Buying a new climbing digital P& S, feedback appreciated


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Social climber
State of decay
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 19, 2012 - 03:23pm PT
My old Nikon digital point and shoot, Nikon L-1, finally was laid to rest at the end of this summer's climbing trip to Peru. I have been researching point and shoot digital camera's, leaning on the advise found here on the forum. I needed a camera with 12+ mega pixels, good zoom reach, but was at least 24mm on the wide setting, 1080 HD video, relatively lightwieght, and used consumer batteries( 2AA's very important for me).
I have found such a camera, the Nikon Coolpix L-610. New and due out by the end of the month. MSRP about $269.00.

Take a look and give me your thoughts

I am soliciting your opinions, my fellow shooters here on ST, on this camera, from a mountaineering/climbing stand point. I was so happy to find a 2AA powered camera with nearly all my requirements, that I may be over looking something important, so your input is greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 19, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
I'm shooting with a Panasonic DMC-LX5 and like it...

contemplating getting a Sony RX100 (mostly for Debbie, but another field camera)

this just in

north fork
Aug 19, 2012 - 04:02pm PT
Love my Canon power shot sx 260 hs. 12.1 mp 20x zoom 1920x 1080 full hd. It's very lightweight and I have no complaints. It doesn't have AAs though, but great batery life. 299.00 on Amazon.
this just in

north fork
Aug 19, 2012 - 04:18pm PT
Credit: this just in
Zoom, but not all the way
Credit: this just in

I was using the coolpix L100 with 15x zoom. The Canon is way lighter and slender.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Aug 19, 2012 - 04:21pm PT
Nikon Coolpix gets better every year. Always on sale at Costco before the holidays. Pictures don't really get any better than the Coolpix. Plus it's compact.

I just use my iPhone now. Wife hijacked the Coolpix and won't give it back.

Aug 19, 2012 - 05:18pm PT
Have a look at the Canon s100. Point and shoot size, larger sensor, 24mm lens, RAW. Nice camera, but has the Canon powershot lens error issue so you need to take care if you plan to keep it in a pocket.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Aug 19, 2012 - 10:11pm PT
Reconsider the 2aa idea. The lithium ion rechargeables are amazing. Get a spare battery if you are worried about it. I am partial to Canon Powershot cameras, rugged camera in my experience

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Aug 19, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
NIkon Coolpix P-500 is a good P and S.
It even has a 36x digital zoom
and hd Video.

Social climber
So Cal
Aug 19, 2012 - 10:30pm PT

Fuji Finepix S3300

Picked one up for $160 at Staples

24mm wide 600mm+ tele true optical zoom

good image stabilization. real viewfinder. uses AA bats.

Fuji makes more TV lenses than about anyone else. The glass is good as anyones in this class and it's really light weight if you use lithium batteries.

In chrome mode you get Velvia colors out of it too.

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Aug 19, 2012 - 11:31pm PT
You can get a pretty good price on a Canon S95 now that the S100 is out. Only 10 MP, but wide angle, image stabilized, decent optical zoom. You can add a circular polarizer, which is really nice for the mountains.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 20, 2012 - 12:14am PT
My buddy just got the Sony RX100 and I've seen the results-very impressive!
It doesn't have a lot of reach (100mm equiv) but awesome res and quite
good dynamic range. Did I mention it has a Zeiss lens? It shoots Raw and
allows you a lot of manual control. I'm thinking of getting one. The
other thing I like about it is it powers up in a second.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Aug 20, 2012 - 01:50am PT

What is the Canon Powershot lens error issue ?
Captain...or Skully

Aug 20, 2012 - 03:25am PT
Yeah, how about that?
I have no known errors, besides my own(I run a Canon Powershot)
Please to elaborate?

Aug 20, 2012 - 03:56am PT
The powershots are a bit too fragile to just keep in your pants pocket if you might ever find yourself throwing a thigh into a wide crack or working a tight squeeze like the Narrows. A bit too much pressure will cause a malfunction of the mechanism that extends the lens when you try to zoom the camera. This can be avoided by keeping the camera in a hard case, but to some degree that defeats the purpose of a pocketable camera. I've killed a powershot SD800, SD300, and s100 (now repaired under warranty) by keeping them in my pocket. Note that the pressure was never enough to crack the screen or damage the case, but sufficient to cause the dreaded "lens error". Sometimes the lens error resolves on its own, other times it will allow you to turn on the camera and just shoot with the lens at its widest setting but not zoom. If you google around you may find more info. Not sure if it's something that only happens to idiots who climb wide cracks, but my wife had this problem with two of her Powershots.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Aug 20, 2012 - 04:04am PT
Can this be resolved by slinging your Canon like gear over your shoulder instead of having it in a pant's pocket ?

Sometimes we take for granted the limits of technology when applied to climbing scenarios.

Aug 20, 2012 - 04:08am PT
Avoid offwidths and squeezes and you can carry it however you like :-) Not sure how it would fare on a sling without a case. I think it would be fine on a gear loop or sling if it was in a hard case. I've seen some carry it in a small pelican case on a waistbelt that swiveled around to sit in the small of the back when not in use.

edit to add:
I've had other cameras that have been fine in pocket without a case: Panasonic TS series, older Olympus with a cover that slid over the lens. Something about the powershot lens extending mechanism doesn't mesh with the way I use those cameras, but I'm hooked on the look of powershot image rendering.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Sneaking up behind you
Aug 20, 2012 - 04:35am PT
Maybe reconsider the requirement for 12MP. The Megapixel Myth:

Boulder, CO
Jan 5, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
bumping this as I'm shopping.

my coolpix s560 shoots ok but I want better... way better.

thinking of a canon s100 - found one for $269.

intent though is to put it in an underwater case to take it diving with whale sharks this summer.


also thinking about a digital SLR

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Jan 5, 2013 - 06:54pm PT
the Canon PowerShot s95, mentioned above, takes very good shots. But it's a bit slow to focus, and sometimes I get really fuzzy shots while shooting full auto. That's been a disappointment when something spontaneous happens -- like a condor flying by, or a massive avalanche in a couloir across the valley. Make that big disappointment. But for landscape and summit shots, where focusing quickly is less important, it's great.

Video is nice too.

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 5, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
A bit too much pressure will cause a malfunction of the mechanism that extends the lens when you try to zoom the camera.

Killed one also and I think it was just dust that did it.

This problem isn't unique to Cannons either.
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