Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 13, 2008, 1:22 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 410
Default

Carrying spare dedicated batteries will be less bulk and weight than spare AA batts. But the expense will be greater.

Kelly
KCook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2008, 1:49 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

kelly-

I agree with you but spare batteries for the Pentax W-60 are $(US) 18.95 a pop.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2008, 1:52 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Marquette, MI
Posts: 285
Default

A good source of non-AA batteries for cameras using dedicated batteries is Sterlingtek. They sell 3rd party batteries that meet or exceed the manufacturer's specs, and cost at least half the price of the original equipment batteries. These are usually rechargeable Li-Ion batteries, and they weigh a LOT less than multiple AA batteries.

http://sterlingtek.com/

Limiting your choices to only AA powered cameras can be too limiting. I used a Canon A620 for a few years powered by four AA batteries. Those batteries make the camera noticeably heavier. I now use a Canon G9 with one Li-Ion battery. The G9 is heavier to start with, but I'm glad it does not also require four AAs. I carry one spare Li-Ion battery with me, and it takes very little room in the small, belt camera bag I use.

Dennis

Edit: here's their link for the Optio W60 battery;

http://sterlingtek.com/ped78bapaeq.html
denncald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2008, 2:26 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Thanks, Dennis-

That same W-60 spare battery is $(US) 13.99 at www.sterlingtek.com.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 2:32 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 9
Default

What is most important to me is that whatever camera I will choose, it will give me great shots. On my last hike I used a Canon Powershot A530 and wasn't pleased with the results I got. Not to mention, that after the hike, the camerawas pretty much rendered useless. If I have any priorities they would only be about the batteries, the viewfinder and the image stabilization. Other than that, I don't think it matters much, because, as much as I understand, those 3 are crucial to have in a camera for my purposes.

A camera that uses 2 AA's instead of one that uses a special kind won't be that much heavier and to carry 2 extra sets(which means another 4 AA's) won't be the thing that would break my back.
Shvilist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 8:49 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,052
Default

A gadget I've seen in catalogs, but have never tried, is a small solar powered device that charges batteries. Has anyone here tried one? I don't know how they would compete (price/weight wise) with using a bunch of AA batteries on a long hike, but I think it would be worth looking into - you wouldn't have to worry about fresh batteries in your cache supplies, disposing of the used ones etc. Get three of the Li-Ion batteries, charge one every day and have one already charged ready to go into the camera.

I've never even seen one in person, so they probably fall into the "too good to be true" category. But it would be worth at least looking into, especially if you are going backpacking for several months. I'd be interested in whether they really work or not, even though I'm strictly a day-hiker.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 11:03 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Shvlist-

I don't mean to but in, but tell us a bit more about why the Canon A-530 was not capable of producing the kind of photos that you desire and surviving to shoot some more after the hike.

The Canon A-590 in my experience is a very capable and durablecamera. Unlike the A-530, the A-590 has IS and a much better processor, the Digic III processor. I have seen it as low as $(US) 129.00 as a Christmas special recently. In fact it is one of the cameras that I highly recommend to my students. It is unfortunate that Canon is replacing it with the A-1000 and A-2000 models. here is another A-590 photo.

Sarah Joyce
Attached Images
 
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 11:19 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
Posts: 1,381
Default

Several questions. The custom batteries out last AA's, and they do cost more, however they are lighter and take less space. The next question is - are you going to hike straight thru or are you going to re-provision, if so where and how. If your going to go the re-provisioning route, then buy 4 batteries (the camera is worthless with out the batteries) and pack one charger with your to carry. Your probably going to re-provision multiple times, so just hike out to your preplanned stops and recharge. When you re-provision there will be a power plug that you can use for a few hours. Next, it would help if whom every your going with, all used the same battery type. If so, one carry the recharger and I would think that there just might be a power plug along the way somewhere at one of the campsites or ranger stations. Plan your route and inquire before going. Then plan to spend part of the day resting, charging batteries, taking a shower, etc.

The compact cameras weigh about 5 to 9oz. Superzooms weigh in around 20oz. and up. dSLR are even heavier and larger I would aim towards a lighter camera with a few extra batteries (3 to 4). Batteries weigh in the neighboorhood of 1 to 2 oz. and are relatively small. AA batteries weight about 1 oz each. Custom Li-Iob batteries usually get tripple the number of shots of AAs, for the same weight.

The next thing would be some very light camera that I could put a polarizing filter on, due to the very bright sunlight, glare from the rock, etc. (it would also offer some physical protection to the main lens) Your going to take sunglasses or glaicer glasses arn't you? Your going to go from bright sun to dark shade under a trees, so you need to plan for both.

I would also find something that has a fast lens, so that your not using the flash all the time. Flash, and reviewing your images will drain the battery faster - so don't...

I would take a look at Panasonic's LX3 for a number of reasons...
camera weighs in at 9.3 oz (a bit heavier than the ultra compacts at 5oz)
  • 10MP with relatively low noise (has a large sensor)[/*]
  • f2.0 - 2.8 lens (fast and bright)[/*]
  • basically a wide angle landscape p&s camera with a lot of manual control capability (along with fully automatic mode).
    [/*]
  • batteries are 1oz each and cost about $10[/*]
  • is able to take a polarizing filter and the lens cap fits over the filter.[/*]
  • is wide angle (24mm)[/*]
  • shoots hi-def movies[/*]
  • - the down sides are ....[/*]
  • --- you get a couple of hundred images per battery rather than double that, but the batteries are light and relatively cheap.[/*]
  • --- Its just a bit larger than the ultra compact models and probably would not fit into a shirt pocket, however would fit everywhere else.[/*]
  • --- it only has a 2.5x zoom 24 to 60mm in 35mm terms - which means that it does not have a big capability to zoom in to something - however your probably going for landscapes anyway.[/*]
Here is a re-supply stragety with towns along the way...
http://www.pcta.org/planning/before_trip/strategy.asp
http://www.purebound.com/PCT/resupply.htm
http://www.muirtrailranch.com/resupply.pdf

I did not have to look too hard for some other camera related suggestions...
http://www.bythom.com/dfoto.htm
http://www.praisephotography.com/tips.php
http://www.indoorclimbing.com/Solar_...y_Charger.html

You can also do web searches for "hiking camera"

Hope that helps - I did a lot of hiking in the 60's 70's and 80's....

interested_observer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 2:52 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 9
Default

Sarah, I'm not doubting your suggestion for the A-590 at all and I'm not saying that it's not a good camera. After I returned from my hike(2 and a half months), the A 530 was in bad shape. And sure, any camera would be, after what it had been through. I'm not saying all pictures were bad, but generally, when I look at my photos, they don't seem that great. Probably, to my blame for the most part.

Iam not that skilled as a photographer, and wanted to get as much help as possible in picking a camera that will help me take great photos.

I'm planning to through-hike the PCT. If I was going to do it in a couple of tries I wouldn't fuss so much about all of this. With the experience from my previous hike, I know what to take with me and what not(especially sunglasses). Now, granted, my hike was nowhere near as difficult or problematic(if you will) as the PCT, but it prepared me well.

With the information I read about the PCT, and you probably know well, interested observer,I won't be visiting places of civilization that often. And in my logical thinking, I thought that depending on AA's would be better, since I could switch them and hopefully use solar power to charge them, thus limiting the weight. On average, I took about 900+ shots(excluding video) per week on my hike. Yeah, I know that's a lot. 2 AA's lasted from a couple of days, to more than half a week(including switching back and forth). Those were non-rechargeables. Of course, I had all the power wasting options on the camera down.

Before posting my question here, I've searched a lot. I've been to countless camera sites and tips and what have you. Also posting on different forums with the same question as here. The camera suggestion I gotwas the A720is.

Now, due to the selection and the different styles and approaches, I wanted to know the alternatives.

Your help(Sarah and interested observer) isgreatly appreciated.




Shvilist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2008, 4:08 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Shvlist-

Certainly there are many great memories to be captured, I would imagine. I will stay with my Canon A-590 recommendation, as it is a much better camera than the A-530 that you have used previously. The PCT will offer different scenes, but photos like this are indeed quite memorable.

Sarah Joyce
Attached Images
 
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:05 PM.