Hell fellow AusPhotographers!
I have just returned from a trip to New Zealand - Queenstown and the Milford Track, specifically. I thought I would share my experiences so that others may benefit.
Because I was planning to walk the Milford Track, I bought a Coolpix AW100. It is small and and should withstand any rough treatment and wet weather.
On the first count it was great - I kept it in my trouser pocket with the strap handy and that was really convenient. I tried using a carabiner to hang it from the pack's strap but it tended to bang around a bit. Image-wise I was initially disappointed. In the rear screen, the images seemed indistinct and the highlights were often blown out. Back home, the images came up quite well after all. But the camera still did not cope well with high contrast shots - and there is a lot of contrast on the track, with deep shade of the bush and clear skies and snow on the far peaks. Absolutely beautiful to look at, but the camera either left the shade as total black, or blew out the sky so there was no distinction between clouds, sky and snow. This camera also saves in jpg only so the lost detail was not recoverable. The wide angle was great, but the zoom is digital at the end of its range and that was a bit dodgy.
All this sounds a bit negative, but I was probably expecting too much of the camera. really it did a great job except for the contrast thing. It was very handy to use in the jet boat, and it was great not having to worry about it getting wet, and to be able to cart it around in my pocket.
One other criticism - the battery did not last the expected 250 shots - a bit less than 200, and that was with me turning it off carefully after every shooting episode.
So, my recommendations if you are contemplating a similar trip:
- Take a shower-proof DSLR and save in
- Carry one(my 18-200 would have been great) to save on weight
- a camera with a fold out rear screen would be excellent for those difficult angles dangling over cliffs and waterfalls.
I have put a few of my shots in a set on : http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidca...7633346612591/
I loved it there. I wish I could have spent more time taking photos but demands of the track meant we had to keep walking.
Have fun if you go!