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Old Oct 14, 2003, 4:36 PM   #1
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Default Another "Help me find a camera" question.

I am a hiker/backpacker and often am away from electricity for weeks at a time. Therefore, i am looking for a camera that uses AA batteries so that i can afford to bring enough batteries for a week or more. Most of my pictures are of landscapes, or people and wildlife in landscapes. I want a camera with resolution that allows me to make good quality 8 1/2 x 11 inch prints, and possibly slightly larger. My buget tops out at around $800 US but that needs to include extra memory and a battery charger. Any suggestions? Thanks alot!
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 5:07 PM   #2
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Default Electricity

Carrying enough AA batteries should not include alkalines, they are not worth the money you spend on them for the amount of images you'll get (we are talking 10-20 for a set of alkalines vs 300-500 for Nihms). I would invest in at least 4 sets of Nihm AA's with power ratings of 2000-mah's (or higher) & charge them before a trip.

Another delema, if you plan on taking enough batteries (say, 4 sets) to last you 2 weeks without power, you are also going to need enough memory to store 1600 images (more or less)...you could spend your entire $800.00 just on that if you don't shop smart! With the 8x10 image quality you are wanting, you are talking about at least a 3-5mp camera (depending on how much cropping you might want to do).

I've taken many scenic images with a 2mp Olympus C2100...as seen below.

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Old Oct 14, 2003, 5:19 PM   #3
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Thanks, i was refering to buying Nihms batteries. I assume they are still cheaper than buying extra prop batteries. I take about 100 pics a week and i could always erase ones i dont want to keep.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 6:01 PM   #4
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If you taking about 100pictures/week then a decent set of 2200mAh batteries would do you for at least a week and most likely 2 or more depending on the camera you choose and how much you use the lcd/flash. I can usually take well over 200 pictures (almost all at either HQ jpeg or tiff format) on a day hike with extensive use of the lcd between pictures and still have a decent charge left in a single set of Maha 2200mAh AA's when using an Oly c750uz. As Kalypso already said with his recommendation of 4 sets... if all your taking is around 100pictures/week I would suggest at least 3 sets of AA's which is what I have for my setup.....just to be on the safe side of things.

As for camera choices, and im a little bit bias here in this opinion... You may wish to look at the same camera I have purchased (and many, many others), the Olympus C-750UZ. I have had some amazing 8x10 prints done with it, its great on batteries, relatively small and compact which is nice for hiking and offers you a 10x (38-380mm) lens which comes in handy when taking shots of wildlife. You should also be able to pick one up which comes with a set of 1700mAh batteries, a nice charger (Maha) and 2 sets of 2200mAh batteries (Maha) and enough memory card space for a few hundred pictures and still stay under your $800usd price limit.

On a 256mb xD card (the media format the camera supports) it can fit 261 high quality jpegs at 2288x1712 or 92 super high quality jpegs at 2288x1712. A 512mb xD card bumps the capacity to 523 high quality jpegs at 2288x1712 or 185 super high quality jpegs at 2288x1712. 2288x1712pixels is the max resolution size (not including the enlarged size.

All from Newegg
C750uz: $499.00usd
Maha 100 Minute Cool Charger Kit with 4x2200mAh AA NiMH Batteries MODEL MH-C401FS - RETAIL: $49.00usd
Maha 4x2200mAh AA NiMH batteries: $22.00usd
Olympus xD-Picture Card 512Mb Retail $196.00usd
$766.00usd total

Just to throw some numbers out to you.....I must be bored today. :P

P.S. Whats weird being in Canada is Newegg (and other good retailers) charges alot less for the camera than what I can get it for up here even taking into account the exchange rate, :? but wow do US based stores ever charge an arm and a leg for xD cards! the 256mb cards at most stores cost the same in usd as they do in cdn funds at the shop I buy from and the 512mb cards are within $25 of each other (almost $200usd for a 512mb xD card or $225cdn for me). :shock:
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 6:02 PM   #5
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Mountain22

I would looking at 4 or 5 mp cameras. The quality of the image when printed to 8X10 should be excellent. It sounds as if most of your shooting will be outdoors and I would recommend the Olympus c750Z, 10X optical lens, 4 mp, hot shoe for external flash. Panasonic is introducing a new 12X ultra zoom that should be released in Nov 2003. Click on the Panasonic link to see some of the discussions and read the breaking link news link.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 8:02 PM   #6
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Mountain22, I have a feeling you want to use a digital camera in a condition were actually a normal 35mm camera would be prefered.
Unless you don't mind carrying around a 10D which can last 400 (flash used) upto 500 photos with 1 battery (canon prop.), most cameras will eat a mountain of batteries during a week in cold conditions. Maybe there are some good solar battery chargers, I have one and it did not work at all.

Have you also considered buying a good slide scanner and a decent 35mm pocket camera? I think the weight of a pile of film rolls(dia film) compared to a dozen batteries may save some backpack space.
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Old Oct 14, 2003, 9:35 PM   #7
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Yes. Infact I have used that for quite some time. But, i like editing, prinitng, and sharing my pictures and dont mind the extra weight in exchange for not having to pay for processing or the hassle of scanning and storing slides.
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Old Oct 15, 2003, 7:26 AM   #8
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The reason for slide film is easier scan quality. If they are not processed into frames they are just like negative films, same storage. And I assume that flatbed photo /slide scanner allow batch scanning .
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