Camera for hiking/backpacking

Started Jan 6, 2003 | Discussions thread
Herschel Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: Camera for hiking/backpacking

The 717 is my fifth digital - I also have a Nikon D1x, an Sony P9, and I've used my wife's Canon G2.

When I'm going really light - like extended cycling tours where every pound counts - I take the P9. It has limited flexibility, but it's great for capturing the moment.

When I'm hiking specifically to take photos, I take the D1x with 2-3 lenses depending on what I'm trying to shoot. It can do things none of the other cameras can do in terms of speed and reach.

For everything else, I take the 717. I rarely take the teleconverter for the 717 since it's so heavy, but I always take a macro lens (e.g., Canon 500D), which gives 1:1 results which are really very good. I really like the Zeiss glass on the 717 - bright, sharp, and for it's range (38-190 - equivalent to about 24-135 on the Nikon) it's as good as anything the DSLR's have to offer. The closest would be the Tamron 24-135, which retails for $400. In fact, the reason I bought the 717 was because it was only marginally more than this lens alone.

I have to take 4 memory sticks, but the battery life is more than adequate for an overnight, and 2 batteries will take you 4-5 days with judicious use. The really good news is the carrying weight, even with the macro, two batteries, and 4 memory sticks is 1lb, 12oz. The D1X body and battery alone with no lens are 3 lbs. With extra batteries and a lens kit, we easily get up to almost 10 lbs. Plus, the 717 doesn't have the CCD dust problem that the Nikon does.

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