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I'm trying to find a good camera to carry during long runs/races. Does anyone have any suggestions on a nice small, durable & affordable camera?
I use the cardboard disposables. They take decent pictures and are extremely light. They don't work well in low light, from my experience, though. They also have panoramic shot disposables.
I've written extensively about this. If I had to buy one today, I'd get the Olympus Infinity Stylus Epic with the 35mm/2.8 lens. No need for a zoom (they're terribly slow on pocketable cameras). Alternatively, I'd get the Canon Elf, tho the film format isn't as high-quality as 35mm.
I've got one of the original Olympus Stylus's that I've been carrying running/bicycling/backPacking in a zip-lock bag for over 5 yrs. I highly recommend them.
Running Delights has two disposable, one time use camera's available, made by Fuji, they are "Super Slim", Quick Snap, Advanced Photo Finishing, Hi400 Speed, 25 exposures - very compact, fits great in pocket. We have the "outdoor" which measures 3"x2" and one with Flash which measures 4"x2".
I have used both of these cameras while running on trails and they take excellent pictures.
Financial Disclosure: Yes, we sell them.
I really like the Fuji. They make two types, one with flash, one without. The one without flash is the smallest camera I'v found so far plastic & holds up well.
I use two different cameras while running.
The Yashica T4 Super is great. The Carl Zeiss T series 35mm f/2.8 lens is near SLR quality. The body is fairly weatherproof. The price is good too (mail order at about $150).
Nikon 35Ti - a little bit bigger than the T4, but still pretty small and lightweight. The lens is a 35mm f/2.8 Nikkor that is also great optically. The big advantage of the 35Ti is exposure and flash control. The T4 is a point & shoot only. The 35Ti can be set to Aperture priority and full auto. You also get control over flash exposure. About $600 mail order.
Try using one of those disposable cameras...they're relatively cheap, small, and you don't have to worry about breaking them! I ran with the panoramic version at Big Sur Marathon and got some great shots...By the way, congrats to all the Kettle Morraine 100 participants. I paced my friend Bob Rusch the last 15 hot, humid, buggy miles and have the greatest respect for anyone out there running that day!
Just a caution regarding the disposable cameras. I've used them now in two runs - both on cloudy, or rainy days. One the 98 Mississippi Trail 50. I had *very* few decent shots due to underexposure using the small Fuji. I'd definitely go with a higher speed film on cloudy days, but these cameras might be fine in bright sunlight.
I took a panoramic disposable ( Fuji, I think ) with me during Mosquito Marathon and came back with some stunningly good shots of the Sawatch range and the Arkansas river valley taken from the side of Mosquito Mountain.
I didn't expect much in the way of picture quality from a cheap box, but the picture quality was a delight.
I usually run with a small 35mm, 27 shot disposable camera. Kodak is best, but most any brand will do. I don't buy the flash variety, because the flash seldom provides adequate light for night shots, and so is usually a waste, in my experience (but Margaret Bourke-White I'm not...)
The camera is small enough that I put it in a resealable baggie, and wear it in the long center pocket of my Race Ready shorts. I ran Massanutten and Old Dominion this year with one of these, and got some great shots of both; surprisingly good for a disposable camera. I enjoy sharing the pictures with other runners and volunteers (when I finally get around to sending them... usually a year or more, ask Bert Tegge & John Dewalt!). I will run Western States with one or two cameras as well.
I would encourage you to try it out. It has never been a problem, only a great tool, and at Massanutten I even swapped out the expended camera for a new one at the 49 mile drop bag point. Try it out, the pictures are good, and the price at Walmart is around $8.00. Sure beats the Pro Photographers who want $11.00 apiece per photo...
I second George in his recommendation. I have both an Olympus Epic Stylus and the Canon Elf, have taken a lot of pictures during runswith each, and can unconditionally recommend the Stylus for a camera to take running where weight is an issue but quality pictures are desired. I like the results from the Stylus better than my other Olympus, a 35-140 mm zoom, and much better than the Elf, which tends to overexpose too many pictures. The convenience of the Elf APS format is a plus, but the pictures of landscapes have been disappointing.
Haven't tried the Yashica T-4 but it has lots of satisfied users on photo.net. I have had good success with the one disposable Kodak camera I have used, but I still prefer the Olympus Epic Stylus.
I use a Konica "Revio" APS camera. It has a F4 24mm-48mm zoom Konica fully automatic auto-focus lens & formats 4x6 to panormamic. It is ruggedly built, metal casing with lens cover & weather resistant. It weighs 5.1 oz....7 oz. with film, battery, & case. It is very compact...3.8x2.2x1.1"...about the size of a deck of cards. I bought this camera specifically to carry while running the John Muir Trail & have carried it on several 100K & 50 mile runs so far this year. I have taken about 15 rolls of film & am very satisfied with the results. The only drawback is the price, $199 @ Good Guys. Needless to say I'm very pleased so far.