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Camera Recommendations

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is a great new forum. Several months ago, I went on dpreview.com and asked for recommendations for a camera to use when skiing and mountain biking. Here are the recommendations I received (not in any particular order):
Olympus 1030SW (and the SW series generally)
Nikon P5 series
Pentax W series
Ricoh R series
Ricoh G600 (although in the one review of this camea on the site, the owner/reviewer says he prefers his Ricoh 500G).
post #2 of 9
i have the olympus 770sw from a year anda half ago and its the best camera i've ever owned.
I am a swimmer as well as a skier and from time to time my team and i will just goof around with the camera under the water.
it takes great pictures too and has like 20 different picture setting (3 just for under the water)
defiantly recommend it over all the others especially since you wont have to worry if you broke your camera after a fall since its really strong (i've dropped mine numreous times from five feet) or be to afraid it will get wet.
post #3 of 9
Last April I went from a Nikon Coolpix7900 to a Lumix TZ5. The Coolpix produced excellent pictures, but was not as flexible as the Lumix. Perhaps it was just the user interface. The lens on the TZ5 is high quality with 10x optical zoom. It is a 9MP camera, IIRC the TZ4 is 8MP and cheaper with many of the same features. I actually use more than the Auto mode on this camera; and with ease and success. This is great because Ansel Adams I aint! It does require the newer SDHD for video which is surpisingly good. Like ALL compact digital camera's, night shots are limited; the flash is ok, but not SLR strong. The biggest selling features, beyond the Leica lens, are the size of the display, huge and the speed of the camera. When I say speed, I'm refering to shutter lag. Often small point and shoot cameras have a pretty significant lag from buttom to shutter. Not this camera; it's fast! And, with the flash off, it's damn near SLR instant. OK, that's a bit far, but it way faster than most other compacts. At least it was last April when I tested about 6 different models. Battery life has never been an issue. My only criticizm of the camera is that color is sometimes a bit soft. This is rectified in even the simple MSO Picture Manager by clicking Auto Correct. As I tend to crop, resize, etc, its not a problem for me.

After about 2800 pictures, I give it a solid 9/10.
post #4 of 9
It's interesting that you got a lot of recommendations on that other site and it didn't include any Canon cameras. I've thought that the vast majority of recommendations on any of the three ski forums I belong to were for various Canon Powershot models.

I don't know anything about the models you have listed and am too lazy to look them all up. But, the camera you HAVE WITH YOU is the camera you'll get the most use out of. So, first thing is to make sure you don't mind carrying it. Next, make sure the battery life in cold weather is decent. Also, make sure that you have an actual optical viewfinder and not just an LCD screen. Outdoor shots are tough if the subject you are trying to shoot is invisible to you. My next choice for importance is "optical zoom". Follow that with the "frames per second" of its fast shooting mode for those great action pictures. (This can be improved quite a bit by turning off the LCD display and slightly reducing the resolution, by the way.) It's also nice to get as high resolution as possible for video pictures for video analysis. For snow landscape scenes, wide angle is probably more important than close up, but for wild life, close up is more important than wide angle.

I am on my second Canon Powershot, the 850IS and looking now at graduating to the 890 IS or 990 IS (they are on my Amazon Wish List, anyway ).
post #5 of 9
Kinda depends on exactly what you're looking for... If you're looking for super durable/water resistant than the Pentax W series is probably a great option (I have an older Pentax 750z and absolutely love it), but if you're looking for more manual control that's probably not the best for you. As said above, it is great to have a smaller camera that you can take with you, and larger zooms and fast continuous shutters are often helpful for sports cameras.

My brother actually recently purchased two digital cameras, a Pentax TZ4 and then a Casio EX-V8. The Pentax probably has the best optical zoom for the size (10x) as said above, but I haven't been overly impressed with the camera in general. Some of the program modes are a little too intense (extreme reds in sunset mode, etc), and occasionally the focus has trouble. The Casio, on the other hand, really surprised me, especially as a sports camera. It's fast, takes good pics, and is quite small and versatile (7x internal optical zoom). It also takes high quality video, and has a neat pre-recording feature where it records video 5 seconds from before you press the button. So you don't have to waste time on lame jump attempts or waiting for someone to get into the frame - just press record after the action is done and you usually get the whole shot! It also has unlimited 4 frame/second continuous shutter, which is pretty impressive for that class of camera. Anyway the EX-V8 or EX-V7 aren't in the current product line, but you can still find them online. Might be one to consider.
post #6 of 9
Does the Lumix TZ5 have an optical viewfinder? I checked the specs on the B&H website and one is not mentioned. I assume this means the negative.
post #7 of 9
http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/c...z11/index.html

JTripodi, you are correct, no viewfinder, only the LCD.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapps View Post
http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/c...z11/index.html

JTripodi, you are correct, no viewfinder, only the LCD.
I have a 6MB version of this camera and I can attest that it can withstand the rigors of being jammed in pockets, used in cold damp weather, jostling and even survive a ski accident where it bounced off a rock. I'll link to a youtube of my son skiing backwards with it, and the predictable result later.
post #9 of 9
Much depends on what you want to do. If you want to take snapshots of your friends smiling and looking at the camera on top of the mountain, any decent point and shoot will do.

If you want a compact that will give you either good quality or good zoom range (not both!), get either Lumix LX3 or a Canon G10.

If you want to take pictures that are a cut above the rest, you need a DSLR and a decent lens. Yes, it is large and heavy, but it is the only type of camera that has the AF that can keep up with a moving skier.

Alex


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
This is a great new forum. Several months ago, I went on dpreview.com and asked for recommendations for a camera to use when skiing and mountain biking. Here are the recommendations I received (not in any particular order):
Olympus 1030SW (and the SW series generally)
Nikon P5 series
Pentax W series
Ricoh R series
Ricoh G600 (although in the one review of this camea on the site, the owner/reviewer says he prefers his Ricoh 500G).
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