Author Topic: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.  (Read 5437 times)

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Offline 18series

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I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« on: November 29, 2012, 11:32:46 AM »
I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan and chose not to bring my A77 because of the dust, heat and overall austere environment.  I bought a rugged P&S instead which I felt would suit the need for compactness and be able to deliver good quality pictures.  Now that I'm here and pretty much missed an opportunity to take great pictures of Albania celebrating their first 100 years of independence yesterday (the pics were that awful).  I've came to the conclusion that I have to have a better camera if I'm gonna survive this, photo-journalistically speaking.  But what to buy?  My decision criteria is as such:

1) Don’t want to spend too much money (good used one) so If I take a total lose, I won't cry for too long.

2) Do I take this opportunity to migrate to the more popular brands with a fair bit more accessories as my friends have been trying to get me to do for years (I'm the only one with a sony camera)

3) Bite the bullet, take a chance and get my A77 and lens sent over and risk exposure to this harsh environment

3a) If I do decide it's worth the risk, what's an all around lens that can cover intermediate shots as well and close up and still deliver quality? (trying to mitigate taking the lens on and off)

4) Want to stay in a good price range but a camera that has a bit more capabilities than the above average P&S?


I'm open to suggestions and await your advice.  The fate of the free world rests on your shoulders.  No pressure guys.

Offline subbu68

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 01:44:22 PM »
Isn't A77 weather proof enough for Afghanistan?
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Offline DaveH

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 01:45:30 PM »
If you want an all round lens to mitigate off/on, then I would suggest the Tamron 18-270 - recently took that lens on safari with me to Africa and have to say the shots taken were pretty sharp, colours were good, and I was able to swap readily from "close up" to "far away" pretty quickly. The only downside with the lens is that if you carry it loose by your side on the camera (I hang my camera from a black rapid strap) it can "unroll" itself unless you keep the lock catch in place. But for a good multi-purpose lens that can react to a number of differing situations I have to say I'm pretty happy with it.

Regards camera, I too have just bought an A77 - fantastic camera - and am selling my A700 for not too much money that I used previously with kit lens and memory cards (details are in the for sale section), together with a couple of 70-300 lens' as well that I'm selling. Whilst I shamelessly admit to plugging my sale, in all honesty something like an A700 could be a good buy for what you are looking for whilst still giving good quality

Offline Stef.

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 09:33:59 PM »
I can nto remember where it was written, but somebody went to Alaska on a cruise and quite a few Canikons failed during the trip while the Sony survived. I had my A77 out in full blaster storm conditions, with the water dripping out of the camera and all went well. I would ave no problems with taking the A77 with the Sony 16-50mm f2.8 out with me whereever I went. BUT be aware...not all lenses are weather resistant and I would only do this with the above lens.
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Offline 18series

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 12:26:34 AM »
Thanks guys, definitely some things to think about.

Offline Faldrax

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 02:05:52 PM »
I can nto remember where it was written, but somebody went to Alaska on a cruise and quite a few Canikons failed during the trip while the Sony survived. I had my A77 out in full blaster storm conditions, with the water dripping out of the camera and all went well. I would ave no problems with taking the A77 with the Sony 16-50mm f2.8 out with me whereever I went. BUT be aware...not all lenses are weather resistant and I would only do this with the above lens.
Stef.

That was on Luminous Landscape, he took two A900 to try out and they behaved flawlessly. My recollection (from reading the article some time ago) was that it was only Canons that failed - but they were also the most common brand taken on the trip, so were most likely to have a failure, all things being equal).
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Offline Clive

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 07:54:58 PM »
DaveH

From what I've seen on TV, Alberta where I live, is hardly like  Afghanistan. But it is dry here and often dusty in summer. I also use my camera well below freezing sometimes...as recently. I take care of my stuff, but not scared to take it out under some fairly harsh conditions.

For sure, changing lenses in a  sandstorm would not be a good plan. But under more"everyday" conditions, I see nothing wrong with changing lenses in the field. Obviously some common sense is necessary. I'd be more concerned about using a zoom lens in a dust storm and pulling dust into the lens guts when zooming in and out.

I'd take my A77 there in a heartbeat ... not think twice. My KM 7D, A700 and A77 combined have been to several countries including Northern China and Inner Mongolia (IMAR, part of China), Mexico,  Chile, Cuba, Belize, Arizona, Kauai and the Big Island.  In 2006, I took my KM 7D with only one lens (Tamron 24-135mm) on a tour in Mexico. I knew conditions would be dusty...we were in mountainous, rural areas. I never had to change lenses and that was good. Mainly I took just one lens because we had a severe weight restriction on the trip. I longed for a second lens on occasion. I was the "trip" photo guy and took a couple of thousand photos in 5 days...was a hoot.     

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Clive
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 07:56:42 PM by Clive »
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Offline DaveH

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 10:33:05 PM »
DaveH

From what I've seen on TV, Alberta where I live, is hardly like  Afghanistan. But it is dry here and often dusty in summer. I also use my camera well below freezing sometimes...as recently. I take care of my stuff, but not scared to take it out under some fairly harsh conditions.

For sure, changing lenses in a  sandstorm would not be a good plan. But under more"everyday" conditions, I see nothing wrong with changing lenses in the field. Obviously some common sense is necessary. I'd be more concerned about using a zoom lens in a dust storm and pulling dust into the lens guts when zooming in and out.

I'd take my A77 there in a heartbeat ... not think twice. My KM 7D, A700 and A77 combined have been to several countries including Northern China and Inner Mongolia (IMAR, part of China), Mexico,  Chile, Cuba, Belize, Arizona, Kauai and the Big Island.  In 2006, I took my KM 7D with only one lens (Tamron 24-135mm) on a tour in Mexico. I knew conditions would be dusty...we were in mountainous, rural areas. I never had to change lenses and that was good. Mainly I took just one lens because we had a severe weight restriction on the trip. I longed for a second lens on occasion. I was the "trip" photo guy and took a couple of thousand photos in 5 days...was a hoot.     

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Clive

Clive - I think you meant 18Series, not me.... :)

Offline Clive

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 11:53:57 PM »
:-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[

;)
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Offline marc pk

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 05:41:09 AM »
I took my a900 on several trips to the Omo region in Ethiopia in 2010-2011 (rural, hardly any paved roads). I cleaned it and the lens I used (Minolta 28-70 + Sony 70-400) every day with a small camera vacuum cleaner; never had a problem. My only problem was finding a place to charge my 6 camera batteries!
Marc

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Offline alphamale77

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 02:59:10 PM »
I'd think A77 is certainly fit for the job, however the bigger issue is lens, although by default we expect high end sony G lens and Zeiss to be sealed as good as other brands, there is no specific mention of it on sony's behalf. With zooms every time you make it work, there is air suction going on, which is a big issue for your situation i'd imagine.

Like stef said, 16-50 is your best bet, and leave it on. May be save up for a second body (a700?) and a cheaper zoom like 70-300 if you need the range, only change the lens indoor after blowing off the dust.

other than that, you might consider the Oly OM5...hope i don't get bashed since i'm new, but that some times it really depends on the demanding situation you are shooting in, i wish my nex 7 was sealed as well as the a77, but that's just my wishful thinking.

No matter the choice, don't forget to insure your gear, that way you won't be risking much, may be the down time due to repair, but that's all.

Good luck

Offline 18series

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 09:57:23 AM »
After much thought I've decided to get my A77 shipped over.  Just have to take extra care out there in the wilderness.

Offline 18series

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 10:18:32 AM »
Oh yeah, decided to order a hardened pelican case to keep it in when not in use.  Anyone have any suggestions on a good desert tan colored carrying case to tool around with?

Offline grakat

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 10:07:23 AM »
I hope the A77 holds up to the rigors of the situations that you may find yourself in. It's certainly not a place I would want to test a camera's robustness in.

I served as a peacekeeper in the Solomon Islands, didnt have a camera on that deployment, seriously wish that I did.

Graham

Offline chappo1

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Re: I need a camera as rough as Afghanistan.
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2012, 12:04:59 AM »
We look forward to seeing some of the images you capture....john
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