Camera recommendation?

Discussion in 'Video and Photography Stoke' started by Slim, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Hello all,

    I just got back from a couple of great days skiing with my 8 and 11 year old girls and my wife. I noticed that many times it was near impossible to get some shots with my point and shoot LUMIX-tough pocket camera.
    Focus acquisition was to slow, even for a skier against a white field of powder! Also the buttons were so recessed that using them with gloves was hit or miss.

    I have a mirrorless camera and an IPhone 7, so what I want is a better skier’s pocket camera, basically something that I can whip out and get the shot:
    • Small enough to fit in a large ski jacket pocket
    • Touch screen not essential to operation
    • Good sized spaced apart controls, in other words, operable in gloves
    • ~28-100mm equivalent focal length
    • Image stabilization
    • Ideally, a (Accessory) viewfinder
    Fast!
    • Fast focus acquisition
    • Fast wake up
    • Fast shutter speed (combination of high ISO and/or wide aperture)
    • Ideally, good tracking autofocus
    • Quick access to commonly needed operations

    What I don’t demand:

    • Superb image quality
    • High pixel counts
    • Shallow depth of field
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  2. oldfashoned

    oldfashoned Getting off the lift Skier

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    I tried skiing with the Sony a6000 series camera and 16-55 kit lens. Not the smallest but works great, especially with the multi shot function. Your correct old school point and shoot are to slow. I have many of these, some in the expensive range, and they work excellent for landscape and portrait shots, but not action. I am still working on the ergonomics of skiing with the mirrorless. Have a very small butt bag the worked, it's not optimal.
    Oh, working a regular camera with gloves on is going to be a tough call.
     
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Funny A6000 is actually the mirrorless camera I have.
    I didn’t bring it as it’s being repaired (or maybe replaced by an a6400 ogwink ). I use the Peak Designs capture Clip most of the time. It works great for hiking, climbing and mountain biking. The drawback is that the camera sits outside and the a600 isn’t weatherproof, so not great for skiing.

    I think gloves should be doable. I’m not asking to operate every setting adjustment, programming and menu function with gloves, just the basics:
    • Power/wake up
    • Shutter/focus lock
    • Zoom in/out
    • Aperture if possible
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  4. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Sony DSC RX100M5 or M6

    With the M5, focal length is “only” 24-70, and you get what you don’t need, f1.8 and great shallow depth of field. With the M6, you get 24-200 and “only” f2.8.

    Both are difficult to press shutter button with glove on. The M6 has a touchscreen and you can focus and take photo with that, but you still have to take the glove off, down to a touch capable glove liner. If it’s that cold, I use two liners and hothands.

    In bright environment, the viewfinder is great. Then, use shutter button, which still means glove liner and glove off; then why use touchscreen actuation?

    Either camera, you’ll also get what you don’t need, high pixel count and superb image quality. But, you can set image size lower if you want. Spring for a super fast memory card if you want to take super-slo-mo at up to 1000 fps.

    https://www.cinema5d.com/sony-rx100-vi-handson-impressions/

    Hmm, cool hand grip. I wonder if it is gimbaled.
     
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  5. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I've had really good luck with my Nikon Coolpix S8200. It's discontinued now and probably hopelessly outdated as far as electronic tech goes but it takes really good photos with usable features. I don't know what model would be its replacement but definitely one to look in to for ease of use.

    I don't use it too much anymore because my phone takes really decent photos and I have a Sony for "big boy" pictures, plus it's a pain to get the photos from the camera to the computer to the Pugski site. With the phone I just do it from the phone. I'm guessing the newer cameras hook up quite easily to the computer.
     
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  6. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    New cameras can wirelessly transfer photos from camera to phone. Quite do-able. But for many files or large videos, much faster over a wired connection, which cameras can also do.
     
  7. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    I was inspired by @dbostedo to pull my old waterproof Panasonic Lumix out of the drawer and start using it again. Like most, my phone takes decent pictures, but with my lousy vision and false touches from moisture on the screen, it is too hard to use.
    The on-off button is too small for easy use with gloves, and switching modes is just as hard as using the phone, but it has a nice big physical shutter button. The screen "viewfinder" is hopeless, but the case has nice square edges I can sight alone for approximate aiming.
    I also have a fairly small video camera I got for free, with lots of real optical zoom. But the number of pixels is a lot less, so real zoom is about the same as cropping the other camera or my phone. And no real viewfinder there, either. If it was a better camera, I would glue a straw to it for a physical viewfinder.

    Basically, I'm just being grumpy. My previous generation point and shoot, that died a decade or so ago, had a physical viewfinder that I could use while wearing contacts.
     
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  8. oldfashoned

    oldfashoned Getting off the lift Skier

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    Sorry for the drift. This is what I use to get the pictures off the card onto the iPhone/iPad. It works good, you can preview the images before transferring to camera roll.
    geekgo SD Card Reader,Micro SD TF USB Memory Card Reader Trail Game Camera Adapter Viewer for iPhone iPad iOS Android Mac - Supports Micro USB OTG 3 in 1 (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NPCTWYC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_uhQTCb84QHQBW
     
  9. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Ok my demands for camera and consideration what is good enough, are "a little bit" above average user, mildly said :D, but still. If you want real photos you carry (high-end) DSLR with you. But that also means you don't go skiing, but shooting. With anything else, including all pocket/mirroless cameras with built-in or small enough lenses to be able to normally ski with them without even noticing them, you won't be able to make real photo. So for me personally, I just decide if I go shooting skiing or if I go skiing. In first case, I take my real stuff with me (Canon 1dx and whatever lense I will need for that, either smalle 16-35mm/2.8 and 70-200/28 or up to 500/4 lens). But if I decide I will be skiing, I just take my phone or pocket camera (old Canon Powershot s110), and I know from minute I walk out, that I go skiing, and I won't even bother trying to make any at least half decent photo of someone skiing. This Canon PS S110 is good enough for taking photos of surrounding, but it just doesn't cut for high speed subjects, so as unfortunately no pocket cameras are.
     
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  10. Thread Starter
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    Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    :crossfingers:
    That is not true. Many of the best “real” photos in history were taken with all kinds of equipment that might be limited in one way or another compared to a top of the line modern camera and lens. First and foremost, a good picture depends on the skill and artistry of the photographer. (Neither of which I haveogsmile). And second, many features/characteristics of the best camera systems are only beneficial in certain situations. For example, superb low light image quality (from a large sensor) doesn’t matter when you are shooting in bright light and looking at the image on a small screen (like this forum). The same goes for many aspects of high end cameras.
    But anyway, that’s all off topic, as this thread was specifically asking about pocketable cameras.

    Yes, this thread was specifically asking about cameras for when you are skiing, not for ski-photography. Luckily for me, my daughters and wife are not high speed subjects, so that isn’t needed.

    What I do need is speed. My wife and I ski with our daughters between us, so I don’t have much time to take the shot. So mostly what I want is something that is very quick to pull out, that doesn’t require me to take of my gloves, and that acquires focus quickly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  11. pete

    pete not peace but 2 Beers! Skier

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    Not recommending, rather just notes on what I found eased use:

    I've used my daughter's Olympus TG camera of yesteryear but it is bit slower for shutter. I've resorted to just firing it up ahead of time but too I use fingerless filp mittons as I run warm. This resolves issues of access to recessed buttons. Screen can wash out a bit in bright sun but I can see sufficiently or aim better than with phone. Access to video is easy too on it as the record button is next to shutter. I think too I can snap a pic while recording by depressing the shutter, which is nice as size wise the smaller format is akin to single hand use of a phone.

    I've bought extra cheap knock off batteries (in theory with Japanese cells) as it'll eat up the battery through a longer day but it's worked well. I've hung on it too a bright strap as to allow me to restrain it on my wrist and simply tuck up into my sleeve. I can then pull it out fairly quick without stopping and if off, fire it up.

    I've done the Go-Pro approach and just stripped out images. that's essentially on 100% but do so mostly if we're planning a goof around day.

    Oh, being waterproof allows it to follow us to the hot tub and pool, think too it's a bit more rugged for this reason which I believe is true of other waterproof cameras such as the Fuji's and Panasonics.
     
  12. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Making fresh tracks Skier

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    My absolute requirement is always a viewfinder, no screen substitutes. I don't have the patience, not do my ski friends, to be pulling out reading glasses to try and focus on some screen that is invisible outside anyway. The second requirement is that it's easy to have with you, as the best camera is the one you have in the moment, not the one you left home. Those requirements narrow the field so much that focus speed is just "nice to have".

    I have one camera for skiing (pretty old as the viewfinder issue is huge) and one for wildlife photography that requires a good zoom with a fast lens.
     
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  13. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    @Slim why not a phone with a better camera?

    I read a lot of the discussion above as pointing toward a better phone camera. They've gotten very good, and very easy to use for skiing. I take a ton of pictures skiing, mostly with our kids, and my phone works great. I do take off my gloves and my fingers sometimes get cold. Not sure a dedicated camera is going to help much with that. Maybe some tight glove liners that work on a screen as a possible solution?

    In any case, here are a few recent pictures with my Google Pixel 2:

    IMG_20190325_092729_1 (2).jpg IMG_20190310_100822.jpg IMG_20190324_151600 (1).jpg IMG_20190310_152411.jpg IMG_20190414_144503-ANIMATION (1).gif

    The nice thing about a phone is the built-in connectivity that allows automatically uploading and managing photos. I haven't tried the latest point and shoot cameras. Do they automatically upload to cloud providers like Google, Apple, and Amazon? If not, that would be a showstopper for me. Too much trouble otherwise. Google also automatically makes some cool creations like those last two.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  14. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    Not taking off the glove is a tough one. How about syncing a helmet mounted motor-controlled camera, while using a shutter-control capable selfie pole as a ski pole, to one of these?



    However, if you’re willing to give up the viewfinder and target acquisition capabilities, mounting the camera on the handle of a selfie stick would be a bit cheaper.

    Or, get that Sony hand grip that controls the camera. Who needs ski poles? Or, if you can’t ski without poles, snowboard.

    Another option,

    https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/how-to-take-iphone-photos-with-your-voice/
     
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  15. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    You can pick one of those up at Best Buy, correct? On sale for around $2.6.
     
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  16. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Watch out for the used demo models on eBay, tho.
     
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  17. Thread Starter
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    Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    Why not? Because I just got a new phone(Iphone7) a few weeks ago. ogwink
    It takes fine pictures, but operation is clumsy with gloves. I was using mittens with leashes, so I could pul them off, s still extra steps, that often mean my kids already past. I also used liner gloves with touch finger tips, but they are hit and miss., sometimes it doesn’t work and you don’t get the camera or shot quick enough. The ergonomics were also poor, when rotating to portrait mode I often cover the lens with my finger holding the phone(maybe because I’m a lefty)
    Basically, I just don’t like touch screens for outdoor use. The other problem was the screen on the sunny days, you need a viewfinder.

    The other reason for a true camera is to have a longer focal length lens. Due to skiing in front or behind the kids, most of my picture of them are from a distance, so a (mild) Tele lens is very useful.
     
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  18. Thread Starter
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    Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    This trip convinced me that focus speed is still essential. I descended a powder field, and for once my girls waited and asked me when I was ready to take a picture of them. I didn’t get a single shot in focus of any 3 of them.
     
  19. karlo

    karlo Out on the slopes Skier

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    I think the new iphones are supposed to be pretty good. Your new phone a new iPhone?
     
  20. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    With my old phone, I'd take a bunch of shots just hoping one would be in focus. With my new phone, I still take a bunch of shots and it's rare that any are not in focus. Pretty remarkable improvement in just a few years.
     

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