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Old May 10, 2009, 7:43 AM   #1
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Default A compact yet versatile camera for tropical climate?

Hello,

I am about to embark on a half a year journey across Southeast Asia. The climate there is hot and very humid (90% humidity) all around the year with heavy rains on monsoon seasons. I am looking for a versatile pocketable (I have large pockets ) camera with good performance and enough properties to take all kinds of shots from portraits to landscapes to wildlife photographs (of course with certain limitations).

I've been looking at Lumix DMC-TZ series cameras for their great zoom lenses and small size. I also browsed through some of those "tough" models that are water and shock resistant (Olympus TOUGH-8000 and Canon PowerShot D10) but they tend to have quite short zooms (3,6x and 3x respectively). [Edit] There seem to be water resistant casings on sale for DMC-TZ series but it costs as much as the camera so that is pretty much out of the question!

Would a water resistant camera be a smart choice to such humid climate or do those normal models also withstand high humidities? Of course in rainy conditions water resistant camera would be a good choice and thats why I would like to ask if there are any good performance "tough" cameras with longer zoom lenses than those I've found?

I have an old Olympus C-750 Ultra Zoom which I also am about take take along with me but I really am not too satisfied with its performance (long start up and focusing time, reset of all settings when changing batteries etc).

Thanks a lot for any advice,

Gilrand

Last edited by Gilrand; May 10, 2009 at 7:45 AM.
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Old May 11, 2009, 9:51 PM   #2
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Gilrand-

I have used both a Panasonic FZ-28, the Kodak Z-1012, and the Sony H-50 in Panama where temp and humidity are at the extremes without a single problem.

Sarah Joyce
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Old May 13, 2009, 1:40 PM   #3
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Hello,

Does anyone know if compact cameras are as durable as those larger ones mtclimber mentioned? Such as Lumix DMC-TZ series cameras etc?

Also anyone else with experience in tropical climate and cameras?


//Gilrand
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Old May 13, 2009, 3:19 PM   #4
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I’ve always had a compact carry-everywhere camera and I don’t tend to baby them. I live in Florida and a few months are a steam bath. They get spray from the boat and I sometimes take photos in the rain – protecting the camera as best I can. They all seem to be sealed fairly well. Drop one in the water and it’s gone unless you bought a waterproof model. But I’ve never had one fail on me.

I bought my TZ5 toward the end of the steam bath season last year, so it hasn’t been through a full summer. But I fully expect it to make it through. If I were planning to spend time in a rain forest I would probably carry it in a zip lock sandwich bag.

The TZ5 is cheap right now. The new ZS3/TZ7 is a nicer camera but they are getting a lot more for it. I saw the TZ5 from a reliable seller on Ebay for $215 with free shipping, an 8Gb card, case and mini-tripod. If you are concerned about its survival the cheaper camera might give you less cause for concern.
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Old May 13, 2009, 5:37 PM   #5
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If small is a priority, I can vouch for the Panny TZ-5. I have used mine both in Panama and and in Singapore without any problems. However, cameras, like the three I mentioned, will provide better IQ than the TZ-3,4 or5.

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Old May 18, 2009, 1:30 AM   #6
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Hello,

Thanks for the info and tips! I believe that size is priority at the moment. I kinda would like to buy a bigger (and better) camera, but considering all the things I think a compact one will be more suitable for the trip I am about to embark on as it will easily fit pockets and doesn't have to be dragged around everywhere.

I am a bit confused about the differences between different TZ-models. Steve has reviewed only two, TZ-50 and TZ-4 which differ in performance and good performance is what I search for. Is TZ-50 comparable to TZ-5 as TZ-50 cannot be found from around where I live but TZ-5 and TZ-7 are readily found (what are differences between those two in terms of performance then?).

//Gilrand

Last edited by Gilrand; May 18, 2009 at 1:46 AM.
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Old May 18, 2009, 9:18 AM   #7
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Gilrand-

I have not used the Panasonic TZ-7/ZS3 in tropical conditions. However, I would presume that based on my experience with the panasonic FZ-28, that it should do quite well. Always also, be aware of the problems of condensation when you come from a highly airconditioned area in to an area of much greater warmth and humidity. You are going to have to give the camera about 10 minutes to adapt and warm up to the ambient temperature so that you do not have a lens fogging problem.

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