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04-03-2017, 02:37 AM   #1
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Buying Advice - Travel Compact

My daughter will be travelling in Africa this summer and won't have access to electricity. She's not a photographer, but does want to take a camera on this trip, so I'm thinking she needs something that takes standard disposable batteries- AA, AAA, CR123 or such like. I could lend her my K100D, but she's planning on travelling light. I have loads of film compacts she could choose from, but then she's need to pack film.

So, any recommendation for a simple digital compact that takes disposable batteries and won't be a disaster if it gets lost, stolen or broken?


Thanks,

04-03-2017, 03:48 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Just a thought. The K-100D takes AA batteries. Would adding a DA 40 XS be worth considering? It's a very small combination.

Another thought is an inexpensive $100 digital point & shoot along with a $25 solar battery charger.

Last edited by Saltwater Images; 04-03-2017 at 03:55 AM.
04-03-2017, 04:24 AM   #3
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If you're not set on Pentax, there are lots of superzoom/bridge cameras that run on AAs. Fuji's FinePix S-series would be what I would go for.

FinePix S9900W | S Series | Digital Cameras | Fujifilm USA
04-03-2017, 04:34 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mzsaunders Quote
My daughter will be travelling in Africa this summer and won't have access to electricity.

........
No access - or just intermittent / unreliable access?

How about multiple batteries? Along with a solar charger as suggested.

I have used standard AA in my K100D and they don't last very long at all. You can't guarantee the quality of available batteries either.


As an aside - I took my MV on a year-long tour of Australia in the early 80s. I ended up getting films developed locally and sending the prints back (keeping the negs on me). I now have almost 20 albums to remind me of a great trip.

04-03-2017, 04:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saltwater Images Quote
Just a thought. The K-100D takes AA batteries. Would adding a DA 40 XS be worth considering? It's a very small combination.

Another thought is an inexpensive $100 digital point & shoot along with a $25 solar battery charger.
Thanks Saltwater,

I do have a 40mm pancake lens, but it's manual focus and my daughter isn't a photographer. Having said that, I could set the K100D on AV, ISO to 800, lens to F16 and infinity and she could use it like a hyperfocus P&S. Then again, 60mm equivalent focal length is a bit 'neither fish nor foul', which is why I almost never use the lens on a digital body.

If I had the DA pancake, I wouldn't risk it on this trip.

Solar charger is a thought - I just had a look on Amazon and they start at around 18, however it would require a camera that charges through a USB port and any I have have a dedicated external charger that connects to mains power.
04-03-2017, 04:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
If you're not set on Pentax, there are lots of superzoom/bridge cameras that run on AAs. Fuji's FinePix S-series would be what I would go for.

FinePix S9900W | S Series | Digital Cameras | Fujifilm USA
I will second the recommendation for a Fuji 9000 series. The (original?) 9000 was my first digital camera, with a 28-300mm (35mm equivalent) lens. I still post some images taken with that camera. It isn't difficult to bring along 24 AA batteries which should be enough for about 2,000 images unless the flash is used frequently, and AA's are available almost everywhere.
04-03-2017, 05:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robin CB Quote
No access - or just intermittent / unreliable access?

How about multiple batteries? Along with a solar charger as suggested.

I have used standard AA in my K100D and they don't last very long at all. You can't guarantee the quality of available batteries either.


As an aside - I took my MV on a year-long tour of Australia in the early 80s. I ended up getting films developed locally and sending the prints back (keeping the negs on me). I now have almost 20 albums to remind me of a great trip.
As I understand it, where she will be staying there's no power, but she will be making some visits to a town with power, where she may get am opportunity to charge a phone. If she took the K10D, I'd buy a fresh set of rechargeables and have her take two sets of quality disposables with her, rather then trusting local sources.

If it were me, I'd probably take the MX, Espio Mini and either Espio 120S or Olympus Mju zoom. I wouldn't lug around both film and digital kit and get more pleasure from shooting film.
04-03-2017, 06:39 AM   #8
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Top 10 Best AA Battery Powered Digital Cameras 2016

Charger:many options. USB may be best universal option. Just get a realistic idea of how safe the equipment will be and how long the recycle takes.

04-03-2017, 06:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I will second the recommendation for a Fuji 9000 series. The (original?) 9000 was my first digital camera, with a 28-300mm (35mm equivalent) lens. I still post some images taken with that camera. It isn't difficult to bring along 24 AA batteries which should be enough for about 2,000 images unless the flash is used frequently, and AA's are available almost everywhere.

Just trying to reply to this for the third time - my posts keep disappearing (moderated for some reason?). Anyway, I do actually have a Fuji bridge camera at home that belongs to my son and is, I believe a 9000 series. I had forgotten about it. That's probably the perfect camera for her and she'd appreciate the monster zoom range. He has upgraded and I'm sure would be happy for her to borrow it.

Thanks to all for your help
04-03-2017, 07:11 AM   #10
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I don't have a camera recommendation, but non rechargeable lithium AA batteries will outlast nearly anything by a wide margin.
04-03-2017, 07:22 AM   #11
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A solar charger setup would be very useful. Check REI and other places for nice travel gadgets like that. Light/charger/battery combinations are really useful, rugged and fold into compact storage. AA battery chargers are even built into some of them.
04-03-2017, 08:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
A solar charger setup would be very useful. Check REI and other places for nice travel gadgets like that. Light/charger/battery combinations are really useful, rugged and fold into compact storage. AA battery chargers are even built into some of them.
Several of the charger items at REI are also at Amazon if REI isn't convienient.
04-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mzsaunders Quote
My daughter will be travelling in Africa this summer and won't have access to electricity. She's not a photographer, but does want to take a camera on this trip, so I'm thinking she needs something that takes standard disposable batteries- AA, AAA, CR123 or such like. I could lend her my K100D, but she's planning on travelling light. I have loads of film compacts she could choose from, but then she's need to pack film.

So, any recommendation for a simple digital compact that takes disposable batteries and won't be a disaster if it gets lost, stolen or broken?


Thanks,
Africa is a big place. Honestly after having gone all around the world I would need more information about where exactly she's going and what kind of photos she wants to take. I did a 15 country around the world trip once (including through Africa) with nothing but a point and shoot.

I could easily give you simple answers but I think you might be after more from people who have been there and done that.
04-03-2017, 12:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
A solar charger setup would be very useful.
I did about a month worth of trial and error with the whole solar thing and the results were mixed at best. Depends of course on the setup but the one we were using was not worth carrying around.
04-03-2017, 01:55 PM   #15
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I'd add the following comment. If you go for a compact with a superzoom lens (which I'd sure want if I were going to Africa), I'd also insist on a viewfinder in addition to the usual lcd screen. In that class of camera it will likely be an EVF rather than an optical finder. We have a small superzoom compact that has only an lcd screen and I find it impossible to hold it sufficiently steady at arm's length when attempting to shoot at long focal lengths. The viewfinder lets you brace the camera against your face when using long focal lengths; I can easily steady a k-3 with the 300mm f4 and a TC in good light, but forget about using the superzoom at arm's length and, say, 400mm equivalent.

I'd think that if you can find a reasonable solar charger, 2-3 sets of eneloop AAs would do for the entire trip. I'd also carry a small conventional charger and whatever plug adapter is needed for the countries she will be visiting. I'd also take some device for backing up the memory cards, as well as more than one card.

Last edited by mechmike10; 04-03-2017 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Another thought.
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