Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cameras for Expeditions Part 1

Many people ask me what camera to use on expeditions, for the last 5 years I have been shooting with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2, and it was really perfect. Batteries lasted well, very wide lens for a point and shoot and easy to use. Many of my climbing partners are very happy with the Canon G10 or 11, but I have never used them. Finally I decided to upgrade this year to what I think is best described as a mini DSLR, the Sony NEX-5. There are a few competitors in the mini DSLR market, the Olympus version being the other best I think. I opted for the currently available package deal of the body with both fixed 16mm and 18-55mm lens (there is another lens up to 200mm but the price is too high and the wait too long - dare to dream), I bought via B&H Photo in NYC and as always was grateful for the best prices and service - I must say I had some trouble with other buying options, that are still not resolved.

The Sony NEX-5 is a massive upgrade with variable lenses and full HD video capabilities it can do everything I used to be able to do with the lumix - including a wider lens and what I only dreamed of being able to do with a DSLR (dreamed because I didn't have one). It is taking a bit of getting used to, hard to teach old mountain climbers new tricks I guess, but I am happy with what I have shot so far.

The top shot with the red clouds is from Ama Dablam BC this November, it is the last photo I took with the Lumix, it still takes great photos, the other (below) is the Palac Kultury i Nauki (Science and Culture Palace) in Warsaw, and is the first photo I took with the Sony NEX-5. Both were hand held, in low light - obviously one in lower light - but for just a quick attempt to capture an image they both did well. I am very happy, more samples to come.