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Digital Cameras and Cycling(7 posts)

Digital Cameras and CyclingFez
Jun 3, 2003 6:45 AM
Hi,

Never owned a digital camera before. Want get one and take it cycling.

1. Saw the new Olympus Stylus "all weather" kind. Is this a good idea, or is it hype? Should I worry more about getting a good padded case and think that all digital cameras relatively fragile since they have LCD screens and electronics?

2. Is a very compact model desirable, or do you just get larger one since the LCD screen will be larger and the unit easier to use overall. I realize with padded case, even the smallest model will get considerably bigger.

3. Since we are using these outdoors, running out of battery juice would be a problem. It looks like there are a lot of proprietary and expensive battery systems out there. As these cameras get older, it may be harder to find replacements, and if you are away from home for an extended period of time, I could run out of battery life.

Should I only consider those that can use standard rechargeable AA or AAA batteries? That way I could charge up a few extra to take as spares. Besides Olympus, who makes camera to take standard AA and AAA cells?

Thanks,

Digital camera newbie
what worked for meColnagoFE
Jun 3, 2003 6:59 AM
1. Hype pretty much. Get a good case and forget about it. I don't think I'd take mine in the rain without a true waterproof case for it. If you are out riding it might not hurt to carry a ziploc bag in case of a heavy downpour.

2. Depends...the more compact you go the harder they are to hold and use and they have less features and cost more than comparable models. I ended up compromising (Canon S-50) and got something in between. Probably a little large and heavy for the jersey pocket, but it would fit there if needed and fits easily on a small belt mounted case. This camera felt better in my hands than some of the really small ones but it is not so large as to be bulky like a SLR. You can take this pretty much anywhere, but if I wanted something I could truly "pocket" I'd get one of the really tiny ones. Durability was also an issue. The one I got was a metal case which adds to the weight but seems more durable than the small plastic models I was looking at. Optics are also negatively affected in the smaller models.

3. Such is the world of computers and digital. Once you buy it it's obsolete. Just buy a reputable brand, newer models, near the top of the line (of what you can afford) and you'll be fine for years. Buy a spare battery so you can swap them out when one goes dead. AAA and AA models are to be found, but the litium ION models are nice because they have long battery life and are rechargeable. Downside is they are expensive and proprietary. Some cameras allow you to use AAs and rechargeables.
Kinda, sortaMel Erickson
Jun 3, 2003 8:41 AM
1. A weatherproof body is not hype, it's a nice feature. I've been caught in rain and snow and wished I could still take pictures but didn't want to risk taking the camera out. Also helps around bodies of water where you might also risk getting it wet. However, the greatest benefit is the metal body, just like you touted in your #2 answer for the Canon. Alot more durable.

2. Compact doesn't necessarily mean more costly. The trend has been smaller AND cheaper. Some of the smaller ones will easily fit in a jersey pocket (albeit without a case). I'd shy away from zooms greater than 3x optical (forget the digital zoom, it's useless) for bike travel because of the bulk factor. Optics vary alot, small or big. There are some great optics on some very small cameras. I actually prefer a lens equivalent to a 28mm-90/100mm lens because I think you'll get more use from a wider angle lens but they're tough to find. Olympus has some of the best optics in these type of cameras, IMHO.

3. Pretty much in agreement. LiO batteries are better but some of the rechargeable NiMh batteries are getting pretty good. I wouldn't shy away from the purchase because of the battery issue. Also, I like the Xd picture card which Olympus, Fuji and some others are using now. 128mb and the size of a nickel, wow!

Check out this site for alot more info.
http://www.dpreview.com/
re: Digital Cameras and Cyclingkevyn
Jun 3, 2003 8:39 AM
Fez, I recently bought a sony DCS-U20 which is quite small and not very expensive. If your looking to take snapshots this is perfect. If you want to make 11x17 prints from your trip to the grand cannyon you probably want more pixels. Does not have a zoom, but is smaller than my cell phone. Also, Sony sells a padded case for $20 which adds little to the over all size. Throw it in a zip lock and you're good to go. A 128MB card gets you 240 pictures! Plus, everyone you show it to will say "geez that's small!" Easy to understand features easy to use camera.

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start;sid=TxgdLoeccTMdObkVvnUXJciNgG2Za-3Yblw=?CategoryName=pr_p_colorcybershotu_dcc
re: Digital Cameras and Cyclingnoveread
Jun 3, 2003 9:00 AM
Fez,

I had an Olympus digital camera that I liked. It ran on standard AA batteries for which I had two sets of rechargeables. That camera was left behind in an airport! It was okay, as I was planning on upgrading the camera a few months later anyway. Just had to upgrade sooner!

My new camera is a sony p7. I really, really like this camera. Super easy to use with many excellent features. My favorite function is to be able to change the resolution of images right on the camera! So I take all my pictures at the highest resolution possible, and if I am going to post some on the web, I can quickly and very easily change the resolution right on the camera! The p7 may be too small for some, but I like it and it fits really well in a jersey pocket. The images produced by the camera are very high quality, much better than the olympus. I'm very pleased though the proprietary memory and batteries are a drawback. Fortunately, the picture printer I bought takes all kinds of memory sticks, including the sony stick.

Noveread
EAT batteriesfiltersweep
Jun 3, 2003 9:09 AM
Cameras eat batteries. I'd stick to rechargeable- and besides, aren't you riding outdoors? Turn off your flash and turn off the LCD (there is too much glare anyway for it to be that useful). Buy an extra battery if you must.

I use a Cannon digital Elph- can't remember the exact model, but it is small and has a steel case- something I valued (rather than plastic). It has been bulletproof.

Your camera will be junk well before any proprietary battery system is obsolete. These are not destined to become classics like old Hasselblads... ;)
re: Digital Cameras and CyclingMrCelloBoy
Jun 3, 2003 11:18 AM
My credentials...
Ex Pro Photographer, serious cyclist since 1973 (many Doubles, Mtb, tandem, fixie, you name it), currently work for Lowepro USA (manufacturer of top quality camera cases) and shoot digital. All ansers are my (experienced) opinion.

1.) The new Stylus digital is a nice compact camera with decent capabilities for an amateur. Olympus' "all weather" generally means they add rubber seals to make the camera more resistant to moisture. As far as a case, that's a personal issue. I frequently just put the camera around my neck (Olympus 3040z) with a Lowepro Strap called the DeWitt Jones Chest Strap, which keeps the camera from swinging loose. This way I'm ready to shoot at a moments notice. Any case is going to make shooting a slower process. when I do bring the camera in a case I use one of Lowepro's D-Res cases.

2.) I like compact, though at a certain level of compactness you start to give up features, such as manual overrides. That's why my camera choice is semi-compact.

3.) AA's rule. You can get a few sets of AA NiMh batteries for the same price as good Alkalines. These can be recharged 1000 times and are good for several rides (for me).

Feel free to contact me at info@lowepro.com if you want to discuss any details.