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Old 08-26-2009   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 855
Camera suggestions

I am about to buy a camera for my trip down to Ecuador and I was hoping to get some advice about cameras. I have used very expensive cameras before and understand why they are the sh$t and take the best action shots, but that is not what I am wanting to buy right now.

I need something a bit smaller. I want a $200 to $400 camera and was hoping to find one that at the very least takes decent river action shots, but more importantly one that takes great scenic and wildlife shots.

Any recommendations? Anybody have experiences with Canon Rebels, or even smaller, the Canon powershot?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 08-26-2009   #2
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
I bought an Olympus 1030SW. They have a reputation of developing leaks. Mine did in the first 6 months and their customer service is terrible. Don't go that direction.

"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 08-26-2009   #3
St. Louis, Missouri
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
I think the Pentax Optio W80 is the best. They are on sale at Some people like the Canon D10 but I think its a little to big. There is a good review of all of them over at dpreview. They seemed to think that the image quality on the Olympus sucked.

I bought the fuji but returned it after a few photos because it did suck. Now I have the Pentax and love it.
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Old 08-26-2009   #4
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
canon powershot

If your looking for a small camara that you will be happy with you will want the powershot. It's a really nice camara i have one. It's quality is amazing. The rebel is good, but very expensive and is big and bulkey. The rebel is mainly for professional photographers. You will be very happy with the powershot. It's cost is around 350-400 dollars.
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Old 08-26-2009   #5
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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olympus 770sw

I've owned an olympus 770sw for a couple of years now. It is a great small camera. shock and waterproof was a must for the river and it takes good action shots. I know others will say otherwise, but I love mine and use it for all photo opportunities now.
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Old 08-26-2009   #6
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
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I take it you are flying in. Quito or Guayaquil you can buy a camera right at the airport, about 20% cheaper or if you are good at barterring maybe a little bit less.
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Old 08-26-2009   #7
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Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
I make a living on the river taking pictures. While other photographers must carry a pelican case, get out of their boats, dry their hands, take the shots, put the camera back in the case, get back in their kayak, catch up to the rafts, get far enough ahead of them to have time to start the process over, I pull out my camera, take the shot, stuff it back in my life jacket. I never fall behind and I don't have to worry about my camera getting wet when it rains. Canon G 10 with a hard-shell waterproof case: great investment.
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Old 08-26-2009   #8
Boulder, Colorado
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Have an Oly. 1030SW. Took some very nice photos on a 15 day Grand Canyon trip during which it lived in my pfd pocket. Went through 5 batteries and 3 memory cards. And then a Mexico trip with cenote and ocean snorkeling. I was very careful with keeping the gaskets clean with a q-tip when changing batteries or cards. One person on the GC trip had an Oly 830(?) and it filled with water.
The video is not so great but ok. Colors seem better than our Canon. No experience with Oly. service. Have gotten 3 replacement Canons in our family on warranty. 2 bad ccd's and one stuck lens. Had a Pentax (non waterproof) fail after a couple of years. Paid $$$ for repair and it failed after the warranty expired.
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Old 08-26-2009   #9
Telluride, Colorado
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I was also going to suggest the G10 (or G11 depending on how long you can wait). Wasn't even going to suggest the hardshell but if you can swing it that would be a great way to go.
The G series are great cameras. A lot of pros carry them as a third camera (no working pros use Rebels). They're a great convenient size (about the same as a Leica or other rangefinders). It's not a fit-in-your pocket kind of camera but for a point and shoot they're great quality. Excellent for street photography because they're smaller and more discreet than a SLR. I suggest most people should look at these cameras if they're considering an SLR and come up with good reasons why they need an SLR before they spend the extra money and deal with carrying extra gear, lenses, etc.

If you're looking for just a waterproof point and shoot (and can't afford the G10 & case option or that's too big for what you want) then that recent dpreview article on them (as someone already mentioned) is very thorough and will give you some good ideas on what to buy. I think it pretty much came down to the Canon and the Panasonic with the Pentax coming up right after them from what I remember. The review is here:

'Waterproof' Camera Group Test (Q2 2009) Review: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

Try to get into a good camera shop and play around with some of these and see what you like and what feels good if you can.
I was going to be vague but then I decided to do this other thing.
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Old 08-26-2009   #10
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Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 175
I've got the Olympus 7-something and it has been great for having the camera there to take quick shots, however 9/10 images are average at best (easy to say that's the photographer not the camera, however I'm not a complete hack when it comes to framing a shot). The video quality is close to being a waste of time, the colors and resolution are lacking. I was snorkelling in kauai last fall and water made its way into the memory card, thought all was toast but managed to save the pics and the camera is still working great. They seem to have a flaw with the lens cover freezing open, but I haven't had that issue yet. My buddy's olympus took the full force of a rock when he was half pinned under a rock on the numbers and his still works (has a bullet sized dent on the front case) so they are tough little bastards.
I've read the review on the Canon and having 2 other canon cameras, 1 point and shoot and 1 slr, I know my replacement pfd camera will be that one. my 2 cents.

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