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Old Nov 5, 2010, 6:19 AM   #1
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Default Everest trip inspiring first camera purchase

Hi there

I'm completely new to photography but keen to get my hands dirty.

I am going to Nepal in a month to do the Everest base camp hike over 3 weeks. When I come back I would like to use the camera I buy for weekend snaps out of town as well as blogging about wine and whisky.

So I guess I'm looking for something that does well with landscapes and then also medium shots in urban situtations (not knowing anything about photography).

I was told that for a first purchase it is probably best to get a point and shoot and then, only if I get more serious buy something with lenses.

I would like advice on what to look at for an hike in Nepal (thinking about what is most convenient to keep a camera when hiking, as well as issues around batteries (life and the cold)). And then of course convenience in social situations both in bright daylight and evening situations. Once again this is from someone who is very much unfamilar with all things photography.

From going online I have seen the following things recommended at the top end of point and shoot models. However a lot of reviews say that althought these are great cameras there is better value for money. What would be recommended to a start-out novice in my position?

Olympus EPL-1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 / LX3
Canon PowerShot S95
Nikon Coolpix P7000
Samsung TL500 / EX1
Canon PowerShot G11 /G12
Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
Fujifilm FinePix HS10
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100
Samsung NX100
Sony NEX-3
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 7:35 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome, asyou have said you are a novice then I would stay away from cameras with inter changable lenses. That said they will produce excellent results. I would look at canon g11/12 but this only has a 5 x zoom the sx30 has a much longer zoom but is more bulky. I would go to a shop look at them an see how they feel and how they will fit in with your travel plans and luggage. Have a great trip
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 3:32 PM   #3
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G12 .
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Old Nov 5, 2010, 4:41 PM   #4
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Some of the cameras you have listed use interchangeable lenses and I agree that you should stay away from those for now.

With the remaining selections, you really need to decide what you want most.

Canon PowerShot S95
Canon PowerShot G11 /G12
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 / LX3
Samsung TL500 / EX1
Nikon Coolpix P7000

These cameras are all within a similar segment with the S95 kind of being the odd man out. They have larger-than-average sensors and comparatively fast lenses. The S95 lens is not as good as the rest but the S95 is easily pocketable and the rest are not. The P7000 and G11/G12 are the biggest of the bunch but also offer the most zoom. The P7000 user reviews have not been favorable however; users complain about focusing and usability issues. If you don't mind the slightly larger size, then I agree with peripatetic and would recommend the G12. If size is crucial and you want to be able to fit the camera in say a jeans pocket, the S95 is the only choice. I own an S95 and am very happy with it, though I do miss the 12x zoom range of my Panasonic ZS7 when I am out with the S95.


Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
Fujifilm FinePix HS10
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100

I know the Fuji is popular with some but the reviews of it are generally awful, especially when it's put up against the Panasonic and Canon models. The FZ100 is the best of the 3 in terms of IQ but the SX30 isn't far behind and I've always been partial to Canon color. However, lprevious Panasonic FZ models have better IQ than all of the above so you may want to consider them also. All of these cameras use smaller sensors than the previous set though so you would be trading low light and high ISO performance for zoom.


btw, as someone who is an avid hiker, I keep the S95 in my pants pocket or hipbelt and it's extremely convenient. I will likely be getting an ultrazoom like the FZ100 or SX30 this holiday season and I will keep that in my pack. One compact camera would be ideal but the long zoom and bigger sensor don't exist in one cam.
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Last edited by FiveO; Nov 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM.
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 3:26 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone

I do appreciate this feedback. I did have a look at a few cameras this weekend, spoke to some people and did some additional online research.
From what I can tell, for a novice looking for a first camera it's a good idea to get something pocketable that can be easily taken around for just about any situation.

The S95 looks like the best camera image quality wise, with the best manual functionality. A friend of mine suggested that perhaps I should look for something simpler as a first camera and if I want to explore further than I should buy a second-hand SLR instead of getting something as powerful as the S95 for a first camera.

What does everyone here think?

The other suggestions that have been made are about getting backup batteries for the hike I am going to do. Some people suggested a camera that takes AA batteries but this does seem to compromise on camera quality in the pocketable segment. Should I rather purchase backup batteries online, in addition to adaptors and other important things when I buy the camera I eventually choose?

Also if the S95 is not the best choice for someone in my position I have seen the following list suggested:
Panasonic FH20
Canon SX210
Canon SX120
Canon SD4000
Panasonic ZS7 and ZS5 or even better: DMC-ZS3
Casio FH100
Panasonic: DMC-ZR1

So based on the above, what would be recommended?
Thanks again everyone
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 3:48 AM   #6
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Canon G12.

Don't get an SLR and try to learn photography on your trip. The G12 has the same image quality as the S95, but is more robust, has a bigger zoom range and more features.

But it's easy to use in auto mode too, as is the S95.

AA batteries aren't really terribly useful. Standard ones don't last more than a few shots, and if you are using rechargeables, then what's the benefit exactly?
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 4:13 AM   #7
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Canons G series are just great and the g12 carries on this tradition it is certainly one I would go for
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 5:25 AM   #8
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i'll be the odd man out here. if i were going wandering around in Nepal I would like a camera that was discreet. and easily pocket-able. something similar to the casio exilim series. i could carry it in an inside coat pocket so it'd be warm. i could take it out at restaurants without becoming the star of the show. and if i lost it, no big deal. landscapes are usually a wider angle anyway so no long zoom will be ok.

i would only get a camera that supports mass storage so canon is out i believe. if i had the money and room in my pack, i would bring along another high quality camera for those once-in-a-lifetime shots in the mountain crisp air.

i don't know what kind of hike you've signed up for but if you're self-supported, you may already have too much to carry. if porters are carrying everything, then you have better options. will you have electricity to recharge?

on the battery choice, if i could get a suitable camera with aa, it would go to the top of the list for a trip of this nature. no question in my mind. certainly not a negative.
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 1:33 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for all your advice. I like the look of the G12 but would like something pocketable for everyday moving around and about

I have had a look at the comments about the Exilim series as well but the Pana ZS5 seems like a safer bet from reading around the net

Sothe ZS5 looks like the best value pocketable camera for basic all-round needs. Should I be swayed elsewhere?
Anyways I would like to purchase something over this weekend and am looking for the best online deal. I'd like to buy backup batteries and everything else that I should get with the camera as I am going to Nepal to hike very soon
Please advise on what I should be buying and where is best online to get everything
Thanks
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 2:34 AM   #10
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Nepal is one of the most photographed places on the planet, everyone who goes there has a million gadgets that need to be recharged daily.

So unless you are roughing it, and planning on going places no-one else has ever been, finding an electrical outlet is not going to be an issue.

The G12 was one of the smallest cameras on your initial list.

Anyway, it seems that you have made up your mind. Enjoy your trip. :-)
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