View Full Version : 35mm vs. Digital Cameras on the AT...

12-03-2003, 16:34
Which do you prefer and why?
Has anyone out there used their digital camera on their thru hike?

12-03-2003, 17:26
Like all gear, you see all forms of cameras out there, from disposables to expensive 35 mm film cameras and high end digitals.

First, decide what type of pictures you want from your thru-hike. If you just want point and shoot snapshots, then a disposable works just fine. If you want something more, then choices get more complicated.

Historically, short battery life has been the downfall of digitals. However, with recent improvements in battery life, plus falling prices, digitals are looking better and better these days. I suspect that this past summer, more people used digitals than ever before, and next summer we will see more.

35 mm cameras, especially the compact pocket type, are popular. However, one word of caution. If you use slide film, it is not as available as it used to be. I would suggest buying it ahead of time and including it in maildrops.

12-03-2003, 17:34
Well I know for a fact that on our thru hike in '80 we used a Nikon w/ slide film. I have a Nikon now, but it is a digital. I'm just concerned about taking a digital camera on a thru hike due to weather and just general grunge. Battery life is also another concern...

Thanks for the reply...

12-03-2003, 18:08
Gary Wright (Radar), who posts here occasionally, has some of the best AT pictures I've seen. He shot them with a digital and has them on display on trailjournals (2002 hike). You can see some of them at:


I don't have a computer at home, so I use regular film in a Olympus Stylus Epic (fixed lens). On the plus side, it is hard to break, reliable, and cheap (about $70 when I bought it). On the minus side, I have to pay for a lot of film and processing.

12-03-2003, 18:15
wow! they are some awesome pics that fella took! i hope mine turn out half as good, then i'd be lucky :)

12-03-2003, 18:36
I use a Canon G2 Digital. Have a 256M card in there. This model has a movie mode. I can take 30 second "movies" with sound. I would suspect newer models have longer times. It's nice for recording short clips with interesting weather or a little "report" from your fellow hikers. Would be great for bear sitings as well.

I've found the movie mode a fun little extra. I've emailed the clips to friends who don't hike so they get a feel for what it's like out there.

Could go the opposite way and take a digital camcorder along and shoot digital stills. Might also be able to make a little journal type movie that you could burn onto dvd and sell to help finance a thru hike. Interview interesting characters you meet on the trail etc. etc.

With the digitals, if you are supported by car, you could dump the pics to a laptop or swap the cards out and have a "real time" website that is up to date as close as your last resupply.

Just some thoughts.