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looking for an outdoor camera

northwindnorthwind Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
edited February 4, 2004 in Cameras
I am looking for suggestions on choosing a digital camera that would be well suited for rugged outdoor seasonal use in Alaska. As cameras evolve quickly, I want something in a medium price range (<$500). I plan to keep the camera in a weatherproof case during inclement weather, as I typically want shots in good weather to promote my website. Animal photography and scenery shots are the most frequent subjects, and want to be able to use a polarizer filter.

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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,917 moderator
    edited January 30, 2004
    northwind wrote:
    I am looking for suggestions on choosing a digital camera that would be well suited for rugged outdoor seasonal use in Alaska. As cameras evolve quickly, I want something in a medium price range (<$500). I plan to keep the camera in a weatherproof case during inclement weather, as I typically want shots in good weather to promote my website. Animal photography and scenery shots are the most frequent subjects, and want to be able to use a polarizer filter.

    Olympus has a few weather proof cameras. The stylus 300 comes to mind.
    Around $300?

    Ian
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited January 30, 2004
    northwind wrote:
    I am looking for suggestions on choosing a digital camera that would be well suited for rugged outdoor seasonal use in Alaska. As cameras evolve quickly, I want something in a medium price range (<$500). I plan to keep the camera in a weatherproof case during inclement weather, as I typically want shots in good weather to promote my website. Animal photography and scenery shots are the most frequent subjects, and want to be able to use a polarizer filter.

    For the type of photos mentioned (animals/scenery) i would def look at any one with a 10x optical lens built in (no carrying lens's & swapping in bad conditions) There are 3 that come to mind...the Kodak DX 6490...the Fuji S5000 & the Olympus C-750. All about that price range & maybe a bit left over for some extra memory cards & a cheap tripod, very handy for low light distance shots. Dont get talked into big digital zooms..optical zoom is what you need for animals.

    Im also a big fan of any camera that can take AA rechargables so if you end up in the middle of nowhere...you can carry a 12 pack of AA disposables for about $10.
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited January 30, 2004
    Cool suggestions, Humungaloid, almost as if you were recently shopping the market... mwink.gif

    Northwind, check out the dpreview of each camera. If they don't have a full review, click on owner comments.

    For example, some say the autofocus on the Kodak is very slow in low light, and it doesn't have manual focus - might be an issue if you're shooting animals.
    Kodak
    Steve's review

    Fuji
    dpreview
    Steve's review

    Olympus
    dpreview notes and links to owners' comments
    Steve's review


    If you get a 10X zoom, might as well get a tripod too, you'll need it.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited January 30, 2004
    I so badly wanted a 10x lens but am addicted to low light shots & the c-5050 i bought has a f1.8 lens.


    wxwax wrote:
    Cool suggestions, Humungaloid, almost as if you were recently shopping the market... mwink.gif
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    fishfish Registered Users Posts: 2,950 Major grins
    edited January 30, 2004
    Humungus wrote:
    I so badly wanted a 10x lens but am addicted to low light shots & the c-5050 i bought has a f1.8 lens.
    I hear ya. I've got a ping in at bhphoto for their ridiculously cheap canon 50mm/1.8 for that very reason (per Tugrik's suggestion). Long zooms on P&S cameras just don't cut it. The lenses tend to be quite slow anyway, and when you go to 7-10x, it turns out to be f8 or so...no way you can handhold except in very bright sunshine.
    "Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk." - Edward Weston
    "The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."-Hunter S.Thompson
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    northwindnorthwind Registered Users Posts: 2 Beginner grinner
    edited January 31, 2004
    Thanks for the suggestions, it would have taken me lots of time to find those on my own.
    I should have mentioned that I have an 'intro' point and shoot Olympus D-520 from last season. It left much to be desired, and seems to be locked into its own poor included softward. But now I feel I know enough to want to go to the next stage.
    I like the AA battery option too. After looking at the cameras you suggested below, I think I like the Fuji the most.
    Lot's to learn now about the terms and what they mean.
    Northwind

    Humungus wrote:
    For the type of photos mentioned (animals/scenery) i would def look at any one with a 10x optical lens built in (no carrying lens's & swapping in bad conditions) There are 3 that come to mind...the Kodak DX 6490...the Fuji S5000 & the Olympus C-750. All about that price range & maybe a bit left over for some extra memory cards & a cheap tripod, very handy for low light distance shots. Dont get talked into big digital zooms..optical zoom is what you need for animals.

    Im also a big fan of any camera that can take AA rechargables so if you end up in the middle of nowhere...you can carry a 12 pack of AA disposables for about $10.
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited January 31, 2004
    Feel free to ask away, Northwind. And when you decide what yer gonna get, let us know. Enquiring minds, you know... mwink.gif
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    I would suggest the Panasonic FZ10. I has a 12x Optical zoom (35mm -420mm) f2.8 through the entire focal length. It also has an IS system which works great for handheld full zoom shots at slow shutter speeds so you can leave your tripod at home.

    I own one, and have fallen in love with it. The Leica lens is sharp and the colors are amazing. It has full manual controls to give you the freedom you want along with fully automatic mode to get off quick shots.

    You can find them on the web for around $500 but you will need to buy an extra SD card. I would suggest Panasonic 256mb or larger. They are about $80 and will hold around 140 photos. People have used the FZ10 in cold weather without any problems.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Dave
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    Dave, tell us a bit about the Image Stabilising. I'm struggling to believe that a P&S IS will work at 12X optical. Can you verify that it's worked for you?
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Dave, tell us a bit about the Image Stabilising. I'm struggling to believe that a P&S IS will work at 12X optical. Can you verify that it's worked for you?

    It has worked for me, but I do not have any photos online to show. You can read the Panasonic section of dpreview, and there are examples all over. There are many bird lovers in the forum that have added 1.7x tele lenses and are able to shoot at full 714mm handheld w/o any compromise in image quality.

    The IS does work, I was skeptical myself until I bought the camera.

    Dave
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    gusgus Registered Users Posts: 16,209 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    fish wrote:
    I hear ya. I've got a ping in at bhphoto for their ridiculously cheap canon 50mm/1.8 for that very reason QUOTE]

    So me ol' china plate ...did you get it ?
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    Wow. 700mm and handheld and not blurry? That's amazing.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    I do have one photo online at full optical zoom shot handheld. Its not the best example since it has been converted to sepia in iPhoto, but you'll get the idea.

    http://dkapp.smugmug.com/gallery/56420/1/2040047

    *Edit*
    I found another photo wich is a better example
    http://dkapp.smugmug.com/gallery/58707/1/2040351
    This was taken at full zoom handheld. View the original, and you can see the detail in his facial hair.
    *End Edit*

    I've got it set so you can view the original and photo details.

    There are other photos online that do show the photo quality of the FZ10 if you care to look around.

    Let me know if you have any questions or advice for my photos, I'm very new to photography.

    Dave
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    Dave, both those links take me to your Street People and Street Performers galleries, not to single shots. headscratch.gif I looked through them, also your graffiti gallery - some very sharp shots.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Dave, both those links take me to your Street People and Street Performers galleries, not to single shots. headscratch.gif I looked through them, also your graffiti gallery - some very sharp shots.

    I'm not sure how to link to a specific photo on smugmug. I joined not too long ago and have not had much time to play with it.

    When you click on the first link, it will be a picture of a hooded man, picture number P1030048. That is the first shot at full zoom.
    http://dkapp.smugmug.com/gallery/56420/1/2040047


    The second is a man playing the drums looking to his left, picture number P1030031. This is my other full zoom picture posted.
    http://dkapp.smugmug.com/gallery/58707/1/2040351

    You can view both at large, and original size. I hope this helps.

    Dave
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    wxwaxwxwax Registered Users Posts: 15,471 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    Ah, thanks. Here's an explanation of how to link a specific photo.

    2040047-M.jpg


    2040351-M.jpg

    wow, that's really impressive, especially the drummer. He's extremely sharp.
    Sid.
    Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam
    http://www.mcneel.com/users/jb/foghorn/ill_shut_up.au
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    dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    wxwax wrote:
    Ah, thanks. Here's an explanation of how to link a specific photo.

    Thanks for the tip. Thats exactly what I a needed. I couldn't figure out how to find a link directly to the photo.

    Thanks,
    Dave
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    cmr164cmr164 Registered Users Posts: 1,542 Major grins
    edited February 4, 2004
    dkapp wrote:
    It has worked for me, but I do not have any photos online to show. You can read the Panasonic section of dpreview, and there are examples all over. There are many bird lovers in the forum that have added 1.7x tele lenses and are able to shoot at full 714mm handheld w/o any compromise in image quality.

    The IS does work, I was skeptical myself until I bought the camera.

    Dave
    The lens is a 6mm-72mm zoom that is "35-420 equivalent". The f-stops range is from f2.8-f8.0.
    Charles Richmond IT & Security Consultant
    Operating System Design, Drivers, Software
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