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Camera thoughts

A question for the many brilliant photographers in the group (amateur or otherwise)...

I’ll be taking part in next years challenge and want to capture the incredible landscape on camera. For short trips I often take my DSLR (heavy, and I don’t want to risk damaging it over a long and probably soggy adventure), and otherwise I use my iPhone (surprisingly good, but this will be my primary communication tool so would prefer to keep that tucked away more often than not). I want some manual control and image quality is more important than length of lens. Must be able to shoot RAW.

So. What would be your go-to light weight and pocketable compact (or mirrorless) camera for the above scenario? Would be great if you can include a money no object option as well as a more sensible option (under £300, second hand would be fine)

Thanks in advance!

Re: Camera thoughts

Hi Tim
I have no idea if it fits the bill, not being technically minded, but I have an Olympus Tough that I think takes a jolly good photograph, my lovely hubby bought it for me Christmas before my first Challenge because I am a tad clumsy and this has survived me! Might be worth a look 😊

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...and you can see some of Louise's many beautiful pictures here.

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Thank you Adrian 😁
See you in May?

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Yes! I happened to have your blog open, stealing ideas for my route. Nearly done.

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Excellent! And glad my blog is useful, hope to bump into you again 😁

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Thanks so much, will have a look!

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Hi Tim

I am just about to upgrade my main travel camera and after a lot of research will be buying a Panasonic DMC-TZ100 (just waiting for Black Friday.)

It was important for me to have a camera that was small, light and could be carried in a pouch attached to my rucksac belt, yet still be able to prioritize, aperture, ISO etc. In addition it also has a decent zoom (x10) for the wide open spaces of Scotland.

As I have short arms and long pockets, as many will testify, I can also recommend the Panasonic outlet on Ebay where they sell returned / refurbished cameras with a 1 year warranty at discounted prices.

Hope that helps

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This looks like a great option - I'll try and find one to play with

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I bought one of these on eBay for just £95.

Panasonic DMC-TZ60. As for shooting RAW, I think both the RAW file and a full JPEG are saved to the memory card - you'd have to check on that. Practical Photography review HERE

Light, very compact, electronic viewfinder for when the screen is useless because of glare (very useful) and a surprisingly good 30X zoom.

Plus, being an older model they can be picked up cheaply, used for the challenge, then bunged back on fleabay again when you've finished with it!

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This looks good too, thanks!

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If you want interchangeable lenses have a look at this Panasonic GX800 https://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer/cameras-camcorders/lumix-mirrorless-cameras/lumix-g-cameras/dc-gx800.html

Sadly, the control of A and S settings are fiddly, but the auto is pretty good. I have an earlier version GM1 and it has been my go to camera for 5 years.


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Another shout for the little Panasonics; I have a couple, including the TZ70 which shoots RAW, has a Leica lens and easily pocketable. I got mine for £250ish, great results.

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Lots of votes so far for the Panasonics/ I’d not considered them until now but I’ll definitely be having a look.

Has anyone had any experience with the canon gx7? As I’m familiar with canons it looks good and I love canons colour tone

Re: Camera thoughts

Hi Tim - yes, I have a G7X and it is an excellent camera. Bought mainly for its low light ability (I don't like using flash) I have never taken it on the Challenge as it is quite heavy and overkill for the sort of pictures I am likely to take. I have used an older Powershot S90 and this is more than adequate, lighter, and now practically worthless so I don't worry about damage. That said, it has got pretty wet on occasions and come through fine after some TLC. Coming up to 4,000 shots taken since new. If you can find a good used one on eBay it should cost about £50. The newer S95 or S100 are improvements to widen your search, but you may pay more (+£10!) because they are newer.

The camera arms race is similar to that being run by mobile phones, better spec, higher price, pressure to upgrade etc. Stuff that was very good a few years ago, is still very good now.


Re: Camera thoughts

Thanks Andy, really useful

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Haven't bought camera for a few years but current one is a Panasonic Lumix which is not the lightest but does a good job on backpacking trips. Previously had Canon Power-Shot, simpler but adequate. One make to avoid is Konica - it was my first compact and died on first wet day even in poly bag inside liner inside rucksack.