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06-09-2018, 08:40 PM   #1
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Travel camera choices?

Iím heading to Argentina and Chile in August for a week long wine trip and I naturally want to bring a camera with me. My first choice in travel cameras has so far been an Olympus XA with Velvia 50, Ektar, or Portra but I think I want to travel digitally this time. Why an XA? Itís a light pocketable, rangefinder with no batteries to charge, great accurate meter and aperture priority, no chimping possible, and more or less no worries.

Iím weighing a couple options for this trip for a digital replacement, keeping in mind that I will only be bringing a carry-on so space for cameras, lenses, and chargers will be limited.

1 - take my K-30 and HDDA20-40 limited. I know this combo well, love the output at iso100-800 and can manage it at 1600, and its a reasonable if a bit bulky to carry all day. Takes a lot of space in my bag too, and has to come out in security now, and I donít necessarily want to be ďthat guyĒ lugging a DSLR around on vacation. If the lens wasnít so damn good it wouldnít even be an option.

2 - Buy a Fuji X100T. Iím not sold on xtrans but the rest of the camera ticks a lot of buttons for me. With the converter lenses it could easily do everything photographically I like on vacation. Unsure about the AF performance and processing the files in LR6. Is it any better at 1600 and 3200?

3 - buy a Ricoh GR. If it only had a built in viewfinder and a slightly longer lens... hows the high ISOís?

4 - buy a backup XA and/or fix the light seals in my Olympus 35 RD and shoot film like Iíve always liked to do before, using my phone as my digital.

06-09-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
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From your post, and I may be wrong, it sounds like you want to take your K-30. Since you're familiar with it and already have it, that is what I would take if I were you. However it is a bit bulkier than the other options. If you like the K-30 and sure you like the images it outputs, it might be worth putting up with the size, as opposed to taking a chance with a lighter camera. I'm not sure I actually helped much here, but whatever you take, enjoy your vacation and posts pics when you return.
06-09-2018, 09:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
From your post, and I may be wrong, it sounds like you want to take your K-30. Since you're familiar with it and already have it, that is what I would take if I were you. However it is a bit bulkier than the other options. If you like the K-30 and sure you like the images it outputs, it might be worth putting up with the size, as opposed to taking a chance with a lighter camera. I'm not sure I actually helped much here, but whatever you take, enjoy your vacation and posts pics when you return.
I'm with bertwert. Seems like your K-30 setup is the way to go. I know you don't want to be lugging a lot of gear but I'd recommend taking a travel tripod with you. I learned the hard way years ago, that if I didn't have my tripod, I may as well not have my camera. There are so many shots you really can't get without a tripod (interiors for example). ISO just isn't going to cut it. You're going to beautiful country, so much to see and shoot. You don't want to regret all the potential missed opportunities.
06-09-2018, 09:41 PM   #4
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I want to take the 20-40, but with a camera half the size of the k-30. Maybe I should upgrade to the KP?

06-09-2018, 10:39 PM   #5

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Depends on whether this trip is a big deal to you or not (apart from the wine).
I'm doing a family European trip in Sept which we do once every four years. Believe it or not I'm thinking of taking my Mamiya M645 with me because there'll be some exceptional opportunities for once in a lifetime pics. So yes I'll be worse than 'that guy' with the DSLR. And my family will hate me. I'll definitely be bringing my Ricoh GR. The focal length will be perfect for architecture and narrow lanes and streets.
If you're thinking X100T you might be interested in this comparison of the X100F and X-E3.
06-09-2018, 11:25 PM   #6
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1. The K30 with 20-40mm would give you great IQ but, though any camera can fail at any time, I'd be worried about aperture block failure with a K30 (unless of course you've already had it replaced/fixed). Maybe if it hasn't failed by now then it's not going to.

2. As a Fuji user, as well as Pentax, I can only highly recommend Fuji gear. I almost always take my Pentax DSLR on holidays but when I have taken the Fujifilm X-M1 I've enjoyed using it and gotten great results. I have no problem with X-Trans and don't see why some people don't like it.

3. If the GR is too wide then you'd be better off getting a Fuji camera and a 23mm f/2 prime. The camera would be more modern, the lens is said to be superb (as are all Fujifilm's modern lenses) and you'd get a faster aperture too.

4. You could always do this anyway as it would cost very little. Make sure you have time to run some test rolls through any new/repaired film camera before you travel though.
06-09-2018, 11:53 PM   #7
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I did a lot of traveling with K-x + Sigma 17-70 + Pentax 55-200 with AF 1.7x teleconverter
K-30 with Sigma 17-70 and Pentax DA 18-250
K-30 with Sigma 17-70 + Sigma 18-250
Q/Q-s1 with 01 + 06 + 08
K-5 with Sigma 17-70 + Sigma 18-250
K-3 with Sigma 17-70 + Sigma 18-250 or 18-300
enjoyed them all
perhaps you should think about K-S1 for your DA 20-40 , I really enjoy that camera
06-10-2018, 12:18 AM   #8
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Maybe you won't consider this, because it is something of a "sidegrade" instead of an update, but if you find a used K-01 at a reasonable price, I think you should give it a thought.

I have a K-30 as well, but it's the K-01 that I always bring with me when I travel because:

1. LV shooting is much nicer, no mirror flopping around, and using LV all the time allows me to take in and enjoy my surroundings (the whole point of traveling)

2. It's more compact. If I only bring the 18-55, the whole lot can be kept in a fanny pack. Your 20-40 should be about the same size.

3. I've devised an "extended" travel kit that includes the Sigma 10-20, the 40mm XS and the SMC-M 100/2.8. It all stays in a small holster bag that I can either carry with the strap or hook at my belt.

4. having no mirror, it's quieter, which is perfect especially when you're not familiar with the pleace you're in and don't know how obtrusive you can be

06-10-2018, 12:30 AM   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by skierd Quote
1 - take my K-30 and HDDA20-40 limited.
My travel kit has evolved through the following stages:

1. K-x with 15/35/70 DA Limiteds and a K 24/2.8.
2. K-50 with 15/35/70 DA Limiteds and the K 24/2.8.
3. K-50 with 15/20-40/70 DA Limiteds.
4. K-S2 with 20-40 DA Limited, a Q7 with the 08 wide zoom and a Q7 with the 06 tele zoom.

Sometimes the Q7s have to come out of their bag for "security", sometimes they don't.
But it's great to have more or less full coverage of 17 - 200 mm FF equivalents.
06-10-2018, 05:45 AM   #10
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The 20-40 is a great little lens for travel (as well as general photography). I took my KP and the 20-40 on business trip to Italy last year and it was a perfect companion for me. I also had the 10-17 fisheye and my Canon G9X. If you are serious about the KP do it! It is a great camera and will upgrade your k-30 in every way. But do it soon so you are familiar with it when you go. I was able to use it for some nice images at ISO 6400 and above.

I had an original x-100 and used it on trip to visit my daughter in Washing Wtate along with an X-20, and that was a great travel combo as well. But I ended up letting it go, because while it was a great camera, it's low light focusing was terrible and the lack of a flip screen really grated on me. I am yearning for a 100F, it seems to be better in low light for focusing but still have to consider the lack of flip screen if it is to be my main camera for a trip. Especially because the KP is dead silent when using electronic shutter in live view.

The GR2's advantage over the 100 series is that is pants or even shirt pocket able and you have snap focus. The lens is ever so sharp, BUT it struggles in low light focusing as well. IF you are thinking this would be you main camera I would go with a 100 series over the GR2. For me the GR2 is great but really more of a nice add on to my kit not the basis of it.
06-10-2018, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #11
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You could grab a small fixed lens zoom enthusiast camera. Make it one that supports raw and has a fantastic lens. Panasonic LX-7's are older and have a small sensor (and an optional viewfinder) but the results are pretty amazing. The LX-100 is not as versatile in the lens department but has a larger sensor and integrated electronic viewfinder. Taking a DSLR is fine depending on the trip. If you anticipate being rushed or feeling like you are slowing down the pace too much with lens changes I would stick to a smaller camera.
If you like it, film isn't a bad option either.
06-10-2018, 08:54 AM - 1 Like   #12

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The Ricoh GR is a great combination of compactness and image quality. The built in 28mm/f2.8 lens is very sharp. The large APS-C size sensor does fairly well as ISO increases, but is an older model and falls behind compared to current Pentax DSLRs. I use raw DNG rather than JPG and consider up to ISO 800 good, 1600 usable, 3200 needs a lot of noise reduction work or conversion to B&W.

For travel, though, I prefer the versatility of zoom. The Panasonic GX-85 (micro four thirds) is getting near the end of its product cycle. The GX-85 plus 12-32 lens is a good range for landscape/architecture/cities, good image quality, very compact, and has a viewfinder. B&H is bundling a 45-150 for free; not a great lens but it offers reach when you need it. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds DMC-GX85WK

Here's an example of the GX-85 at ISO 1600. It is noisier than the Ricoh GR but still usable. This photo is part of a larger album, 7 photos all taken with the GX-85 if you want to see more.
06-10-2018, 09:00 AM   #13
Ooh! Shiney! Me Want!
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Perfect world, money not an issue:
  • KP
  • HD DA20
  • HD DA40
  • HD DA70
  • Sell the 20-40

Realistic option:
  • Q7
  • Q/01
  • Q/02
  • Q/06
  • Hoodman Loupe with elastic straps

Most money effective:[*]Another XA, perhaps an XA4
06-10-2018, 09:04 AM   #14
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One thing that may help is to get a sling style strap like the BlackRapid. I carry my camera everywhere with it, even big zoom lenses aren’t obtrusive. It just rides along on your hip ready but not in the way.
06-10-2018, 09:50 AM   #15
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As you might expect I'd choose something along the lines of option 4.

What could be simpler for travel photos than a pocketable 35mm camera?
I have a bunch of them; they account for more than 75% of all my photos.

Enjoy your trip and travel light!

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