Backpacking Trip to Nepal: Portable Camera Suggestions?

Started Aug 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Lovegasoline Forum Member • Posts: 50
Backpacking Trip to Nepal: Portable Camera Suggestions?

I’m not new to photography or digital photography, I consider myself a recreational amateur photographer. My background and main interest is in fine art (painting) but I studied some photography courses in college, have made prints traditionally and digitally, continued some studies in digital art after college (been a Pshop user for over 20 years) and have even done a little photo compositing/retouching work for fortune 500 companies.

Mostly I shoot for reference photos for my own use and enjoyment. I have no smartphone. I have a new Macbook, I prefer to shoot in camera raw, sometimes jpeg, all my images get imported into Lightroom and get tweaked there, and if needed, additional work in Pshop. Perhaps the most critical shooting I do is shooting paintings in the studio (as large as 8’x) and I have lights/stands/tripods/filters.

My digital camera is a 10 year old (yes 10) Canon Powershot S70. I also have an accessory adaptor w/ CrystalVue Optics Sharp Shooter 8x32 lens. Often I live outside for a few months at a time climbing and camping and the camera comes with me; I take it take it along to museums and art galleries here in NYC. It is however a little heavy to always carry with me (along with whatever other stuff I'm loaded down with), so it’s only carried at certain times.

In two weeks I leave for a 4+ month trip to Nepal. I’d like to get a new camera prior to departing. The first part of the trip will be a three week backpacking trek deep in the Himalayas. I’ll also visit lots of Buddhist temples, etc. I photograph people, mountains, landscapes, close ups of flora, insects, interiors, etc. Some nice video capture ability would be cool also.

I’m looking for something compact and lightweight, with decent low light capability (ex. capturing images in dimly lit art museums without flash), versatile for use with backpacking/trekking/technical rock climbing.

I’ve been out of the loop and haven’t followed gear and technology advances. I’ve been looking at Canon, Sony, and Nikon. I’m open to anything. A DSLR will be too heavy for this application. Sometimes I like to just take quick images on auto; other times I want to carefully control things.

Budget $200 - $500.

I’m very comfortable buying used and would prefer that if I could get a better quality and/or more versatile camera at a decent deal (eBay). $500 would be pushing the absolute upper limits of my budget.

AA/AAA rechargeable batteries I assume would be better? I detest the proprietary Canon batteries in my S70 and I have a high quality LA Cross BC-9009 charger.

When I print, it's rarely larger than 11x14.

I'm a single camera dude (OK, I have an old Nikon FE2) so I'm looking to find a camera that is small enough to carry with me and versatile enough to do most of everything I'll need to get down photography wise.

Any suggestions?

Thanks a bunch!

Nikon Coolpix S70
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