My son needs a camera for trip to South America


Well-known Member
My lad is going to be working for the VSO in March, in Bolivia. As it's likeley to be an experience of a lifetime he wants a better camera than his smartphone.

What sort of budget would give give hime better IQ than a small sensor compact... max budget of maybe £300.

I was wondering about a used RX100, but am a bit concerned about their ruggedness. It might be dry/dusty or wet n miserable where he's going.

Size might be important too, as he might not be able to take much with him other than a rucksack.

So... maybe an M4/3 with a travel zoom, ditto an entry level DSLR with a similar zoom.

I have a Fuji bridge camera, but I don't rate the image quality that highly.

Any suggestions...?


Not sure what you're going to get that's weather sealed in that price range tbh, especially considering the lens need to be weather sealed too not just the body.

There's always the rugged cameras such as the Olympus Tough but they're only small compact sensors again.


Distinguished Member
I'd probably look at the Olympus tough or Fuji equivalents. Smaller sensors but go anywhere so your son will get pictures of everything.
I guess you could consider a m43 too perhaps used so it won't be too painful if it packs up in a tropical downpour?
Id also consider a go pro for the action and harsh environment and a decent compact or m43 for everything else - you'd end up with extra chargers etc.
A used go pro and a Fuji xf1 might cover a lot of situations?

If you're prepared to take the extra bulk then Pentax have a variety of weather sealed dslr kit so might be worth looking at older used gear. My k100d will knock spots off most compacts at just 6mp and it runs off AA batteries not sealed though.


Just get the RX100 tell him to be careful and keep it dry with a carrier bag....






Well-known Member
Seem to be some good deals on older olympus M4/3 cameras: E-PL1 2nd hand for around £160... Buying Choices: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (discontinued by manufacturer)

Or a brand new Sony A5000 for less than £250 a5000

Or Fuji X-A1 for about £100 more fuji xa1

The little Fuji XF1 looks like a decent buy, especially at what Currys are selling them for. And a slightly bigger sensor than my old bridge camera.

Just been comparing various cams on the DPR studio comparison tool and the little Olympus stands up very well against various older DSLRs like Canon 550 and Nikon 3000.

But would a trad DSLR stand up better in terms of build? A Pentax K30 looks to be a good option... body can be had for £200 and with a WR lens should be pretty solid.

My lad is going out as a volunteer for Volunteer abroad, do charity work overseas |
Might be best to find out what he will be doing so that whatever camera he takes will be most appropriate. A little compact he can take anywhere, whereas a big DSLR maybe not so much.


Well-known Member
Had a word with him and 'smaller the better' is the message. So out goes DSLRs.
Now looking at Fuji XF1, E-PL1 and now the Samsung NX3000 (£180 at Currys) which seems a steal for an APSc in a small body. Decent kit lens apparently, and seems nicely finished.

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