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Old 23-04-2011, 21:08   #16
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
The first question to ask is what kind of photographer are you?
Point and shoot or the kind that likes to fiddle with everything to get the best shot possible?
I guess a little of both. When I used a 35mm SLR I tended to take most shots on the auto setting, but I still felt I got better pictures than with the equivalent "point and shoot" at the time. I also like the option of different lens like a wide angle and a telephoto.
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Old 23-04-2011, 23:06   #17
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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why do you want AA batteries in the first place,,,, you can get rechargeable cameras with built in batteries,,,, the better cameras have a rechargeable battery
Correctamundo! And the recharging gizmo doesn't need a transformer. They run on all voltages so you only need a plug adapter.
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Old 23-04-2011, 23:45   #18
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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I guess a little of both. When I used a 35mm SLR I tended to take most shots on the auto setting, but I still felt I got better pictures than with the equivalent "point and shoot" at the time. I also like the option of different lens like a wide angle and a telephoto.
If you were one style of photographer or the other the answer would be easy. Since you are not then it becomes a question is it worth it to give up control to get a camera that is going to survive the environment on the boat better, or is it worth it to have a camera with more control that will have an abreviated life (ie you use it regardless of the spray) or that you don't use when it is boisterous out and don't get shots you might like to.

Keep in mind the waterproof cameras are in the $100-200 range. This makes them a lot more replacable. It also means you might be able to afford both a point and shoot to carry around all the time and haul out into wet condition and a DSLR for the better shots. That depends on your finances.

http://www.sealife-cameras.com/ has a number of options for waterproof DIVING cameras good to 100'+.
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Old 24-04-2011, 00:12   #19
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

Why not a GoPro? Photos, Videos, Waterproof, and practically indestructable from what I have been told by someone that ski's with one.

GoPro Photos - Our Customers In Memorable Moments
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Old 24-04-2011, 00:29   #20
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

Hi Doodles,

I have a micro four-thirds interchangable lens camera (Panasonic GF1) as well as a waterproof compact camera (Canon D10). These both have some advantages for boating and cruising. You just have to decide what's most important to you.

I like the D10, and there are many other compact digital cameras with similar characteristics (water-resistant, shock-resistant) which are obviously advantages on a boat. You can read reviews and see which is best for your needs, but this class of cameras are more or less equivalent; they are all pretty good cameras, and all are extremely well suited for cruising.

For serious photography, though, compact cameras have two major disadvantages. Their performance in low light is mediocre at best, limiting you to using the terrible built in flash for most interior or evening shots. Also, the small image sensors and extremely short focal lengths make it very hard to control depth of field. Being able to blur the background or foreground is very important for good composition. If you are going to do mostly daytime, outdoor, scenic and landscape photography, neither of these issues will be limiting and a compact camera is all you need.

I really like the micro 4/3rds system for a serious travel camera, including portraits, wildlife, flowers and insects, twilight landscapes, handheld available-light indoor photography, and other subjects that are more difficult with compact cameras. M43 cameras are much smaller and lighter than SLRs, due to the smaller sensor and lack of mirror box. You can do serious telephoto work (useful for nature/landscape photography from a boat) with lenses that are still compact, light and easy to store like the 45-200mm tele (90-400mm equivalent in 35mm). Panasonic's 20mm/f1.7 pancake lens is a fantastic, very sharp prime lens which makes an extremely portable package on the GF1, and has no problem shooting indoors without a flash. However, I don't think there are any micro 4/3s cameras or lenses which are weather-sealed. You have to be pretty careful with a camera like this on a boat, in the rain, etc. Lens changes expose the sensor completely; there's no mirror, so you have to be extra careful to keep dust and (especially!) rain from getting in your camera.

If you want something a bit more serious than the run of the mill point and shoot but don't want to deal with interchangable lenses, I would recommend cameras like Canon S95 or Panasonic LX5. Quite compact yet they have fast (f/2.0) lenses and decent performance in low light. This mostly addresses one of the drawbacks of compact cameras, but you still don't have much ability to control depth of field.

A final note: I think that "serious" digital cameras are in flux right now, and maybe it makes sense to wait and see how things work out. DSLRs never made any sense as a design thesis, and they are not the long term future of digital photography, although Canon and Nikon and their customers refuse to admit it. Yet the mirrorless interchangable lens cameras haven't yet sorted out a "winning" technology and manufacturers are still feeling out their marketing strategies. So, one thing I would not do is invest a lot of money in lenses expecting to use them for a lifetime.

Martin
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Old 24-04-2011, 01:09   #21
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

I'd say that if it does its job, the best camera is the one you have. Especially if you can get a waterproof housing for it. Why would you need to spend more money?
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Old 24-04-2011, 03:26   #22
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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Why not a GoPro? Photos, Videos, Waterproof, and practically indestructable from what I have been told by someone that ski's with one.

GoPro Photos - Our Customers In Memorable Moments
The image quality of the GoPro for still is pretty poor, similar to mobile phone shots and should never be considered a replacement for a "real" camera.

However for what it is designed for it's great. I have one and I am looking forward to using it in ways I would not use any of my other cameras. Thinking about getting a kite to use it as a camera platform
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Old 24-04-2011, 05:15   #23
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

Not sure about stills but for video this - Review: Sanyo Xacti CA-100 Waterproof HD Video Camera [Guest Post] | The Really Mobile Project seems to be very popular onboard.

The guy who made this -

makes documentaries and raves about the xacti.

Great vid as well.
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Old 24-04-2011, 05:55   #24
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post
I'd say that if it does its job, the best camera is the one you have. Especially if you can get a waterproof housing for it. Why would you need to spend more money?
You obviously do understand about a man's need for a new toy every now and then. Besides, I have a birthday soon.
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Old 24-04-2011, 07:57   #25
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

I second SPAROHOK on the Canon S95. I've taken 1000's of pictures on my S90 (same camera 1st gen). If I can't have it in my pocket it doesn't make the hike, etc. The S95 is a good trade between quality photos and utility. It also has a nice solid feel and is billed as the first professional quality point-and-shoot.
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Old 24-04-2011, 08:02   #26
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

Another vote for the proprietary Lithium ion re-chargeable batteries that come with the better cameras. I wouldn't even consider a camera that just uses AA or AAA! My battery pack WILL take AA's in an emergency, as well as the LiOn, and that is a handy feature.
You won't get anywhere near as many shots with AA, so you have to carry a pile of them around with you. I just carry a spare LiOn.
So, you go on a cruise, with a big box full of new AA's. Then, when you have used the last one, and you are miles from a store, what do you do? I can charge my LiOn batteries from 110VAC or a 12VDC lighter plug. A full charge lasts for a long, long time, and the two batteries I got with my little Nikon are still going strong after 8 years.
Re: the OP question, if being absolutely water-proof is not a primary consideration, I would go with one of the new 4/3 point and shoot cameras. I personally like the megazooms, like the Nikon Coolpix P500 (36X zoom!), the Canon SX30 IS (35X), and the Panasonic Lumix FZ100.
On a boat, however, the extreme zoom would be difficult to use due to the boat's motion, even with the image stabilization. However, once ashore, that zoom is wonderful! To get the same zoom range in a DSLR would require several lenses, much more bulk, and MUCH MORE $.
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Old 24-04-2011, 10:02   #27
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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I guess a little of both. When I used a 35mm SLR I tended to take most shots on the auto setting, but I still felt I got better pictures than with the equivalent "point and shoot" at the time. I also like the option of different lens like a wide angle and a telephoto.
Do you currently own any lenses now?

Is your priority a cam that takes better stills or better video?

What's you budget?
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Old 24-04-2011, 12:02   #28
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

I am pretty tough on cameras. I bought three or four of those point and shoot cameras and they all ended up with sand in the gears etc. None of them lasted very long. I have now purchased the Olympus 8010 and have had no problems with it. STYLUS TOUGH-8010 Specs It has lasted three years now. It can be dropped from 2 meters and is water proof to 10 meters. That is good enough for me.
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Old 24-04-2011, 17:48   #29
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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Do you currently own any lenses now?

Is your priority a cam that takes better stills or better video?

What's you budget?
The only lens I own are ones that go with my old Nikon 35mm. My priority would be stills over video, and my budget would be to keep it under $1,000.
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Old 24-04-2011, 18:06   #30
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Re: Best Camera for Cruising

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The only lens I own are ones that go with my old Nikon 35mm. My priority would be stills over video, and my budget would be to keep it under $1,000.
Lots of good suggestions here but I think the ideal camera kit is a small cheap waterproof pocket type camera (because getting the shot is better than not getting the shot), and a larger pro type camera.

My suggestion for the larger more pro type cam would be something you already touched upon, a panasonic 4/3rd's gh2. The body only cost around $700 but since it is such a hot cam most places are sold out and there is a 30 day wait to get one.

The benefits of the panasonic gh2 (not the gh1):

About half the size of a cannon 5d dslr

Almost any lens will work on the gh2 with an adapter, canon, nikon, zeiss primes, even $20k arri primes, the options for lenses are about the best it gets, this let's you buy all sorts of lenses used on eBay at decent prices.

The video is awesome on it! I know you main concern is stills but the video on the gh2 is awesome for a $700 cam body, much better than on the $2500 canon 5d. Now that I said that, the still images on a 5d are better but not by much and the gh2 is 1/3 the price.

I have a lot of experience with a gh2 and really like it, at $700 for the body only you will have $300 left over for your small waterproof pocket camera.
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