Camera Type Considerations

Posted by: Noonie

Camera Type Considerations - 10/30/14 07:47 PM

I was last "into" photography 15 years ago. I had a SLR with two lenses. I would take my car and ahead to somewhere to photograph trees, plants and flowers, landscapes, and a bit of macro work.

I'm a hiking noob, and I'm thinking that while I'm out there hiking, I would like to rekindle the photo bug in me. I'm barely aware of DSLR, mirrorless cameras, and p&s. Currently I use my iPhone 4. Super convenient, not time consuming, but I would like to think more about the art And technology, without letting the tech take over. I want something I can access easily, and ideally I want one main lens that has a wide range, probably at the expense of quality. I may have another lens I could dig out of my bag for specific situations...but that's a later thought.

What I'm not sure of, is what I need to consider in a camera, and between the different types out there today, to satisfy hiking requirements.

FYI - I have a manfroto tripod with a nice ball-head, but I may not bring it on all hikes, I would rather be more natural out there, less "staged". But there will be times (low light) when I will take out the tripod, probably when photography is the goal of the hike.

Thanks!

Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 10/30/14 11:01 PM

Perhaps something like this?

Interchangeable lens cameras are another level of complexity. I use the Oly OM-D lineup.
Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 10/31/14 10:39 AM

iphones are fantastic for what they can do - light, convenient, always available... But, of course they have serious drawbacks too - tiny lens and sensor, fixed aperture, slow, short battery life, terrible low light performance...

If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend getting a good camera (I really want to try a Sony RX100 II or III). I can't make specific recommendations, as I've never had a great camera (the best I've got is a Kodak Easyshare z760 I got as a gift), but there are a few things you can do to improve the photos taken by an iphone, if you're willing to work within it's limitations. For example, always stabilize it against something if you can. Try to use it only in well lit scenes. If you must take low light photos (I can't seem to stay away from them myself), you can try an app like Cortex Cam, which will actually take several exposures, align them, and pick the median of every pixel, all automatically. This results in a much cleaner picture, but of course, it can't be used with moving subjects. I can also highly recommend the app HDR3, for scenes with a lot of dynamic range, but it takes a very long time to process a single shot, tying up your phone for a good 30 seconds or more, and it saps juice pretty fast. Makes great shots though, if you can hold the phone still.

A better camera is really the way to go, but don't forget that the humble iphone camera can be a great supplement in addition to it sometimes.
Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 10/31/14 10:58 AM

Just an example of what an iphone can do, given the perfect storm of conditions:

Posted by: Noonie

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 10/31/14 07:46 PM

Decided on a Canon Rebel 5 with an IS lens. My existing film slr is a canon, so I can use my 100-300 telephoto lens. Little heavy, but I'm a noob hiker so I'm taking only easy hikes for a while.
Posted by: ndsol

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 11/03/14 06:24 PM

I hope that the lens you acquired is a wide angle as that is what I have found important for backpacking. I usually only take one lens, a 16-70mm, for backpacking. I do consider also taking the 35mm f1.8 for its light weight and low-light capability.

If you are getting back into the photography hobby, I would highly recommend acquiring Lightroom for organizing and processing. It can do some great things that were once only within the purview of Photoshop. And you can get both for $10 per month on an annual subscription. If you are shooting RAW, then you definitely need some type of processing software.
Posted by: Noonie

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 11/05/14 05:22 AM

Originally Posted By ndsol
I hope that the lens you acquired is a wide angle as that is what I have found important for backpacking. I usually only take one lens, a 16-70mm, for backpacking. I do consider also taking the 35mm f1.8 for its light weight and low-light capability.

If you are getting back into the photography hobby, I would highly recommend acquiring Lightroom for organizing and processing. It can do some great things that were once only within the purview of Photoshop. And you can get both for $10 per month on an annual subscription. If you are shooting RAW, then you definitely need some type of processing software.


The camera comes with an 18--55 lens. I would leave that on for most situations, taking the telephoto with me in my pack when I think there might be a use for it.
Posted by: Noonie

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 11/11/14 04:20 PM

Got my camera yesterday. Added a memory card, and cotton carrier strapshot for hiking. Can't wait to get out there! I will have to balance the enjoyment of hiking with photography, as I see myself as a hiker who wants to take pictures (enjoys photography), as opposed to a photographer who hikes to take pictures.
Posted by: Noonie

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 11/25/14 09:35 AM

Thought I would post an update. I've been out hiking with the camera a few times now.

- I like the cotton carrier strapshot. My camera/lens isn't too heavy and I don't notice it affecting the comfort of my pack
- Of course I'm not hiking as long as I usually would given the same time, as I'm stopping to photography what interests me...but on the last hike I was careful to stop only when something was worth photographing, but also trying to pause here and there and take in what's around me (when the head is down, focused on the myriad of rocks/roots you can easily miss interesting scenes)
- regarding lenses, I'm getting by with the stock lens, but I'm now wanting something like an 18-135...that's wide enough and also decent telephoto. I really don't want to bring multiple lenses with me and stop hiking to fiddle.
- I haven't taken a tripod and I'm still debating whether it's too much hasle to bring one, set it up, etc. However, I often hike early in the morning and the light hasn't been great so I'm using higher ISO settings and/or smaller apetures (to avoid camera shake).

That's it for now...happy hiking and shooting.
Posted by: ndsol

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 11/28/14 08:54 AM

Glad to hear it is working out for you.

I have personally found through trial and error that I am willing to give up some on the long end to ensure that the wide end is 16mm. There is more of a significant difference between 16mm and 18mm than I would have originally thought. That is why my backpacking lens is a 16-80mm.

It is has taken me quite some time to embrace the use of a tripod, but I now realize how important it is to obtain sharpness and, when necessary, depth of field. If you are using trekking poles, then you may want to consider TrailPix as a low-weight alternative. It is fussier than a regular tripod and I am hesitant to step it up in stronger winds, but the weight is nice.
Posted by: HikingGeek

Re: Camera Type Considerations - 01/26/15 02:34 PM

I've been using a Sony NEx for the last year or so and I've been very happy with it. I've never had the need for a full DSLR, but have been unhappy with the image quality of most of the P&S cameras I have owned. The NEX seems to be a good compromise.

Most of the photos in this gallery were taken with my NEX:
http://www.hikinggeek.com/2013/12/31/best-photos-2013/