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Pocket size point and shoot camera for carrying climbing?
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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 14, 2012
We seem to go through small cameras at an alarming rate. I have been buying the replacement warranties and using them when the cameras fail. Got money back a few months ago on the last one, haven;t bought a new one yet. It was a Nikon coolpix I got for about $70, OK, but needed a lot of time between shots.

I don't want to buy anything to carry climbing more than around $125.

Whaddya use, whaddya like?

Thanks in advance.

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By Nathan Stokes
Oct 14, 2012
Olympus Tough series. I have a 6000 series from a couple years ago and it is still going strong. Waterproof to 10ft, tough metal case, lots of options, scene modes, plus automatic mode. Li-ion removable battery pack, xD or sD memory cards. I have beat the snot out of it and sometimes just hang it directly off my harness when climbing. Works good in the winter as long as you keep the battery from getting too cold. Base model is $179.00 and has more modes than you probably want.

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By bmdhacks
Oct 14, 2012
Check out the Panasonic TS20

I've got mine in a decently tough case which I clip to the back of my harness. I've chimneyed against it and had no problems.

Another option is to look for a deal on an iphone4 or older android phone and outfit it with a tough case like an otterbox. That way you get GPS as well as apps to do panoramas and HDR. Actually, see if you can find a phone with Glonass support and then you have rural GPS without cell service. I know the iphone 4S supports it, but dunno about android phones.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Oct 14, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Nathan Stokes wrote:
Olympus Tough series. I have a 6000 series from a couple years ago and it is still going strong. Waterproof to 10ft, tough metal case, lots of options, scene modes, plus automatic mode. Li-ion removable battery pack, xD or sD memory cards. I have beat the snot out of it and sometimes just hang it directly off my harness when climbing. Works good in the winter as long as you keep the battery from getting too cold. Base model is $179.00 and has more modes than you probably want.


Had the same camera, 2nd time I took it in the water it broke. Lots of similar occurrences too if you read around. Definitely felt ripped off.

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By bearbreeder
Oct 14, 2012
whatever is cheap and has a killer warranty ...

because eventually youll crush, destroy, drop, soak, etc ... it if you climb often enough

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 14, 2012
bearbreeder wrote:
whatever is cheap and has a killer warranty ... because eventually youll crush, destroy, drop, soak, etc ... it if you climb often enough


Yeah, that's what happened with the last one. Replacement warranties are worth it. $70 camera, $7 warranty, got the $70 back when the camera died after 6 months.

Thanks for replies

Panasonic TS20 looks pretty nice, but with replacement warranty, out of price range

Olympus tough also to much moolah

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By kevino
Oct 14, 2012
Get this one:
ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...


Awesome picture quality, shoots HD video, shockproof/waterproof/sandproof. Good battery life.

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By Phill T
Oct 14, 2012
smartphone. decent camera AND you can call in a rescue if you have service!

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By Erik W
From Bay Area, CA
Oct 14, 2012
North face of Ama Dablam - taken on approach to Ko...
Not so much a camera recommendation, as a case recommendation: OtterBox



Before I got this puppy I habitually trashed a camera every 12-18 months. Now, I'm going on year 4 with the same p&s.

In terms of cameras, get one with wide angle ability - 24mm or 25mm equivalent.

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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 15, 2012
Significantly out of your price range, but the Canon Powershot SX260 has done me very well. I have a case that can slide onto my harness waist belt and that is generally how I have carried it.

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By KathyS
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Oct 15, 2012
Me at the summit of Inner Course (5.4) in the Outl...
A friend of mine has killed several Olympus Tough cameras. I have the Panasonic TS3, and it has survived whitewater in Ecuador, ice climbing at -5F, Whitney, Rainier and muddy mtbike rides. I have a drawer full of dead Cannon ELPHs.

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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 15, 2012
Toofast
I got a panasonic tough camera for $130 on amazon. It takes decent pictures and appears to be pretty duarable so far.

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 15, 2012
Geir wrote:
I got a panasonic tough camera for $130 on amazon. It takes decent pictures and appears to be pretty duarable so far.


Seems like more endorsements here for the Panasonics. If I can find one for that kind of price new and get a replacement warranty, might be done deal!

Thanks

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 15, 2012
KathyS wrote:
I have a drawer full of dead Cannon ELPHs.


My experience with the elphs and powershots as well. Lens motor/error and screen problems.

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Oct 15, 2012
Middle
I have a regular Olympus something or other that I put in a small camera bag that is just slightly bigger than the camera itself. The bag has a loop that a carabiner fits through. I have drug the camera through everything and it fits on my harness. Most days it just hangs from the bottom of the shoulder strap on my pack so it usually gets dumped on the ground when I drop my pack. The camera has dents and dings but works fine. The point to this is that I think the camera bag is more important to than the camera because the camera would have been destroyed a long time ago without it.

ETA: The camera is a Olympus Stylus 9000 10X(optical) in a padded NatGeo bag. I bought the bag at STP for $6.

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Oct 15, 2012
FWIW, I think there are a ton of viable options out there.

I've used/beaten/destroyed a bunch. Olympus 2MP, Olympus 3.2 MP, Olympus 10X (big lens - risky for scratching on climbs), Nikon 4MP, Olympus 7MP, Fuji 7MP, Nikon Coolpix 7.6 MP, and currently I'm on the Sony Cybershot 12.1 MP 4X optical, 28mm wide-angle.

No camera will tolerate all the abuses we dish out climbing very well, especially if you subject it to ice, desert sandstone, dropping, bumping while trying to belay & photo, etc. A camera with a completely retractable lens is a must.

Personally, I like the cameras that use rechargeable AA batteries. It's much less expensive than buying the camera specific ones when you switch, but sometimes a cheaper price will push you away (like this last bugger). Oh yeah, a tiny bit of tape to keep the battery door shut is a nice safety feature.

A cordura type case is cheap and decent protection. Thread a neck cord through something on the case. I think Lowe Alpine makes some fairly cheap. Those above protective devices seem nice but are probably more than $5-10.

Also, with a 28mm wide angle base, 4X is barely enough for climbing shots.

You can look at my profile for photos in the last 2+ years and see the images, albeit some are slightly improved with photoshop (almost necessary for most less expensive cameras).

Finally, this particular camera is pretty slow for shooting indoors, but that's not really what you need for a climbing camera.

store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stor... lists some in the $90 range new.

Sifting through Amazon may help find a lower price.

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 15, 2012
Yes, I use a well padded case too. Don't however want to carry a larger rigid case on my harness. At least I don;t think so. Erik, what are the dimensions of your otterbox?

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Oct 15, 2012
Stoked...
Canon Powershot G10 - Magnesium carbonate body - bullet hard and very durable. 15 megapixels. maybe a bit big (but still pocket sized) but the images it takes can be magazine quality. You can find the G10 cheap too online... the New G models are bad ass too but cost a lot more then your budge. Well worth a look...

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By mountainhick
From Black Hawk, CO
Oct 15, 2012
CaptainMo wrote:
Canon Powershot G10 - Magnesium carbonate body - bullet hard and very durable. 15 megapixels. maybe a bit big (but still pocket sized) but the images it takes can be magazine quality. You can find the G10 cheap too online... the New G models are bad ass too but cost a lot more then your budge. Well worth a look...


Nice, but out of my league. I would not want to climb with something that expensive on my harness.

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By wivanoff
Oct 15, 2012
High Exposure
Might be outside your pricepoint, but I just got a Pentax Optio WG-2 for an upcoming trip to Central America: cave tubing, snorkeling, Mayan ruins.

Two of my climbing partners have the WG-1

I like it so far. Seems pretty durable.
beachcamera.com/shop/product.a...

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By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Oct 15, 2012
Ouray Ice Park Pick o' the Vic?
Good discussion...my recommendations are also outside the OP's price range.

A G10! Such an expensive and fancy camera to carry up the rock. Also not particularly easy to operate with one hand.

I was recently looking, with my main needs:
- reasonably tough construction
- weather resistant
- dust/sand resistant
- "ok" one-hand operation
- not crazy expensive (i.e. not the G10)
- lightweight

Basically, I want to be able to carry it into Red Rocks (fine dust desert) or a canyon trip without worrying about it.

If you don't mind cameras dying once in a while, I would just buy a bunch of used Canon P&S cameras off ebay...they are small, light and cheap. And they take great images.

My personal testimony...since I don't like equipment to fail...
I was using a Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS (a "tough" series camera). I'd recommend it for good construction, low weight and bad-ass tether. You can probably find it on sale, and don't need to get the GPS version. I was unsatisfied with the image quality though, and it's ability to focus without babysitting from me. Lost this camera, so not using it anymore...
pentaximaging.com/digital-came...


I've switched to the Canon D20 (also more expensive than the OP wanted). I've been very happy with it so far. My main complaint with it is the (high) weight and that the screen isn't recessed to decrease screen abrasion. I give it no special treatment though, it just bangs against the rocks and gear, just like any other cam on my harness. One reason I chose it was because it had a beefier connector for the tether - I just wish Canon would sell a connector what accepted a biner more easily (this camera has a fancy bayonet mount connector).

I just came back from the Great Sand Dunes in CO, as well as climbing at Penitente - camera did just fine!
usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/pr...

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Oct 15, 2012
Stoked...
Ben Hicks wrote:
Nice, but out of my league. I would not want to climb with something that expensive on my harness.


Ya wouldn't attach it to my harness but I carry it up in small pack or pocket on 2nd.

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By S.Stelli
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 15, 2012
I use this:

Lumix Camera

This camera takes excellent photos, is small enough to shove in my pocket or wherever, seems to take a fair amount of abuse, and doesn't cost too much. I especially like the zoom features on this cam - it does very well for a P&S. I got it on sale for like $115 if I remember right. However - its not a "ruggedized" camera at all so I'm just very careful not to smash the crap out of it.

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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 15, 2012
Toofast
Ben Hicks wrote:
My experience with the elphs and powershots as well. Lens motor/error and screen problems.


Absolutely true. I have had at least 10 of them. They take terrific pictures but i got sick of them failing.

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By Paul Deagle
From Geneseo, NY
Oct 15, 2012
me
I was rocking a Cannon Elph for the last two seasons and man was it beat up. It finally took it's final abuse this weekend when my buddy dropped it off the cliff and it fell (again) about 20ft bouncing the whole way. Game over. They take great pics and are very small but really not durable at all. This post was/is great because I also am in the market again. The Panasonic isn't made anymore they have since updated it. Looks pretty slick, as long as it take great pics, seams like a winner.

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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Oct 15, 2012
downclimb off the First Flatiron photo by TooTallT...
Ben Hicks wrote:
Yes, I use a well padded case too. Don't however want to carry a larger rigid case on my harness. At least I don;t think so. Erik, what are the dimensions of your otterbox?


Since I was on the Otterbox site trying to see if it would fit my camera (Fuji Finepix F80 EXR):

Exterior Dimensions: 4.837" x 3.682" x 1.652"
Internal Dimensions: 3.700" x 2.350" x 1.000"
Weight: 5.12 oz.

My cameras take a beating on chimney/OW routes even with a padded case.

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