14 Comments

  1. Helen Beckers
    Helen Beckers March 26, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Hey Ray, great! Exactly the information that I need for my next item on my To Buy-list: a camera… Looking for one that is light, has an optical viewfinder, long batterie life, and makes HD videos…
    How many batteries did you take on your JMT? Did you carry a charger? (Sorry if you wrote that in your book already and I’m now asking again… been reading so much these days, that I can’t keep everything in my head) :c) See you! Helen

    1. Ray
      Ray March 26, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Thanks for the comment, Helen!

      This was the camera I carried on my first thru-hike: http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Coolpix-P6000-Vibration-Reduction/dp/B001DO15J2. I love this little guy, especially if I am shooting in good light. This price seems a little high; I’m sure there are comparable cameras for less. I carried three batteries (they are tiny), and I brought the not-so-tiny charger so that I could charge them at Red’s Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch. I was careful to avoid using the LCD as much as possible and that worked out fine. (By the way, I don’t think this camera shoots HD video; it’s an old model.)

      I shot in RAW mode exclusively, which allowed me to do some pretty terrific stuff in post-processing.

      I may do a fourth installment on this topic, listing some cameras to consider.

      Good hiking!

      1. pascale
        pascale March 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        hello Ray
        i was glad to find your article and i will look forward to reading the next one… ever since we have decided on taking the jmt journey on its entirety i have been wondering which camera to bring… at first i wanted to bring my gh2 panasonic , but this camera consumes so much battery power that i don’t think it is a good idea. so i am thinking about bringing my canon g10, but still i wondeer about the battery. we will not leave the trail at all for 24 to 26 days??? i have not been able to find any solar power outlet for the lithium baterries unless i want to pay over 700$ for one?? so what would be your advise on how many batteries to carry for his length of time
        thank
        pascale from Montreal Quebec

  2. Clayton
    Clayton March 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    No good reason not to pickup a gps enabled point and shoot camera today. Many models to be had for $300 or less. GPS encoding your photos helps place where they were taken on the trip…

    1. Ray
      Ray March 27, 2013 at 7:19 am

      Great point! One thing to remember, though, is to keep the GPS off unless you are shooting. They consume a lot of battery.

  3. Tom
    Tom March 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for the info Ray, and thanks for the help on my JMT hike last year. I would love to do the hike again with a good camera. Last year I went very light and used my Samsung cell phone for both still pictures and video. I also used it for GPS and casual reading material (including your ebook). I took a solar charger to keep it charged. It did the job just fine for what I wanted, (taking stills and recording video logs, similar to yours) and I got some nice shots, but for the next JMT hike I’m thinking of taking something with a large sensor for good dynamic range and light gathering capability to really try to capture the beauty of the trail. A lady we hiked with for a while had a Samsung NX-20 that took beautiful pictures similar to a DSLR, but weighed much less. I’ll have to look into something like that.

    1. Ray
      Ray March 28, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Tom, I know exactly how you feel. I, too, am considering carrying something bigger this year: my anything-but-ultralight Nikon D800. I change plans from day to day, but what I am considering right now is going with just a fast 50mm (1.4). (The other options I’m considering are my 24-70 2.8 or perhaps a rented or purchased super zoom). Decisions, decisions!

      Be sure to check out next Tuesday’s post where I will discuss some almost-as-good-as-DSLR cameras that are still pretty light.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Cameras on the Trail, Part 3 of 3
    Cameras on the Trail, Part 3 of 3 April 9, 2013 at 3:36 am

    […] part one of this series I discussed simple, easy-to-use, point-and-shoot cameras. They are a great choice due to their […]

  5. William
    William June 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Hey Ray – I created a comparison chart to make it easier to find the best cameras. I also have several camera reviews on my site. I hope that some of your readers might find it useful! http://bestpointandshootcameraguide.com/
    Thanks –

  6. Cameras on the Trail, Part 4
    Cameras on the Trail, Part 4 February 10, 2015 at 3:33 am

    […] two years ago I published a three-part article regarding cameras on the trail. Part 1 talked about small point-and-shoot cameras. Part 2 discussed […]

  7. John
    John March 26, 2015 at 6:25 am

    I have recently become a HUGE fan of the mirrorless Sony cameras. More compact and lighter than any DSLR, they have awesome image management. They can be power hungry, but man are they great. Would love a weather resistant model. Check out the Sony a6000. This is the way of future cameras IMHO! Cheers. And I still don’t know what I’ll carry…lol

Leave a Reply to Ray Click here to cancel reply.