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05-15-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
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Buying camera for kid brothers overseas trip... Help?

My kid brother and I both shot film growing up. Just as hobbies. He took some shots for a newspaper in San Fran, and otherwise hasn't touched more than an iPhone. He is going to Egypt and Tibet and I was wanti g to get him a camera for the trip.
All he says is that it needs to be small. I am thinking it needs to also be replaceable if he looses it and it also needs to have good jpegs. I have immersed myself in learning the dslr world and have not a clue.
If I thought I could buy one and him send it me when he was done I'd get him a NEX or if I knew he would keep using it I'd get him a NEX. I hate to do that for it to sit in a closet. He is in medical school so his money and his time is limited. He is going on the trip with an organization that is footing the bill.

Any recommendations?

05-15-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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K30 with the DA 18-135 WR.
Get him the AA battery insert and he's good to go.

Egypt and Tibet sound like once in a lifetime trips.

With the K30 and DA 18-135 he's got a WR camera system that does RAW/Video/JPeg.

Don't waste money on a compact or non-Pentax gear.
05-15-2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Sounds like a key word for "Not SLR".

Maybe a superzoom bridge camera like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200.
Or maybe a more compact camera like the Canon G15, or even smaller than that would be the Canon S110.

All good cameras.
05-15-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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WR might be a good idea. I had a friend who went to a school, in Egypt, to learn Arabic, and he said there was sand in everything, even his food.

Last edited by kenafein; 05-15-2013 at 10:44 PM.
05-15-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
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K-30 and the 18-135 is probably the best for starts. Albeit a WG-3 might also suffice, if he'd prefer a smaller package.
05-15-2013, 11:23 PM   #6
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Sounds like your brother isn't much of a pro, nor much of a photography enthusiast. It follows that if he was given pro-equipment, he wouldn't be able to extract the most out of his gear.

That being said, I'll offer three suggestions:

1) High grade enthusiast: Pentax K30 with the Pentax SMC DA 18-135mm WR lens
Priciest camera, excellent image quality, If you buy the K30, you have the option of getting it with the 18-135mm as a bundle. This saves a couple bucks, but it's still not cheap.
+ It's weather sealed (can be rained on, can be sand blasted, can be used well below freezing)
+ It has an optical viewfinder
+ Fastest Autofocus of the three cameras.
- It's bigger than the other two cameras.
- Most expensive

2) High grade mirrorless: Pentax k-01 with the 40mm pancake lens
It's slightly smaller than your average DSLR and has a simplified interface that should be an easy transition from point and shoot users. That being said, it has stunningly good image quality at a very reasonable price point. (The IQ is equal to the Pentax K30 when the same lenses are used).
+ Image quality
+ Can come bundled with the thinnest, lightest lens on the planet: the 40mm f/2.8, which is optically very good.
+ An easier transition for point & shoot users
+ Fairly cheap
- No viewfinder
- The 18-55mm Kit lens (if you choose to get it rather than the 40mm) is much larger than Olympus'.
- Bigger than most mirrorless cameras.
- No weather sealing

3) Medium grade Mirrorless: Olympus E-PL2 with the 14-42mm kit lens
Another good choice would be a used Olympus E-PL2 with the kit lens. It will be longer than the K-01 with a 40mm lens, and image quality won't have the potential to be as good at the k-01. However, the Olympus model is noteworthy in that it takes beautiful JPEg images straight from the camera.
+ Lightweight
+ Cheapest
+ An easier transition for point & shoot users
- No viewfinder
- Lowest resolution (though, still 10x better than your average point and shoot)
- No weather sealing

Realistically, unless your brother plans on editing his images to make the most of them and put in hours of practise with photographic technique, the results of all three cameras are going to look pretty similar despite price and quality differences. Furthermore, while image quality and resolution are important things to consider, if your brother doesn't plan on making very large prints, resolution is kind of a moot point. All three cameras can make prints much larger than 8x12 inches (8x12 is, of course, a standard print size that is roughly the area of a regular piece of printer paper).

None of these three cameras will let your brother down. And, all three are image stabilized internally, meaning when he gives it back to you, you won't need to spend an arm and a leg buying image stabilized LENSES like you would for Canon/Nikon.

Here's a link to help compare the size of the cameras, btw. You can view them from a couple different angles to get the gist of their sizes.

Compare camera dimensions side by side

Give your brother my best wishes for his journey!

Last edited by Gerbermiester; 05-15-2013 at 11:35 PM.
05-16-2013, 12:22 AM   #7
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I would suggest looking at the Pentax Q. it can be had now at best buy for 239 with the number 2 zoom lens that will give him a range of around 28 70 in 35 millimeter terms. its rugged its small and inexpensive while having very good picture quality as well as simple or advanced controls. to give him more range maybe consider getting the number 6 zoom for a few hundred dollars. its not weather sealed though so some judgement will be required on his part.
05-16-2013, 12:40 AM   #8
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The way you have described the situation, I don't know if a DSLR is the way to go. You want something he will carry with him and actually use without too much thinking. I am thinking a high quality pocket camera that can handle the rigors and dirt/dust of Egypt and Tibet. Perhaps a Pentax WG-2 or WG-3 would work better for him. Small, easy to learn and use, water and dust proof and not too expensive.

05-16-2013, 12:56 AM   #9
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Panasonic g1x or a ep3 are very cheap on amazon now. RX100 is an amazing pocket cam.

Last edited by twitch; 05-16-2013 at 01:41 AM.
05-16-2013, 01:39 AM   #10
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If he's not the lens changing type and you want the camera after he's done, why not a "serious" compact? What would you consider for yourself? Sony RX100 or Fuji X20 might be just the ticket.
05-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #11
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You'll probably get as many opinions as responders here... so heres my take:

dSLR: K30 + DA 18-135WR

Pro: It's a decent body and lens combo, and covers most of the range he'll ever need no lens changes necessary (which is a good idea in dusty sandy environments). Weather and dust resistance is a plus.
Con: Though small for a dSLR it's still pretty big to carry.

Compact: Fuji X20

Pro: It's small, image quality is awesome, doesn't attract attention, optical viewfinder
Con: Not weather/dust sealed

Miniature: Pentax Q with 02 and 06 zooms.

Pro: Entire kit smaller than a dSLR body, very good image quality, extremely portable.
Con: Lens changes, no optical viewfinder, not weather sealed.

Just my 2 cents of course...

05-16-2013, 10:25 AM   #12
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Canon S100 + 2x 16Gb Sandisk SD card + Aquapac case (Mini Camera Case with Hard Lens - Cameras & Camcorders - Explore Product Range - Aquapac 100% Waterproof Phone, Camera, MP3 cases, bags and pouches)

Set the S100 in RAW + JPEG mode so you can later "rescue" the best pictures from your brothers trip. The Aquapac case in case there is bad weather...
05-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
Panasonic Lumix DMC
+1, I was going to suggest one of the Panasonic Lumix range of cameras, great results from a shirt pocket.
05-16-2013, 12:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
+1, I was going to suggest one of the Panasonic Lumix range of cameras, great results from a shirt pocket.
I agree, I have a ZS7 and absolutely love it. Probably the best point and shoot I have ever owned.

05-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #15
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I don't know a lot about P&S cameras, but given your brother's experience it might be the way to go. You really do need to consider WR though. Everyone that goes there complains about the sand.

If you think that you can talk him into the idea of a DSLR because this is the trip of a lifetime, then K30 all the way. Sometimes, people are willing to learn something knew because of the unique opportunity they have.

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