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Seeking digital camera recommendations


jay
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I figured I should ask here for some input on a decent digital camera that is trail worthy.  I has a Nikon Coolpix that did a pretty good job until I got caught in the rain and the flash died on it.  Am looking for a dependable mid grade digital camera that is fairly durable.  I am not looking to take professional level photos, simply record some of my travels.  One thing I have noticed is how fast the technology changes; what goes for $500.00 now will go for half that in 12-18 months, it seems.

 

Any input on this would be appreciated, thanks.

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On 1/31/2016 at 11:02 AM, jay said:

I figured I should ask here for some input on a decent digital camera that is trail worthy.  I has a Nikon Coolpix that did a pretty good job until I got caught in the rain and the flash died on it.  Am looking for a dependable mid grade digital camera that is fairly durable.  I am not looking to take professional level photos, simply record some of my travels.  One thing I have noticed is how fast the technology changes; what goes for $500.00 now will go for half that in 12-18 months, it seems.

 

Any input on this would be appreciated, thanks.

Check out the Canon G7X review which also covers the popular Sony RX100.

I bought the Canon G7X, and have gotten some really nice results.  So now, I have a good quality trail ready camera, but still am trying to upgrade my photography skills.  You can always read Photo Tips from the Trail by David Cobb in each TG Magazine issue.

The Canon is pretty easy to use, and I (mostly) get some pretty good results.  Many others at this site could better answer more specific questions.

Gary Meyer 

 

Hillsdale Truman 006.JPG

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Thanks for the reply, it is appreciated.  I used to be better than average in my younger days with a manual film camera but have not really pushed the envelope with digital.  Am looking for something fairly simple to use and don't want to have to cancel a trip to pay for it :)

 

I will definitely look into the model you recommended.

 

Thanks again.

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43 minutes ago, jay said:

Thanks for the reply, it is appreciated.  I used to be better than average in my younger days with a manual film camera but have not really pushed the envelope with digital.  Am looking for something fairly simple to use and don't want to have to cancel a trip to pay for it :)

 

I will definitely look into the model you recommended.

 

Thanks again.

You sound very similar to me.  I had a nice Pentax, but who can manage the size and complexity of a camera that uses "film" along with f-stops, light meters, etc?  I'm not sure the younger readers even know exactly what "film" was!  

What I especially like about the G7X is the ease of use in automatic mode, but you can also easily switch to manual and get technical.  So I use a bit of both depending on the conditions.  I also like the compact size which makes it easy to carry and use while on the trail.  But don't hesitate to check out the various models by hand so you can see what is best for you.

Good luck.  Can't wait for spring so I can take hundreds of more trail photos!!!

Check out the color and  detail on the photo below, and remember that I'm certainly not a professional photographer.

 

 

Kill Creek April 023.JPG

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I used to use a Pentax K1000, back in my amateur photography phase.  I had a lot of fun messing with exposures, light filters and the like.  Plus, that thing was pretty heavy, not something I would want to lug in a backpack.

 

Does anyone have any input on the so called waterproof digital cameras?  I have seen some sold by Nikon.  Am wondering if they are waterproof or sometimes waterproof. 

I ask this as my last digital camera didn't weather being caught in a sudden rain storm very well.

Yep, it's Punday :)

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In my experience, the Panasonic Lumix cameras are the best point-and-shoots.  They aren't waterproof, but they're reasonably tough, and take much better photos than a Coolpix.

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Any camera rated waterproof should be very low risk to use in the rain or dropping into water momentarily. Most problems occur deep underwater when their seals are under pressure. 

Most new compact WP cameras are shock resistant too so they can handle knocks and minor drops fairly well. 

Optical zoom ranges tend to be modest, around 4x to 5x, which can be an issue for some people.

Some well rated ones are the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TC30 (approx. $120), the Nikon Coolpix AW130 (approx. $260) and the Olympus TG-4 (approx. $350).

The higher priced ones have features like WiFi, and GPS geotagging. 

Edited by PaulGS
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I really appreciate all the input on this topic.  I much prefer hearing what works for other people than having to sort through all of the online reviews and hoping that I am not being misled on them.  I think that personal experience is much more valid than any ratings test on a product.

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Well I don't use a waterproof camera myself; just have been careful when using my camera in bad weather.

I use a Canon S100 compact which is a few years old and really like it. It is a step below but similar in layout to Gary's G7X. Set on Auto, it takes consistently good photos but with lots of overrides too. 

The Canon works very well in low light situations like sunrise/sunset and on a tripod have even been able to take star photos so for a compact camera I have found it very versatile.

Lots of nice choices out there, good luck.

Edited by PaulGS
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  • Premium Member
Aaron Zagrodnick

I think it just boils down to the quality you're looking for - if you're just looking for a record of your travels even smartphones will do a decent job these days. For a basic point and shoot type camera I'd agree with @seano on the Lumix line as a good choice - solid, compact, easy to use, good photos. Also as mentioned the Canon S120, or the previous models in that line offer a noticeable quality boost and the usually great Canon colors...moving up while still keeping things light and compact the aforementioned G7X and Sony RX100 variationsir?t=20-07-14-12612-20&l=ur2&o=1 offer really impressive capabilities considering they'll probably still fit in your hipbelt pocket...and you can keep going...just depends on how much you want to spend, carry, and the level of photo quality that you're after. Camera technology does move pretty fast, but good photos are good photos so sometimes those older but still for sale models can be a good way to save some cash.

In regards to water issues I've good success keeping my camera in something waterproof / highly water resistant with a freezer bag backup in the rain or during a sketchy water crossing. For drops, I just always use a wrist strap...and make sure the camera is stowed securely while on the move...unfortunately I have learned that one the hard way! :mellow:

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