Time for a new backpacking camera

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maverick
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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by maverick » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:18 pm

just put in a trip request for a couple of nights at Glen Aulin in the 1st half of June. Hope to see a lot of water but still cross the bridge at Glen Aulin.
Consider going during the Full Moon (15th-17th), the Falls, especially LeConte and Waterwheel are magical in the moonlight! :nod:


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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by JWreno » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:05 pm

I reserved for 14,15 and 16th. Taking dinner with us on the day hike and then returning by moonlight sounds great. Moonrise at 7PM on Saturday night. I like hiking near the full moon so I can have my weekend nights free for astronomy during the last quarter and new moon.

Thanks for the tip on the moonlight. I will remember to take full shells and head nets. I presume the bugs could be tough with all the water around.

I remember a trip when we wore bug nets all day. I would try to put food into my mouth and bump into the netting.
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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:59 pm

I am about to buy the Canon GX9 Mark II after looking at the $400-$600 range in new cameras. Is there any "fatal flaw" in this camera? The large sensor and low overall weight won me. I decided the lower battery life could be mitigated by just carrying a second battery.

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by fishmonger » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:10 am

Looks like a lot of camera in a small package. For me, the 28mm wide angle would be a limiting factor, forcing very frequent use of image stitching, but if you can live with a wide angle this "narrow," the only other thing I would see as a limiting factor is the absence of a real viewfinder. I just don't like seeing the world on LCD screens. My brains is wired for a "look through the lens" viewfinder, based on decades of shooting that way. LCD screens don't mix with polarized glasses either, so for sunglasses, skip the polarization or you'll be taking them off every time before taking photos. No Milky Way shots with this little guy, either, unless you bring a star tracker along. These are limitations affecting most smaller sensor cameras, though, and this one likely will produce top quality images if you can live without the edge case capabilities of larger professional cameras.

I'd feel the limits when shooting scenes that require wider or longer lenses than the fixed zoom can handle, during low light situations, especially night skies, and when working with very high dynamic range shadow and light scenes. However, these limitations are offset by dramatically lower weight. Just one of the lenses I bring along weighs twice as much as this entire camera. Heck, I bet my pouch of filters, remote trigger and other accessories totals more weight. There really isn't a lightweight camera I know of with a full frame sensor and a magic lightweight super zoom that can deliver those extreme capabilities, but then again, these are edge cases and you may not really worry about taking photos that fall into those categories.

I've always wondered if I would be happy carrying a compromise camera over the full blown kit. My motivation for getting out there has always been between being on the hike for the hike's sake, while at the same time the photographer in me really wants to take maximum quality images with the gear I can still carry. So at this point, since I don't mind a few pounds extra in the pack, this class of camera is still off the table. It may change. If it does, I'd definitely consider this Canon, given the price is also rather appealing. I checked a few reviews and it appears this model is better than the next more expensive one (the bigger one has a weak lens on the wide angle end, which for me would be a total show stopper). There always is a more expensive option, but if I am about to compromise, I won't see any reason to go for the most expensive compromise.

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:10 am

Thanks for your input! I have gotten used to no viewfinder, so although one would be nice, it is not absolutely necessary. I have also learned how to stitch photos together better with the program I have. Again, nice but not necessary for a camera to do that. Mostly I just want to record my trips and have a camera that is not so expensive that braking or losing it is a major setback. My husband has a nice expensive better camera (and heavier) so I can use that if I specifically want to do a trip for photos. Like you said, all the cameras in the light weight range and moderate price range have similar limitations. And I am not a camera geek. Actually I am awful at dealing with complicated cameras.

And speaking of price, are cameras like new cars? Are older models available for dramatically reduced prices. Or is it more like computers where new models equally good are often sold at same or lower prices as the older models? Is there any reason to wait a few months to buy this camera?

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by SSSdave » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:35 am


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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by fishmonger » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:32 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:10 am

And speaking of price, are cameras like new cars? Are older models available for dramatically reduced prices.
Depends on the camera. Anything older than 6 years, I'd stay away from, even on the higher end DSLR market. Around 2012/2013, there was a major breakthrough in sensor technology, basically the date I considered the end of film. On the lower end consumer market, that same shift happened around 2015, while at the very low end of the cost spectrum, the market just disappeared, as phones were better cameras than dedicated cheap compact cameras.

In the price range you are looking, and for the compact camera style, I'd consider a used Sony A6000 with Sony 16-60mm zoom. The camera is pretty recent, has a great sensor, and you can get additional lenses, plus, in my case, I could use my Nikon lenses with an adapter on it. Check eBay and some reviews. Prices vary, but I just did a spot check and $375 lets me buy that camera with lens as an open box return, so some may be significantly cheaper. Removable battery, lots of lenses exist for its mount, and in general it is a highly regarded camera with a great sensor. My daughter has a slightly older version of that same camera (Nex-6), which I would not hesitate to use as the only camera if a light pack was my goal.

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by oldranger » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:17 am

fishmonger wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:32 am
Wandering Daisy wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:10 am

And speaking of price, are cameras like new cars? Are older models available for dramatically reduced prices.
Depends on the camera. Anything older than 6 years, I'd stay away from, even on the higher end DSLR market. Around 2012/2013, there was a major breakthrough in sensor technology, basically the date I considered the end of film. On the lower end consumer market, that same shift happened around 2015, while at the very low end of the cost spectrum, the market just disappeared, as phones were better cameras than dedicated cheap compact cameras.

In the price range you are looking, and for the compact camera style, I'd consider a used Sony A6000 with Sony 16-60mm zoom. The camera is pretty recent, has a great sensor, and you can get additional lenses, plus, in my case, I could use my Nikon lenses with an adapter on it. Check eBay and some reviews. Prices vary, but I just did a spot check and $375 lets me buy that camera with lens as an open box return, so some may be significantly cheaper. Removable battery, lots of lenses exist for its mount, and in general it is a highly regarded camera with a great sensor. My daughter has a slightly older version of that same camera (Nex-6), which I would not hesitate to use as the only camera if a light pack was my goal.
Around Christmas I took the attached pic at Holden Village in the North cascades with my new IPhone x. It is almost a 180 degree pano hdr. I had no idea that I could take a pic into the sun and still have detailed view of stuff in shadow. Is there a dedicated compact camera with larger sensor that can do the same? Note that this copy is about 15% of original resolution.
1holden.jpg
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Mike

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:15 pm

I thought that I-phone was nearly $1000! Out of my price range. That is a great photo, though.

SSSDave- I read that article but a lot of it went over my head. I do not do a lot of low-light shooting. Hard for me to tell from the article exactly how limited the camera is- where is the cut-off with respect to real landscape conditions. I have no desire to photo night skies. But sunsets and sunrises are something I do like to photograph.

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Re: Time for a new backpacking camera

Post by fishmonger » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:52 am

I think a tiny tripod added to the Canon will overcome most of its shortcomings for your low-light use. Sunrise/sunset is best shot with long shutter speeds and low ISO anyway, so all the complaining that the "camera doesn't do well in low light" is bogus as long as you don't shoot an evening soccer match or city street scenes at night. For our mountain low light shots, you want maximum color, contrast and detail, and only the native ISO of the camera will get you that. To then still take a sharp photo, you need a tripod, or at least a real nice rock to place and aim the camera into the right direction, plus a self timer. I don't see much else negative in the review about it, other than the poor battery life. Just look at your use and calculate how many spare batteries you need and you're set.

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