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  1. #1
    aka Kudzu
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    Default Trail Camera Input

    I seem to have misplaced my Canon A590 IS and I'm looking for a new camera. I think I have it narrowed down to the Panasonic ZS7, TS2, or Canon SX130.

    The Canon is probably going to be very familiar to me and I love having AA batteries since they're readily available and I don't have to deal with LiON and a charger. Of course that adds a little more weight but it's comparable to my 590.

    I like the ZS7 and the fact that it's got great ratings, a longer zoom, and GPS. I've never had any luck geotagging images after the fact so this would be a great feature if it works. I'm curious how well the GPS works along the AT. I read a review from a field biologist that it won't get a signal in the forest and if it won't acquire on the trail it's a pointless feature.

    Obviously the allure of the TS2 is that it's water-, shock-, and freeze-proof. My biggest concern is that it's the most expensive of the three and I'm afraid of getting screwed. I bought my wife the Olympus 850SW for the same reasons (figured it would be good for when she and our son go to the beach, park, etc) and it takes images that are pure crap. I kept it just because she's ok with the pictures but I guess I have higher standards. I don't want to spend $350 if it's not going to give me good results.

    Is anyone familiar with any of these three models? I'd really like to know about image quality and battery life primarily.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Is the ZS the one with the 25-300mm equivalent lens? I have an earlier version, and it's great. Internal stabilization, decent lens, good image quality for a point and shoot. Nice and light, too.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
    aka Kudzu
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    I believe that's the range. The 300 jumped out at me. And the 25 isn't bad for a nice little wide angle. I would shave 3 oz compared to my current camera. Any complaints? How's battery life?
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  4. #4
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    If a long zoom and gps interest you, you might want to wait for reviews of the cameras showcased at CES. The Fujifilm F550EXR is the one that interests me.

  5. #5
    aka Kudzu
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    Wow. 360mm! Sounds pretty slick!

    - On-board GPS calculates and displays the distance from present location to the place where a tagged photo was taken

    - 15x OPTICAL zoom (that's unheard of!)

    - 8fps at full resolution (16 megapixels)

    And only 7.6 oz with battery and memory card. I think I just soiled myself.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  6. #6
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    Insane isn't it? Wait for reviews though. This is supposed to be the successor the F300EXR which did not come close to fulfilling the promises of its specs. Hopefully they've worked out the kinks with this one.

    If you want a very light camera that can shoot tons of pictures, take a look at the Canon A1200. It uses AA batteries and has an optical viewfinder. With lithium batteries and turning off the LCD, I bet you could shoot nearly 1000 shots. Plus the camera is cheap enough that you won't feel that bad if you lose a couple.

  7. #7
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    The camera I have is the ZS1, picked it up at Costco last fall for $120. Battery life is good, several hundred photos at least (but I never use the flash.) The 25mm equivalent wide angle is great.T The 300mm telephoto is a little difficult to hold steady in low light, but the image stabilization helps a lot. Overall a very nice little p+s camera. And the cost was low enough that I won't worry about damaging it.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  8. #8
    aka Kudzu
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    Thanks guys! An optical viewfinder is a big deal for me. I don't know why so many cameras are coming out without them these days. I'd certainly rather spend $120 or so than $350.

    ETA: The A1200 looks nice but it doesn't look like it's out yet (3/11).
    Last edited by JaxHiker; 01-17-2011 at 12:32.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  9. #9
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Yeah, the optical finder is going the way of the dodo, and anyway on a P+S they were never all that accurate. Too bad.

    Costco had the ZS6 for $200 today.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  10. #10
    aka Kudzu
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    Thanks. I'll have to see if the in-laws are up for a Costco trip. We don't have a membership but I'd like to check it out.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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  11. #11
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    If weatherproof is important to you, the Pana TS1 if you can still find it, is a bargain.
    Picture quality is much better than from the Olympus you had.
    Buy a spare battery , about 300 shots from one charge, less than one ounce.
    Franco

  12. #12
    aka Kudzu
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    I looked at that but people must be high. The prices I'm seeing with eBay, Google, etc are the same or higher for the TS1 compared to the newer TS2.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
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  13. #13
    aka Kudzu
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    Well, I never was able to find my Canon. I have no idea which images I lost on the card so I need to get better at downloading them to the computer.

    I ended up picking up the Panasonic ZS5 yesterday. Got a decent deal on it and it seems like a solid little camera. I really wish it had a longer self-timer (10 sec sucks) like the Canon SX130 (60 secs) but I guess I'll be ok. Thanks for the input!
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
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  14. #14
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post

    I ended up picking up the Panasonic ZS5 yesterday. Got a decent deal on it and it seems like a solid little camera. I really wish it had a longer self-timer (10 sec sucks) like the Canon SX130 (60 secs) but I guess I'll be ok. Thanks for the input!
    Hope you have some fun with it. I've been pleasantly surprised with my ZS1. (Pessimists are always pleasantly surprised...)

    Re: the self timer. 60 seconds? Wow. What do you use that for?
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  15. #15
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Some of the Canons have a feature that allows it to take a shot when you wink or smile.

  16. #16
    aka Kudzu
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Re: the self timer. 60 seconds? Wow. What do you use that for?
    My plan is to use a Gorillapod setup somewhere on the trail and then I head back a little bit and get a "self-portrait" of me hiking. With just a 10-sec delay you have to be quick and when you're wearing a pack I figure you might get careless trying to beat the clock.

    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Some of the Canons have a feature that allows it to take a shot when you wink or smile.
    Oh yeah. This thing only does facial recognition but I think it lets you do registration. So let's say you take a pic of your wife/SO and register the image. Anytime that face appears in the viewfinder it's focused on. I'll have to double check on that with this model. I've looked at so many reviews they're all a blur. There are blur detectors, blink detectors, smile detectors, you name it.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
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  17. #17
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    Good choice with the ZS series. I have the ZS3 and love it.

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