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Explorer

Ulla Lohmann

nov.15

Climbing with the S120

By Ulla Lohmann, vendredi novembre 15, 2013
Being creative with the PowerShot S120 - on the way to the rock face!

Being creative with the PowerShot S120 - on the way to the rock face! © Ulla Lohmann

The climb is 1,300 metres high, and finishes at over 3,000 metres of altitude. It is grade 8 and will take at least 16 hours. We have to carry all water, food, warm clothes, emergency over-night kit and heavy climbing equipment. There won't be room for a camera... but I have to bring one!

I am photographing for a book for National Geographic Germany, and this climb needs to be told in great images with sufficient resolution for fine art printing. What to do? I asked my friends at Canon and they recommended the PowerShot S120 to me. I fell in love with the camera at first sight...

It is very compact but truly robust. It uses a 12 Megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor and shoots in RAW with up to 10fps continuous shooting. Normally, when I receive a new camera, it takes me a while to get used to it. But with the S120, I picked it up and used it straight away. The controls are very intuitive - my favourite being the the control ring around the lens to adjust settings during shooting.

The next day, we went for a test climb to take pictures. It was 'only' a 400 metre cliff face, but the camera worked great. During climbing, I simply stuffed the PowerShot in my pocket... something I would never imagine doing with my EOS 5D Mark III. Whilst belaying, I was able to adjust the controls of the S120 with one hand; still securing my husband Basti with the other. It's very important that I never let go the rope with one hand so Basti does not take a deathly fall - I still need him!

I used the camera in Av mode and was able to create a nice depth-of-field with f/1.8. The wide-angle surprised me - it was perfect to take pictures of Basti climbing and still show the surroundings. On the rock face, it's bit hard to step back to get more distance...

Back home, I could not wait to download the images and I have to admit that the quality surprised me. I am convinced that I have found the perfect camera for my upcoming rock climbing adventure. I will let you know how it went!



A 'selfie' of me dangling over the cliff, happy to have found a great camera for rock climbing - more adventures to come!

A 'selfie' of me dangling over the cliff, happy to have found a great camera for rock climbing - more adventures to come! © Ulla Lohmann

The S120 has a great wide-angle to capture my husband Basti as well as the Austrian mountains - and I can use the camera with one hand, making sure Basti does not fall off the cliff!

The S120 has a great wide-angle to capture my husband Basti as well as the Austrian mountains - and I can use the camera with one hand, making sure Basti does not fall off the cliff! © Ulla Lohmann