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Rave About Your Rack Please do not post retail SPAM.

Compact digi camera for use on the cliff
8:48:40 PM
Not exactly traditional climbing gear but I'm guesing that there are a lot of you out there carrying them and can offer some advice. I'm sick of luggin the SLR around, its great in its place, but takes up valueable pack space.

I'm looking for a small (and relatively cheap) digital camera with at least 4x optical zoom, not to worried about MP's though as most cameras on the market have enough for a good photo, any suggestions?

What camera's are people carrying and have you found any of their features usefull / useless?

Has anyone had experience with the Canon A520 as there are a couple of good deals on this cheapy around?

How do you carry / protect your camera while your climbing?

2:01:37 AM
You'll likely get lens shake with a 4x zoom unless you're really careful - most compacts with a hard-on return soft pictures at long focal lengths so you're better off going for resolution and lens quality over zoom length, if it comes to comparing those things.

I'd recommend an ultra compact model so you're more likely to take it places - if you don't have the camera with you, you can't take a photo.

Happy shooting

9:45:32 AM
yeh i also have the nikon coolpix (3700) and find it great. It's very compact and affordable, 3mp but does only have 3xzoom (which i find sufficient). takes shots at speed (with no flash) and movie quality is great at 640x480 (ie tv quality) altho there is a minor ticking sound thru the movies but I don't really care. there's a review here:

5:55:32 PM
I have a Fuji Film FINE PIX A310

It has taken some realy good shots Its small and never getrs in the way. I didnt buy it for climbing but it realy has impressed me in the vertical world.

Heaps of modes. Decent resolution.

Only two things that bother me. Handshake can be a problem in deep shade if you have the flash off or if shooting over any distance. I have a tiny tripod for this.

and the stupid delay between pressing the button and the actual image capture is a pain when takeing action shots. I have learnt to alow for this though.

Its great on bateries and easy to operate one handed.
9:26:31 PM
I picked up a Nikon Coolpix 5900 for my trip to NZ (leave thursday - SICK!). Very small, very easy to use, good quality pictures (5.1 megapixels/ 3x zoom), nikon lenses are very good (apparently), so I'm chuffed! Will maybe post some pics of castle hill so you can see what they are like when I get back...

9:40:12 PM
Another camera with only 3x digital zoom, but I really liked my little Sony DSC-W1. It's a really fast camera - starts up quickly, and none of the shutter lag you get with some other brands. Just don't drop it off a multipitch (although, it has a metal body, so it will survive the fall, just isn't necessarily going to work afterwards).
11:59:36 AM
Bought a Canon Powershot Pro-1 in January and have been fairly happy with it - would uprate to 'very happy' except for a warranty issue with the shutter button sticking - which was fixed, fast turnaround, and the shop where I bought it loaned me a Kodak while the Canon was away. Overall a good experience.

Like you I was sick of lugging SLR's around, so sought a compact, but in the end decided I couldn't live without:
- wide angle zoom, 28mm (equivalent).
- decent number of pixels (>=5m)
- good lens/image quality
- ability to use an external flash.

Hence the PS Pro. Sample shots from the (loaned) Kodak at follow links to "Arapiles Feb 2005" and samples from the Canon on JohnK's personal pages (he posted a link somewhere a few weeks back).

However if you want something smaller, lighter and cheaper but with most of the features the Canon S series impressed me a lot. The older (5 mpixel?) S60 is now being discounted fairly heavily and the 7-mpix S70 is also coming down since I bought.
For that price and (less than?) half the weight of the PS Pro you get most things but no flash shoe. Can do 640x480 movie mode too. And yes, 28mm-105 zoom.

You mention a 4x zoom but for outdoors you really want 28mm or better. If you discard anything that doesn't meet this one criteria, it restricts your choices to a surprisingly limited number - most zooms, even "10x", start at 35mm. For example none of the Fuji's start below 33mm. Widest was the Nikon with a 24mm. Bear in mind a lot of climbing shots are taken with even wider lenses than 28mm.

Happy purchasing.

- Steve
7:31:13 PM
Pentax Optio S5Z is a fantasic choice I bought on two months ago. It is extremely small, easy to use and has a great lens for a camera of this size (can focus up to 6cm away).

However I almost wish I had know about the Pentax Option WP when I bough my camera. The WP has almost identicle feature yet is WATERPROOF and much more robust for general use while climbing.

(Mind you in a decent padded pouch the S5Z will survive most falls and because it is so light)

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