Author Topic: Digital Cameras  (Read 13077 times)

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Offline Guy

Digital Cameras
« on: March 10, 2007, 07:51:30 pm »
a
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 09:42:57 am by Guy »

Offline miles2go

Digital Cameras
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 01:03:18 am »
Hello and welcome to touring.

I'm as much of a photographer as I am a cyclist.  I took over 3800 photos on my last 1 month tour.  The FLT gallery is also a photo/touring creation of mine.

I for one don't see the need to spend extra on a camera body if all I'm getting for the money is the addition of weather resistance.  If you're prone to having bad luck perhaps that's not the right answer for you though.

Every year, my touring gear is taken into high heat and heavy rains.  I've never had any electronic gear fail while on tour.

Cheers,

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 03:14:16 am by miles2go »

Offline RussellSeaton

Digital Cameras
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 01:12:57 pm »
On my tours I used a normal point and shoot 35mm camera.  Is there a reason why you want a digital SLR camera with its extra lenses as opposed to a point and shoot digital?  Do the extra options and features of a digital SLR outweigh the huge increase in size and weight compared to a point and shoot with built in zoom lenses?  How much nicer of pictures will the SLR give you?  Are you going to sell the pictures and therefore need the marginal extra quality or the ability to get that impossible shot only a SLR with 300-600 1.0 aperature, etc. lens will provide?


Offline Badger

Digital Cameras
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 01:40:16 pm »
If you are really into photography I think you can justify whatever camera you buy.  I entered a photo contest at Bike expo here in Seattle and won a second place ribbon using a Fuji digital which cost me $100 new. The most important issue is the memories they preserve.


Offline BostonMc

Digital Cameras
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 10:37:04 pm »
If you are talking a weather sealed body that is small enough to take on tour I am guessing that you are thinking of the Nikon D200? If so it a super well built camera and will certainly make you happy. Is the weather sealing needed? For most uses no. I have used a Canon 1D II (super well sealed) in pretty hard rain and snow without any trouble, but I have also used my 20D (no weather seal at all) in moderate rain wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and it was fine.

Remember, to get the benefit of a weather sealed body you have to have a weather sealed lens, and in many cases a filter on it to seal the front.

You could also consider one of the weather covers like those by Kata or Storm Jacket? The Storm Jacket cover is $36 to $40 depending on what lens size you want to use it with.

If you are just talking about normal use, humidity, dust, sand type stuff then I think you are fine without weather sealing. I have had  my gear out in a lot of different weather and have never had a failure.

Bottom line, I'd only pop extra for weather sealing if I really wanted to be able to go out in the rain, though even then I have heard a few stories of sealed pro SLRs getting killed by use in heavy rain. If I was going to shoot in a real down pour I'd go for a cover even with a sealed body and lens, no fun to fry a $5,000 camera and lens.


Offline RussellSeaton

Digital Cameras
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2007, 12:09:29 pm »
"If you are talking a weather sealed body that is small enough to take on tour I am guessing that you are thinking of the Nikon D200? If so it a super well built camera and will certainly make you happy. Is the weather sealing needed? For most uses no. I have used a Canon 1D II (super well sealed) in pretty hard rain and snow without any trouble, but I have also used my 20D (no weather seal at all) in moderate rain wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and it was fine."

"If I was going to shoot in a real down pour I'd go for a cover even with a sealed body and lens, no fun to fry a $5,000 camera and lens."

You mentioned a smaller DSLR, the Nikon D200.  And the not small DSLR D20.  I think it fits the $5,000 with lenses category.

Would you take any of these on a loaded tour?  Even the smaller DSLR is still 4" wide by 3" tall by 2" deep without any lens at all.  Add a single focue lens from 70mm down to 20mm and its 2" deep.  Add a zoom lens of 70-200mm and its 4" deep.  For a decent range I think you would need the 70-200mm zoom and a 50mm single and a 28mm or less wide angle.  That is three lenses.  Plus the camera body.  Seems like a LOT of space and weight and complexity and cost for a loaded tour.  I think a point and shoot digital or film, the Canon A540IS or Canon SD800IS digitals for example, with roughly 30-100mm built in zoom lens would get you enough range and quality with a cost of $200-350 for the camera and much less space, complexity, weight than a DSLR and its required separate lenses.

But you can easily carry lots of weight and gear on a loaded bike.  I carry too much for no reason.  So if cameras are more of a passion than biking, you can bring them along on a loaded tour.


Offline BostonMc

Digital Cameras
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2007, 10:43:10 pm »
dmscheetz:  I think RussellSeaton makes good points about the weight of DSLR really adding up as you load on lenses and gear. It would be pretty easy to get up to 15-20 pounds of gear if you wanted to take a couple lenses, a flash a DSLR body. I am just getting ready to do the Northern Tier this summer and I have not quite decided between a 20D and two lenses or just a nice point and shoot. I may end up with a Canon S50 or Powershot G5 for a smaller lighter package that still lets me shoot RAW files.

Right now I am leaning towards the simpler, lighter route. As Badger says you can take prize winners with a P&S. And I feel like I am bringing a ton of stuff as it is. I also feel like a lot of big ticket gear would give me loss, theft, and damage worries that I wouldn't have with a cheaper camera.



FredHiltz

  • Guest
Digital Cameras
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 07:14:47 am »
I may end up with a Canon S50 or Powershot G5 for a smaller lighter package that still lets me shoot RAW files.

That struck a chord here. We all choose our compromise between light weight and function. My choice was the G6, small enough to keep on my body in a fanny pack for quick access, RAW, full control, and big enough glass to shoot indoors most of the time without flash. Now, if they would only make one with AA batteries...

Fred


Offline RussellSeaton

Digital Cameras
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 11:36:25 am »
I mentioned the cost, weight, size, etc. of DSLR cameras and that you would really have to have far more passion for cameras than biking because there comes a point where you start worrying far more about the expensive gear you are carryign than the bike ride.

Similar with very expensive nice touring bikes compared to a cheap, functional Trek 520 or Cannondale T800.  Are you going to just use a simple cable lock to lock up your $5,000+ touring bike outside a museum in Munich and go in for a few hours?  I did that with my Trek 520 and was not too concerned.  Not sure I would do that with a bike costing 4 times as much.  And $1,000 of Arkel panniers on top of that.

How many Cadillac Escapade SUV trucks are driven off road where they will get dirty, scratched, etc.?  None.  How likely is it someone with a $5,000 bike and $1,000 panniers will ride down a gravel road and lay their bike on the ground to see some nice sight?  Or will they just ride on by because they don't want to damage their gear?

I think bike touring should be about seeing the landscape, meeting the people, etc.  And take pictures to help remember.  The gear you are using should never interfere with these priorities.  Riding at home I have bad weather bikes and good weather bikes.  Both do the job but I don't take the nice bike on bad weather days.  Same with a camera.  If on a bike ride where a camera could easily get lost, stolen, broken, I would take the camera I don't worry about if anything happens to it.  Save the nice camera for rides or trips where there is less worry about it.


Offline covert_run

Digital Cameras
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2007, 04:08:46 pm »
I've ridden coast2coast many times on both road and mtb tours.  I use the Nikon Coolpix 8800.  I have used both a pelican case and an Ortleib handlebar bag to carry camera.

Pro:  No open camera body.  More lense than you will probably use.  Panoramic mode is pretty useful.

Con:  Manual focus is a little tough.  Autofocus can be an issue sometimes if you're not paying attention or have the  camera setup incorrect.  Camera is a little heavy.

I shoot big pic files and bracket my shots.


Offline whittierider

Digital Cameras
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 02:25:10 am »
Since the topic is called "Digital Cameras" and not specifically SLRs, I hope I can hitch-hike on it with another digital-camera question and keep all the related material together.
Quote
Although, thanks for the reminder about weight/space...thats not something any tourer can afford to disregard.

I have a 35mm SLR and other cameras (one being much larger format than 35mm), but I was thinking of getting one of the super-inexpensive keychain-type digital cameras (smaller than a cell phone, which I don't have) to keep in my jersey pocket and be able to pull out to take a picture here and there, often without stopping.  I see the specifications, like 640x480 pixels (or sometimes even less), an old-fashioned optical viewfinder (instead of LCD), no zoom lens, no flash, etc., but I wonder if they're reliable.  I just want to tell the story of the tour and give an idea of what we saw, not produce photo masterpieces.  Flash and low-light capability are not necessary, but I especially don't want a big or heavy bulge in my jersey pocket.

I haven't found any reviews on these cameras.  Has anyone seen such reviews?  Has anyone here tried one of these?

This message was edited by whittierider on 12-2-07 @ 10:29 PM

Offline JayH

Digital Cameras
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 09:41:56 am »
consider a Canon SD800 IS, which is a pretty good camera with a wide angle 28mm lens (good for self portraits using timer or for nature/landscape shots) which also has Image Stabilization which is a pretty useful feature for those that don't carry tripods.  I don't recall if it runs on batteries, I suspect it doesn't so that may be the only drawback for long range use, but it's relatively light and compact and is a nice camera. (not waterproof either)..

Jay

This message was edited by JayH on 12-3-07 @ 6:45 AM

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Digital Cameras
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2007, 09:44:50 am »
I have not used one, but suspect the reviewers consider these cameras to be toys not worth the time. 640 x 480 pixels is not even enough to make a crisp 4" x 6" print, and the plastic lens that goes with it is probably terrible.

I think an ultracompact model would be more reliable and definitely make better photos. And it will remain useful for years after the tour. http://www.dpreview.com is a great place to find what you want. Take the buying guide > features search link. Hint: don't restrict the price range there, which is apparently based on the introductory list price. The good bargains are in the cameras recently superseded in their model line but still available.

Optical viewfinders are getting hard to find in small cameras, but are really useful in bright sun and when in motion. AA cells are better than the proprietary lithium battery packs on a bike tour; a plus for the Sony DSC-S40.

Fred


Offline whittierider

Digital Cameras
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 04:26:19 pm »
Quote
 consider a Canon SD800 IS, which is a...

It definitely looks like a nice camera, similar to our Cannon A550 that I should have mentioned we have and like, but is too bulky and heavy to be practical to keep in a jersey pocket.

As for the resolultion (number of pixels), in this case I probably won't be printing any pictures, but I will always be reducing them to 640 dots across or smaller for E-mailing or putting on a blog or website so it doesn't take too long to download for people with dial-up.

What both of you mention about being able to use disposable batteries is a good point.  Proprietary rechargeable batteries could be a problem, especially since they require carrying the charger and you won't always have access to plug-in power.  Thanks for the reminder.

Fred, thanks for the link.  I'll be spending some time there.

For as inexpensive a camera as I was asking about, to just go ahead and buy one to experiment and find it's inadequate would not be much of a loss; but I always like to research everything thoroughly, including cycle computers which might be in the same price range.  It's especially frustrating when you get used to something and it suits your needs just fine but then breaks down quickly.  Reading about that in the reviews is what kept me from buying one of the HP Photosmart cameras last spring when I ended up getting the Cannon.


Offline RussellSeaton

Digital Cameras
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 12:30:12 pm »
"but I was thinking of getting one of the super-inexpensive keychain-type digital cameras (smaller than a cell phone, which I don't have) to keep in my jersey pocket and be able to pull out to take a picture here and there, often without stopping.  I see the specifications, like 640x480 pixels (or sometimes even less), an old-fashioned optical viewfinder (instead of LCD), no zoom lens, no flash, etc., but I wonder if they're reliable.  I just want to tell the story of the tour and give an idea of what we saw, not produce photo masterpieces.  Flash and low-light capability are not necessary"

As Fred said, the picture quality is not very good with these cameras.  I have a 10 year old HP digital camera that takes OK pictures.  I think it has a fairly good lens and for that time was a good picture taking camera.  I also have a free digital camera I got for signing up for an internet connection a few years later.  It takes low quality pictures.  My 15 year old point and shoot 35mm camera takes superior quality pictures than either of these cameras.  I'm all for capturing the feeling of the trip with pictures and not taking master pieces.  But the pictures still have to be good quality to tell the story.  A low quality digital camera won't take pictures of sufficient quality for you to enjoy looking at them.  Or showing to anyone else.