Camera solutions for travel

In Prague Old Town. Photo by Tatyana Volk.

On my trip, I took a Canon 5D2 body with vertical grip attached. I couldn’t find the battery door at the last moment, so ended up with the extra weight and bulk. With the grip, the camera doesn’t hand as flat against the body. Bought a better strap in Prague, it proved still inadequate. I plan on converting the camera to work with Magpul sling.

Lenses: 24-70/2.8, 90 tilt-shift and 200/2.8. The 200mm got the most use, but not finding the 72mm polarizer at the last moment proved a real problem in Budapest due to massive haze. Humidity and smog limited visibility. I even held the 77mm filter by hand in a few photos. I wished that I had acquired the 70-200/2.8 IS before the trip despite the greater weight. 90 got a lot of use as well, with 24-70 used almost purely as a snapshot lens for family pictures. 5D2 again proved a technically excellent camera with awkward menu-driven secondary controls. Zooms definitely win for travel use, as long as they are good quality fast zooms.

My mother brought her Panasonic G2 with 20/1.7 and 45/1.8 and that was the ideal travel camera. A longer third lens would have helped, but overall it was the sweet spot for weight/size/capability/noise. The lack of mirror vibration, the articulated screen and the tiny size really helped.

In retrospect, I think that a smaller, more action-oriented body would have been better. Almost all images needed either the full tele capability, or (less often) full wide, or else full rise of the 90mm. I brought four batteries but never used up more than two in a day. Video with a magnified LCD hood but without a tripod proved unusable.

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4 Responses to Camera solutions for travel

  1. pegmonkey says:

    I’m not familiar with the Canon line of DSLR, but for most photos I find something along the lines of the Nikon D3200 or D3100.. smaller consumer cameras to be perfectly fine for most shooting needs. I only need a better camera for action shooting.. higher frame rate, faster focusing.. etc. But for travel, smaller is better.

    Also, I’ve found the Tamrac N45 strap to be the perfect strap for me. It’s long enough to do opposite around the neck shoulder carry… and, it has quick release so you can just click and release at the camera body for full mobility action shots.

    And.. I think my 70-200 2.8 sigma is my best all around lens. But.. we always wish we had what we don’t have with us for some reason.. sometimes, I think I’m better off just grabbing one lens.. and shooting whatever I can with it. 🙂

  2. Fred says:

    I’ve been using a Magpul MS2 on my dSLR for a couple years now. It’s pretty awesome.

  3. HerrBGone says:

    I’ll second the Tamrac N45 strap. I’ve used a variation on that theme for a lot of years an a variety of cameras ranging in weight up to my old Canon F1 film camera with the motor drive that takes 10 AA batteries. What I need to upgrade is the back of my neck! I just can’t take that kind of weight on any camera strap any more. Fortunately none of my current cameras weigh any where near what that old tank does.

    Let us know how the Magpul adaptation comes out. I may give that a try depending on your results.

  4. Ken says:

    I’ve been using a Gear Sector single-point sling for a couple of years now. I get the HK hook and it snaps right on the camera’s split-ring. Similar in function to the Magpul I imagine. It works great.

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