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  #1  
Old 1 Jan 2004
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Which digital camera

Can anyone recommend a digital camera that gives great results and is robust enough for overlanding.

I have no experiance with digital photography, but need to replace my old 35mm and think that the convenience of digital is the way to go...is it?

Having looked at all the photographic magazines I'm no nearer deciding which camera would suit my needs.

The camera needs to be fairly small and lightweight, have a zoom facility, be reasonably easy to use, but as stated above, the main criteria is that it's robost and gives great results.

Any recommendations gratefully recieved.

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  #2  
Old 2 Jan 2004
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Hi Bob

I've got a few Photo mags you can have which will help!

More specifically - the first question is what's you're budget? Below £200 you'll soon out grow whatever you buy, above £800 - £1000 and you'll be getting far more than you need. That's a fair price window to be looking around for something which will suit you.

2 tips - get as many mega pixels as you can afford and ignore 'digital zoom' always ask what the 'optical zoom' is. Digital zoom progressively degrades the picture the more you zoom in.

I have a Canon EOS 300D which is the new <£1k full SLR. Fantastic quality of picture. I don't know how robust it is for the road yet - guess I'll find out. For anyone who REALLY like photography it's a seriouse option.

I'll bring a couple of cameras and some mags on Saturday. Check your email for details!!!

See you then
Chris
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  #3  
Old 2 Jan 2004
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Hello Mr Mc Feast
I Used a CanonA60 2 mega pixel..carried it in my pocket without a case the last 6 months...it still works despite having lost most of its paint..AA batteries x 4 seem to last well and easy to find should the re-chargable ones run out. Used a 250 something meg flash card that gave me 240 photos on its highest res, I then burnt them to CD at photo shops or internet cafe´s.

Bad points

Low light images are very grainy and it seems to take digi cameras about two days to actually take the photo. 3X optical zoom wasnt really enough for sneaky people shots.

Good points

Stronger than an R80G/S,
Manual exposure control and the dial is the same as my SLR,
Small

Slides nicer to look at, but no where near as cheap.

good luck
http://users.netlink.com.au/~asimpson
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  #4  
Old 23 Jan 2004
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After much reading I bought a Canon A70 - up to 3.2 megapixel - doing very good prints at A4. I chose it because -
1 - It's made by a good camera company therefore has excellent lens (all the electronics in the world won't help if the lens is cr*p) - good colours - and all the manual overrides you could need.
2 - It will run on ordinary AA cells which you can buy anywhere. Lots of the cameras seem to have custom built battery assemblies - if you break it , lose it, or can't get to a charger you can't always buy another. Get big CF cards - 128 to 256 MB. 128 holds around 120 good shots (2 MPixel) - unless you want big print you can use the slower resolutions which are available on the camera.Try this before you travel - you might be surprised at the print quality available at 2MPixel.

I also bought a charger which runs on mains or from 12 volt - advertised in Digital Camera magazines. Ni MH cells which I use are very good, not having the same "memory" problem which effects NiCad's. The charger has a discharge option, however, which lets you fully discharge and recharge now and then, as there is a slight "memory" effect.


I believe there is now a Canon A80 with more pixels - remember you don't need to use them all, but if you get a special view you can switch to 4 Mp just for that picture.
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  #5  
Old 25 Jan 2004
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give these a try;

www.7dayshop.com

seem to do some cameras at good prices

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  #6  
Old 12 Mar 2004
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This may not help but it's my $0.02 worth:

Took my Nikon D100 on a 7000 mile journey through Mexico last fall. No problems and some great photo's. Kept it in my tank bag. Just took one lens: 28-70mm Tokina. The camera has handled my less than careful handling so far It has a great battery. I can usually, without using the built in flash, get 200+ photo's from a charge. The 1GB CF card is great and CD's can be burned at almost any internet cafe to free up space.

The downside? It's a big full size SLR but as I was used to lugging around a full side 35mm camera, I didn't need to adjust that. The thing about the digital was the accessories such as battery charger, CF reader and such that are an added burden.

Hope that helps.

Kurt
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  #7  
Old 12 Mar 2004
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this site is great for reviews etc:

www.dpreview.com
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2004
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Canon Powershot A60 or A70 would be a great lightweight, compact, high quality camera to take on a bike trip.

I did a 7 monther through the Americas and snapped some amazing photos with this simple-to-use point and shoot (in fact all 500+ on our website were taken with a Canon Powershot A40, an older version). A 4 megapixel is plenty of pixel- even with my 2 i can blow up my photos to 5x7 with near photograph quality.

Heres some of the best shots from the trip to give you an idea of picture quality.

climbing Cotopaxi near the equator http://www.bikerswithoutborders.org/...small/EC18.JPG

some jungle kids http://www.bikerswithoutborders.org/...mall/EC103.JPG

Salar de Uyuni- Isla de pescadores http://www.bikerswithoutborders.org/...small/BO73.jpg

Big Green Plant http://www.bikerswithoutborders.org/...small/BO99.jpg

Dirt Road in Argentina http://www.bikerswithoutborders.org/...small/AR10.jpg

Hope that helps. One more suggestion, get an extremely large memory card (ie 256MB or bigger). Depending on where your traveling through, it may be some time until you can upload the photos to a web server

Regards, Steve

www.bikerswithoutborders.org



[This message has been edited by wallsts (edited 12 March 2004).]
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  #9  
Old 15 Mar 2004
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Maybe as important is what NOT to buy.
I bought a fuji camera. Nice pictures very affordable. It died after 14 months domestic use, so did a friends after app the same time and talking to a client today who bought a fuji digi camera just over a year ago....yes, dead as a!

I replaced it with a pentax camera from a company that has a reputation to look after. All Nikon, olympus, pentax, canon cameras should be ok.
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  #10  
Old 26 Mar 2004
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For what it's worth - I have a "Ricoh Caplio G4 Wide" - chose this as it has a 3x optical zoom lens, with a wide angle lens as the starting point... great for those long distance shots...

Also the BIGGEST buying feature was that I take an internal battery - ricohs own nicad or leon variety AND when that is removed you can fit 2 standard AA batteries instead... bonus - no worrying on holidays about what happens when the battery dies - you get about 700 shots to the standard battery so carry a few AA as a back...

Also - it's black - less in your face than all those shiny silver ones...

it's a 3.6MPixel (I Think) which is fine and the only shots I've not been happy with are shots at night of city scapes taken in my hands only - no mini tripod etc.... but hey - the exposure was 1second on those so you can't get good ones without a stand of some sort...

So - as I've mentioned before it also tells me all the settings it has used for every shot - all of which are changeable and settable for any single shot - so - loads of versatility...

Great camera... it took me ages to find something to want to replace my lovely Canon Epoca with - huge but never a bad shot in the whole of it's 10 year life so far...

Strongly recommend it..

Tony.

PS: it's also bloomin' fast - to switch on, and to take a shot - fastest out there I think...

http://www.dcviews.com/_Ricoh/g4w.htm

OR This One - Ricohs own

PPS: But boy how nice that new Ricoh G400 Wide looks...


[This message has been edited by Tony Robson (edited 26 March 2004).]
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  #11  
Old 29 Mar 2004
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I bought a Canon A60 (£99 on Amazon).

Pros - Good sharp pics on 17 inch TFT monitor, should print at A4 ok. Sharper than print film.

Camera is small, but not that small.

Cons - Like batteries even 2100 mah ones.
Long shutter delay. You can get round this but it's tiresome.

It's constantly switching itself off.

TFT screen hard to see in bright light (in UK in march!!)

Needs big memory card or laptop (more elctronic probs in desert) to download.

It's good, but I'm probably gonna stick with my 24 year old Olympus SLR set up, at least for desert trips. It fires immediately, batteries last for years, doesn't need to be switched on to take shots, you can see what you're looking at etc etc. Digi camera is ok for home or no exciting trip use, I think.

Andrew.

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  #12  
Old 23 Apr 2004
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Poking around sone camera review sites I came across this site:

http://albrecht.achtung.com/cameras/A80/index.html

Very interesting info, should be of general use.

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  #13  
Old 23 Apr 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew Baker:
I bought a Canon A60 (£99 on Amazon).

Pros - Good sharp pics on 17 inch TFT monitor, should print at A4 ok. Sharper than print film.

Camera is small, but not that small.

Cons - Like batteries even 2100 mah ones.
Long shutter delay. You can get round this but it's tiresome.

It's constantly switching itself off.

TFT screen hard to see in bright light (in UK in march!!)

Needs big memory card or laptop (more elctronic probs in desert) to download.

Andrew.
I too bought the Canon A60 & am very pleased with it. I'm not a huge photography addict, so this served my purposes.

I like the shape, the battery holder provides you with something other than a flat surface to grip.

My batteries (2100mah NiMH) last well. I took 250+ photo's of Oxford last saturday PM. A few required the flash & the batteries still had life in them.

No problems with mine turning itself off?

Mine has a 128mb CF card, works well with no problems. If I need more storage, I'll buy another 128mb card - prefer this to storing all photo's on a 256mb card in case you lose the camera and/or card?

Paid £130.00 from Amazon with free delivery. 128mb was £22.00 from Amazon also. Same camera locally was £180.00 & the card £28.00?

Bought a small Lowe Pro bag to carry it in, the Canon option was crap with no shoulder strap. Also bought a Uniross charger & the 4 NiMH batteries for £30.00 from Jessops - charges them from flat in 2.5 hours.

I know little about photography, I also think I had the camera on the wrong setting (Portrait)for many of the Oxford photo's.

Some recent photo's here.
http://www.possu.smugmug.com/

Steve
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  #14  
Old 1 May 2004
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I took an Olympus Stylus 300 (3.2mp 3xopt zm, mju 300 model in UK)to West Africa on a 5 month trip - its weatherproof metal case is very tough - I had it on my belt(in a Lowepro case) and managed to fall 71/2 feet off the roof of my Land Rover,(slipped) flat on my back on concrete - and on the camera, (nearly knocking myself out). I thought id totally smashed the camera to bits , when i looked at it, the front and rear case where both creased, the front sliding lens cover was badly damaged and the lcd screen was cracked quite badly. After a few adjustments with a Leatherman i got the lens cover back on and it worked !!! it took great pictures for the rest of the trip, and coped fine with taking pictures in a sand storm of the Paris Dakar at Tidjikja !!! Its compact, it uses a Lithium Ion rechargable which I think is a bonus having now used it - 2 weeks between recharges, Decent AA batteries are hard to get sometimes too. We were mainly bush camping so this worked very well as we would generally have to go into a city and get visas and do some admin every 2 weeks- you can normally blag a power point anywhere for a 2 hour recharge. To really get the most out of a digital you need a storage device for a long trip, I used an X - Drive 2. You can store 16,000 super high quality shots on this, it worked fine and is compact, had a Li-Ion battery as well and coped with the endless corrogations and dust no problem. You cant rely on filling your Memory card up, then trying to find an internet cafe or photo shop everywhere though - youd be dissapointed in West Africa. The camera is still going no problem, it would cost more to repair than for a new one, it's still taking good photos.
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  #15  
Old 13 May 2004
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Seeing as I started the thread and everyone has been kind enough to respond, I'd thought I'd let you know that I splashed out on a Canon Ixius 400. Although I ignored everyones advise re the model I did get it from Amazon for a good price. The results seem excellent so far and the camera is very easy to use and well made.
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