Casio Exilim EX-FH20
This is one of my first DSLR style cameras. It has a nice zoom lens, even if it is permanently attached. I purchased this mainly to catch action as it was happening, like my martial art practices. This was marketed by Casio to catch motions of sports techniques like baseball and golf. At 40fps with one shuttle button click, you catch a lot of detail. It was one of the first camera to have this feature, and certainly the first camera on the lower end. I used this a lot on the Mazing Chase course because of the dogs multitude of facial expressions and poses. Having a good burst mode was critical to be sure I captured it all. 40fps is at the top of its class even by today’s standards, and this camera is over 5 years old.
Another nice feature of this camera is its 1000fps video mode. The resolution decreases as the fps increases. At the top speed of 1000fps, the resolution is only 224×56. Horrible by today’s standard. At any rate faster than 30, it drops below its 720p max resolution. But even back in the day, a 210fps video shot at 480×360 was pretty cool. It allowed me to shoot the dogs shaking off water in slow motion, but at 30fps and decent resolution.
Here is a video I made from taking a series of burst mode images and making a fast slide show, essentially. This allows for less motion-blur than a traditional movie, creating stop action of the water droplets in the air:
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This is the newest of the retired cameras. This camera is weather sealed and just has a more rugged feel to it than most other DSLR cameras. As I went on more rigorous adventures, with unpredictable weather, I looked for a camera I could take with confidence that it would survive. This camera was the best of its type at the time. The lens selection is limited, and the picture quality is decent and it is fast. The main downside to this camera is the few lens options. Other non-Pentax lenses are available, but they are not weather sealed. One cool effects this camera is the ability to saving the picture with a white frame for a more polished look. This camera is available in a few colors, I purchased it in blue to easily identify it among my other black cameras.
Pit Crew Cameras
The Fuji HS20 and Sony HX100V were two super-zoom cameras purchased to take better shots than the arsenal of point and shoots I had. Both had resolution in the 10MP range (good at the time) and had 20-30X zoom range. They were bulky for some of the crew that were involved in more of the action, so other cameras were purchased. Two Sony Cybershots DSC-T1 and DSC-TX55 were cigaret pack sized pocket cameras with robust lens covers that protected the inset lens and flash. A rider could just close them up and throw them into his pocket, but have them ready when he needed it. The Olympus Stylus 720SW was a good pocket camera at the time, plus it was shockproof and waterproof. The Fuji F300EXR was one of the better pocket cameras at the time with a collapsing 15X lens. A unique camera was the Kodak V705. It had two separate inset lens, an ultra wide and a 5x zoom. This allowed for great close up shots and distance shots.
All of these cameras have been retired to the WooFDriver graveyard nowadays. Our more modern and prosumer cameras just have so many more features and such better picture quality that the pit crew is spoiled. they are willing to be extra careful and have a nice camera to take incredible shots of the dogs.