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Old Dec 27, 2003, 9:35 AM   #1
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Default Outdoor Camera for Backpacking - Help

Hello, I am new to this board and new to the digital camera world - I have been using a tiny Minolta Vectis 2000 APS camera for the last few years with no problems during my mountain trips in Canada, etc but cannot get enough zoom with this camera and think it is time to switch to digital since I am currently transfering all these pitures to my PC anyway.

I am planning a trip to Alaska this summer and would like to purchase a new digital camera that I can take in my backpack (so it can't be too large and flimsy) and get better shots than my current APS camera. I have time to learn how to take great pictures but need to start with a quality camera first.

Money is not a major issues (unless we are talking over $2,000) so I would like advice from outdoor photographers that need a quality camera but need to carry it everywhere themselves. Also, battery will be an issue as I will be camping for a week so I will probably need to bring extra batteries of some kind.

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.

Stephen Spector
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Old Jan 2, 2004, 11:36 AM   #2
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I'm certainly no expert on outdoor (or any other kind) photography but have you considered a water/weather resistant model like the Pentax Optio 33WR (or something similar?): http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...optio33wr.html . It uses common rechargeable AA's and you can get a solar recharger if away from civilization for extended periods. HTH...
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Old Jan 4, 2004, 8:36 PM   #3
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Hi Stephen:

It seems you and I have the same trip planned. I'm going to Alaska this summer for a month and was looking to convert over from a film to a digital camera. I'm using a Minolta Weathermatic and it is a great camera but I'm tired of paying $300.00 for film developing for each trip.

I basically sent this same e-mail about 4 months ago. At that time, Olympus brought out two cameras. It is a "weatherproof" camera. I know Steve has reviewed them. They do seem alright. I don't remember the names but you'll find them in the review section on the front page. One of the outdoor magazines gave them a favorable rating for a "outdoors" camera.

Pentax came out with a camera that the previous poster mentioned. I looked at it when I was in St. Martin and almost bought it but I decided to wait hoping that somewhere out there, someone would come out with something.

The one camera that I keep on going back to is a camera by Richoh called the 300G. This camera is not sold in the U.s. In fact, I would have to order it from Australia. IMHO this is the digital version of the Minolta that I have. The drawbacks are many. Price, not being able to touch it ect. is holding me back from buying it but I'm just at the point of buying it anyway.

Another option is getting U/W case for a camera. They are pricy and bulky, but it would protect the camera. I did consider this route but ......

I don't know. I'm holding off a little longer before making a decision. I'm also a rookie when it comes to digital cameras. I've been researching for about 5 months now so take the above with a grain of salt. Hopefully someone else will respond. This is how I found out about Ricoh. I know Steve has reviewed weather resistant cameras on his front page. I think he has done 6 or 7 of them. I would read the reviews and see if any of them help.
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Old Jan 5, 2004, 7:20 AM   #4
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When weight, weather and battery duration is an issue I'd still look to a light-weight classic film camera. I bought a Rolei 35 LED in 1976 and it still works well in all conditions.

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Old Jan 6, 2004, 7:14 PM   #5
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I have been doing more searching and the Kodak camera with the 10x zoom looks interesting. It is not too big and has a long battery life based on reviews I have read.

It seems as though you can get waterproof, nice zoom, or compact but not necessarily all three. My search continues and I am interested in seeing what everyone else ends up with.

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