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Digital Camera For Skiing

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anybody recommend a small digital camera that would be good for skiing?

Things like weatherproof, white balance, durability are what I am looking for.

I have had a few Canon cameras but they can not be adjusted to take pictures on sunny days on the slopes.
post #2 of 20
I have one of the sony cybershots...I think it is a 4.0 megapixel but they are making the same camera in a 5.0 now. The zoom is not incredible but it is a small camera that can be put in your ski jacket opposed to lugging around a huge camera. It takes great photos and is very user friendly. It is way less complicated than many of the digis i've seen but has more features than you will ever use. This camera with a 128 mb or 246 mb card is perfect for skiing.

It has the total package with a compact size, many features, takes good pics and can be had for $300-$400.

Hope this helps
post #3 of 20
Here's a prior thread that I found with a search.

There were several other threads out there under a "Digital Camera" search if you want to check them out.
post #4 of 20
I would think one of the Canon Elphs would be good on the slopes. I have the Canon G2 and cary it in my bottom jacket pocket. It's kind of a thrash to take pics. I've got to take off my poles, take off a glove, pull the camera out of the pocket, take the shot and reverse the above procedure.

Every so often, when I've skiing with my group, I ask to take some actions shots. I do that by skiing down to an appropriate spot, do the camera setup, and signal my group to come down one at a time.

Of course you have to have skiers interested in doing that. I also have learned to stop on a steep portion of the run, otherwise the skiers are going too slow and you don't get a good action shot.

post #5 of 20
Thread Starter

I was looking at these because they are weatherproof and not too expensive.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Actually I might wait for this model. 130
post #7 of 20
Sony USB-D60 (I think) is waterproof, 2.0mp, no optical zoom, and about $200. The fact that it is waterPROOF is why I got it for skiing. I have another for scenery shots.
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by Scalce
...I have had a few Canon cameras but they can not be adjusted to take pictures on sunny days on the slopes.
I'm not exactly sure why there would be any more trouble with Canon cameras in this price/performance range, than with other brands. I would think that on sunny days, not being able to add exposure compensation should be fixable using some simple level adjustments in a cheap editing program such as Photoshop Elements.

I'm still an SLR guy on the slopes, and haven't used a compact digital except for everyday snapshots, I have friends who have used a few different digital cameras in the 3 Megapixel range. They never had much trouble in various lighting conditions, and the photos looked very good as far as both exposure and colors.

The biggest problem with the compact digitals is that they're pretty useless for any type of action shots due to the lack of a decent zoom, and "shutter lag." But for scenic and candid shots, most work very well. If I was set on getting a small digital it would have to at least have a good zoom range, and/or 5-6 Megapixels.

If you look at most digital ski photos, the biggest drawback is the shot where you try to get a bit of action, and the skier takes up about 5% of the frame. Too small. With a high megapixel camera you could at least have the option of cropping in close to your subject without too much degradation.

IMO, the type of camera you're looking at should work very well for scenic shots though, and a few lucky action shots. The Olympus Stylus 300 only has a 3x Optical zoom equivalent to a 35-105 mm lens on an SLR. Just barely wide angle for scenic shots, and just barely enough zoom for some action shots. The 12x digital zoom is useless, and I would never use it.

I might be nuts, but I'm saving up my money to trade in my Canon Elan 7 in for an EOS 20D. Is it worth lugging a big digital SLR around all day in a fanny pack? For me it is, but there are times when I'd also like to just stick a small digital in my pocket.

So, unlike the the old days where a bigger ski was usually a better ski, I haven't yet been converted when it comes to my camera. But anything is better than no camera, and these small digital cameras are much better (for most users) than an old 35mm instamatic. Some of them have excellent optics considering the size of the lens.

If all you want is a small, reliable digital to stick in a pocket, the Stylus looks decent. Olympus makes good cameras and I like the fact that it looks to have better than average weatherproofing.
post #9 of 20
Nikon Coolpix are pretty spiffy and compact. Dunno bout the White Bal. though.
post #10 of 20
I never had problems with my Digi Sony (don't remember model) 4.0 megapixel, good optical zoom, just the shutter lag caused many a lost shot. Also I had a Canon Digital Elph, 3.2 megapixels, and that was very convenient (size) for skiing, but again shutter lag drove me nuts. I recently purchased a Nikon D70 digital SLR, and so far I love it, I have lots to learn still and hopefully will get some good shots this winter, but I also have to find a better case to be able to take it out on the hill.
post #11 of 20
Manus, Lowepro makes some very good camera cases. I have been using this fanny pack for several years and it will probably last a couple of decades. Very well made, heavily padded, and very good protection from the elements.

I can carry my SLR with a 28-135 zoom, a couple filters, several rolls of film, and either a flash or additional small lens inside. It can be a bit heavy, but stays in place very well even when skiing moguls. Lowepro makes great bags, and its worth a few extra bucks to protect that nice D70.

When do we get to see the photos?!
post #12 of 20
if action photos are what you are after, do not forget SHUTTER LAG-

the is the latency period between when you actually click the button and when the shutter opens- up to 1.2 seconds in some digital cameras- there are work arounds (preset manual focus and aperature etc) but if you want to set it to auto and click away this can be a real issue.

it doesn't seem an issue in the camera store, but is is when you consistently get the backside of the action, skiing or none skiing.

this has improved of late, but some models are still poor-

ALSO- some digi's like the cold better than others and all suck the batteries down when it is cold.

Olympus 5050 ok in cold, love the pictures, mediocre w/r/t shutter lag. that said, I have used Nikons and Kodaks and would not trade for this one-
post #13 of 20
Get something with pulse or burst mode where it will take 2-6 shots in a row. This helps with the "shutter lag"
post #14 of 20
Both of these have been mentioned, but I think they deserve to be called out:

1) shutter lag
2) cold temp battery life

I'd also add good bright conditions viewing on the LCD (or having a good optical finder).

I've flushed silly amounts of time and energy on these issues. As far as decent point and shoot performance goes, almost all the cameras out there today are "reasonable" wrt resolution, color balance, etc. I'd concentrate on the above items & skip the dead battery/5 minutes to frame/empty picture problems...
post #15 of 20
I love skiing with my fuji s2 (dslr) with a "beater" zoom lens on it.
I just cross the strap over my shoulder and wear it pretty much as I would on the street. I prefer to keep it outside my clothes, so that I won't have problems with fogging. When I wear a camelbak I put it in there.

I would suggest that you get a used digital from a reputable camera store like adorama or b&h. Last year's models of Cannon, Sony, Nikon & Fuji are all rather good and you can get an excellent deal on the price.

Make sure you know how to adjust the white balance. Yes, you can do it in photoshop, but as someone who processes tens of thousands of images a year, it's best to make the camera do as much work as possible.
post #16 of 20
If digital slr is too big, I'd go for one of thee three:

The just announced Sony DSC-V3 :

The just announced Canon G6:

Or the soon to be announced replacement of the Nikon Coolpix 5400:

These each cost about $700

If you want to save some money, buy the prvious generation of any of these (the Canon G5, Nikon 5400, Sony DSC-V1).

Or if you want a really good deal on a compact, prosumer, 5.1 megapixel camera, I'm selling my barely used Nikon Coolpix 5400 (less than 100 shots taken on it, perfect condition) for $350 (exactly half of what I paid for it 8 months ago). Selling only because I always use my 10d dslr so never reach for the compact camera. More Info Here
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by AC
... I always use my 10d dslr so never reach for the compact camera.
So then AC, you would agree with my previous post that I should keep saving up for the new Canon 20D ?
post #18 of 20
Originally Posted by carvemeister
So then AC, you would agree with my previous post that I should keep saving up for the new Canon 20D ?
Yep. I am . But there are always trade-offs -- the 10d/20d are a lot heavier, bulkier and (especially with lenses) much more expensive.
post #19 of 20
Originally Posted by AC
Yep. I am . But there are always trade-offs -- the 10d/20d are a lot heavier, bulkier and (especially with lenses) much more expensive.
OK, well you can at least admit that you didn't even read my earlier post. If you did you'd see that I'm already skiing around with an Elan 7 35mm SLR with 28-138 lens, so I don't think it'll be any harder to lug around for me.
post #20 of 20
Scalce, I have an Olympus Stylus 400. It works fine and I like the weatherproofing, plus the exterior of the camera seems pretty rugged. One trick to getting good shots on snow with digital cameras is to open the iris more than the automatic settings think is necessary. What happens is that the brightness of the background(snow) makes the camera take in less light. Your background looks fine, but your subject is dark. Opening it up (most cameras will have this on the menu) will let in more light, and while your background may now be too hot, your subject will be better exposed, and you can make any corrections on the computer later.
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