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Antarctica camera recommendations


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Facts about me that will help provide pertinent advice:

 

  • I am by no means a professional photographer.  I won't be selling any of my pictures.  But I may be getting some of them blown up for gifts or framing.  
  • My Antarctica expedition trip is not until November, 2021, so I have time to practice and learn a new camera system.
  • I will carry my current setup (Nikon DX3300 with Nikon 18-300MM) as a backup.  This is not a camera I researched and chose but was a gift from my wife that I have used to educate myself on photography.  Well, I did replace the stock lenses that came with the camera because I wanted the least expensive option to cover wide angle and zoom without having to change lenses (which tells me I should've been using a bridge camera all along).
  • I dabble in Lightroom and typically shoot in RAW so that I can play around in LR.  I have a rudimentary understanding of aperture, shutter, etc settings and the ability to take decent pictures without the auto setting 😏   But I will never be confused for a professional.
  • I plan on bringing my Hero 4 for video shooting while on a Zodiac (though the choice of primary camera and its video capability might supersede that thought)
  • Budget is not the primary consideration in this recommendation.

 

What I am looking for is a recommendation on a weather sealed super zoom bridge camera.  I have done a lot of research and know what is out there.  But I am looking for recommendations from folks who took the same path as I and concluded that a bridge camera is a better option than a DSLR with a bunch of lenses to cart around while trying to keep them dry.  Questions are:

 

1)  How much zoom is enough?  Being a gadget guy, I am intrigued by the lure of a Nikon P950/1000 but I also don't want to come back from this trip with a bunch of fuzzy pictures because I zoomed out too far or couldn't use a tri/monopod at the time.  Will 600mm do the trick?  It seems like Sony and a few others are making 1" sensor bridge cameras that produce better image quality than the super long zoom cameras and 25x optical zoom. And I understand I will still need a lightweight tri/monopod.

 

2) I am specifically looking at a Sony RX10 Mark IV, but if there is something with similar features at a lesser price, I would look at that as well.  I was enamored with the description of phase detect AF.  I can't tell you how many times I have missed great shots with my current DSLR because the lense auto-focus wasn't fast enough (or I wasn't prepared with the right shutter speed setting ☺️).  But looking thru the various photography magazines and reviews, it can be rated anywhere from best to not appearing (on a side note it's amazing how 10 different "authorities" on cameras can have such different ratings).

 

I appreciate any and all inputs.   I appreciate experience over theory and reading reviews is informational but unsatisfying.

 

Thank you,

 

Mark

 

 

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I was on an Antarctic cruise this past January and used a 18-300mm Sigma lens. Sadly, I wasn’t ever in a Zodiac, so I was limited to what I could capture from the deck of the cruise ship. I was fairly happy with the results of the 300mm reach of the lens I had, but after the fact, would have liked a little more reach. However, had I been closer to the action than the deck of the ship, I think my 300mm would have probably been sufficient. In fact, when we went to Punta Tombo, to visit the Magellanic penguin colony, 300mm was perfect. All that being said, in anticipation of future trips that will include wildlife viewing, I’ve recently purchased a 100-400mm lens. Still not 600mm, but it’s what the budget could afford at this point. Like you, I take photographs for my own pleasure and an occasional gift. I hope this helps a little in the “real life” experience category.

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On 7/17/2020 at 2:34 PM, WEGL81 said:

Facts about me that will help provide pertinent advice:

 

  • I am by no means a professional photographer.  I won't be selling any of my pictures.  But I may be getting some of them blown up for gifts or framing.  
  • My Antarctica expedition trip is not until November, 2021, so I have time to practice and learn a new camera system.
  • I will carry my current setup (Nikon DX3300 with Nikon 18-300MM) as a backup.  This is not a camera I researched and chose but was a gift from my wife that I have used to educate myself on photography.  Well, I did replace the stock lenses that came with the camera because I wanted the least expensive option to cover wide angle and zoom without having to change lenses (which tells me I should've been using a bridge camera all along).
  • I dabble in Lightroom and typically shoot in RAW so that I can play around in LR.  I have a rudimentary understanding of aperture, shutter, etc settings and the ability to take decent pictures without the auto setting 😏   But I will never be confused for a professional.
  • I plan on bringing my Hero 4 for video shooting while on a Zodiac (though the choice of primary camera and its video capability might supersede that thought)
  • Budget is not the primary consideration in this recommendation.

 

What I am looking for is a recommendation on a weather sealed super zoom bridge camera.  I have done a lot of research and know what is out there.  But I am looking for recommendations from folks who took the same path as I and concluded that a bridge camera is a better option than a DSLR with a bunch of lenses to cart around while trying to keep them dry.  Questions are:

 

1)  How much zoom is enough?  Being a gadget guy, I am intrigued by the lure of a Nikon P950/1000 but I also don't want to come back from this trip with a bunch of fuzzy pictures because I zoomed out too far or couldn't use a tri/monopod at the time.  Will 600mm do the trick?  It seems like Sony and a few others are making 1" sensor bridge cameras that produce better image quality than the super long zoom cameras and 25x optical zoom. And I understand I will still need a lightweight tri/monopod.

 

2) I am specifically looking at a Sony RX10 Mark IV, but if there is something with similar features at a lesser price, I would look at that as well.  I was enamored with the description of phase detect AF.  I can't tell you how many times I have missed great shots with my current DSLR because the lense auto-focus wasn't fast enough (or I wasn't prepared with the right shutter speed setting ☺️).  But looking thru the various photography magazines and reviews, it can be rated anywhere from best to not appearing (on a side note it's amazing how 10 different "authorities" on cameras can have such different ratings).

 

I appreciate any and all inputs.   I appreciate experience over theory and reading reviews is informational but unsatisfying.

 

Thank you,

 

Mark

 

 

 

I have a P900 which I bought in 2016 for our Alaska trip because I did not want to haul around a bunch of lenses. Its a Fantastic camera for the price point which was about $500. The optical zoom is incredible, and it takes great photo's. Battery life is excellent and it doesn't way too much. One of my favorite things about the camera is it has a Viewfinder!!! They also have the P1000 which I have not used yet

 

https://amzn.to/2CiPJML

https://amzn.to/2WCQIhx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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