/ Camera vs Smartphone - alps

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echo34 on 11 Jul 2018

As the title suggests. I am debating acquiring a new camera for big trips to the alps and other places. I used to have a small compact camera only around 5mp which worked well, I stopped using it when I got a better smartphone as the phone is smaller and easier to get out, and for UK use has always worked well. I used a GoPro on a trip to the alps a few years back which worked well, but lacked range, and didn’t pick up the background scale too well. 

So now I am back to the idea of picking up a compact for bigger trips as iPhone plus gloves doesn’t end well. I was looking for something small and relatively simple such as the WX350, as I’m not looking to do anything complex with the pictures, just looking to point shoot and share, maybe print the odd one or two. 

Has anyone used the WX350? How does it compare to the phone? I am wondering if it’s even worth buying for my intended use, any thoughts on this? The iPhone seems to produce nice results, and combined with the GoPro covers a range of conditions - justvthe glove faff on precarious ridges...


Diddy - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

Not an iphone but a have small case for my phone and fix a lanyard to it  and secure it a shirt button that way the phone does not hit the ground. There are commercial offerings; Phonehug for one. I have one of those which works but goes around the neck

Sean Kelly - on 12 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

A decent camera takes photographs, an I-phone takes snaps. Just compare the size of the lens elements for a start. And if you are really after quality, all serious photographer will use an SLR, or something bigger! Just look at the top photo galleries on  here and nearly all taken on top of the range SLR's.  imagine going into a garage and asking for a Fiat Punto to trek across Siberia. It's much the same with photography.

richlan - on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I bow to your superior knowledge having looked at your profile but the latest top 10 and 100 photos on this site are probably 50/50 dSLR non dSLR, there is a few pros using mirrorless now so the lines are getting blurred somewhat...also my iPhone7 takes a much better "snap" than my 4 year old Panasonic Lumix compact.

tagscuderia on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

I'm heading to the Pyrenees on Sunday and have settled on taking my DSLR and 18-35mm F1.8 lens; that's a heavy combo for 9 days trekking the HRP but... I won't get the shots that I want with any other camera (I want to shoot some Full Spectrum).

I think that the RX100s are perfect for the mountains. To avoid the exorbitant premium Sony charge for them, previous generations are still available or buy 2nd hand! Panasonic make similar 1" sensor equipped cameras which are cheaper and also worth a look. ILCs e.g. Fuji X-E3 are great but again don't come cheap. But I wouldn't bother buying a camera with a sensor smaller than 1" as a modern phone using "Lightroom CC for mobile" will beat compacts thanks to capturing HDR DNG files.

Luke90 on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

Some Android phones can be set up to open the camera and take photos with button presses only i.e. no need to faff with taking off gloves to use the touchscreen. I'm afraid I don't know of any way to achieve that with the iPhone so it's no use to you in your current dilemma but perhaps it might be helpful for someone else or for you in the future.

My girlfriend swears she can operate the touchscreen fairly effectively with her nose but it does make you look very foolish and certainly wouldn't work for a selfie!

Smythson on 13 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

You probably have to have the phone with you anyway so unless you can take the extra weight stick with the phone. One thing I would say is to use a tripod and shutter delay (to remove finger wobbling the phone) I've got a cheapo eBay phone tripod, like a foam gorilla pod that doesn't weigh much at all. When I really want a nice shot I'll set something up and the results for normal usage are pretty good. If it's a quick shot then balanced on top of a walking pole is much better than handheld. As above - I'm on Sony that has separate camera buttons and can opened via a double tap with gloves on.

richlan - on 15 Jul 2018
In reply to Luke90:

Volume up button on iPhone triggers the camera shutter, still need to swipe left on the lock screen to get to the camera app though but plenty of gloves that are touch screen compatible.

purplemonkeyelephant - on 15 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

Can't speak for all phones but the biggest problem with phone cameras is the cold in my experience. Even a mild sub zero breeze and my phone sometimes shuts off or won't work properly. It gets cold very fast. 

My SLR (7D) on the other hand only started struggling below -30, where the screen wasn't showing full frame rate playback and the shutter was very slow. For quick summit shots a compact is fine, but for real photography I'd be worried it wouldn't handle the conditions. 

Kemics - on 15 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

I use a Sony A6000, which I found to be a really good compromise. Let you changes lenses and take some really nice quality photos. Plus with a slightly smaller lens than stock it fits easily into a jacket pocket. 

I have an Samsung s7 and it takes nice photos to look at. But when I printed some photos off my camera and phone and have them side by side... there is no comparison! 

LunaAnderson - on 16 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

Iphone is a good camera for all conditions, but if you want to buy a specific camera for trail, I recommend the A6300. It's great for taking nature views and also portraits.

Gopro is just for wide angle. If you want to find the best hiking camera, let's take a look here, hope it may help:

CLYoung - on 19 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

I've got an A6000 and when I can't be bothered to take my DSLR I use that with the 24mm lens. However, that lens is expensive (I bought mine second hand  with cosmetic damage to the barrel) and quite large. If I was starting over now I might get one of the Canon M series mirrorless cameras instead because you can get a very good quality 22mm pancake lens for much less money and it would be more convenient to carry. Also the Canon wide angle zoom is cheaper, has a good reputation and covers a wider range than the Sony one.

rubertm on 25 Jul 2018
In reply to echo34:

Get a mirrorless camera. Compact yet can capture really good images.

idiotproof (Buxton MC) - on 25 Jul 2018
In reply to rubertm:

I took a compact with me for my last week in Ailfroide. Probably the first time ive used it i  two years and my main reasoning was that i was camping and was not easy to charge things. 

My phone realistically would need charging daily or day and a halfly if leaving it running and opening up to take photos etc. I  charged my compact batterry before leaving the UK, took a load of photos and still had 1/2 battery charge when i returned.

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