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Taking pictures/video while on the mountain?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was in Winter Park a few weeks ago and took all of ONE photo - and it was from the hotel room. I've found that electronics don't operate well when cold, and a camera bag that's padded enough to protect from impact and cold is rather bulky.

But I'd really like a digital camera that supports video so I can record my trips, and have somebody film me so I can see everything I'm doing wrong, rather than just hear about it.

Anybody here like to take lots of shots while on the mountain? What gear do you use, and how do you handle it all? I'm thinking one of the small point-and-shoot types might be nice. (No way am I taking my DSLR up.)
post #2 of 17
On nicer days or when skiing at places I don't normally visit, I carry my cheap ($150) digital camera with me. I'll usually just keep it in a coat pocket until I'm ready to take pictures. I try to wear just my liner gloves on days I intend to take pictures but sometimes I just take my gloves off, clip them to my jacket, and go without them for a few runs.

This year I hope to get a relatively cheap mini-DV camcorder that I can use for filming.
post #3 of 17
Some cameras handle cold better than others.

I have a few-years old Pentax "water resistant" (Optio WR33 or some similar part number). Last Friday when it was 9 degrees out I had it hanging around my neck outside my coat for several runs and it worked fine. (I actually forgot about it until I felt it bouncing off my chest in some bumps). No need to keep it warm, no need to keep batteries in an inside pocket, none of that....

The current version has a new part number and is fully submersible.

It takes excellent pictures. (All the photos I've posted were taken with it.)

I can work it with normal ski gloves for on/off and the shutter. Changing settings requires bare fingers.

The two things I don't like is it does not take very good movies and I cannot see the LCD screen in bright sunlight (have to change modes by memory, or stay with only one.)
post #4 of 17
I will take my Canon SD300 out frequently and highly recommend it...very small, good photos and great video (640x480, 30 frames/second, records till the memory card is full). I found that it works best with an afermarket battery ($10 on eBay). They discontinued it a while back, however, I believe the new ones (SD600?) have similar features. Here's a sample:


Keep in mind I compressed the video for the web, so quality is lost in the process. The only time I take my D70 out is when we hit the backcountry.
post #5 of 17
I use a Canon mini dv camcorder model ZR85A that also takes stills. Works well in cold as long as the battery pack stays above freezing temp.Carry xtra just in case. Just keep it inside my ski jacket when not filming. It is relatively small and has a good zoom. Canon usually makes great optics!
post #6 of 17
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
... and great video
Does the zoom work with the video on your camera?

My camera takes excellent video when fully zoomed out, but the zoom is purely digital and degrades the image quality. (The camera has 3x optical zoom in picture mode, but for some reason the video mode doesn't use it.)

In an earlier thread, someone said this was common for digital cameras.
post #7 of 17
When skiing with my 6 year old daughter, I wear a small backpack with a 13 year old Sony 8mm Camcorder (what an antique eh?) and an Olympus 35mm film camera. So far, no problems and it's fun skiing backwards in front of her and getting some great video.
post #8 of 17
After a few years of messing around with different ways this is what I do now.

My Canon A520 simply gets put into my lower jacket pockets. If it's really cold out I simply toss a Hand warmer in the pocket. So far no damage and works fine. I get about 1.5 days from a set of batteries, they are not dead but not enough juice when cold to run the camera. I use Energizer rechargeables. If you have a Digital Camera do yourself a favour and go buy some, the differance is 25 pictures to over 150.

My Panasonic Digital Video Tape recorder I use a small blue padded bag from years ago. I have a strap that goes around my neck and another strap made out of bungee strap (lets me keep it tight and still breath easy) with a buckle that goes around my back. This packs sits mid chest and I can easily wear my hydration pack and still do up the chest strap that goes above the vid cam bag. again if it's cold I drop a hand warmer in the bag.

If your cameras are not easy and simple to get to you WILL NOT USE THEM.

Video is hard to get good stuff, out of 1 hour a few mins at best will be worth keeping so you have to make it easy to use, get, put away and not waste your ski day.

Buddy and I use VHF two ways and Giro's Skullcandy Tune up II (Two way) to communicate ready, or I'm gonna stop - get some vid, etc..

2 years of skiing with both cams and no ill effects and never any real problems due to cold

post #9 of 17
I ski every day with a Cannon Power Shot s2 and a Panasonic gs400 Video cam and I have zero issue's unless it is raining outside. With that gear I will ski just about anything but warner's or star-chute.

&*^%^&%^& I wish we had snow to film...dirt is getting old! :

Edit to add that every day = 150+ days on the hill...
post #10 of 17
Optura 600 for video, SD500 for stills, both fit a fanny pack, under jacket. Work great, no problems.

I am toying with getting a bullet lens for the helmet. Borrowed one from my brother in law last year and we strapped it on the kids helmets for a couple of runs...no award winning video, but the kids loved watching it back at the condo at night.

I will start a new thread vs thread jacking this one.:
post #11 of 17
Saw your latest video report. That is pretty anemic snowcover going into the holidays. Good luck and hope for a nice shot of snow Saturday for you.

Cameras. I use a Canon A620 which does great digital pictures at 7.1 megapixels and video at 640 x 480 with good quality and sound. I also use a Panasonic GS120 (older model) 3 CCD miniDV camera. Does a great job. Both get decent battery life. I have never run out of battery power on the Canon using 4 AA rechargables (Sanyo). Very fast continuous shooting mode too. Only problem is I can't read the settings in the LCD screen in very bright light. If you want to see some examples of video, look in the videos in the instruction section sticky and the Tour Solo on Carson Pass in Backcountry forum.
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
Does the zoom work with the video on your camera?
On the SD300 you have to set the zoom just prior to recording video (can't change the zoom while recording video). I think this is common to all cameras that take video. As far as optical vs. digital zoom, I always thought I was using the optical zoom. I'll have to check on that.
post #13 of 17

make sure that your battery is fully charged

and carry a spare in a warm inner pocket. battery power can degrade rapidly in cold
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by Marmot mb View Post
2 years of skiing with both cams and no ill effects and never any real problems due to cold

Is it the angle, or did the cold have an adverse effect on the size of those skis?
post #15 of 17
I think it must be the angle. The skis are 178.

You made me think there for a second. SDM meter was hitting redline, had to look at the pic for a bit to get what you were saying. Yeah the look more like a 160 in that pic.

Must have been the cold that obscured the camera equipment.
post #16 of 17
We take our small Canon digital cameras on the mountain. They seem to work fine in the cold. The best pictures of the trip are the ones from the mountain. They also shoot video, which is pretty good considering.
post #17 of 17
Another vote for cannon
my sd 600 worked fine from an outer pocket during a nasty cold spell we had here a couple of weeks ago.
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