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12-13-2015, 08:10 AM   #1
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Recommend a camera for my friend!

One of my friends is taking a trip to Russia in a few days and was thinking of getting a good camera for the trip. This trip includes camping in Siberia in the winter, so whatever you suggest has to be able to survive that. His budget is around $250. Used is fine. What can you suggest? Non-Pentax is OK, but I know which forum this is!

12-13-2015, 08:13 AM   #2
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If Samy's had any of those K-50 kits left, I'd say that. It was the K-50 with 18-50 & 50-200 WR lenses I believe. Anyway, I'm kicking myself for not ordering one too.

So, maybe used K-50 & used WR lens?
12-13-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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maybe a bit more info about the friend, their camera experience, and their wants/needs?
12-13-2015, 09:34 AM   #4
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K-7 perhaps?

12-13-2015, 10:17 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Not sure what your friend has lens wise, however assuming it's nothing, why not let him put that money towards a good lens (18-135 WR perhaps if he can stretch it by another $50 or so) and he can borrow my K-5 IIs . I have been trying to sell it (via PM when I see posts - not actually listing it, so I haven't been too aggressive about it lol), and it's still just collecting dust and quite frankly, I don't use it now that I 1) have a K-3 and 2) don't have time for photography anyway haha.

Can also send the battery grip so he has access to AA's should he need emergency power.

I obviously don't know him, but I know you and trust that it'll be returned to me in one piece

Unfortunately for $250 he won't find much in the way of a legitimate camera + lens that will truly benefit carrying such a large combo. Especially if it's to survive Siberia

Just a thought, and my way to spread Pentaxmas cheer as well as get him into the fold and invest in Pentax down the road rather than those other false idols

-Heie
12-13-2015, 10:33 AM   #6
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Please forgive me, any Russian forum member, but as a tourist, they will be a target with any kind of SLR. If he's with a Russian family, that's different, but if he's going to many of the places tourists visit....I would recommend something as low key and small as possible. Something that stays in a zippered pocket when not shooting.

Something like the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-860. It comes in orange, black, and white, and I'd probably go for white as it looks the least expensive.
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-860 Digital Camera (White) V104170WU000
Right now it's on sale so he'd still have a bit to spend on a larger memory card or spare battery.

Of course there's the Ricoh WG-30W, but it's a bit pricier, it looks more expensive, and hasn't gotten as good reviews:
Ricoh WG-30W Digital Camera (Carbon Gray) 04623 B&H Photo Video

For more money, there are many other options, but from my experience, the Olympus is the best value, size, and user reviews. Beware: Cameras rated as freeze or cold proof are only rated down to 14F. The average January temperature in the largest city in Siberia, Novosibirsk, is -3F.

As a pro with film cameras, we'd get them "winterized", but then you'd keep the camera purposely cold and store it outside, like in a freezer (turned off). I haven't heard if that's possible on a digital camera, and even if it were, then it's problematic shooting in non-Siberia cold extremes.
12-13-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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I have no idea based on the cold temps. I would expect the Pentax MX-1 to fit inside a jacket to stay warm. I would also suggest looking at a used Panasonic LX7 and making a custom battery extender using the ac adapter setup. In that way the batteries could be kept inside the coat. But both of these may freeze up their zoom mechanism. The K5ii offer is a great one, but might be bulky depending on your friend, and the criminal aspect may be a problem.

Dang... this is tough.

Maybe an underwater P&S camera? Being sealed may keep moisture out of the zoom.
12-13-2015, 12:02 PM   #8
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One other issue with any kind of optical or electronic finder is it fogging up. Hot face, eyes, breath and you're constantly wiping down a fogged up finder. Although shooting with LiveView will suck up batteries, it's generally dark in the winter (outdoors) and they won't have the condensation issue from body heat.

12-13-2015, 03:43 PM - 1 Like   #9
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+1 for the Olympus. I have shot with successive versions of this camera when skiing at high elevations and it's bombproof down to 14 degrees and then some. Takes decent photos, as well. I've taken them snow camping and have always loved how they stay out of the way till you pull it out of a pocket.

If your friend is "leaving in a few days" he's unlikely to have time to get familiar with any DSLR adequately enough to get decent shots. The Olympus has an pretty intuitive interface.

I agree with @Alex645 about fogging, etc. you really have to know what you're doing with a DSLR under these conditions to avoid problems.

Btw, pretty generous offer from @Heie.
12-13-2015, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
maybe a bit more info about the friend, their camera experience, and their wants/needs?
Hmm, I'll ask him. I think he'd love astrophotography but I'm not sure what else he's interested in specifically.

QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Please forgive me, any Russian forum member, but as a tourist, they will be a target with any kind of SLR.
He's Russian from Russia, so I imagine he knows what he's doing.

QuoteOriginally posted by Heie Quote
Not sure what your friend has lens wise, however assuming it's nothing, why not let him put that money towards a good lens (18-135 WR perhaps if he can stretch it by another $50 or so) and he can borrow my K-5 IIs . I have been trying to sell it (via PM when I see posts - not actually listing it, so I haven't been too aggressive about it lol), and it's still just collecting dust and quite frankly, I don't use it now that I 1) have a K-3 and 2) don't have time for photography anyway haha.

Can also send the battery grip so he has access to AA's should he need emergency power.

I obviously don't know him, but I know you and trust that it'll be returned to me in one piece

Unfortunately for $250 he won't find much in the way of a legitimate camera + lens that will truly benefit carrying such a large combo. Especially if it's to survive Siberia

Just a thought, and my way to spread Pentaxmas cheer as well as get him into the fold and invest in Pentax down the road rather than those other false idols

-Heie
I think this is the best option, and actually, as far as lenses go, I could loan him my 18-55mm kit lens, which has been seeing no use. That way he could play around with things and get an idea of what he likes and so forth before buying something. Thanks so much for your generosity.

Of course, I couldn't guarantee that he wouldn't accidentally end up trying Testing Pentax Ruggedness: Russian Bear Edition. (Checking YouTube for Медведь or Медведи turns up tons of crazy Russian bear videos.)

On the other hand...completely I forgot that he's leaving in two days, which gives no time for learning how to use it, much less for mundane details such as shipping. Why don't I ping you again before summer vacation?

Also, I like this idea of Pentaxmas!
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