left over from a distant past when I loaded my film canisters from bulk rolls.

Last edited by Doug64; 09-04-18 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-03-18, 09:36 PM
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Re bones. Not too many years ago I tossed out my reusable film canisters that I used to load b+w film in. I used to buy bulk 50 or 100ft rolls of tri-x, or hp5 and it was the cheapest way to shoot. We used to buy boxes of I think 50 rolls of b+w 400 asa film back when we did b+w press stuff, and I eventually gave up on self loading as my cannisters started to get a bit iffy for the ends to loosen if dropped, but had kept the best ones for no real reason.
i also finally got rid of some 4x5 dip and dunk tanks and holders too.
I don't think I ever ruined an entire roll by opening a back, certainly not any jobs or important personal work, but a handful of times we had the lab mess up some e6 chemicals so some slide film got messed up. We shot a lot in transparencies for magazine work, and I was a fast editor with a loup and a light table.
As always, funny to think of that era and how already it's been quite a while...
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Old 09-04-18, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
I was fortunate to have access to my dads cameras and darkroom when I was a kid. I was also fortunate to help him, and watch him print. Unfortunately, even though he was a patient teacher, I was never as good as him. On the good side, I was the only 11-year old running around town with a Leica IIIf or a Rollieflex. He really wanted me to learn.

I found these dinosaur bones the other day when I was cleaning up the garage. They were left over from a distant past when I loaded my film canisters from bulk rolls.
Good news, film is still alive and well, and any decent photography school still teach it. The point behind learning film is that it teaches you the art of preparation so you develop real talent. With digital you get to take as many pictures as you want to get it right at no extra cost. With film, you pay every time your click the shutter. You had better well know what you're doing or have real deep pockets.

After imagining the mystique behind film for years, I finally got to experience developing and printing for myself. Making post adjustments as you print takes practice. Although its not like you can't do post work electronically, but what you can't do when you develop chemically is undo. You only get one chance so you have to get it right the first time. That's the additional appreciation of the art that you don't get from digital photography.
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Old 09-04-18, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL
Good news, film is still alive and well, and any decent photography school still teach it. The point behind learning film is that it teaches you the art of preparation so you develop real talent. With digital you get to take as many pictures as you want to get it right at no extra cost. With film, you pay every time your click the shutter. You had better well know what you're doing or have real deep pockets.

After imagining the mystique behind film for years, I finally got to experience developing and printing for myself. Making post adjustments as you print takes practice. Although its not like you can't do post work electronically, but what you can't do when you develop chemically is undo. You only get one chance so you have to get it right the first time. That's the additional appreciation of the art that you don't get from digital photography.
As an old timer b/w fan, still have a small darkroom set-up, I identify with what you are saying.
However, this view reminds me of the objectors of say, automatic transmissions as they were beginning to take over in the auto industry. They were inefficient, dragged down fuel economy, took the "fun" out of driving, etc., etc. Some still argue the fun part, but all the rest is no longer true. Time and progress march on.
I do use digital cams now too. A Nikon D600, now ancient, and a recently acquired Coolpix B500 that has a fantastic zoom ratio from inches to shooting the moon, 40X. My D600 would require a huge, heavy, very costly lens to match 40X. This all comes at a price, lack of manual controls, a small image sensor which limits how large a print you can make, but enables the magnification. There's a model with even greater magnification now, but the B500 is enough for my needs.
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Old 09-06-18, 01:57 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg
As an old timer b/w fan, still have a small darkroom set-up, I identify with what you are saying.
However, this view reminds me of the objectors of say, [fully electric vehicles] as they [are] beginning to take over in the auto industry.
Don't worry, I got you bro.
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Old 09-06-18, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Bang0Bang00
Don't worry, I got you bro.
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Old 09-10-18, 09:51 PM
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$26 go pro

Mind blowing value - sharing the original post:

For anyone who's been on the fence about trying action cameras, I've got a worthwhile one for you that's cheap enough to be well below most people's "why not" threshold.

Behold the Topjoy TJ-5000: https://www.amazon.com/Topjoy-Sports...eywords=topjoy

As we speak, $26 on Amazon.

I got one of these in the mail yesterday and it is nearly an exact match for the SooCoo C30 cameras I've been using for the last year or so- those being really excellent $80 GoPro alternatives. There's a whole range of these cameras from different OEMs using the Novatech line of firmware and Sony NTK96660 lens and chipset. They're in the same form factor as a Gen-1 GoPro, so all generic "action camera" housings, mountings, and accessories work fine. These cameras supposedly shoot upscaled 4K and 2K at 30, but for my purposes I've always stuck with 1080/60. As mask cameras, these things have two killer features: 1. The lens is gyro-stabilized, which takes out a lot of the wobble and shake when you move, and 2. The camera puts out audible "video start/video stop" voice prompts to let you know when you're recording. When you can't see the buttons, screen, or indicator lights without taking off your mask this prompt is a real godsend.

The one drawback with these cameras is battery life, but I've gotten around this by running mine off a $8 auxiliary cellphone battery back strapped to the back of my goggle strap and connected with a USB cable- one charge of that lasts hours- I've never had it run out.

If you've got a dremel and a drill you can make your own mount out of stuff that comes with the camera.

It's $26. What are you waiting for?

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Old 09-13-18, 05:41 PM
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Cameras are similar to bikes. You can’t ask – what bike should I get? Unless you know where / how you want to ride it. For choosing a camera when touring, the top questions I’d ask are:
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Weatherproofness / robustness
  • Ergonomics / feel – do you care?
  • Focal length / zoom
  • Low light ability
The first four are pretty obvious just from looking online or in a store at camera gear. Focal length is the question of: do you want a go pro type view of being there (about “14mm equivalent”), or general scenery (about 16-35), or mostly people (28-85), or hope to also capture animals / objects in the distance (85+). Low light ability is also kind of obvious – larger, heavier more expensive cameras are generally much better. I didn’t list image quality as a question, I’m of the belief that any recent camera will take awesome photos.

My personal answers are:

I care a lot about weight, will spend several hundred to over a thousand if I think it is worthwhile, want a waterproof option, don’t care about ergonomics when touring because it would add weight, want a go pro view and a focal length for people, and don’t care about low light.

Instead of a Go Pro, I chose a Sony X3000, better stabilization and perhaps slightly better image quality than most Go Pro models for a similar or cheaper price. There are also some Chinese knockoffs which can have great image quality, but not the stabilization.

For people view and some general scenery, I’ll use my phone, OR if I know I’ll want better pictures and more focal length variety – I want a small compact camera that can zoom about 24-75mm equivalent. Or, I might instead invest that money in a new phone with two different focal length cameras. Not sure.

I have a Panasonic LX100, which is just over 400 grams, is a joy to use, has a focal length 24-75, and is probably the best compromise for low light ability and light weight in a camera. So for now, I’d likely just bring that.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:26 PM
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Good that you mentioned priorities, but it would be much better to include pros and cons instead of either/or, since as you stated, your camera choice depends on your use and priorities. Yes, the Sony X3000 has superior stabilization because it uses a mechanical system as compared to the GoPro's electronic stabilization. However, that's a benefit most won't notice until you reach the extremes levels of camera shake.

On the other hand, GoPros have moved to a more prosumer level of technology since they now offer the most flexible post-processing of any of the other action camera sold. Also, because they started the action camera popularity, they additionally have the widest variety of accessories (which is why most of the knock-offs have copied their form factor) available.
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