Which Camera Should You Bring On Long Adventures?

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Bringing a DSLR camera with me on +10 mile hikes were an absolute pain. I began to search for compact cameras that would do well on these hikes. Obviously, it was going to most likely be a Canon camera. What I had found was perfect for our hikes and it’s pretty close to a hefty DSLR, except the fact that it’s much smaller. No matter what anyone says, carrying a large camera on extensive trips or needing to create photos with your phone, sucks. Although our phone can create decent photos and videos, I will always prefer creating with an actual handheld camera. There’s something about it that takes away from using your phone which is utilized everyday to take your photos. In the meantime, let’s jump right into the camera I use for my hiking!

The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark ll

Long name, but the camera itself packs quite the punch. Every adventure photographer I’ve seen has a massive backpack with just little space for actual essentials. I strongly believe it’s a fantastic camera for hiking but there’s definitely some pros and cons to it. Either way, consider both as it’s my opinion but carefully look at what you’d be using it for.

The Canon Powershot G9X Mark ll

Pros

The photos that this camera is capable of taking is quite phenomenal. I take it with me on winter hikes which can be very helpful because DSLR cameras take up a lot of space. The zoom works well on it and I usually keep it near the top of my hiking backpack. I’ve also tested slower shutter speeds during handheld shooting which worked surprisingly well! I’ll list the pros under here if you’re skimming through the article too.

  • Small/Compact (easy for travel)
  • Highly functional like a DSLR
  • Slow shutter works well being handheld
A cold morning this May, photo taken on Powershot

Cons

There isn’t much I’ve found from this camera that comes off as negative to me but it could be for others. One of these issues is that you can only shoot live view instead of shooting through a viewfinder such as a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Another common issue that I have faced is definitely with exposure, especially on brighter days. Photos can seem to look blown out of proportion which is why I change some photos to black and white. I’ve noticed that the quality of my Canon Rebel T6 is much stronger but for winter hikes, a compact or mirrorless camera is a necessity.

For comparison, this was on the Canon Rebel T6

At the end of the day…

It really doesn’t matter which camera you have, but I strongly believe in capturing moments because your photo is the only indicator of your emotions with those striking views. If you aren’t able to afford a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera, the iPhone is just as powerful. All it takes is a bit of creativity and learning to enjoy the process of photography. If you have other suggestions for a camera to bring on hikes, I’d love to hear it!

A big thanks!

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this blog post. Feel free to reach out if you have other suggestions for topics I should cover! I hope this might’ve helped someone out as well and debate getting a camera for hiking! Feel free to destroy that like button, comment, or give a follow for more on hiking or photography!

– Alex

Where Did My Photography Journey Begin?

Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”

-Ansel Adams

Throughout my first couple hikes in the Adirondacks, I became fascinated with the variety of landscapes. The first summer I started hiking, we hiked Buck Mountain and Sleeping Beauty in Lake George. Looking back on it, even adventures have humble beginnings. The next year, we really started to pursue the 46er challenge and I knew I wanted to document these adventures the best way possible. Most of these landscapes couldn’t do any justice on video or through photos. I want to try and change that to showcase the rugged wilderness.

On Mount Washington Trail capturing the breathtaking landscape (Photo by my brother)

Adapting To A Higher Purpose

There’s a different between chasing the wilderness and photos for clout versus the enjoyment of being one with nature. I believe being connected with something much larger than you creates a sense of becoming humble and inspired. I started getting into the realm of photography during the summer of 2018. My brother and I went on a handful of adventures that summer, but unfortunately it was before I really knew how to take better photos. Any photo that you create should make you proud regardless of what anyone says. It’s part of your creative expression. The whole thing about learning something is that you have to enjoy the process. Throughout Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday, he constantly reminds us of this issue. Purpose and realism is more important than ego, you have to put in the work and stop expecting recognition.

Near the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia after hiking in a storm

May 2019

Around this time is when I became inspired by all sorts of photography. Once I figured out how to slow a shutter speed to shoot waterfalls, I was hooked. Figuring out all of these different aspects to photography was fascinating. I understood light trails and spent time understanding astrophotography as well (still needs work). I took notes on everything I could that I learned from Peter McKinnon on camera basics. Putting in the time was incredibly helpful but even more than that, shooting consistently is crucial for experience.

Our trek to Algonquin Mountain this winter

Planning Ahead

I have a lot of goals to live up to when it comes to photography, especially when it comes to going on an adventure. I read in Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon about combining two or more passions is influential to higher levels of creativity. Being able to pair photography with my passion of climbing mountains is vital towards that. Some time in the future, I’d like to head out West to see the dramatic landscapes unfold before me and be prepared to take the best photos possible. The Adirondacks in the winter has some unbelievable scenes to experience as well. There’s always more to learn from any subject to keep growing. I wrote this post during this time because it’s critical to hone down on new skills. Create new things, dream bigger, and sit back to analyze what you want out of life with the time you have on this Earth.

One of my favorite hikes due to the cloudy weather
Views near the summit of Phelps Mountain in the Adirondacks

To Everyone

These are challenging times that we’re experiencing at the moment, but understand that it’s important. Stay home and realize that this will pass just like every hard time you might’ve already experienced in life. Use the time at home to your advantage to figure out what skills you could learn and spend a little bit on it each day. Everything that you do compounds, whether it’s money, knowledge, or a new skill set. I hope everyone stays safe during these times and maybe you could figure out where you’ll adventure when it’s over. In the mean time, stay safe and think about what you can do to improve yourself during Quarantine!

-Alex