Camera advice for ultralight hike...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kidchill, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I'm gonns be attempting a thru hike of the Appalachian trail this year. I currently have a D300 with various lenses. I'm trying to keep my pak weight as low as possible. Any suggestions for super point n shoot cameras or possibly m4/3's? I'm slightly leaning towards the m4/3 'cause I feel like its a better compromise between weight and pic quality. I'm not saying that point n shoots can't produce decent pics, but the sensor is so much larger on the m4/3s. Thanks for any insight.


     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    Oly ep-3 & 20 mm lens
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Olympus OM-D E-M5 would be my suggestion if you went m4/3rds can could stretch your budget that far. Solid build and some of the best m4/3rds features. You could then use one single lens or a combination of two or three depending on how serious you got and on the kind of shots you want to take. Don't forget that you can also use zooms as well to cover a range of focal lengths.
    Bonus here is that its small, but has a built in viewfinder (electronic).
    I also think (from light reading and not much research I admit) that this one has the most rugged build of the Olympus series of m4/3rd series bodies.

    If you've not the budget the EP series would be next - the 3rd (as The Traveller suggests) has very good AF whilst the 2 and 1 are cheaper and yet still decently featured cameras. Note that there is no electronic viewfinder so you are in point and shoot LCD focusing mode - unless you purchase the hotshoe accessory electronic viewfinder (and if you're doing that the OMD edition would be preferable).

    If you don't want more than one lens and a camera I'd look to the bridge camera market - single bodies with good zooms - maybe not quite as good sensor wise as the m4/3rds, but compact with space and simple to use.
     
  4. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    If I'm going lightweight should I consider the EPL series? Would really only lose the flash and sum external controls...
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'd see the cameras and lenses in person before I made a final choice on the matter (hard to know how big is too big). Though the EP(l) series is designed to be very compact all round.

    I'd just (personally) try to go for the highest spec I could get whilst retaining small size
     
  6. SHaller

    SHaller TPF Noob!

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  7. spacefuzz

    spacefuzz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you check out Alexandre Buisse's website and book he has lots of advice on mountaineering / lightweight hiking camera equipment.

    I guess it comes down to if your goal is to hike it fast....or end every day you can trying to scout for photo locations and come back with high quality pics. For fast perhaps the 4/3's and a gorilla tripod? For quality perhaps a D90 and one lens, with an ultralight tripod.

    Look forward to seeing your photos.
     
  8. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I won't be bringing a tripod unless it's a gorilla-pod! I'm already slightly over my weight limit as is ;( The EP vs EPL is a wash! It only saves 2oz, so I might as well keep the EP3 with the manual controls and flash. Any comments on Panasonic's m 4/3's system? Also, WTF is up with the way olympus names their gear? I'm not a system snob, but damn, it took me a good 15mins just to figure out what was what!!
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've not strongly looked at Panasonics, but they keep to a more bridge camera appearance with built in viewfinder (electronic) as opposed to Oly who've gone more after the handbag/wallet shape. I think Oly has the edge with AF performance, but other than that I'm not sure how they class up against each other.
     
  10. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If your taking mostly day shots there are some well recommended bridge cameras around now, the Panasonic Fz150 being one example
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    How about something like a Canon G series? Pretty compact, good quality, shoots RAW etc.
     
  12. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    That still carries a smaller sensor then the m4/3 (1/1.7") and doesn't save much weight...i think of the 4/3 cams are gonna best the compromise b/n size, weight, and pic quality...decisions, decisions...
     

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