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Right Camera for Alaska Cruise
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Aug 12, 2014 13:48:08   #
big-guy
 
If your intent is to purchase a fancy camera that will guarantee you bringing home bushels of quality photos you will, pardon the pun, miss the boat. Learning to "read the light" will get you far closer to your goal than any fancy newfangled camera will. I teach my students to look beyond the obvious and when something catches their eye, to ask themselves...

1. exactly what about the scene is causing the reaction
2. what parts of the scene don't add anything
3. ask themselves what would make this scene more interesting?
3a. viewpoint: higher, lower, this side, that side, closer, farther...
3b. camera settings: more or less DOF, faster or slower SS
3c. time of day, month, year would give a better result
4. with the above as a base how can you refine the scene further?
5. NOW put the camera to your eye and take the photo

Yes I know your on a cruise and some of the above may not be practical, such as skimming by a glacier during a major calving event or seeing a polar bear walking on the glacier. It may not be a good idea to climb 10 flights of stairs to get to the top level and have to shoot it with a 1200mm lens as your now 5 miles past it. Sometimes you just have to snap those fleeting moments but the more you practice the above then the better your fleeting moment shots will be as well. The bottom line here is to give some thought to each photo before snapping away and to make some very valuable choices and your results will reflect that.

Actively search for the unique viewpoint that everyone else misses. Then with your saved $$ take your wife out for a special dinner. WIN WIN WIN!

rbweddle wrote:
My wife and I are taking a cruise to Alaska next week and are trying to figure out what camera to take. We are both amatours but have a lot of reading material. I have a Canon T2i with EFS 18-135 kit lens and EF 50mm, 1.8 lens and a Canon SX500IS. My wife carrys her Panasonic DMC-TS3, which she loves. Since I'm not know for making smart purchase decisions, I was also looking at buying a Canon SX50?????
My camera knowledge would probably limit shooting in Auto or Program and play with the ASA setting. Keeping in mind weight concerns and camera ease of use, what would you hogs recomment.
Thanks

Bruce and Carly
My wife and I are taking a cruise to Alaska next w... (show quote)

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Aug 12, 2014 13:48:12   #
Shutterbugsailer
 
lindago wrote:
I just returned from an Alaskan Cruise with my Canon SX50. I used it in auto mode and it took amazing photos and video of animals and Mt. McKinley in Denali. All of my photos and videos were handheld through opened bus windows and some at or close to maximum zoom (Dall Sheep). The Mt. McKinley photo (both summits) was from about 30 miles away. Holding the camera still at max zoom takes some practice, but if you support the lens with your left hand and the camera with your right, you can manage it. Be sure to get an extra SD card and at least one additional battery - you will need it!
I just returned from an Alaskan Cruise with my Can... (show quote)


Count me in another member of the SX50 camp. IMHO, getting up close and personal has more wow factor than more detail and dynamic range that a DSLR would give. Were I going to Alaska, I would take my SX50, a waterproof camera, and for those times when I want the best IQ, a large sensor compact or Mirrorless camera with a good prime lens

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Aug 12, 2014 14:13:34   #
Newsbob
 
Shutterbugsailer wrote:
.... or Mirrorless camera with a good prime lens

I disagree with taking a prime. When you go on a whale watching excursion (and you should, especially in Juneau) you never know where the whales will be and how close. A zoom is an absolute necessity.

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Aug 12, 2014 14:26:52   #
steffro1
 
Yes, forget the prime, bring a zoom. You will need the versatility. Bring one of those plastic sleeves you can attach to the end of the lens hood and run the sleeve over the lens, camera and up your arm. If you don't you can't shoot in the rain with a DSLR. They are cheap and indispensable. I shot with it on the Park boat trip in the cold and rain and got nice results on Glacier Bay.
Shutterbugsailer wrote:
Count me in another member of the SX50 camp. IMHO, getting up close and personal has more wow factor than more detail and dynamic range that a DSLR would give. Were I going to Alaska, I would take my SX50, a waterproof camera, and for those times when I want the best IQ, a large sensor compact or Mirrorless camera with a good prime lens

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Aug 12, 2014 14:42:51   #
Japakomom
 
[quote=big-guy]
Yes I know your on a cruise and some of the above may not be practical, such as skimming by a glacier during a major calving event or [b]seeing a polar bear walking on the glacier.[/b]
[/quote]

Sorry! Truly not trying to make fun, but being born and raised in Alaska this made me chuckle. Thanks!

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Aug 12, 2014 15:03:42   #
big-guy
 
Glad I made you chuckle. :D

So just where do the polar bears walk? If they don't walk on the glaci... DOH! I get it, I'm calling them glaciers when I mean icebergs. Hang on while I take my left foot out... Hey two chuckles for you today. :D

Japakomom wrote:
Sorry! Truly not trying to make fun, but being born and raised in Alaska this made me chuckle. Thanks!

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Aug 12, 2014 15:11:57   #
Caribou
 
We recently returned from an Alaska cruise. You'll need a decent telephoto--at least 300mm. But you won't want to be lugging around a whole lot of equipment. If you can get on side trips to Resurrection Bay and Misty Fjords, I would recommend it. The naturalists on the boats alone were well worth the trip but the scenery was great.

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Aug 12, 2014 15:33:17   #
Japakomom
 
big-guy wrote:
Glad I made you chuckle. :D

So just where do the polar bears walk? If they don't walk on the glaci... DOH! I get it, I'm calling them glaciers when I mean icebergs. Hang on while I take my left foot out... Hey two chuckles for you today. :D


Polar bears live in the far north of the state, the cruises mainly take you to see the southeast or south central parts of the state. I myself have only seen a polar bear at a zoo. Glad you were not offended :)

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Aug 12, 2014 17:30:10   #
cgchief
 
rbweddle wrote:
My wife and I are taking a cruise to Alaska next week and are trying to figure out what camera to take. We are both amatours but have a lot of reading material. I have a Canon T2i with EFS 18-135 kit lens and EF 50mm, 1.8 lens and a Canon SX500IS. My wife carrys her Panasonic DMC-TS3, which she loves. Since I'm not know for making smart purchase decisions, I was also looking at buying a Canon SX50?????
My camera knowledge would probably limit shooting in Auto or Program and play with the ASA setting. Keeping in mind weight concerns and camera ease of use, what would you hogs recomment.
Thanks

Bruce and Carly
My wife and I are taking a cruise to Alaska next w... (show quote)

During my Alaska cruise a few years ago I carried my
Fugifilm S5000 constantly, and shot everything in AUTO and the zoom
covered every situation. Every day I downloaded the XD card to my laptop computer.
The results were great.
I did not take a DSLR and lenses because I wanted to avoid
lugging a bag around.

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Aug 12, 2014 17:39:06   #
Wahawk
 
Far North wrote:
I have the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 and am happy with it. It's easy to use, especially if you just shoot it in IA (Intelligent Auto) mode, and the zoom goes out to 600mm, and stays at f/2.8. While I haven't played around any with any of the semi-auto or manual modes yet, I'm finding that it returns decent images in the IS mode. Yet it's very capable once you have some experience with the camera and start learning the controls. The camera doesn't come with a full owner's manual, but you can download one, and if you have a tablet, you can put the manual on it. Gives you something to read along the way. I think the FZ200 is every bit as good as the Canon SX50.
I have the Panasonic Lumix FZ200 and am happy with... (show quote)


Doesn't quite match the features of the SX50, but is a good second choice.....

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Aug 12, 2014 17:43:37   #
Shutterbugsailer
 
Newsbob wrote:
I disagree with taking a prime. When you go on a whale watching excursion (and you should, especially in Juneau) you never know where the whales will be and how close. A zoom is an absolute necessity.


that,s where the sx50 comes in 1200 mm at the long endh 24mm at the wide angle

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Aug 12, 2014 18:30:57   #
GrayPlayer
 
With the internet is is very easy to plan a trip without guides. Depending upon what you are interested in, Alaska offers free guides. My favorites are Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali. Alaskan Railroad is a great way to see the interior.
As already mentioned, take the camera you are most familiar with. Please do not go with aspirations of capturing NatGeo type wildlife images.
On my trip through Denali National Park we saw grizzles, moose, wolf, caribou and ground squirrels.
Please do not wait to enjoy the scenery and vistas whe you return home. Put down the camera and enjoy Alaska.

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Aug 12, 2014 19:11:26   #
steffro1
 
Totally agree with booking a tour on line ALLAKASAKA TOURS.COM was great, no big cruise boat and had a great time as long as you don't mind 5 passenger planes and helos. You can have the time of your life without a large cruise boat!! We did!!!
GrayPlayer wrote:
With the internet is is very easy to plan a trip without guides. Depending upon what you are interested in, Alaska offers free guides. My favorites are Seward, Anchorage, Talkeetna and Denali. Alaskan Railroad is a great way to see the interior.
As already mentioned, take the camera you are most familiar with. Please do not go with aspirations of capturing NatGeo type wildlife images.
On my trip through Denali National Park we saw grizzles, moose, wolf, caribou and ground squirrels.
Please do not wait to enjoy the scenery and vistas whe you return home. Put down the camera and enjoy Alaska.
With the internet is is very easy to plan a trip w... (show quote)

| Reply
Aug 12, 2014 19:56:25   #
Bruski
 
Virtually all major brands have bridge cameras with 50X or more lenses. Each feels different and controls are in different spots. What feels best in your hands is what you should buy. Example - many here like the Canon
SX50 I found it did not fit me well - I ultimately went Fuji. So what works for you - there is no perfect camera. Make sure you get a viewfinder! Have a great trip.

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Aug 12, 2014 22:47:28   #
jsharp
 
Went last June did 3 days land at the start and 3 days land at the end in Vancour. Bought my Nikon 5100 just two weeks before. Took over 2500 pictures

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