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 Post subject: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:46 pm
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Location: Bozeman
I'm going to Alaska for 6 weeks to conduct research and climb. I won't have access to any AC power to charge my digital camera's battery. I have an Olympus Stylus 850 SW. I'm thinking of buying a spare battery and also taking a bunch of disposable cameras. But would rather have my digital. Suggestions wanted!

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:45 pm
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I used a Stylus 400 series for the month I spent in AK and was fine with only two batteries. This included the 18 days on Denali in temps as low as -20F, but of course the camera was always kept in a jacket pocket before anticipated use but the batteries were subjected to the temperatures at night. Not sure how many pictures you are anticipating, but I think my two batteries allowed me around 300. We did carry disposables as a backup on summit day but never used them. Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:46 pm
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Sweet man! Just been nervous because it seems my Stylus runs out of juice if I use it more than 2-3 days heavily when I've been out in cold temperatures in Montana this winter....

With your second battery did you just let it sit in your pack until you needed it or did you try to keep it warm as well?

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:45 pm
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Location: Lakes Region, NH
have you thought about a solar charging kit?

I'd try to keep any batteries as warm as possible. Inner coat pocket at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:46 am 
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iceworm wrote:
With your second battery did you just let it sit in your pack until you needed it or did you try to keep it warm as well?


Second battery remained in Lowe Pro camera case until the first died. Only time I made any effort to warm the battery was prior to camera operation.

I know the cost is somewhat prohibitive but the 800 series batteries are pretty small and light, may be worth carrying 2 spares. Or opt for the solar charger + battery charger route.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:06 am 
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i've looked into solar chargers, but the ones i've been checking out have gotten some pretty bad reviews. Any suggestions on this option...cost is a big factor too.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:29 pm 
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iceworm wrote:
Any suggestions on this option...cost is a big factor too.


Haven't used any of these personally, but this may be a good place to start.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Location: Lakes Region, NH
I haven't used any of the solar chargers as I haven't had a need to but I know that they are all the rave lately so I threw it out there. I think that a god option would be to carry a spare 4 pack in a warm spot and maybe toss a disposable or 2 in there for good measure -they are light and don't take up much space and at least you'll have something if all the batteries die.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Location: Chamonix, France
I would just go with spare batteries.

If your electronics gear uses disposable batteries get lithium ones. If it's rechargable and uses lithium ion batteries you should be good too (virtually everything does nowadays).

Lithium based batteries have pretty good cold tolerance in general.

SLRs will last longer because the lenses only have servo engines for the focus, not the zoom, and they don't use the screen to actually take pictures, only to review them, but of course they are much heavier and usually more expensive.

I had a small canon which I was very happy with... It worked in south america (early season, -50°c, i think that's -55°f), as long as I kept it inside the jacket/sleeping bag at all times. Unfortunately this camera went swimming in a hot spring.

Nowadays I use a nikon d40x which is a pretty light body for an SLR but definitely not a pocket camera, especially with the lens I use. No problems with the cold whatsoever. The battery life is so good I didn't even get a spare yet.

You should keep the spare battery warm. Lithium batteries keep a charge better at room temperature (months as opposed to weeks), but also a spare is not much use if it's frozen when you need it.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:29 am 
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Location: Vail, Co
Make sure you are shutting the LCD screen off and I wouldn't constantly look at photos. I know this used till kill my canon.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:11 am 
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nothingmuch wrote:
I had a small canon which I was very happy with... It worked in south america (early season, -50°c, i think that's -55°f), as long as I kept it inside the jacket/sleeping bag at all times. Unfortunately this camera went swimming in a hot spring.


-50C is -67F and that's freakin cold no matter how you look at it. I guess after -25 does it really matter though? Everything below that is just brutal.

I hate when cameras get the urge to go swimming. They just don't get it do they. It's like when my motorcycle gets too tired and just needs to take a nap and lays down. That bitch. She did it last week. 1st ride of the season and she got tired and took a quick nap. I hate when that happens.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Check for spare batteries on ebay. Usually you can find a compatible one for a lot cheaper. Might not last as long as a "real" brand battery, but on the flips side you can usually buy a few of them for cheaper than the price of one brand name battery.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on digital cameras on long trips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:45 am 
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Location: Chamonix, France
Quote:
I hate when cameras get the urge to go swimming


Usually you can wash them in tap water and just let them dry for a week, but that river/hot spring was kinda groggy and sand got into the focusing mechanism.


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