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what is a good camera for outdoor use? Answered

I need some help with finding a good (biggish type that take really good quality pictures) camera that is durable and not too fragile cause i will be working outdoors?


I'd recommend the FujiFilm S1500

You should check out the Panasonic FZ-28. I've been using almost exclusively for birding photos and it has treated me very well.

I've purchased and reviewed a large number of entry-level DSLR's and sub-DSLR's over the past six months. I've been searching for a good camera myself, and in this market it's sometimes hard to find. There is a lot to be said for a good DSLR with a decent set of lenses. If you're determined to buy one, buy Canon, Nikon, or Sony. If you've never owned a DSLR before, start with an entry-level model from Canon or Nikon and try to get it bundled with at least a basic telephoto lens. If you're no DSLR virgin, buy Nikon as they've got the longest history of outdoor use and look for a sportsman's model. DSLR's are extremely flexible, providing a hefty bag of tricks for the photographer. One great plus for your use is that you can add a cheap filter on top of your lens to keep dust and dirt out of it, 24/7. The main disadvantage is they tend to be fairly expensive and good lenses and accessories add huge amounts to the bill as well. A sub-DSLR is often just a point-and-click in disguise. It's a DSLR-shaped camera without a removable lens, like the one pictured. Some of these are quite nice cameras, but the price that usually gets set on them is often a lot higher than their equivalent point-and-click friends. In other words, you pay more to look like a pro, without getting any real pro features. Like I said, there are some nice cameras in this category and sometimes the price isn't bad... in which case these are a reasonable buy. Compare these to similarly-capable cameras from the same brand and choose wisely. Brands to avoid are Kodak and Fuji, both for poor compatibility and poor image quality. Brands to look at include Canon, Olympus, and Sony. How to tell a camera is tough? Well a metal shell is a good indicator. A good heavy weight is also a clue. If a camera is being marketed as tough, it'll have a drop-height and/or water-resistance marked on the box. Also, do a search for the model on the internet and check and see what kind of reviews people are giving it. What specific camera do I suggest? I highly recommend Canon's PowerShot G10. It's a point-and-click with a solid old-fashioned look, a tough body, and it's a killer camera to boot. It's got great image quality due to a large sensor, a decent built-in lens, and a bright flash. Not to mention it can shoot RAW, giving you even more to work with. It's no DSLR, but it's easy to use and is flexible enough to perform many of the tricks the pros do. The camera offers control over nearly everything including flash strength, iso settings, etc. There are a few different auto-focus modes, a manual mode that offers real control, and a lot of other features I'll never have time to figure out. Extra lenses and accessories are available, including a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens which both require a cheap converter tube to attach to the camera. Advantages: It's more compact than a DSLR and takes better pictures than some of the cheap DSLR's. It's fast, turning on quickly and letting you take multiple pictures in quick succession. It has a very good auto-mode that can save you a lot of hassle while you're learning or lending the camera out. It's certainly tough, and it has an impressive battery life too. Disadvantages: Lens selection is pretty much limited to the few expensive accessories offered by Canon, although DealExtreme sells a cheaper converter tube that will allow you to use a 58mm filter or macro lens. The software is not as intuitive as it could be, with some visual options hiding in the system menu and others on screen. The auto-mode unfortunately does not shoot RAW (but you can still set up one of the custom modes to shoot automatically and shoot RAW). It has a movie mode that's absent on a lot of DSLR's, but it's oddly VGA only.

Just found out 4 days ago: Canon powershots have an image processing chip (digic II to IV), which has been hacked.
Put the (open source) software on the SD card, and all blocked possibilities, including RAW, bracketing, motion detection and timelapse shooting are opened up.


G10 hasn't been ported yet. It could be a year or too... but I am soo looking forward to it. Still, the G10's firmware is over and above the default firmware from some of the older Canons.

what will you be shooting? landscapes? macros? need the background to be blurred out or everything in focus? Why does it have to be durable, do you plan on dropping it or is this for a construction site? is a DSLR really necessary or are you just looking for super zoom? some smaller cannon cameras (such as the G1 he mentioned possibly) have 10x zoom with I.S.

I myself have a cannon A620 with CHDK firmware I've dropped that thing thousands of times, even on the lens assembly, making it unable to retract, but i just bent it back round with my hand.

i would try and find a camera that supports CHDK (they got a list right there) because CHDK pretty much turns any cheap point and shoot cannon into a full featured camera, eg: highspeed, long exposure, timelapse, ANY imaginable type of bracketing, motion detection, and if they don't have a feature you want you can just learn the code and write one in a couple hours :P

but looking at the newer "highly recommended" cameras at DPR isnt a bad idea either.

I like to bring a 4X5 folding view camera, with a sturdy tripod and about 3 or 4 lenses. And a beautiful women to carry it all while I look for good scenery. ~Bob~