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Stephen Lloyd

Small camera for North Korea

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Hi all. I'm going to be spending a week in North Korea soon and am assuming that a shoulder full of Nikon 810 and lenses is not going to be appropriate. So I'm looking for a small travel camera, Alamy acceptable results and for it to be discreet. Any been and if so what was your experience in terms of photo restrictions?

 

Steve

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It's unlikely that you'll be permitted to even see, let alone photograph, anything the state doesn't want you to, so I doubt it makes much difference how big it is.

Get some practice in surreptitious card swapping in case you get lucky.

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I guess you've not been. Photography is permitted - but generally controlled. I'm looking for something acceptable to capture what I can

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That's what I said. If it's controlled it doesn't matter what equipment you use. The minders may prefer a camera they can see to one you can put in your pocket.

Why not ask the tour operator?

 

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I am, I'm looking for someone with experience not theory to answer though - you've said nothing I don't know or guess. Anyone out there bee nand can comment from experience?

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There are lots of threads like the "Travel Camera?" one below. Generally they boil down to the Sony RX100 III (one-inch sensor, noninterchangeable lens, but used by lots of people here for a small camera), the Sony a6xxx series (APS-C mirrorless, interchangeable lenses), and a few others. I've been using the Sony mirrorless since giving up my Canon full-frame a few years ago, no QC problems.

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20 minutes ago, Bill Kuta said:

There are lots of threads like the "Travel Camera?" one below. Generally they boil down to the Sony RX100 III (one-inch sensor, noninterchangeable lens, but used by lots of people here for a small camera), the Sony a6xxx series (APS-C mirrorless, interchangeable lenses), and a few others. I've been using the Sony mirrorless since giving up my Canon full-frame a few years ago, no QC problems.

bought the Sony RX100 on the weekend (based on recommendations on here)....first batch into QC now, if no issues, I get a ton of use out of it.

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The RX100V has 24fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw with full AF.

Surprisingly useful. You do end up with 3500 images in 3 hours like me last Sunday though.

The AF system is much better than the previous ones.

 

Familiarize  yourself with the Sony wifi shooting app, which enables you to look at your smartphone while the camera maybe hangs on your side or so.

I would take the Nikon out as much as possible. Take every allowed image with it. And have it hanging on your shoulder with a big lens when you use the RX100. Or your phone.

Pity the newer iterations don't have the 28-100mm (eq) anymore.

 

I take 2 replacement batteries and 2 128Gb cards. (And a very long selfie stick pole, but that may be too much for those poor minders.)

 

- I have not been near NK. Yet.

 

wim

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16 hours ago, JeffGreenberg said:

Haven't been, but read accounts from those that have visited as tourists.

Are you visiting as tourist or business?

 

Tourist guides are known to tell visitors to delete an image or more.

What they don't seem to know is that delete without format allows

visitor to later retrieve JPG -- right?

Tourists have been imprisoned for many things we see as minor.

(giving someone a free book, stealing a small sign or poster

hanging in hotel hall, etc.)

ALL CRIMES AGAINST STATE ARE MAJOR...

But that's something you already knew & wouldn't do, would you....?

Despite wanting something "discreet" which implies sneaking shots...

95% of North Koreans on the street are NOT going to react to camera of any size

because most have little concept trying to protect their privacy in public...

Jeff

 

I meant discreet as in not drawing attention to myself rather than sneaky shots. It's not unique to Korea - many moons ago in Xi'an photographing the terracotta army I had ASA 3200 film in an SLR, no flash, so the guards ripped film out of the cameras with flash going off. Lots of signs saying no flash, and those that tried paid the price of their film. I went prepared, as I plan to do this time. I was also very careful in Russia - Tatarstan a few years ago, and with the football police in Slovenia (who in the end turned out to be a good laugh).

 

 I'm going to shoot what I can, which means allowed to. Alamy has a lot of examples of the sort of thing - but I'm also aware that the guide (you are never alone) could have problems if whilst under her care we err. Rules have relaxed a lot in the last two years so it's about being sensible. I know someone who was there and shot a lot on his phone which effectively becomes a camera as he had no signal. Camera is loose terms and the odds of picking up a Huawei P20 in advance as slim. One positive - the hotel has a micro brewery attached!

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Same reason why I'd never go to a few places (not mentioning them as there's be an explosion from some contributors) but the bulk of this profit is going to my home town travel company.

 

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Jeff, I am now out of NK and can say it was an enlightening experience if not the way the hosts expected it to. I cannot imagine any openness at anytime without chaos as the conditioning and programmed hate of two particular countries I see as impossible to reverse without a complete mind wipe. It was like an Orwell novel in many ways. However at least now I have seen it with my own eyes. Surprisingly nice beer though!

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On 4/25/2018 at 14:57, wiskerke said:

The RX100V has 24fps burst shooting in JPEG + Raw with full AF.

Surprisingly useful. You do end up with 3500 images in 3 hours like me last Sunday though.

The AF system is much better than the previous ones.

 

Familiarize  yourself with the Sony wifi shooting app, which enables you to look at your smartphone while the camera maybe hangs on your side or so.

I would take the Nikon out as much as possible. Take every allowed image with it. And have it hanging on your shoulder with a big lens when you use the RX100. Or your phone.

Pity the newer iterations don't have the 28-100mm (eq) anymore.

 

I take 2 replacement batteries and 2 128Gb cards. (And a very long selfie stick pole, but that may be too much for those poor minders.)

 

- I have not been near NK. Yet.

 

wim

 

Better autofocus on the 100/5, Wim? That's interesting, because I have a lot of trouble with the autofocus on my 100/3, always shooting extra frames and using the two-step shutter press. 

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Yes phase-detect vs contrast detect.  Phase detect is quicker. It still has contrast detect as an option, but have not used it.

Contrast detect should be better in low light and covers a slightly larger area.

Not all roses though: I now have some blurred images because of movement. Definitely user error because I now get too hasty sometimes. Also my long selfie stick is flimsier than before, so that doesn't help.

 

wim

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Here is a short film, inside North Korea by snowboarder Jamie Borrow.

 

 

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