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Best Camera System for Antarctica/ Patagonia "Newbie"

Best Camera System for Antarctica/ Patagonia "Newbie"

Old Sep 19, 17, 6:58 pm
  #1  
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Best Camera System for Antarctica/ Patagonia "Newbie"

We are going to Antarctica, and I want to obtain a camera system for this bucket-list trip. I hope you can help identify options for me.

Situation:

While I have not used an advanced camera in about 45 years, I used to handle good equipment as a photographer for my college newspaper. How much do I remember of the basics? Only a bit.

In the more recent years, I have had an array of small point-and-shoot cameras. Currently, a Cannon PowerShot Elph 310HS. I have not really studied up on the manual that much, as I only pull it out occasionally when using my Iphone camera might lead to the loss of my Iphone

I want to get a camera and lens that would be optimal for shooting nature in Antarctica and Patagonia. I desire to be able to take high resolution pictures that I can blow up and mount on the walls of my house (if any come out great).

Given that I don't care to develop a hobby as a photographer, and don't desire to keep lugging a larger camera around on other trips, this might be a one-off.

So, I called my local camera rental place and asked how much a good camera system would cost to rent for a month. They quoted me $750.00. They said that would be for renting $5000 of equipment.

I would appreciate any advice that you might be able to provide to this "newbie." Is there a great and simple camera/lens out there that I could buy for less than a $1000 that would give me really high resolution pictures suitable for enlarging and mounting? Other options?

Many thanks!
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Old Sep 19, 17, 9:58 pm
  #2  
 
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I don't really want to learn to play golf at a high level but got an invitation to play in the US Open. Help me decide what equipment I can rent that will help me play like Dustin Johnson for a week so I can have some great memories of this once in a lifetime experience.

See how that sounds? If you do not want to learn how to really use the high-end equipment your rental shop is offering, and practice a lot with it before going, and learn the nuances of difficult fieldcraft that go into making wall-mountable images in difficult conditions, then you are wasting your time.

As a part-time professional who has hauled camera gear up mountains, into wilderness and through some pretty scary places, the best advice I can give is to learn how to use whatever equipment you have to the best it can do. Any skilled photographer can make better images with that point and shoot camera than an unmotivated, unpracticed weekend snap-shooter can make with that $5000 rig.

Learn how to shoot decent digital images, don't expect the gear to do it for you. If your existing camera isn't up to the task, get a good all-in-one camera that will last you for years and learn how to use it. That will give you a far better experience than renting a huge professional outfit but not learning how to use it. Save some money and have a better experience.

Wow! That really came off as pompous. I really do mean to be helpful but at the same time want to point out that there is no magic bullet here. To get pro-quality results, you need to make pro-quality shots.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 10:11 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
I don't really want to learn to play golf at a high level but got an invitation to play in the US Open. Help me decide what equipment I can rent that will help me play like Dustin Johnson for a week so I can have some great memories of this once in a lifetime experience.

See how that sounds? If you do not want to learn how to really use the high-end equipment your rental shop is offering, and practice a lot with it before going, and learn the nuances of difficult fieldcraft that go into making wall-mountable images in difficult conditions, then you are wasting your time.

As a part-time professional who has hauled camera gear up mountains, into wilderness and through some pretty scary places, the best advice I can give is to learn how to use whatever equipment you have to the best it can do. Any skilled photographer can make better images with that point and shoot camera than an unmotivated, unpracticed weekend snap-shooter can make with that $5000 rig.

Learn how to shoot decent digital images, don't expect the gear to do it for you. If your existing camera isn't up to the task, get a good all-in-one camera that will last you for years and learn how to use it. That will give you a far better experience than renting a huge professional outfit but not learning how to use it. Save some money and have a better experience.

Wow! That really came off as pompous. I really do mean to be helpful but at the same time want to point out that there is no magic bullet here. To get pro-quality results, you need to make pro-quality shots.
Thanks for your helpful insights. Who would argue with anything you said. However, I was not looking for life lessons from you, just a camera recommendation.
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Old Sep 23, 17, 3:08 pm
  #4  
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I can highly recommend a Canon G3x which is an advanced point & shoot with many of the same features of my pro Nikon D5. It has a wide range of 24mm-600mm along with terrific macro which will be perfect for Antarctica although most of the wildlife is pretty close. I would also recommend getting the electronic viewfinder eyepiece for it too, the screen is sometimes difficult to see in bright light and you will certainly have that in Antarctica especially reflecting off the ice. No matter what camera you decide on I would also highly recommend getting some knee pads, they don't have to be fancy construction worker ones, I got lightweight foam ones for $4.99 at Menard's, the beaches are rocky & poopy, your knees will thank you when you get down to penguin level. Have a great trip!
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Old Sep 23, 17, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by KLR View Post
I can highly recommend a Canon G3x which is an advanced point & shoot with many of the same features of my pro Nikon D5. It has a wide range of 24mm-600mm along with terrific macro which will be perfect for Antarctica although most of the wildlife is pretty close. I would also recommend getting the electronic viewfinder eyepiece for it too, the screen is sometimes difficult to see in bright light and you will certainly have that in Antarctica especially reflecting off the ice. No matter what camera you decide on I would also highly recommend getting some knee pads, they don't have to be fancy construction worker ones, I got lightweight foam ones for $4.99 at Menard's, the beaches are rocky & poopy, your knees will thank you when you get down to penguin level. Have a great trip!
Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions! I'll look into the Canon and will get the knee pads!

BTW, what is a "macro?"
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Old Sep 24, 17, 5:42 am
  #6  
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Macro is for taking super close up shots, I especially used it in Antarctica to take pictures of the interesting lichens on the rocks on the beaches.
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Old Sep 25, 17, 6:00 pm
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I strongly recommend that you post your question on DPReview where you will receive a more extensive response.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/4001
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Old Sep 25, 17, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by RSSrsvp View Post
I strongly recommend that you post your question on DPReview where you will receive a more extensive response.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/4001
Thanks for the referral! I greatly appreciate it!
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Old Oct 12, 17, 8:03 am
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Sounds like a trip of a lifetime. I remember doing a once in a lifetime trip with family/parents to the Med. and lugged two cameras D300 and D40 and several lens. To be honest I think 90% of the photos likely could be taken with my iPhone 7plus and dual lens.

The challenge with scenic and wilderness you will need both wide angle and long zoom, and both on a high end camera are big, heavy and expensive

If the viewing will only be on your iPhone or computer screen a compact long range superzoom and iPhone will work perfect ( make sure you never run out of power )

Here is a good review of the current lineup:

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/201...g-zoom-cameras
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