Digicams for Hunting Photos


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Wildalaska
May 4, 2003, 05:58 AM
Well actually I am gonna use it for everything, but the time has come to retire the old standby and go digital..

Looking for reccomendations...my requirments...sturdy, 5 megapixel, and with good zoom capability for those caribou migration shots...anybody got any favorites...money is not a factor..

I have been looking at the Olympuses....(Olympi?)

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mussi
May 4, 2003, 06:59 AM
I'd suggest to keep an eye on two things:

- possibility to use removable media you can read in a PC or a laptop
- long battery life

stellarpod
May 4, 2003, 08:35 AM
Canon G3

Well, it's only 4 megapixel, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a better digital camera in it's catagory/price range.

• 4x optical zoom (3.6x digital for a total of 14x)
• ISO equivalent: 50 to 400
• Shutter speeds: 15 sec. to 1/2000 sec.
• Media type: CompactFlash
• Recording format: JPEG, RAW or Movie AVI
• Optical viewfinder as well as fully pivoting 1.8 inch LCD (optical is important during daylight outdoor shooting)
• Lens is 7.2 to 28.8mm, f/2.0 (decently fast). Equivalent to 34-140mm is 35mm format. Wide-angle and telephotos are available.
• Magnesium body
• Weight: approx. 14.5 oz.

If you're familiar with Canon's SLR controls you'll be right at home here: Aperature priority, Shutter priority, program, Full auto, Fully manual (including focus).

Battery life is a big deal if you're in the middle of nowhere. My experience with this camera is that it's battery life is significantly better than the Oly's, Nikons and Sonys I've used. It's much better than my buddy's Canon G2 in fact. The G3 uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

You can set auto-bracketing on exposure AND focus. More whistles and bells than you can imagine without being overwhelming.

I believe your next step up would be into a serious digital SLR, which means mega-bucks and a whole heckuvalot more weight to pack around. If you're dead set on 5 megapixel, this one can't get you there. I too, wanted as much resolution as I could get. But, upon further scrutiny I realized that 4 megapixel would probably do 99% of what I needed a digital camera to do. Check the G3 out. I believe street price is about $650 to $699 now (about $50 more than I paid about 4 months ago).

stellarpod

Matt1911
May 4, 2003, 09:01 AM
Is there a digi out there that will NOT freeze up at temps under 20 degrees? I've tryed 2 sonys and a fugi,both only lasted about a half hour in the field before the battery(i guess) won't take it any more.
I pheasant hunt with my dogs,and try to catch them in action,with all three digis,if i left them inside my coat,ok,if out, freeze up. As you can imagine,the time to unzip,turn camara on,ect. the shot was gone.
Time to go back to(never had a "good" one ) film?

stellarpod
May 4, 2003, 10:19 AM
Matt1911: Cold weather is a perinial problem for electronics of any kind. And as cameras become more dependant on electronics they become more suseptible to these maladies. That's why most professional field photographers still use their ultra reliable Nikon and Canon mechanical cameras - no frills, but the shutter by-golly operates when you press the release.

The problem is not so much with the camera as it is with the batteries. Keeping the batteries warm in an inside jacket pocket may be the answer. Unfortunately, sticking the entire camera inside may result in fogged optics and internal condensation when you take the camera rapidly from a relatively warm environment to a cold one. Rapid changes in temperature/humidity are really tough on cameras of any kind.

I'd recommend keeping the camera loaded with a battery and outside of your parka most of the day. That lets the camera acclimate to temperture at a slow pace. But, keep one or two spare batteries in an internal pocket where they can stay toasty warm. When you're ready to shoot, you can probably get a couple of shots off with even with a cold battery, and then all you have to do is quickly change to a warm battery and continue. Meanwhile, you put the cold battery back in the oven and rotate like this all day.

Might need to practice quick battery changes along with rapid reloads. :D

stellarpod

Wildalaska
May 4, 2003, 01:58 PM
hows does th Cannon handlevthe dust and dirt and wetness??

SIGarmed
May 4, 2003, 04:28 PM
I'm looking at an Olympus. The Olympus Camedia C-730 3MegaPixel to be exact. You don't really need a higher pixel count unless you're doing large prints. It has a 10x zoom!
I don't know if the cold weather problem can be solved regarding consumer electronics.

stellarpod
May 4, 2003, 07:34 PM
Wildalaska: I'm not sure how the Canon (or any other digital camera in this catagory) would fare regarding dust, dirt and particularly wetness. I'm very careful with mine as I believe any electronic device, that isn't specifically designed to be weatherproof, is prone to problems if dunked. I suspect there are aftermarket weather-resistant bags for most popular cameras that completely cover the camera while still allowing them to be used. I keep a small pocket 35mm in an inside pocket of my flyfishing vest - not too worried about it if it gets wet since it only cost $75 to $100. But, a $700 digital camera will probably not be coming into the river with me.

As compared to a film camera I believe digitals are ahead of the game regarding dust. Remember, you don't open the camera to load film and that means no easy entry for dust particles. Oviously all standard lens cleaning aspects still apply.

stellarpod

Wildalaska
May 4, 2003, 08:57 PM
One of the problems up here is the grit...rightnow the wind is blowing dust everywhere and it gets into every little crevace....

Got a good internet source for those waterproff bags?

stellarpod
May 4, 2003, 09:29 PM
Wildalaska: I haven't really looked for waterproof bags, but a quick Google search for "waterproof camera bags" resulted in several hits, some of which would no doubt fit the bill. Check it out.

Whoops! I suppose I can expect a bunch of flak from somebody for using Google... :rolleyes:

stellarpod

Art Eatman
May 4, 2003, 09:41 PM
I've occasionally used a gallon-size ZipLoc bag for serious dust protection, with the camera/bag inside my regular camera bag.

Lotta folks on river trips use ammo cans for protecting against water and banging around. Check that the rubber gasket is good.

Art

spectr17
June 11, 2003, 06:42 PM
Hello Wildalaska,

If you really want to shoot mostly wildlife get at least a 10x optical zoom. I wish my Olumpus 2100 was more than 10x optical even. I have a 1.7x tele lens (Olympus B300), I use to get out there even more but it needs more light and it seems to loose some color when I use it.

Here is a Tule elk pic taken with the 1.7x tele lens from about 150 yards away. Without the tele lens and only the 10x optical zoom you need to be about 75 yards from your animal or target to get a decent pic that fills the frame. Sometimes getting to within 100 or 75 yards isn't possible so all the zoom you can buy helps.

10 optical zoom in digital cameras equates to about 380mm in 35 mm camera speak. A 5x optical zoom digital would then be about 190mm in a 35 mm camera lens.

http://www.jesseshuntingpage.com/images/elk-tule-6x7-lone-pine-8-9-02.jpg

The newer Olympus 700 series that replaced my older 2100 seem to be popular. The grit and wet haven't bothered my camera yet. I camoed it with some bow camo tape since it was a shiny silver and I didn't want to spook game with it in the sunlight. I live in Socal so we get a lot of the grit and sand here in the desert.

citizen
June 12, 2003, 08:48 AM
If money is no object, RUN; DON'T WALK to the first Canon 10D you can find. Currently costing about $1500, it is a HIGHLY regarded model; just recently released. Digital SLR; so you CAN use ALL the film camera lenses. (Auto focus)

REGULAR digi-cams CURRENTLY AVAILABLE max out at about 5 or 6 megs; usually with a 3x or 4x optical zoom. (Hold on; there's more.....)

BIG problem with greater optical zoom is camera wobble or shake; handheld. Best used with a 'pod.

Fuji has a 3meg 8x; HP has a 4(?)meg 8x; Oly has a 730 model with 10x; AND IS ABOUT TO SHIP a 740 AND 750 model. NOT completely familiar with their specs; check them out. OH YEAH-
ALMOST FORGOT!! Panasonic just released a 12x(!!) optical zoom; but it's only a 2meg. Seems to be getting some good ink; but NOT for nightshots- it's basically a "point and shoot" camera.
BUT-IT DOES HAVE "IMAGE STABILIZATION"!!!!!!! A wonderful device for those long shots; absent from digi-cams mostly, and yet VERY popular with the video-cam crowd.

There are 3 or 4 web sites on my bookmarks I visit very regularly; have excellent reviews, boards, etc.
I am terrible at posting url's; but if anyone wants me to, I'll try.

That's my story; and i'm stickin' to it!

BenW
June 12, 2003, 09:39 AM
I second what Spectr17 said. I have the Olympus 2100 and the 10X optical is great. And yes, I wish mine were more than 10X as well.

Whatever you do, don't be swayed by "total" zoom range, which is often overly boosted by a camera's digital zoom capability.

makdaddy03
June 12, 2003, 12:13 PM
I have the Olympus D520 Zoom.
2.0 Megapixels ( Effective)
7.5X Total Digital Zoom (Optical & Zoom)

This is a very nice cam.

gun-fucious
June 24, 2003, 11:28 PM
check out
www.dcresource.com for reviews

one of the shooters at my magazine is working with the cannon 10D
it seems to shoot a bright sharp image

alot of the cameras that are sold on megapixels are not as sharp as my Nikon CP950

alot of digicams have a serious "moment after" shutter

alot of the big boys are huge

having a Coolpix 4500 (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/nikon/coolpix4500-review/index.html) in yer pocket beats a 10D (http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/eos_10d-review/index.shtml) back at camp

We rigged an external battery pack on an umbiblical cord for a polar expedition

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