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  1. #1
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    WTB: DSLR for ski touring (looking for suggestions/info)

    I am looking for a mid range DSLR to shoot ski photography with. Hoping to take it on longer trips (I tour more than ride chairlifts) so light weight/able to shoot without a ton of accessory equipment would be a plus. But ultimately I want a nice camera that will enable me to share the beauty I see in the mountains with my friends an family. Any suggestions?

    Thinking about a Canon EOS T2i or something similar, but I am a total camera newb, so any ideas/suggestions would help. Thanks

  2. #2
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    What's your budget? Do you shot with an SLR before? If not, why an SLR over something a bit smaller? It's a bit to lug around...

  3. #3
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    Look for something with good weather/dust sealing. I'm a Nikon guy so can't help with the Canon choices, but in the Nikon line the D7000 is the best choice. Weather/dust sealed and lighter/more compact than the more expensive bodies. If you don't mind going used, a D200 would probably be a great choice at this point. The D200 was my first DSLR and it's a great bang-for-the-buck if you get a lightly used one at this point.

    One of the smaller 4/3 cameras might be a better overall choice these days for carrying ease, but I don't know much about them or which ones might have good water/dust resistance.

    Yeah, a DSLR is kind of a chunk to carry around, but I don't mind mine most of the time. I carry with a chest harness and unless I'm heading out into crappy weather (where you're not going to see anything but fog/clouds) or just going to ride the chairs somewhere I've been a million times before, I pretty much don't leave home without it.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  4. #4
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    Someone's selling a D5000 for $400 in another thread because he can't figure out the buttons. Might be a good place to start.

  5. #5
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    Weather sealing is a good call... but $$$$$

    If you're on a smaller budget, no weather sealing will be fine... just try not to drop it in the snow too many times... hah

  6. #6
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    If it's snowing really hard (or worse, raining) or you're skiing deep snow, chances are you're going to get it wet unless you're really careful. Also, I carry mine backpacking in the summer all the time and that = dusty conditions.

    Still, for $400 I don't know how you could go wrong with that D5000.

    A lot depends on the budget though, which the OP didn't mention. I bought my D7000 new back in January and don't regret the $$$ for a moment. Got a good package deal from B&H which included the 70-300 VR lens for $1500.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  7. #7
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    I like the 5000, to echo the folks about the other thread...

    I have one, admittedly it's a back-up, 2nd body now, but she's a good one.

    Certainly it has its limitations (no in-body auto-focus por ejemplo), but it is a nice little lightweight body more than capable of taking good photos...


    d5000 sampler plate














  8. #8
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    If weather sealing is important you might look at Pentax - I think they offer the cheapest weather sealed bodies. The K7 can be had for very good prices now and the newer K5 has just gone down in price. Both are very compact given the level of features they have. Pentax doesn't have the huge range of lenses you can access through Canon or Nikon but ask yourself how many lenses you will really buy
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  9. #9
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    3 of the 5 lenses I own I bought used. Availability of lenses on the used market is one reason I sold off my Pentax stuff and went Nikon.

    That said, I'm trying to sell two of those lenses and of the 3 I'm keeping, one I rarely use (50 f1.8), one I use only slightly more frequently for wildlife (70-300), and one is on the camera about 90% of the time (16-85).

    Still, I haunt the used lens shelves at the pawn shops and camera stores, waiting for that sweet deal on a wide angle prime to show up.

    Oh, and here's something to sweeten the deal if you buy that D5000 - I'll sell my 24-120 VR for $300. It's in like-new condition, I've only used it a few times. It's a good lens for skiing, but not the best for scenery/landscape work which is why I went with the 16-85 instead.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  10. #10
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    I tend to get a bit of flack for this suggestion, but why not look into a Canon 20, 30, or 40D? All very good cameras that shoot plenty fast for skiing. I beleive they are all weather sealed and the thing takes as good of pictures as the photographer and the glass will allow.

    Nothing wrong with any one of the bodies above. I got my 20d for $200, left a good amount of money in the budget for some nice glass.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    3 of the 5 lenses I own I bought used. Availability of lenses on the used market is one reason I sold off my Pentax stuff and went Nikon.

    That said, I'm trying to sell two of those lenses and of the 3 I'm keeping, one I rarely use (50 f1.8), one I use only slightly more frequently for wildlife (70-300), and one is on the camera about 90% of the time (16-85).

    Still, I haunt the used lens shelves at the pawn shops and camera stores, waiting for that sweet deal on a wide angle prime to show up.
    I'm in the UK so availability might be different here. No denying that there is a much bigger market for Canikon but I have bought all my lenses through a combination of the 2nd hand market and discount deals which make the lens pretty much as cheap as buying second hand. It does take a bit of patience though
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  12. #12
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    Instead of a DSLR, the OP should look hard at the different mirrorless options out there....
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Instead of a DSLR, the OP should look hard at the different mirrorless options out there....
    I'm casually in the same boat. What is a mirrorless? Pros and cons and comparisons to DSLRs?
    Best regards, Terry
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  14. #14
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    Canon G series comes to mind for something smaller than a dslr... I've been lugging my T2i around, I'm fat so I barely notice

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
    I'm casually in the same boat. What is a mirrorless? Pros and cons and comparisons to DSLRs?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrorl...le-lens_camera

    And there is this difference too...

    http://camerasize.com/compare/#219,34
    Last edited by Lonnie; 11-17-2011 at 10:01 AM.
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  16. #16
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    THanks for all the suggestions and help guys.

    I just wanted to list some advice I have received from professional photographers on this thread so others could benefit. They suggested the Rebel t3i or the Canon 7d if I can spend the money. Anything more expensive they suggested was too high end for a beginner since the technology will likely advance before I have even learned how to fully maximize the features it offers. Anything less than the Rebel series and you are going to feel too limited by your device.

  17. #17
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    I still don't understand the argument of size with the mirrorless cameras. Either it fits in your pocket or it doesn't. Unless you have a wide prime lens on the mirrorless camera, it won't fit. Throw a standard zoom on the mirrorless camera, and it's just as much of a PITA to carry around as a DSLR. When you're skiing, you're typically taking a zoom lens with you- so size is out of the equation in my mind.

    I think your initial thought is spot-on... something like the T2i. Its smaller/lighter than the xxD bodies in Canon's lineup, and it's almost as good IQ-wise. You'll lose some of the FPS of something like a 40D and its 6.5 FPS, but maybe that doesn't matter. If it does matter, I'd recommend getting the 40D or the Nikon D90.

    Edit to add... look at the picture on this link for the Sony NEX camera. The 18-55 lens is as big as the camera, so IMO, it's in the same boat as a DSLR. Sure it's a little bit lighter, but that doesn't outweigh the benefits of having a DSLR with you.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Interchan...1651686&sr=8-1

  18. #18
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    i generally agree with this but if you take the panny gf3 and put on the new X14-42 lens, you do get something which is not a lot bigger than a high end compact (i'm thinking LX5 or a canon G12). That said, you are still giving up quite a lot vs a DSLR in terms of controls, FPS, viewfinder etc, and it is a lot more expensive than the compact
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  19. #19
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    Steve,

    Have you held a mirrorless camera? My bet is no. I hear your argument all the time, "the lens is as big as the body." What people like you don't get, because they haven't handled a compact mirrorless cam, is how small the body is. They are T.I.N.Y. I know that there are many lenses in the pipeline and sony has told it's users that they are working on making the lenses smaller.

    Here's the nex-5n compared the the t2i (for those to lazy to click the link above).



    So yeah, the lens might be appear big based on relative size, but it's still small when compared to a dslr. Small enough to fit in a parka pocket, your camelbak (if biking) or in a small ski pack if touring like the OP suggested. It can do all the things a full sized DSLR can do (aperture more, shutter priority, full manual, exp compensation, etc, etc). It's a viable option for someone like to OP who wants a relative simple, small sized solution.



    I focused on the nex, but the m4/3 options are pretty capable, and at the current time, have more lens options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arno View Post
    i generally agree with this but if you take the panny gf3 and put on the new X14-42 lens, you do get something which is not a lot bigger than a high end compact (i'm thinking LX5 or a canon G12). That said, you are still giving up quite a lot vs a DSLR in terms of controls, FPS, viewfinder etc, and it is a lot more expensive than the compact
    The GF3 is smaller than the g12.

    This is the worst pain EVER!

  20. #20
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    No, I haven't held it.... and I get what you're saying. IMO though, cameras fit into two categories when it comes to size: pocketable or not. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion, but if it can't fit into your pocket, then like I said- I'd rather just carry a DSLR and benefit from it's features and capabilities. Mirrorless cameras are not on par with DSLRs when it comes to performance (yet, at least).

    With regards to ski touring though, I completely see your point- the mirrorless cameras are much lighter, and that might be what matters to the OP. In that case, I'd take a look.

  21. #21
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    I see smmokan's point. I ended up with the T2i because is did not really feel that much bigger than the mirrorless. Once the lens was on, it would take a big pocket to fit. It would not fit in my touring shell jacket pocket. It would fit into my heavier parka pocket though. Barely. A lot of P&S will fit into my touring pocket.

    Anyway, figuring I would probably have my camera in my pack this season, I chose the T2i because there are way more lens options (especially used) that I can play around with as I get to know my camera. I am also like the OP and a newb to SLR, and happy I went this way.

    Now I just need to figure out how I am going to pack it while I ski. I've been carrying it around in a shoulder diaper bag.

  22. #22
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    Think Tank Photo has a chest harness system for their holsters that seems like an interesting idea. http://www.thinktankphoto.com/produc...arness-v2.aspx

    I honestly haven't brought a DSLR up the hill so I can't say how well it'd work. I need to get about 50 times better at skiing before I feel comfortable skiing with my gear.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    No, I haven't held it.... and I get what you're saying. IMO though, cameras fit into two categories when it comes to size: pocketable or not. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion, but if it can't fit into your pocket, then like I said- I'd rather just carry a DSLR and benefit from it's features and capabilities. Mirrorless cameras are not on par with DSLRs when it comes to performance (yet, at least).
    We walked to the park today with the baby. I put my nex with the 18-55 zoom in my coat pocket (and this was a regular waist coat, not a ski parka). By your def, it's a pocket camera. Any more questions?
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Archer View Post
    Think Tank Photo has a chest harness system for their holsters that seems like an interesting idea. http://www.thinktankphoto.com/produc...arness-v2.aspx

    I honestly haven't brought a DSLR up the hill so I can't say how well it'd work. I need to get about 50 times better at skiing before I feel comfortable skiing with my gear.
    That's basically what I use. I have a Thinktank d-20 holster but I use the cheap, simple, and light Lowepro topload zoom chest harness. The Lowepro harness is the lowest profile, simplest and cheapest harness I've found. I can even put on a regular backpack over it and it's fine (see pics below).

    I put it on over my base layer and my jackets are all big enough to be zipped up over the holster (but just barely in a couple of cases.) My friends call me "The Seahorse" 'cause I look like I'm pregnant with this rig but it works great. The camera is always at hand and faceplants are a real rarity so the camera is as safe as it can possibly be.



    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    We walked to the park today with the baby. I put my nex with the 18-55 zoom in my coat pocket (and this was a regular waist coat, not a ski parka). By your def, it's a pocket camera. Any more questions?
    Good for you.

    Apparently you missed the part of the original question where he asked about skiing with the camera, not walking to the park with your baby.

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