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Camera for skiing


TPF Noob!
Sep 26, 2007
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I would like to have a camera that I can take on the slopes while skiing. I ski mostly at night, so lighting can be very bright, or very shadowy. Compact size is critical as I do not want it to impair my mobility while skiing. It also has to be able to withstand low temperatures (down to 0*F) and a decent crash as when I go down, I go down, if you know what I mean. decent video performance and continuous shooting would also be a plus.

I am mainly using this as a way to improve my skiing by allowing one of my ski buddies to shot me going down a section of the hill and analyzing the motion.

Are there any P&S cameras that would work for this application as I don't think I could get any of my friends to take the run off and stand at the bottom with a dslr? Also, there is no way I would give them a camera with a good enough telephoto lens to shoot me with all of the out of control skiers.

price is not much of a concern, as long as it is reasonable, <500, but for a P&S, not really a budget.

At night you're not going to have much success with a P&S because of extreme noise at low light scenes.

Olympus make a shock / water proof camera which may fit the rest of the bill. I can't remember the model number though.
I looked at the Olympus, but it seems to have many performance sacrifices for not much better shock resistance...only 5ft, I bet many cameras can withstand a 5 ft drop.

The Samsungs seem to have the best continous shooting capabilites at 7fps for 3seconds. Can anyone comment on the images taken with the Samsung Digimax i85 or NV20/NV15 in the continuous mode, will the shots be too blurry if capturing a ski turn? Does anyone know what these cameras are made of, metal, plastic?

Remember, these are not to be used to make prints or anything, just analyze the motion on a computer screen, so all I need to be able to do is have enough detail to make out how my arms, legs, and body are moving throughout a high speed turn.

I think I will have to nix the temperature requirement, as I cannot find any camera that can do that; after all, it will probably not be in the air for any longer than a minute before going back in my coat pocket.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 also seems to have the features that I want, and the best video recording resolution I have seen on a P&S. Any thouhgts on this camera compared to the Samsung?

The Lumix looks good! um.... I would look at the Canon G series maybe
I have looked at eh G series, but they are larger and do not offer the same continuous shooting and video options, which are a major part of why I want the camera.
I use a Canon 5D when I can carry it, a Casio EX-Z55 when underwater, and a Samsung L85 as a medium-sized P&S. Images produced by the Samsung are remarkably good, but I haven't tried it in low light - that's what I got the 5D for! The L85 has especially good flash performance. I actually chose it over a Canon G9 as in several of the respects that concern me it's actually better, and at only around $110 it's expendable.

You'll need to keep the camera inside your clothing to keep it warm and dry, so it shouldn't be difficult to protect it pretty effectively from impacts, and to protect you from impact with the camera!

I used to ski with a film SLR with 35-70 zoom lens attached, and the only place it would go was inside my jacket at the front. Made me a much better skier as there was no way I wanted to fall on it!

In very cold conditions (such as the minus 40 degrees in Quebec in February a few years ago, at the winter festival, when there are snow and ice carvings everywhere) I found I could only keep the camera out for perhaps 5-6 minutes before the shutter began to freeze up. The battery ran down very quickly in those temperatures, so I kept two spares next to my body in a waterproof pouch. Had to swap batteries every 30 minutes or so, but a battery that had died was rejuvenated by being warmed up again. But the pictures were well worth it.

In very cold weather condensation becomes a major issue. Keep a thickly padded pouch to seal your camera in if you go into a hot and humid mountain restaurant/bar or you'll get a lot of moisture inside the camera, enough to cause it permanent damage. At the end of the day only let it warm up very slowly in a very dry environment, and similarly at the start of the day.

Should have emphasised - DON'T put the camera in an external pocket. It MUST go well inside where it's protected from moisture & impact, and warmed by body heat.
honestly, a point and shoot won't help you out much. If you really won't to work on your technique, get a camcorder, you can get a decent one within your budget, and then you can analyze your motion, tricks, techniques well. You can also freeze-frame if need be. I don't really think that there's a P&S with good continuous shooting, I mean it's there, but it really sucks. Only an SLR will give you the burst mode that will be useful for you.
I have seen some really amazing pics out of a Canon SD1000. Teeny. But probably not quite what you are looking for. I would however look at the Canon SD950IS. The IS will help you in those low light situations and it will take GREAT shots for a small P&S.

I would also lok at the G9... Both shoot at 1.5 fps and shoot video. Not sure what exactly you are looking for, but personally, I am looking at the SD line as my "party cam" that can travel in my wife's bag.

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