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Author Topic: Camera help please  (Read 14556 times)
davem
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« on: February 16, 2007, 10:56:21 pm »

hello all

I am looking at buying a digital camera for taking on long distance walks. As a beginner has anybody got advice on types of cameras, batteries etc? By the way i don't want to be loaded down with gear but would like good quality images to share with family and friends.

Thanks

Dave
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2007, 11:55:46 am »

Interesting question, Dave, but are you mainly thinking of taking pix when walking "at home" (British Isles, at a guess?) or abroad?  The approach to battery management could be different either way, and without a sprightly battery, a digicam is useless deadweight! Smiley
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Jacquetta Megarry, publisher of Rucksack Readers and forum moderator
davem
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2007, 08:06:42 pm »

Hello Jacquetta

I would be using the camera in the British isles.

I have seen some weather/waterproof small digi cameras amde by pentax and olympus given our weather I was wondering whetehr they were worth considering. But also you need megapixels and opitcal/digital zoom, card for storing photos, card reader it all gets a bit confusing.

HELP Shocked

Dave
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RoyHayward
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 11:25:47 am »

Hi Dave,
The smaller the camera the more likely you are to take it everywhere and therefore more likely to capture shots you'd otherwise miss. Most of the info I've read suggest that a max 6Megapixel compact camera with 3 to 5 times zoom lens to be a sensible compromise, but they're all capable of taking high quality stills more than good enough for printing up to A4 in size. By using the highest quality setting on the camera you'll get the best opportunity to edit your photos at a later date. However, the higher the quality the fewer the photos so I'd leave room in your budget for a high capacity memory card. Rechargeable batteries are essential so allow say £20 for NiMH AA batteries and a charger.
For your info, I use a Fuji Finepix S602Zoom SLR camera -- had it a few years now. I fitted a microdrive to increase the memory size, however the latest memory cards in compact cameras have even greater capacity than my microdrive !! My camera takes 4 rechargeable AA batteries and I always carry another 4 fully charged replacements and a spare standard memory card just in case. I took some 750 photos walking the GGW - the 8 batteries were sufficient ( although my charger was in my luggage ).
Try some of the comparison sites to find a camera that suits your needs -- I use www.pcpro.co.uk but I'm sure the likes of Which magazine do something similar. Worth noting that as the memory cards increase in capacity the smaller cards say 64Mb are almost redundant and shops are giving them away with the camera purchased -- ideal for standby.
Hope that helps.
Roy.
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bsmyth
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 02:28:10 pm »

Hi dave

Agree with much of what Roy says.

I have a Pentax Optio 450 which is now 3 years old. The newer models are even more compact. It has a Lithium-ion re-chargeable battery which means carrying the re-charging kit - not bulky and if you use a baggage transfer service  on long walks it's no problem. The battery will normally easily last a couple of days in my experience. I bought a 1gb memory card. These are now quite cheap - you may even be able to get a 2gb memory card at a reasonable price now. Search the comparative price web sites to find the cheapest deal.
I prefer to be able to keep my camera (without the pouch) in my pocket so that it easily accessible when you want to take pictures.. Even fetching it from the pockeyt of my day bag or from the pouch on the belt I find inconvenient - but its personal choice - this is just a thought for you.
I prefer to download my photos onto my PC - they look so much better on the screen and much more easily accessed. You can then choose which ones to print. Also, if you are like me and not an expert photographer - digi cameras lead me to being a "snapper."  If you have photo enhancing software you can quickly run the photos through that to improve the quality. It's quite easy using the "quick fix" mode wich is a one click facility which I think most of these packages have.

Hope this helps

Good luck

Brian
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Jacquetta
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 04:52:07 pm »

For British Isles, forget the solar charger idea and, as Brian and Roy say, use rechargeables.  Time was when LiIon were MUCH more expensive than AAs but nowadays, like 2-gig memory cards, the prices have fallen through the floor.  I've been buying such bits from http://www.7dayshop.com for years and had good service and great prices.  At 1 gig for a fiver (and 2 gig from about £15) it isn't worth buying a smaller card.  (They sell cameras too.)

Resolution: if you shoot at any less than maximum resolution, you limit the uses to which your images can be put.  For viewing on screen, of course, it doesn't matter (72 dpi) but as a publisher we are constantly frustrated by folk with what look like good and relevant images that turn out to be lo-res and therefore unusable (we need 300 dpi).  Better to have a large card and delete duds from time to time.

For camera choice, it's a fast-changing scene and I'm reluctant to say much: I agree with Brian, I keep camera in trouser pocket or on rucksack waist strap.  The best website for digicam reviews I've found is http://www.dpreview.com/ and their weekly newsletter is brilliant (over 120,000 subscribers!).  Good glossary etc if you are new to dpi, stabilisation and megapixels.  BTW digital zoom is a con, you can do that on any computer screen, just go by the optical zoom and (to avoid camera shake without use of a tripod) some kind of image stabilisation at long telephoto lengths. Whatever you decide to buy, you will learn from it what features you'd really like in your next digicam: good luck!
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RoyHayward
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 10:21:00 am »

Noticed a couple of what seems excellent offers for 4 x 2000 (Uniross) or 2500 AA rechargeable batteries plus charger on www.memoryforless.co.uk ( £12.97 incl VAT & P&P ).
May be worth a look.
Roy.
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