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  • camera in the BC issues

    I have a panasonic lumix camera that takes decent pictures and fair videos. Whenever I get on the snow, I can't see the LCD screen for "nuthin" because of the brightness of the surrounding terrain. It has a setting for a brighter display that I have the camera set to, but it still isn't easy to see what I'm snapping a picture of. I know certain cameras have old school view finders. Unfortunately, mine doesn't have that. It's half the reason that I don't take many pictures. It's hard enough to get people to stop for a picture, and when you add the fiddling time, there's no chance to get a shot.

    This "fiddle time" also effects "on the go" pictures. If I haul ass and get out ahead to turn backward to take a picture, the combination of "cant see $hit" and "fiddle time" make it so everyone is standing next to me by the time I'm ready to take the picture... There's no "pull it out, Click, Put it away"

    Maybe I should just forget about it and put it on "sports mode" where it takes a picture every second for as long as you hold down the shutter button, then just sort out the pictures that actually come out decently.

    I wonder if I'm missing something obvious,... suggestions please.
    the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

  • #2
    I also have a Panasonic Lumix camera and it has a dual screen and view finder, Are you sure yours doesn't have that? The way it works is that when the camera is on there is a view on the screen and yes it is hard to use in the sun. But, once you put the camera to your face the screen goes off and the view finder starts up. The view finder has a dial to adjust for your eyes so no glasses needed.
    "Just say no to groomed snow"

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    • #3
      I have a Lumix too, and have kinda found it to be the worst of both worlds. All the inconvenience of a DSLR (without the picture quality), and only slightly better images than a phone (without the convenience, nor instant cloud backup). So unless my primary objective for the day is photography, I'm just using my phone. Mittens with handwarmers make this go a lot more smoothly.

      ​​​​​​The videos I've shared here have all been shot with Google phones. Pro quality images? No. But the convenience and ease of operation allows me to get shots I wouldn't otherwise get, and in higher quantities, with lower partner frustration. If you have a buddy who's also got his program dialed, you can ski leapfrogging 10-15 turn segments at a pace not much slower than you would anyway in the backcountry (when you're always keeping tabs on your partner).

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      • #4
        A Lumix is what I have as well, which I bought thinking it would be OK for photos/movies while skiing. It's not, mainly because it's so bulky and the "fiddle factor" BTS mentions. It does have the optical viewer, though. The main redeeming feature of this camera is it's impressive telephoto ability. I like to have it along in my car or backpack in case I see an interesting bird or mammal at a distance. The camera I do take skiing is a Canon ELPH, which is tiny but takes pretty good stills and videos. Mine now has some internal crap or dust that may be on the sensor or inside the lens and that shows up as spots on the sky or snow. Of course Canon does not clean or fix these, only replaces them, and the replacements are not nearly as good as these older ones. Sigh...

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        • #5
          wow, thanks for all the info. My lumix doesn't have the old school viewfinder, like some lumix models have. I think my camera is called a ZS3. It has a zoom that works even during video recording. It's about the size of a pack of cigarettes, so it's not hard to stuff into a pocket. One of it's flaws is that the selector wheel for mode switching has a very light detent mechanism. People pull the camera out and turn it on and it doesn't shoot because the selector wheel has moved into a dead spot between modes. You look for a minute to find out what the problem is and the chance to take a picture is gone before you can read the notice on the "impossible to see" LCD which says "mode dial is not in proper position".

          Maybe I just have to work on my "fiddle time" speed, and set the camera up for the rapid fire sports mode. Then just keep practicing my quick draw picture taking process and see if l get some decent pictures that way.

          * I do have an old S1 digital elph. I think it was the first one ever produced. Maybe I should look at using it again, but I don't think it has a zoom, which is really helpful when you are trying to photograph people from a distance, and not have them look like just a speck on the picture.
          Last edited by tele.skier; 25th March 2020, 03:11 PM.
          the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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          • #6
            I have a similar Lumix camera as tele.skier. The DMC-ZS5 with the "12X optical zoom". See here,
            https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC.../dp/B00395YA90

            only problem was, over time it got dust particles inside the lens. I even sent it to a high end camera repair place, and for $125 had the lens taken apart, dust motes removed, then put back together. Well, less than a year later it had dust spots inside the lens again. Also the LCD viewing screen is completely washed out in bright snow. So I'm not using this camera much now, just for backup.

            So then I bought the later Lumix camera, the DMC-ZS50; I believe same as Quad. This camera is still for sale at B&H. The one I bought was actually slightly used, from B&H with all packaging, manuals etc for $200.

            https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...l_camera.html?

            It has the small EVF (Electronic View Finder) in the upper left corner at back of camera. As my eye, or face gets close to the large LCD display screen, this large screen turns off and the EVF comes to life. Best of all this camera DOES NOT have a touch screen. All mode changes, are done with a rotating knob.
            I find this is a great little camera, and I often ski with it just in my hood, in a ziplock bag, so it's ready for a quick shot.
            I do have to take off my skiing glasses, to frame a shot, even with the EVF to see the image clearly. So for shots of other skiers, I will leave it in burst mode, while I ski ahead, turn around then point-and-shoot.
            Only other issue is, abused in my hood, it occasionally switches on by itself, and I hear a grinding sound, as the telephoto attempts to extend in an enclosed space ! My bad. Lumix DMC-ZS50 pictures here.. Click image for larger version  Name:	Split dog and friend.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.85 MB ID:	101299Click image for larger version  Name:	Tele turn 2.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.45 MB ID:	101300

            One other thing, you can do (and look like a dork) is just ski with a Go Pro on your helmet. On a powder day, no one will wait for you to set up for pictures with a Lumix, or any other still camera. But you can switch video mode on with a GoPro, ski ahead, turn around, and shoot video of your friends. Later capture still images from the GoPro footage, do a screen grab. tahoebc does this sometimes..
            Last edited by chamonix; 26th March 2020, 06:15 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chamonix View Post
              I often ski with it just in my hood, in a ziplock bag, so it's ready for a quick shot.
              +1 for using the hood for storage. I'll put my goggles there for pack-less skinning, and I imagine putting the camera there offers similar sweat/condensation protection.

              If I were to invest in an action camera for real, I'd get the DJI Osmo Pocket and a chest harness. POV ski shots always look better from the chest rather than the helmet. And it can be quickly removed for shooting others while looking at the small screen.



              Buy DJI Osmo Pocket Gimbal featuring Gimbal Camera with 1/2.3" ; CMOS Sensor, Compact 4.1 oz, 4.8" ; High Design. Review DJI Osmo Pocket Camera Gimbal

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              • #8
                +1 for using the hood for storage. I'll put my goggles there for pack-less skinning, and I imagine putting the camera there offers similar sweat/condensation protection.
                as your hood flops around, the heavy camera stays in the bottom pocket of the hood. I've never had it fall out, but keep the front zipper on your jacket tight !

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                • #9
                  I rarely bring a regular camera anymore, smart phones have gotten pretty dam good, I can deploy it fast (Keep it in the front chest pocket on downhills) press the button and hold, takes a zillion shots, scroll though saye a couple of the keepers and trash the rest. Same with my gps, never goes with me anymore and just use the phone, nice to have one device, do have a small portable charger that I carry and can use for longer tours to keep the battery charged. Do have a nice sony rx100 that I have a compact case for and beaner it to my packs chest strap, have it set up to rapid fire when I take shots, Quick unzip of the case turn it on and its ready to go, take this one for more interesting scenic tours if I want higher quality pics but for the most part smart phones do a pretty dam good job

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                    I wonder if I'm missing something ...
                    As one who has known the euphoria associated with people you have never met "oohing" and "ahhing" about pics you post on internet ski forums let me say this about that......

                    There are still some point and shoots out there with an optical viewfinder but you don't have that so, yeah, it sucks that you can't see the display on your Lumix. That's water under the bridge.The good news is, you have mucho resolution and "sport mode".

                    In the field, just point the thing in the general direction of the skier and hold your finger on the button. That's the easy part.

                    If you are not interested in the aforementioned euphoria, read no further because now it gets complicated.

                    The real work begins back at home and should not be attempted without a creative stimulant and easy-to-use photo editing software.

                    Download and sort through all the raw images. Music videos will help with this process.

                    Find some good ones. It doesn't matter if the skier looks like a speck because you have the resolution. Now use the CROP tool.This is the make or break.This is where we see if you can compose a ski photo aesthetically and artistically.

                    After that it's a simple matter of auto-levels, auto-colour correction and auto-sharpen.

                    Hope that helps.
                    Last edited by aqua toque; 25th March 2020, 10:16 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I drowned my point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot G9 workhorse last year canoeing. Miss the optical viewfinder with my replacement,
                      Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II.
                      But with the double hinge mirror deals with the sun reflection in most conditions -- if you have time to fuss around.
                      Good quality camera with still and video.

                      Yep, Raw. Shot some pics in raw mode. 28M photo size!!!



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aqua toque View Post
                        The real work begins back at home and should not be attempted without a creative stimulant and easy-to-use photo editing software.
                        ...It doesn't matter if the skier looks like a speck because you have the resolution. Now use the CROP tool.This is the make or break.This is where we see if you can compose a ski photo aesthetically and artistically.

                        After that it's a simple matter of auto-levels, auto-colour correction and auto-sharpen.
                        Word!

                        Would only add that learning how to use 'curves' (P-Shop) to adjust levels can deliver better results than 'auto.'
                        Last edited by Dostie; 28th March 2020, 06:11 AM.

                        ain't no turn like tele!

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                        • #13

                          "Nobody" suggested,
                          Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II
                          but it is only a 4.2 X Optical Zoom?

                          For $600.00 ?

                          Meh
                          https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...g7_x_mark.html

                          Better to drop/drown/lose at $200 camera than a $600 one IMHO
                          another Lumix DMC-ZS50 pic or two Click image for larger version

Name:	Robbie pow best.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	1.42 MB
ID:	101373Click image for larger version  Name:	Robbie waist deep.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.35 MB ID:	101372 After I tweaked and cropped with P-Shop.
                          I skied ahead of our group, in 3Vallee, put the camera in burst mode, then told my friends to ski towards me, one at a time.
                          Last edited by chamonix; 28th March 2020, 07:04 AM.

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                          • #14
                            I've been practicing at home with my ZS3, because I can't see the LCD outside on the snow. I figure if it's like a guitar, maybe I can learn to use it well without having to look at where my fingers are on the neck. I just need to keep practicing and learn to ignore the fact that when I turn it on, I can't see what I'm taking a picture of on the LCD, nor can I see any of the settings that flash up on the LCD, nor any warnings like "low battery" and the auto focus feedback. Maybe I can improve my results by taking a million shots using burst mode and having a larger denominator to increase the number of good photos, rather than try to take less photos with a precision that has eluded me... In other words, count on luck instead of skill....

                            I've also dug out my S100 digital elph. I'm going to mess with that too. I may need to buy a new battery for it, since neither seem to hold a charge...
                            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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                            • #15

                              From Chamoix:
                              "Nobody" suggested,
                              Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II
                              but it is only a 4.2 X Optical Zoom?

                              To each their own. I like the feel of it and takes great pics. I also use P-Shop so i can do all the tricks to get the final pic.

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