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pedro_sandchez


Apr 7, 2009, 10:04 AM
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carrying slr camera while climbing
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hey guys,
I am looking into upgrading to a nice SLR camera, specifically an olympus E-420. I've held the camera at a local photography store and its size and light weight seem like it should be a nice camera for mountaineering, hiking, and climbing photography. I am looking at picking one up with the 25mm pancake lens as well as the standard kit lense.
The plan is to keep the 25mm lens on the camera because of its compact size making it easier to carry while hiking and climbing. I'll then keep the standard kit lense in my pack/haul bag to break out whenever zoom seems necessary.

My question is, how do those of you who carry a larger camera like a dSLR carry it on climbs?

Id like to take it to the top with me long multi-pitch and alpine routes in order to capture action shots of my second and such so I'm looking for a nice way to carry the camera on lead. Maybe a protective neoprene case attached to the harness in some way? Of course I plan on leaving the larger zoom lens in a haul bag or pack for the sake of compactness and weight savings.
I am pretty set on this camera if I can find a way to carry it safely and out of the way on climbs so your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
If no good system is to be had, I may just stick with a compact high zoom camera like a samsung HZ10W but I don't really want to go that route.


ryanb


Apr 7, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Re: [pedro_sandchez] carrying slr camera while climbing [In reply to]
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Climbign multi pitch with a big slr is a pain (I haven't tried any of the new super compact ones but they might be nice if you can get a small wide angle for them). If you must do it, get a chest pouch/harness like galen rowell used.

On a side note i used to trail run shirtless with a nikon f3 in one of these a lot and people would think i was a girl in a skimpy sports bra from a distance and get hugh disappointed looks when they saw i was a hairy dude.

25mm (with the olympus 2x crop factor) is not very useful for climbing, ditto for super zooms...you need wide angle for 90% of the shots you will take and maybe a medium tele for the other 10%.

I know some folks who get published in places like the patagonia catalogue regularly and they are shooting high end compacts with wide angles like the panasonic lx3, ricoh grd and gx200 etc...


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 11:18 AM
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Re: [ryanb] carrying slr camera while climbing [In reply to]
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Personally, I think that the new Panasonic DMC-TS1 and DMC-ZS3 will be great for any outdoor sports when they come out later this month in the US. The TS1 is waterproof with a nice internal 28 mm 4.6x optical zoom lens and the ZS3 is small with a great 25 mm 12x optical zoom lens. Both cameras shoot very nice 720p video as well.

I will buy the TS1 as soon as it is available in the states.

http://www.dpreview.com/...2705panasonicft1.asp

http://www.dpreview.com/...2706panasonictz7.asp


pmyche


Apr 7, 2009, 11:23 AM
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lvpyne


Apr 7, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Sadly, I dropped my camera a couple of weeks ago climbing -- not my dslr, thankfully, but my little crappy digital camera. (I think it came unclipped from the back of my harness while I was cleaning a pitch...) I watched the camera bounce down four pitches and then tumble down the scree slopes of Mt. Moroni. Amazingly, my partner found it two days later. After sifting through the camera's broken bits, I found that the chip in the SD card had cracked. I had no idea that the SD card could actually break.

A bit off topic -- however, it convinced me to not start hauling my dslr out climbing. Laugh


tedman


Apr 7, 2009, 12:14 PM
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I've been rocking the Lowepro Slingshot 100 for cragging, great for throwing over your shoulder and getting up a pitch, then strapping yourself in and taking shots of others on their way up. Multipitch it would be a bit much tho. As far as worrying about dropping it, get insurance! I could intentionally throw my camera off the top of the route, as long as I can find the remains, I get a full replacement!


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:16 PM
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What makes it necessary to take a DSLR climbing anyway? I can’t imagine that you are climbing in near darkness so the extra light sensitivity is not as critical. You can get great wide angle point and shoots now. Sure manual controls could be very important. However, there are quite a few smaller cameras that give you decent manual controls.

Also, do you ever shoot video or action shots? I would think that action shots would be more important than good low light. The Panasonic cameras have some awesome burst modes that go up to 6 FPS. Those make for awesome slow motion shots when combined into a movie.

Do you have some examples of shots that you could not possibly get with a Point and Shoot but you could get with a DSLR?


pedro_sandchez


Apr 7, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. That new panasonic looks pretty nice. Glad you suggested it because I have been looking at the TZ5 which this new panasonic will make outdated.

tedman wrote:
I've been rocking the Lowepro Slingshot 100 for cragging, great for throwing over your shoulder and getting up a pitch, then strapping yourself in and taking shots of others on their way up. Multipitch it would be a bit much tho. As far as worrying about dropping it, get insurance! I could intentionally throw my camera off the top of the route, as long as I can find the remains, I get a full replacement!

I'd be interested in hearing some more about this insurance. Where did you purchase it and how much does it cost?


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:24 PM
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pedro_sandchez wrote:
If no good system is to be had, I may just stick with a compact high zoom camera like a samsung HZ10W but I don't really want to go that route.

I didn’t realize a 5x optical zoom is considered a high zoom? The Canon SX1-IS has a 20X optical zoom and the compact Panasonic ZS3 has a 12x optical zoom.


tedman


Apr 7, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I bought my stuff through wolf camera, they offered the insurance. I think it was something like 80$/year for 500$ worth of equipment? Pretty much the only thing that isnt covered is theft, but renters insurance covers that for me at least.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:30 PM
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pedro_sandchez wrote:
Thanks for the input guys. That new panasonic looks pretty nice. Glad you suggested it because I have been looking at the TZ5 which this new panasonic will make outdated.

Well I wouldn’t dump the TZ5 idea so fast. A lot of people are finding the TZ7/ZS3’s $400 MSRP to be hard to justify over the deals you can get on a TZ5 right now.

Basically, if you shoot video then the TZ7 offers all of the video modes of the TZ5 plus a slick new AVC-HD light mode, stereo sound, a dedicated movie record button, the ability to zoom during video, and it has an extra 2x optical zoom. Most of those things deal with video so if you are strictly still pictures the TZ5 is an outstanding deal.

Well I wouldn’t dump the TZ5 idea so fast. A lot of people are finding the TZ7/ZS3’s $400 MSRP to be hard to justify over the deals you can get on a TZ5 right now.

Basically, if you shoot video then the TZ7 offers all of the video modes of the TZ5 plus a slick new AVC-HD light mode, stereo sound, a dedicated movie record button, the ability to zoom during video, and it has an extra 2x optical zoom. Most of those things deal with video so if you are strictly still pictures the TZ5 is an outstanding deal.

TZ5 = $230, TZ7 = $400 when it comes out.

http://www.buydig.com/...5A&sku=PNDMCTZ5A


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Apr 7, 2009, 12:31 PM)


pedro_sandchez


Apr 7, 2009, 12:31 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
I didn’t realize a 5x optical zoom is considered a high zoom? The Canon SX1-IS has a 20X optical zoom and the compact Panasonic ZS3 has a 12x optical zoom.

The HZ10W has 10x and is a comparable camera to the ZS3. But you are correct, the ZS3 is a superior camera I just hadn't seen it until it was suggested above.

The major reason I am leaning towards SLR is that I already have a decent point and shoot camera but I want something that is a significant upgrade. I'm not sure if the ZS3 is enough of a step up in photo quality to justify a new camera purchase.
So I guess if the Olympus is too cumbersome and difficult to carry, I will probably just stick with my current camera for a while until something substantially better is available.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:33 PM
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pedro_sandchez wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
I didn’t realize a 5x optical zoom is considered a high zoom? The Canon SX1-IS has a 20X optical zoom and the compact Panasonic ZS3 has a 12x optical zoom.

The HZ10W has 10x and is a comparable camera to the ZS3. But you are correct, the ZS3 is a superior camera I just hadn't seen it until it was suggested above.

The major reason I am leaning towards SLR is that I already have a decent point and shoot camera but I want something that is a significant upgrade. I'm not sure if the ZS3 is enough of a step up in photo quality to justify a new camera purchase.
So I guess if the Olympus is too cumbersome and difficult to carry, I will probably just stick with my current camera for a while until something substantially better is available.

Your right, I pulled up the wrong camera when I looked it up. Sorry about that.

Now that I look at it again. It was the newer model of that camera and now the specs say it only has a 5x optical zoom?

Why would anyone buy this camera HZ15W over the HZ10W? The newer camera has half the zoom, 2 more megapixels(A bad thing in this case), and the same size sensor.

Honestly, you have to wonder what manufactures are thinking now a days? They put out cameras that are clearly inferior to their predecessors and charge twice as much!

http://www.dpreview.com/...samsungtl320hz15.asp


http://www.dpreview.com/...ng/samsung_hz10w.asp


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Apr 7, 2009, 12:39 PM)


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:42 PM
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pedro_sandchez wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
I didn’t realize a 5x optical zoom is considered a high zoom? The Canon SX1-IS has a 20X optical zoom and the compact Panasonic ZS3 has a 12x optical zoom.

The HZ10W has 10x and is a comparable camera to the ZS3. But you are correct, the ZS3 is a superior camera I just hadn't seen it until it was suggested above.

The major reason I am leaning towards SLR is that I already have a decent point and shoot camera but I want something that is a significant upgrade. I'm not sure if the ZS3 is enough of a step up in photo quality to justify a new camera purchase.
So I guess if the Olympus is too cumbersome and difficult to carry, I will probably just stick with my current camera for a while until something substantially better is available.

If your current point and shoot is so good, what makes you think the DSLR is going to be a significant upgrade? In low light DSLR’s almost always have an advantage. However, in bright sunlight point and shoots can be more than adequate in the hands of a capable photographer.

Like I said before. What shots do you think the DSLR will get that a Point and Shoot will not?


lvpyne


Apr 7, 2009, 12:58 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
Do you have some examples of shots that you could not possibly get with a Point and Shoot but you could get with a DSLR?

I don't have any examples (either stills or video), specific to climbing -- oddly enough, my interests in photography are outside of climbing as an artistic genre. Anyway, my point to the OP was just a humorous cautionary tale that gravity isn't particularly kind to camera equipment (SLR or not)...


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 7, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Heck,

The E-420 is already being replaced by a marginally better camera(The E-450).


http://www.dcresource.com/...newsitem.php?id=3916


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Apr 7, 2009, 1:00 PM)


pico23


Apr 8, 2009, 1:33 AM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
What makes it necessary to take a DSLR climbing anyway?

Better picture quality, it's why FF digital and Medium format digital (and film) are still shot, actually it's why people still tote 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras into the backcountry.

No offense but I abandoned digital compacts a few years ago. The LX3 impresses me, as do the GR GX ricohs but IQ and optical quality are still far below a DSLR, or a 35mm film camera with a high quality film.

Let me just stress before you attack me that all this depends on your output. If your ultimate goal is to downsize to 1920x1080 jpegs to watch around the 73in DLP than I say go with whatever. If you intend to print more than a few inches, then my point is valid.

Catalogs are generally lower quality than magazines, which vary in quality from really nice to crap. I wouldn't think it takes a super high res image to get a small inset shot. And you are right, at low ISO even a 4 year old 4-6MP compact should be able to get on a catalog cover.

That said, here is the twist, I agree with you. I have toted my film SLR on climbs, and it's a tiny little thing that makes the D40/E-420/K-m look big. With a 24 or 28mm 2.8 it's still borderline a pain in the ass when climbing is my goal.


Finally, go with a TLZ, I have the TLZ Mini, TLZ 65 and TLZ 70. THe only one I'd take on a technical rock or ice climb is the mini. The others are chest mounted on a harness or my pack, but the TLZ mini can be put on a sling and binered with lockers on one or both D rings (really you only need one!). Then bandolier it over your shoulder and put a piece of elastic belt through the belt hole to keep it close to your body, when you need to flip it around for chimneys or whatever, just slide it around your mid section!

Or as Ryan said, just get a GRDII, GX100/200 or some other digital compact which should be adequate for most times you need it.


pico23


Apr 8, 2009, 1:45 AM
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In reply to:
So I guess if the Olympus is too cumbersome and difficult to carry, I will probably just stick with my current camera for a while until something substantially better is available.

Look at the Panasonic G1 it's a new Micro 4/3s mount. A definite step up from a digital compact, but it can mount literally ANY lens ever made with adapters.

It's sort of a cross between an SLR and a digital compact in that it shares the best of all worlds.

It's not a ground breaking camera IQ wise, and really it's not that much smaller than the D40/K-m/E-420. Pick up a copy of Pop Photo from a month of 2 ago, and it has why they selected it as camera of the year.

My vote would be for the G1 but it lacks image stabilization and the lenses have it but are so big (not really that big, just big compared to the camera) that it negates them.

Best value...K-m with a 15mm or 21mm Limited...image stabilized, excellent IQ, and more compact than the other models I listed above (total package of lens and camera).

And you are right, even the highest end digital compacts DO NOT rival a DSLR in image quality, so you are correct in saying, "is this upgrade worthwhile." It is exactly why I am still using a 5 year old Canon G3 as my beater P&S. The IQ is fine at low ISO for more uses, and I've even printed a few panoramics from it. For everything else I either take my film or digital SLR, or my medium format system.


pedro_sandchez


Apr 8, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Wow, so I didn't really expect to start this debate over which camera choice was better, that is why I didn't ask that in the first place.
That said, I do appreciate the depth of information from everyone.

In regards to JasonsDrivingForce's comments, you are probably quite correct in that I personally do not NEED an slr camera. For my current level of photographic skill a nice point and shoot would probably be more than ample.
I guess the problem is with my typical logic when making a serious purchase. Basically, I have found that I LOVE outdoor photography. Seeing the photos that people create inspires me to push harder and have more ambitious goals in my climbing/mountaineering endeavors. Because of that, I am really interested in getting into more serious photography.
I would rather buy a camera that I can grow into and learn more from than buy a camera that suits my needs now but will hold me back later.

Anyway, I haven't quite decided what I want to do. IF I went the SLR route, has anyone tried any cases from fstopgear?
this guy looks pretty lean and low profile for an SLR case

http://www.fstopgear.com/now/product/digi/zealot

also is weather resistant so that is a plus.

in the picture it looks like it might be smaller than the suggested TLZ. But I"m not sure

Thanks,


(This post was edited by pedro_sandchez on Apr 8, 2009, 10:37 AM)


ryanb


Apr 8, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Check out the "running with a camera" article on the late, great galen rowell's site. He describes how his now discontinued bag system worked:

http://www.mountainlight.com/articles.html

He also has a kit list. Which provides some clues on what kind of lenses you might need (note he used nikon film cameras so all focal lengths should be divided by 2 for olympus equivalent):

http://www.mountainlight.com/rowell/gr_camera_bag.html

There is no doubt SLR's offer better image quality but the consensus amongst most a lot of people who are interested in pushing it while taking pics is that they are simply too heavy. Most of them shot velvia 50 in high end fixed lens film compacts (like the origional gr's) so the lack of high iso performance in digital compacts is not a hugh issue.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 8, 2009, 1:00 PM
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pedro_sandchez wrote:
In regards to JasonsDrivingForce's comments, you are probably quite correct in that I personally do not NEED an slr camera. For my current level of photographic skill a nice point and shoot would probably be more than ample.
I guess the problem is with my typical logic when making a serious purchase. Basically, I have found that I LOVE outdoor photography. Seeing the photos that people create inspires me to push harder and have more ambitious goals in my climbing/mountaineering endeavors. Because of that, I am really interested in getting into more serious photography.
I would rather buy a camera that I can grow into and learn more from than buy a camera that suits my needs now but will hold me back later.

Really the question here is can you carry a DSLR or not. If you can then fine go with that route. If you cannot then a camera like the Panasonic DMC-LX3 will not hold back a capable photographer unless you need a longer zoom. However, if you need a longer zoom then you need a bigger camera. If you can carry a bigger camera then a DSLR is definitely the best choice.

I really am starting to dislike the term “Point and Shoot”. We should actually call cameras like the Panasonic DMC-LX3 a “compact camera” instead. That camera is quite capable of taking “professional” shots in “good” light. However, it is smaller than all DSLRs.

Then there are cameras like the Canon SX1-IS that has a similar size to a DSLR but is nowhere near the quality because of its tiny sensor. It has full manual controls and can take some decent shots in good light but it is not a replacement for a DSLR. In fact the SX1-IS is much more of a point and shoot than the LX3 is, yet the SX1-IS is often classified in a category called “DSLR Like”.

The bottom line is that “the best compact cameras” are capable of taking breathtaking pictures even by novice photographers. The advantage of a DSLR is that it can take a breathtaking shot in very low light and it can have interchangeable lenses.


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Apr 8, 2009, 1:00 PM)


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 8, 2009, 1:19 PM
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pico23 wrote:
And you are right, even the highest end digital compacts DO NOT rival a DSLR in image quality, so you are correct in saying, "is this upgrade worthwhile." It is exactly why I am still using a 5 year old Canon G3 as my beater P&S. The IQ is fine at low ISO for more uses, and I've even printed a few panoramics from it. For everything else I either take my film or digital SLR, or my medium format system.

Prove your first statement above for a well lit picture? Show me a picture in good light that I could not possibly take with a compact camera?

Also my dream camera would be the size of the Panasonic LX3, have a 3x optical zoom, a 1/1.5 “ sensor, and only be 8 megapixels. 8 megapixels is all you need to view on a screen or print up to 8x10.
It would basically be a Canon G3 in the Panasonic LX3’s body with updated processor and video modes. I would pay up to $800 for a camera like that and I guarantee I could get some pictures you would swear came from a DSLR.

Unfortunately, the trend lately is to make the sensor smaller and add more megapixels. That is the exact opposite of what makes a good camera. Maybe the Panasonic LX4 will be my dream camera. I won’t know that till this fall though.


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 8, 2009, 1:22 PM
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pico23 wrote:
Look at the Panasonic G1 it's a new Micro 4/3s mount. A definite step up from a digital compact, but it can mount literally ANY lens ever made with adapters.

The G1 has been replaced by the GH1! The GH1 shoots HD video and is supposed to have improved image quality. However, it is beastly expensive at $1500 with the special “built for video” lens that comes with it.

I will just wait for the LX4. Or LX5 if they get superstitious like Canon did(Think “why was there no G4”).


Myxomatosis


Apr 8, 2009, 3:59 PM
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Just buy a SLR if you like Landscape photography.

I am either climbing or taking climbing photos.


pico23


Apr 8, 2009, 4:01 PM
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
pico23 wrote:
Look at the Panasonic G1 it's a new Micro 4/3s mount. A definite step up from a digital compact, but it can mount literally ANY lens ever made with adapters.

The G1 has been replaced by the GH1! The GH1 shoots HD video and is supposed to have improved image quality. However, it is beastly expensive at $1500 with the special “built for video” lens that comes with it.

I will just wait for the LX4. Or LX5 if they get superstitious like Canon did(Think “why was there no G4”).

No need to prove my first statement. Noise in small sensors appears at anything above base ISO, the lines of resolution are significantly lower than a largerl sensor. The difference in say a APS-C and a 35mm sensor is marginal but the difference in a digital compact and a APS-C is a big difference. An 8MP digital compact is not equivalent to an 8MP DSLR. Back when the Canon 1Ds was about 15MP it also didn't quite beat out the Kodak MF back (although it was close but when you consider the Kodak 15MP MF back was 1.5X crop, it wasn't really that much bigger than the Canon sensor).

The bottom line is it all depends on your output, and thats the proof. All sensor sizes have limitations in maximum output even if you have good technique. But smaller sensors start out with a handicap. It worked the same way with film (still does).

As far as the G4 it's a Japanese thing. I believe dpreview explained it in the review of the G5. Not sure if it was superstition of something else.

Don't be so sure of an LX4. This is a pricey camera with so so sales, and with Micro 4/3s or just compact DSLRs breathing down the necks of these bridge cameras it makes me wonder how much more is going to be invested in them.

FWIW, I actually like the LX3 and GRD I just think it's foolish to claim the image quality from these is on par with a larger sensor! Likewise, the lenses on these cameras are decent, but like with the Canon G10, it showed that you need a better lens to resolve the 14+MP in that camera.

Oh one other thing, the sensor in the LX3 is bigger than the other compact sensors, but it's not Sigma DP1 size. This is way blown out of proportion. Yes, Panasonic did a good thing, they put a slightler lower MP sensor with increased surface area into a compact camera, and they went with a really nice lens, rather than a cheap super zoom. However, the sensor is still tiny in comparison to a DSLR.


(This post was edited by pico23 on Apr 8, 2009, 4:06 PM)

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