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Old May 18, 2004, 12:54 PM   #1
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I am going to Peru next week to climb Mt. Pisco and will ascend to approximately 19,000 ft. Do you have any recomendations for cameras that are lightweight, great zoom lense and produce high quality images? Also, any suggestions on solar powered battery rechargers?

Richard K.
Santa Barbara, Ca
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Old May 18, 2004, 4:07 PM   #2
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Zoom + Image Quality= Canon S1 IS, Oly C-750 or C-760, Nikon CP5700, Sony F717

Any of those cameras are of great image quality. The C-750 does have more noise compared to the others. It might also help if you listed your budget. The cameras listed range from $399-699USD

The Canon has a waterproof, hard plastic casing that may be nice to protect it from the elements, and perhaps any drops it takes. The others I think have 3rd party cases that may cost a bit more.

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Old May 18, 2004, 5:35 PM   #3
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Yes, the Canon...hands down.

For zoom, Image Stabilization, uses 2AA batteries and compact flash.

Be sure to buy extra Compact Flash cards (2-4 512 Mb cards).

Search on Ebay for Sandisk Extreme Ultra II Compact Flash. The Extreme is very durable and will function well in a very wide temperature range.

After you return, you can sell the extra cards for 50-70% of what you paid for them on Ebay if you want.

Be safe!
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Old May 21, 2004, 1:39 AM   #4
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For mountain climbing you need the lightest possible camera and, as you will be "off the beaten track", and therefore presumably nowhere near a powerpoint, it would be preferable if the camera used AA batteries. Another nice-to-have feature would be water-resistance. One of the only cameras that fits all the above requirements is the Pentax Optio 33WR (and its soon to be be released replacement the Optio43WR). If you can get past its unusual styling (reminiscent of a tiny suitcase) it is a great camera. I have had a play with the 33WR in a camera shop and I was impressed. It has a 2.8x optical zoom and the rangeis adequate for most uses. In my opinion, for hiking, trekking and climbing it is more important to have a wideangle lens than a supertelephoto. Many digicams have huge zooms but sadly few go very wide. In this regard the 33WR and 43WR are about average (see Steve's review of the 33WR on this site).

Personally I am currently waiting for the 43WR to be released as it features 4MP instead of 3.2MP but if you are leaving next week you may be able to get a great deal on a 33WR.

Forget about solar rechargers - justtake a handful of lithium batteries with you and if necessary supplement them with AA's purchased "on the road" (I have found that AA'sare available even in the most far flung coners of the world).

As an aside, before I switched to digital I used to carry a full SLR kit for trekking but would leave it behind and take only an Olympus XA (miniature 35mm film camera) for when the going got really tough and weight (and volume in my backpack) was an issue. More recently I have bought a Pentax *istD DSLR but still used my Olympus XA as my "summit day" cameraas I could not find asuitable digital replacement. The Optio 43WR I think is the answer.
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