equipment: camera

updated: 2020-5

index

The following is a list of the current cameras we have.

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current cameras

Sony a6000 24.3MP w/ Sony SEL-P1650 16-50mm lens (amazon affiliate link)

  • owned since: 2015
  • current status: primary camera for travel
  • acquired from: buydig.com open box
  • condition: open box and exchanged in first 30 days because of malfunction
  • paid: USD$542.30
  • review:
    • I have a love and hate relationship with this camera.
    • I like that it is light for backpacking and everything I want in terms picture taking.
    • However, the stock lens (Sony SEL-P1650 16-50mm) has malfunctioned twice, the first allow me to exchange it while the second time was cause I dropped it. Searching online, the stock Sony Alpha kit lenses are very finicky and are prone the “can not read lens error.” I was able to fix it following youtube tutorials (i.e. Arthur R).
    • Even though I fixed my kit lens, I rarely use my kit lens and mostly take only my wide lens. See below for details.
    • Currently, I am planning to upgrade my camera to the Sony a7iiiR or similar. This is specifically for access to a full sensor and 4k video as we dabble in trip videos for Youtube
  • lenses
    • Sony SEL-P1650 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 (Amazon affiliate link)
    • Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS Ultra Wide Angle Lens Sony E-Mount (Amazon affiliate link)
      • owned since: 2016
      • acquired: new from ebay
      • cost: USD$283.99
      • current status: primary photography lens for backpacking trips
      • review:
        • also sold under the Rokinon name
        • This is my go to lens right now for my camera, pretty much what I’ll solely take for a backpacking trip on my camera.
        • It take nice wide shots with the 12mm and the F2 allows me to play with night photography, which is something I’m learning now.
        • It is manual, but I end up just keeping it at infinity focus for the purposes of landscape shots.
        • The negative is that it doesn’t utilize the camera stabilization, so it’s not great for video unless it’s on a tripod. I don’t utilize one, so I’m looking to upgrade to a better wide lens in the future. Perhaps to go with a new camera and that will be a dent in my wallet.
        • see sample images pre-lightroom and post-lightroom processing.
    • Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens (Amazon affiliate link)
      • owned since: 2016
      • acquired: used on ebay
      • cost: USD$335.00
      • current status: street or city photography
      • review:
        • I don’t use it much at all since we don’t travel much for cities. Even when we travel to a city, I end up just using my phone for photographies
        • Why did I buy it? When I started, I saw everywhere that I needed a 35mm (effective 50mm on the a6000 crop sensor) or the 50mm prime lens. I think this is for actual shots of people or people in city.
        • see sample images (pre-lightroom post processing)

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Pixel 3 (Amazon affiliate link)

  • owned since: 2018-12
  • current status: phone & primary camera
  • acquired from: google store
  • condition: new
  • paid: USD$833.36 tax included – with USD$400 in google fi credit promo (estimated 7 month phone bill)
  • review:
    • I have no complains about the photos from the phone. Recent phones have processing power and photo capabilities that can produce great looking pictures. On a local day hike, I only take my phone.
    • Unless you want to shoot in raw with a high quality camera and do some post processing, a phone is probably the best and lightest option.
    • sample photos and video, where I forgot my main camera and didn’t want to make the hour trip back for it.

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GoPro Hero7 Silver (Amazon affiliate link)

  • owned since: 2018-12
  • current status: primary water/diving camera
  • acquired from: GoPro
  • condition: new
  • paid: USD$127.21 tax included with USD$100 credit from trade in old camera (Canon Powershot)
  • review:
    • This was a mistake on GoPro’s side in terms of allowing the trade-in and promotion to be stacks (Dans Deals). It didn’t seem like they were going to honor it and sent me a revised quote after receiving my old camera. After several calls, they finally refunded me the difference after offering the difference in accessories.
    • For scuba diving, the newer GoPros no longer come with a plastic housing that can stand diving depth. The GoPros now are rated for 10m. So an additional waterproof housing is needed. Unfortunately, GoPro doesn’t make them for the Silver so it requires playing the aftermarket roulette.
    • I’m not sure what the difference the Silver line is any different than any waterproof cameras now days. I’m ok with the purchase at the price point that I got it and I needed to replace my Hero3+ Silver. However, I would not have bought the Silver for the listing price even with the trade in discount. It seems there is much to be desired in compare to the black version with the stabilization technology.
    • For scuba diving, I tend to take videos with the camera and it’s a bit of a task to post process the images for the blue. In the future, I plan to add a red filter for diving along with another spin in the waterproof casing aftermarket roulette.
    • sample photo and videos (after lightroom and Powerdirector/Colordirector post processing)

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retired dedicated cameras

GoPro Hero3+ Silver

  • owned since: 2014
  • current status: retired
  • acquired from: REI
  • condition: new
  • paid: $300 not including tax
    • Underwater camera useful for rainy times and diving. It was a good product for it’s time so no regrets for this small compact device that takes decent pictures.
    • sample photos

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Canon Powershot SX130 12.1 MegaPixels

  • owned since 2011
  • current status: retired and traded in to GoPro
  • acquired: Best Buy
  • condition: new
  • paid: ~$120
  • review:
    • It was a good first camera with some manual options for me to play around with. Also ran on AA batteries, so never needed to pack specialty batteries and I could always find replacements everywhere.
    • sample images

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