I take a Canon D60 digital SLR, 6 megapixels. I am careful to keep it dry, along with the two EOS zoom lenses that I also take everywhere. (28-80, 75-300). For macro shots and landscapes in camp I have a tripod, but most photos are taken hand-held.
I have found that 6 of the lithium rechargable battery packs are sufficient for a 12-day trip. (I take 7, but haven't used the 7th. Obviously, I charge them all the night before the trip!) This is shooting approximately 3G of memory cards, shooting in the large JPG format. I do quite a bit of reviewing and deleting as I go along, too.
The D60 is obsolete by several years, but it gives good results and works well for me. If you could find one on E-bay, I would recommend it. I have enlarged many of my photos to poster-size and they are gorgeous for wall prints.
I don't find carrying the batteries any more difficult than carrying 20+ rolls of film, but then I do shoot a LOT of photos!
This year, for the first time, I will have a Pentax Optio WPI in my pocket. It is 6.0 megapixels, waterproof, and it takes pretty decent photos for a point-and-shoot. Always have to have a camera with me, even on rainy days, on portages, on trails around camp.
Gotta be honest with you.. digital just doesnt work for me in the boundary waters.
Explaining the statement, I am usually up there for a week. Maybe two. Most digital batteries will go out on you in a day or two of decent shooting. Digital does NOT like water. I cant speak to the durability of the Olympus, but I would reccomend putting any expensive camera in a dry bag when not in use.
For probobly the same ammount you could get a really nice film SLR setup. The ammount of information on that negative rivals the best Digital SLRS in the world. (Think $8,000 camera) You can enlarge a 35mm negative (focused and exposed well) BIG (think billboard big!)
Either digital or analog, I would reccomend Canon and Nikon Cameras.
Like "Arkansas Man" I am a fan of Olympus digital cameras. Just got back from a trip out to Ogishkemuncie and used my wife's Stylus 800. Small and handy, water resistant, great battery life [took over 130 photos on the same charge and still going here at home]. The problem I had is the lack of a viewfinder [LCD display only], this took some getting used to. Just about any new camera will use 5+ megs and will give you some nice enlargements. My old Olympus 3040 with 3.3 megs still makes beautiful 8X10 enlargements!
2 shots from last week, taken with Olympus Stylus 800.
You might take a look at Overstock.com for digital cameras. They sell a lot of last years models and factory reconditioned cameras that can save some $$$. My daughter broke her digital camera and I replaced it with a factory reconditioned one. It appeared to be in brand new condition and worked flawlessly. I saved about $100.
Disclaimer: Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Your results may vary.
I have blown up some beauiful pics from my canon digital rebel 6.7 megs to 24 x 36 with super results.
I bought a Panasonic FZ5 last fall and can't wait to try it on my trip this year. 12X optical 48X digital zoom, image stabilization, macro settings, Leica lens and 5MP. It's smaller than the Canon also. My brother has the Canon S2IS (I think that;s right) so we can compare at the end of our trip.
I have used this Cannon Power Shot for a couple of years. It takes nice hi-res pictures and does not use up as much battery juice as my wife's.
That is one of the reason I like the Olympus... It is weather proof, whichs you can't drop it in the lake and leave it for several minutes, but it can be used when it is raining, and water can splash on it, if it was going to mess up... I given it the chance in several situations, but so far... no problem. In the same situations a 35 MM Minolta fogged up and could be used until it was dried out.
Like I said, I have taken the Stylus 500 to the BWCA, used it in the rain..., dropped it in the snow in Colorado, and carried inside a jacket when I was sweating profusely... no moisture problems at all... Just my .02 All people have different preferences...
Pentax also makes the Optio series which is also weather proof, and
takes great pictures.
You might consider a point and shoot for the BWCA, and a different camera for home use...
You may never find the perfect light weight a versatile camera, but the canon's are very good choices. I have an older canon that was one of the first to have 'IS', and I love it. I would never even consider a camera without it, my video camera also has it and it is very evident when its on and not on.
I'm not sure about you but when I'm out hiking, camping, or canoeing I don't like to take my expensive camera along ( too afeard I'll trash it ). I have an old 35mm that is water proof that I take along, and it works good for me.
When a digital comes out that can take a dunk in a lake, and can shrug off being knocked around I'll look into a new 'outdoor' camera.
Taking nice pictures in the BW or Quetico can demand a bit more from a camera than taking ordinary snapshots at family events. You'll likely want a camera that can both zoom way in to capture that Moose across the bay, while also having the ability to get close to the butterfly sitting on a Pink and White Lady's Slipper. And since you want to create images for hanging on a wall, you'll want to be sure to have enough image capture detail (megapixels) to create large, sharp prints (and to also give you a bit of extra room for cropping a photo, if necessary).
Assuming your not interested in going to a more advanced/bulkier interchangeable lens camera (35mm SLR), you'll probably want to concentrate on higher end "point and shoot" models. I'd recommend a minimum of 6 megapixels (the 6 to 8 range you mention is a good one). A 6MP image can produce beautiful prints up through 8x10 inches, and often still very good ones through 11x14 inches. An 8MP photo will get you great prints through 11x14 inches, and decent ones through 13x19.
When considering lenses and optical zoom, there's a couple things to consider: How close can you get to subjects (like the butterfly), how wide of an angle do you capture at the shortest zoom setting, and then how far can you zoom in to at the longest zoom setting. The first two answers don't usually vary much on point and shoot cameras (especially the more advanced ones). Most can usually get very close (with various Macro modes) and most have a 35mm camera lens equivalent of 28 to 35mm on the wide angle side of the zoom (smaller here is better - it allows you to capture a wider frame of view for dramatic sunsets and other wide open landscape type images). The biggest difference in these cameras will be on the long/telephoto side of the zoom. You'll typically see ranges from 4x to 12x and more depending on the model. For nature photography and taking pictures from your canoe, you'll probably want have something closer to the 12x end. The one downside of this kind of zoom range is being able to hold the camera still enough to prevent blurry images. To help with this, some cameras models have image stabilization (IS) technology that helps correct for this. I'd seriously consider finding a camera with image stabilization if it has an 8x zoom or more. Finally, and it sounds like you may already know this, you can ignore the "digital zoom" numbers usually advertised. "Optical zoom" is the important one. "Digital zoom" is usually useless because it results in poor image quality.
With all this said, I think your leaning toward a Canon is a good thing. Canon makes some of the best digital cameras out there today. The three "point and shoot" models that stick out at me for the kind of picture taking you want to do are the following.
PowerShot S3 IS
PowerShot Pro 1
PowerShot SD700 IS
Personally, I'd maybe lean hardest toward the PowerShot S3 IS. It's the newest technology, goes very long (12x optical zoom, 432mm SLR equivalent), has image stabilizer technology, an assortment of macro photography modes and is reasonably light and compact. The others are also very good cameras, though. Note that these cameras are far from the cheapest out there (they'll likely run you $450 to $500 minimum), but I think the extra few hundred dollars makes up for itself when the final prints of your wilderness moments go on the wall.
A quick note for you... after some research, there was a problem with the 800 so they have a new upgrade called the 810 which resolved the problem. Also, the 710 has good reviews also.
As far as blowing pictures up it depends on how large you want to go... The 5 mp will go up to 11 x 13 with no problem... the 8 mp should go bigger with no problem 13 x 15 or larger. The best thing to do is to do like I have done online research and reviews... for example Amazon.com has customer reviews on just about all the cameras they have listed. However, they don't have the 810 listed, but they do have the 710. Here's a web site with informations and specifics for the 810... http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1138253731.html
Good luck, and here's a couple of macros from the 500
Thanks for the info Bruce. have you tried to enlarge these at all for wall pics? I am really worried about the image falling apart when i blow it up.
If I could purchase another digital camera I would have to go back to what I purchased to begin with... I bought an Olympus Stylus 500... for $199. Weather proof and very easy to use. Of course now I would go with the Stylus 800 (8 megapixels) for $299 on Amazon.com. Same weather proof format... I have used it in rain snow and just about every situation and the 500 does a great job...
Good Morning All,
65 Days and Counting till QUETICO!!! I am making my lists and checking them more than twice. More like every few minutes =)
This year I decided to invest in a digital camera. I would love to end up with some shots that look half as good as some of the ones I have seen on this message board. I hope to blow up some of these images and hang them on my wall. So my question to any of you who have tried this is how many mega pixels do I need? Any brands that you all like? How much of an optical zoom do I want? Also are there any other features I should be looking for? Right now I am leaning towards a cannon with 6 or 8 mega pixes in their power shot series.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this