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Cameras tough enough for the canyons

Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Alane Urban, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    I own a fuji X-something and it takes horrible shot regardless of the settings. The idea of a rugged camera is a fantastic idea but its too bad that I've never seen one that can take decent shots. A few months ago I purchased 4/3 setup to lighten the load and I'm loving it. Its a fraction of the weight of my big boy camera and still takes a pretty great shot.

    [​IMG]
    Bo and Moki in Peek a Boo by Summit42, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Britnee in Spooky Gulch by Summit42, on Flickr
  2. Benjamin Pelletier

    Benjamin Pelletier

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    And you know it was user error because...?
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    because they said so?

    T
  4. Benjamin Pelletier

    Benjamin Pelletier

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    Nope.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Benjamin: "Here's some more anecdotal data: both mine and my friend's TG-2's broke on Jump Trip (a very wet Sierras canyon). His had the LCD screen cracked (puncture wound from a rock) and mine was filled with water when the battery compartment came unlocked and opened. I also brought my two D10's as backup, and they came through unscathed (again)."

    Funny, I would consider banging your camera on a rock hard enough to crack the screen to be user error. And letting the battery compartment come unlocked and opening while in use I would also consider user error, though this would be somewhat more of a grey area. Perhaps your expectations of "tough", "waterproof" and "user-error-proof" are different than mine.

    Tom
  6. Benjamin Pelletier

    Benjamin Pelletier

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    One key characteristic of tough cameras is "shockproof". Obviously no one expects them to be infinitely shockproof, but they're designed to be banged around more than normal cameras and my anecdote provides some information as to the extent of its shockproofness. Another key characteristic of tough cameras is "waterproof". I properly closed and locked (two separate latches) the door, so the fact that it opened unintentionally is clearly a useful data point regarding waterproofness. When I properly close and lock the door on my tough camera, my expectation is that it will remain closed during a normal day of use; what is your expectation?
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    My expectation is that any "tough" camera that you bring canyoneering and don't take baby-careful care of will fail pretty soon.

    Tom
  8. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    TG-2 earned me two feature trip reports this year on CC, which are still in rotation. The pics are great.
  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Too funny. It's all expectation. I expect that if I treat a "shock-proof" camera as though it was not, it will survive most accidental and unforeseen situations. Having destroyed three cameras, I now expect that if I put a "shock-proof" camera in harm's way in a wet canyon that it will fail maybe 10% of the time ... YMMV. I've also changed my approach. For now, anyway. I picked up an Olympus TG-320 for $99CAD on closeout last summer. It's in a good form factor, supposedly water and shock proof, takes decent snaps, and when it dies, I won't be crying too loudly.

    Gordon
    ratagonia likes this.
  10. townsend

    townsend

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  11. PG Rob

    PG Rob

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    I agree that the Olympus TG is the way to go.

    My very best advice is to buy the camera at Best Buy where you can purchase an additional "no matter what" warranty. I did this when buying my TG-610. I have not had to use the warranty, but it makes me feel much better knowing its there.
  12. Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers

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    Adding to my previous thumbs up for the TG 1/2... Again survived multiple immersions, inadvertent bangs, and my companion's worked fine after a bouncing 40' drop onto gravel. In terms of rugged canyon use, it more than meets my expectations.

    Mine didn't survive being run over by a Jeep, screen down, on a pointy rock. Per Tom's comment, though, I'll call that user error. I'll likely replace it with another of the same.
  13. Tim Dowling

    Tim Dowling

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    A few of my photos from my TG-2 also also in TR's on the Collective. I bought a T-REIGN Pro case with a retractable tether that does an awesome job protecting the camera. The case is a bit beat up from scraping canyon walls and I have to pay a little extra attention to it to make sure it doesn't come unsnapped when I'm squeezing through a tight slot, though. I've dropped it about 10 feet onto rocks with no damage to the camera. The case makes the camera easily accessible and also keeps it on a leash. I think the case is an almost perfect compliment to any camera one might take into a canyon.
  14. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    When I am bold, I play with fate and take my leica M9 with the 21 mm elimart f 2.8 lens. Nothing beats the image quality. However often I do not feel so bold (or lucky). So generally I put my canon S90 into a dive case made by canon. The key is to buy the case used from ebay. The reason for this is very simple. The case is going to get wrecked in the canyon. I brought this set up through Chop Rock. Great pictures but I trashed the case by the end of the trip. I replaced the case and took the camera through Imlay. Great pictures. I did manage to damage the hinge on the case but was able to repair it using parts from the trashed case. Dan Ransom suggested cutting down a squeegee to wipe water from camera case lens. The canon pictures are good but I would love to have photos taken with a larger sensor. I think it is insane to bring one of these "waterproof" "tough" cameras through a real canyon without putting it into a case. If you don't bash the camera to bits, the sand will definitely destroy the camera.
    IMG_3340. IMG_3342. IMG_3344. IMG_3347.
    Ken
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  15. dweaver2130

    dweaver2130 Canyoneering Duo from AZ

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    For the TG-2 users out there what is the real canyon battery life?

    Olympus is stating 200 pics which isn't a lot at all, but I figure that number might not hold true real world.
  16. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Agree with Tom on the T-Reign Pro case. Sonny gifted me one last summer and it is fantastic. Combine that with the Olympus Tough TG and you've got the perfect canyon setup.
  17. Alane Urban

    Alane Urban

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    I have significant battery life on my TG-2. I bought it this summer so the newness may make a difference? I went longer than two weeks in the canyons taking many pictures (I assume well over 200) and had forgotten my charger. I was sure I would run out of battery power towards the end of the trip. I never did - and had plenty to spare.

    I also use the T-Reign case and have had good luck with the set up. I've been extremely happy with the TG-2.
  18. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Does anyone attach an adapter and clear filter to protect the lens on the TG-2? We scratched ours when it was out of the bag:facepalm:.
  19. Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers

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    Don--Last trip I got 489 photos out of two batteries over a week, and I still had some life on the second battery before the fateful (and fatal for the the camera) Jeep accident mentioned above. The trip prior, 707 photos out of three batteries (only ~100 out of the last battery which was a loaner from a canyon companion--benefit of having the same equipment. cheap battery? insufficient charge?) I think you can safely count on 200 shots from a battery. If you get a replacement battery be sure to get a 1500mAh version, not a 1200mAh)

    Rapterman, I used the adaptor with a UV filter which helped in the full sun areas and was intended for scratch protection. The adapter/filter connection is not waterproof, and depending on submersion, you can get water behind the filter. It doesn't hurt the camera, but now you have to remove the filter/adapter to clean the lens...and if your hands are cold and you drop it into the deepest pool in Panameta canyon, you might lose it and not be able to find it. :facepalm: The adapter also accepts a lens cap. I will probably replace it for that extra protection of the one part of the camera that just work work with scratches.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
  20. Rich Rudow

    Rich Rudow

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    Happy New Year folks!

    I go through one camera/year or so. My favorite has been the Panasonic TS2. Most have been retired because the lens gets scratched to the point of affecting image quality. I've been able to get some descent photos from this point and shoot rig, but I've been longing for something better. Then I found this!:D
    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-1-aw1

    In an effort to help my wife out during the Xmas rush, I tried to buy "my" present. Couldn't get one! Has anybody seen this Nikon rig yet? I can't imagine it being any more durable than the other cameras I've owned, but it's got a relatively BIG sensor and a real lens system. It just might take some really good photos. It has no image stabilization though, so I wonder if a tripod would be require to get good low light shots.

    Any Thoughts?

    Rich
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