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Old Feb 5, 2006, 7:44 PM   #1
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Hi I have been reading the forums on this site trying to find the answers to my question(s). And I seem to be getting more and more confused.

I am backpacking through southeast asia, europe and north america for the next 20 months and i am trying to find the right camera to document my travels.

I have been looking at the

canon S2IS (for the long zoom, but this may not be suitable as I will have limited space....would it be worth making space for?!),

canon A610 (great all round camera)

casio Z500 and casio S500,

the panasonic FZ5 but itfelt wrong in my hands.

I want 5 MP. 7 seems a waste of time to me. I would rather go for a bigger zoom than more MP.

I am not too sure if I should go for a camera with AA or a lithium stick.

I am open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance
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Old Feb 5, 2006, 9:49 PM   #2
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I found a great case by caselogic, that holds the S2 great for hiking (a slingpack that holds snug against my body). I was able to use it in the front the other day when I had my son's toddler backpack on. Keeps the camera handy for when it's needed, yet keeps it dry, etc.

It isn't really that much bigger than the 610.. it's more the fact of the lense, and handgrip.. sticks out a bit more.. Weighing the zoom capabilites.. guess you need to decide what's more important.. Another feature that I like on the S2 is that you can take still pics at the same time as video.. It's been handy for me.
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 1:41 AM   #3
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Since you list two Casio cameras without any manual controls or an optical viewfinder, I assume you don't find that necessary. A camera that seems great for backpacking is the new Kodak V570. It has a dual lens system with a 23mm wide angle and a normal 3X zoom. The total zoom range is 5X.

Not only does it have a great 23mm wide angle lens in a tiny camera, it will also stitch panoramas automatically in the camera. It has an LCD that is almost 3 times the resolution of the Casio LCDs and good in bright light. Friends have a V550 with the same LCD and it is very high quality. The camera has internal memory rather than come with a throw-away card. The internal memory can hold a large permanent album of your favorite images to show off on the good screen. It also has MPEG4 VGA movies that take only a quarter the space on a memory card.

It wouldn't be a great party camera. The aperture on the normal lens isn't great and the flash isn't very strong. But the wide angle would be perfect for backpacking and it is small and light.

I'm not saying a long stabilized zoom isn't great for wildlife. But wide angle is also nice for scenery. I think the V570 is a better choice than the S500 & S600 for your purposes. Whether you prefer a long zoom depends on what you normally photograph.

The FZ5 is more compact and lighter than the S2 – especially after putting the 4 heavy NiMH batteries in it. After a few days you will learn to hold it and it won't feel too bad. My FZ10 is worse in your hand and I probably wouldn't have bought it on feel. I don't even notice the feel of the camera now – it is just my long zoom and feels fine. I did get an eye cup for it, which helps in bright light.

I have cameras that take lithium and one that takes NiMH. I much prefer the proprietary lithium. You can get good replacement lithium batteries online for $20 in the US – I wouldn't think they would be that much pricier in NZ. You can charge the spare battery and use it two months later since it is still almost fully charged. NiMH have a higher self-discharge rate and are heavier and bulkier for the power. All cameras that come with lithium batteries also come with a charger. You often have to buy a charger and batteries for cheaper NiMH cameras like the A610. So for about the same price as buying a charger and NiMH batteries, you can get a spare proprietary lithium that will stay charged until you use it. And be easier to carry.

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Old Feb 6, 2006, 4:08 AM   #4
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slipe wrote:
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Since you list two Casio cameras without any manual controls or an optical viewfinder, I assume you don't find that necessary.* A camera that seems great for backpacking is the new Kodak V570.* It has a dual lens system with a 23mm wide angle and a normal 3X zoom.* The total zoom range is 5X.
I agree.

There will be so much sceneries, architecture and such that unless you're trying avoid those entirely "standard" super/ultrazooms are lousy options.

From non-compacts (don't fit pocket) Kodak P880 (24-140mm) and KonicaMinolta A200 (28-200mm) would be only ones I would look, others just lack wide angle so you would have huge amount of stitching panoramas ahead. (or then stepping backwards which is often impossible)



mandal wrote:
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I am backpacking through southeast asia, europe and north america for the next 20 months
Any route plans?
If you're coming to Nordic countries I suggest you'll do it between mid May and early August... unless you happen to like cold. (and cold for you is warm in here)
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 1:58 PM   #5
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i think getting a camera with AA batteries is a good idea when doing such a trip because they are easy to find anywhere, and there is no guarantee you will always be able to "charge up" on the road.

the s2is and the 610 fits this bill nicely.. just what you need in a lens.

-dustin
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 7:55 PM   #6
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The A610 and s2IS are both great cameras, but the weight of the S2ISshould be worth the awesome zoom range(35-430mm!).

But neither camera will dissapoint you in battery life, with 550 pictures to a single set of NiMH!
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