Author Topic: Camera Thoughts  (Read 5452 times)

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Offline Ctyboy33

Camera Thoughts
« on: November 06, 2009, 08:44:46 pm »
So I'm wondering if anyone out there takes along an SLR/DSLR when they tour. I'm leaving in a couple weeks and would love it if I can figure out how to bring my slightly cumbersome Canon 5D with me. I know I'd get some great shots with it, but I'm not sure how to carry it along. Am I better off just bringing a point and shoot? Any touring photographers out there have any thoughts? Whats the best way to pack it, or should I just leave it home? Been going back and forth with the idea. Thanks.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009, 05:47:06 am »
I guess it depends on how good and what you want to do with the pics.  I used the camera on my mobile/cell phone across ST and posted them instantly on the internet for family & friends.  In the end most people look at them once and say ooh aah and move on.   But mainly it's a nice record for me.  But I have no intention of doing anything else with them.  Also I can carry them around easily and anyone showing the slightest interest - hey wanna look at a couple of shots?

However, I have travelled with a SLR and for me it was a constant pain, trying to keep the dust out mainly and in the end I guess compared to the really good photographers my fantastic shots wheren''t up to much. 

Plus I don't like the extra weight - however, there is a really nice guy cycling round at the moment who is a pro photographer and if I can find you his address I'm sure he can give good advise.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline staehpj1

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009, 09:17:55 am »
So I'm wondering if anyone out there takes along an SLR/DSLR when they tour. I'm leaving in a couple weeks and would love it if I can figure out how to bring my slightly cumbersome Canon 5D with me. I know I'd get some great shots with it, but I'm not sure how to carry it along. Am I better off just bringing a point and shoot? Any touring photographers out there have any thoughts? Whats the best way to pack it, or should I just leave it home? Been going back and forth with the idea. Thanks.

I have gone both routes and find that that for me the DSLR is nice but probably not worth the extra weight.  My little Nikon s550 take great pictures, uses memory chips that can work in my Blackberry or my 8 ounce internet tablet (Nokia N800) so I can upload pics to a web site and still carry a minimum of gear.  I do miss the availability of lenses (which I really don't want to carry any way) and my DSLR has much better low light performance, but the difference in weight just isn't worth it unless the trip is primarily a photography trip.

For me weight is one of the primary factors in all gear choices, but it is still a judgment call. 

hmoore71

  • Guest
Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2009, 07:50:01 pm »
but I'm not sure how to carry it along.

You might want to read these.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/directory/?o=RrzKj&user=keithmisegades&v=2
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=124077&v=1v

And visit http://www.denisegoldberg.com/

Ortleib has a camera liner for their handlebar bag. The Canon XTi fits nicely but the 5D is somewhat larger.

Personally not being a great photographer I stick with a point and shoot using AA batteries to keep things simple.

Offline Ctyboy33

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2009, 12:05:36 am »
Thanks for those links. Denise sure takes some nice shots with a compact camera. I think I am going to travel with a point and shoot. I went into a store today and played with a Canon S90. Its extremely compact, which also makes me nervous with my giant meat hook hands, but it takes beautiful photos. It will allow me to enlarge up to 16 x 20, which is about how big I would go anyway and doesn't feel like a weight on my back from carrying it everywhere because I can't leave it on the bike. I think being my first tour and all I should be a little more minimal and if I feel like I can carry the extra load then I will next time.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 08:52:03 am »
Thanks for those links. Denise sure takes some nice shots with a compact camera. I think I am going to travel with a point and shoot. I went into a store today and played with a Canon S90. Its extremely compact, which also makes me nervous with my giant meat hook hands, but it takes beautiful photos. It will allow me to enlarge up to 16 x 20, which is about how big I would go anyway and doesn't feel like a weight on my back from carrying it everywhere because I can't leave it on the bike. I think being my first tour and all I should be a little more minimal and if I feel like I can carry the extra load then I will next time.

The camera has almost nothing to do with taking good pictures. I would never carry my Nikon D2s and a full set of lenses on a bike tour unless I was getting paid a large amount of money.

This is what I recommend:
1. You must be able to use the controls with your bike gloves on. If you can't, do not buy the camera, look for another.
2. You must like and understand the software that controls the camera so you can change modes and override the automatics. If you are going to just trust the automatics, a very inexpensive camera will suffice. You can spend far less than $200.
3. Pixel denssity is not a feature, it is a marketing scam, A bicycle tour, generally, is documented via e-mail in tiny jpegs. When people say they will blow up their prints to 16x20 dimensions my crap detector goes off; I hear a salesman talking or wishful thinking.
4. Do not carry a camera you cannot afford to lose or replace quickly if it is stolen.
4a. Backup: you must have a way of offloading and keeping your image files separate from the camera because, if the camera vanishes, your card does, too.
5. Your budget must include at least one spare battery system, additional cards, an offloading/storage system, a wrist lanyard, and a protective case.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline tonythomson

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2009, 12:54:05 pm »
David,
once again great sound advice on this forum - certainly helped me.
Thanks Tony
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2009, 11:51:30 am »
I have carried an SLR before on a tour.  When I did, I used a handlebar bag as I felt that these gave some mechanical isolation to the camera.  It also allows you to detach the bag quickly, if you want to go into a restaurant and eat.  I have used handlebar bags made by JandD and MEC.  I have a buddy that uses some neopreme harness that secures the harness to his chest.  I think it looks painful to wear, but he likes it.

Now a days, I just use a small point and shoot camera in a jersey pocket.  I am disappointed as no one seems to make a point and shoot with an appreciable wide angle lens on it.  Cannon and Nikon don't seem to be the optical powerhouses that they once were, at least in a point and shoot.  I hear Olympus still puts a decent lens out on their point and shoots, but I have yet to confirm it.

Any 6MP camera could make a print the size you want.  As was previously mentioned, a camera powered by AA batteries is an attractive feature.
Danno

Offline pptouring

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2009, 07:14:59 pm »
My wife and I rode through Germany, Czech, & Austria this past August/September and we used a Panasonic Lumix ZS3. This camera rocks and if you're looking to take self portraits and/or night shots then get a Gorillapod too.

for a sample of our pics check out this site. Czech Pics

Offline Ctyboy33

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2009, 11:26:31 pm »
Thanks for those links. Denise sure takes some nice shots with a compact camera. I think I am going to travel with a point and shoot. I went into a store today and played with a Canon S90. Its extremely compact, which also makes me nervous with my giant meat hook hands, but it takes beautiful photos. It will allow me to enlarge up to 16 x 20, which is about how big I would go anyway and doesn't feel like a weight on my back from carrying it everywhere because I can't leave it on the bike. I think being my first tour and all I should be a little more minimal and if I feel like I can carry the extra load then I will next time.

The camera has almost nothing to do with taking good pictures. I would never carry my Nikon D2s and a full set of lenses on a bike tour unless I was getting paid a large amount of money.

This is what I recommend:
1. You must be able to use the controls with your bike gloves on. If you can't, do not buy the camera, look for another.
2. You must like and understand the software that controls the camera so you can change modes and override the automatics. If you are going to just trust the automatics, a very inexpensive camera will suffice. You can spend far less than $200.
3. Pixel denssity is not a feature, it is a marketing scam, A bicycle tour, generally, is documented via e-mail in tiny jpegs. When people say they will blow up their prints to 16x20 dimensions my crap detector goes off; I hear a salesman talking or wishful thinking.
4. Do not carry a camera you cannot afford to lose or replace quickly if it is stolen.
4a. Backup: you must have a way of offloading and keeping your image files separate from the camera because, if the camera vanishes, your card does, too.
5. Your budget must include at least one spare battery system, additional cards, an offloading/storage system, a wrist lanyard, and a protective case.

david boise ID


Thanks for the advice David, but I would like to mention that when I say I want to blow up my photos to 16 x 20 its because I want to blow up photos to 16 x 20. It has nothing to do with a salesman pitch. I shoot with a 5D normally for work and my point and shoot purchase will also be a backup to my 5D after my tour. I'm well aware that high pixels on a point and shoot are not of the same quality of high pixels on a DSLR. I'm aware of the misconception of a high pixel count translating to a better camera. You do make some good points though. Thanks.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 02:09:43 pm »
Reminds me of my first tour.  Seattle to Philadelphia.  I carried a Nikon 6006 with a 35-70 zoom and a Mamiya 645 with 55mm, 80mm and 150mm lenses. No regrets, but I did some cursing up really steep hills.

This summer I used a Cannon digital point-and-shoot and it was fine for computer-based viewing.  But if you want to print big, bring something that will let you do that.

I learned that knowing how the camera functions is definitely important. I didn't study the manual enough and the flash kept going off the first day. That, in turn, drained the battery prematurely, and I forgot the charger.  Fortunately, I had a fully-charged backup and it was only a week-long tour, so I survived.

Kept the thing in some textile-based case and stashed it in my jersey pocket.  It was fine back there.  One anomaly though.  Sometimes when I would retrieve the camera and turn the power switch on, it would say the battery was dead.  But if I opened the battery hatch, took the battery out and put it back in, it would work fine.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 08:47:42 am »
[[/quote]
Thans for the advice David, but I would like to mention that when I say I want to blow up my photos to 16 x 20 its because I want to blow up photos to 16 x 20. [/quote]

That makes yours a question from someone who is a competent exception; you are not the general "What super cool camera should I buy to send email?" consumer. Good for you and I'm glad you have the wall space for your prints.

[[/quote]
You do make some good points though. Thanks.
[/quote]

Yes, I know. You are not the only shopper who has or will ever ask this question around here but you exhibit a higher level of experience than most will.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline bogiesan

Re: Camera Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 08:57:57 am »
Now a days, I just use a small point and shoot camera in a jersey pocket.  I am disappointed as no one seems to make a point and shoot with an appreciable wide angle lens on it.  Cannon and Nikon don't seem to be the optical powerhouses that they once were, at least in a point and shoot.  I hear Olympus still puts a decent lens out on their point and shoots, but I have yet to confirm it.

One might say the same thing about the Leitz optics but Canon and Nikon put superb glass on all of their cameras. There are appreciable differences between entry level and their top of the line machines and the careful shopper tries to figure out the compromises between price and performance and weight with informed research and objectivity.

A good start would be dpreview.com where one spends  a few hours slogging through the objective analyses of the cameras. One can create a matrix of features/prices and begin to narrow down the marketplace which is more than 400 units that satisfy the criteria for the designation point'n'shoot and that does not include the vast selection of colors for any single unit.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline John Driz

Pentax W80 waterproof, freeze proof, sit on it proof for $189
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2010, 10:58:12 pm »
I work as a freelance photographer and love my Canon DSLR.  But if I were you I would want something extra durable, waterproof, and impact proof.  I personally take a 10 megapixel W60 with me when I'm traveling light.  The newer 12 megapixel W80 is now available for $188.95 at BHphoto a major steel! 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Pentax+W80&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

I constantly throw mine in my backpack with other gear and hike about 16 miles a week and has always performed reliably.  The image quality is above average for a point and shoot and it takes HD quality video.  I've had a lot of fun with the underwater feature while soaking at hot springs.  The first five photos on this page were taken with my W60

http://www.missoulaphotographydesign.com/home/portraits/

I would also buy the 2 year protection plan which covers anything you may do to it like run it over with a car for the extra $29.99 and maybe an extra battery although the one it comes with does last a very long time.  Hope this helps

John

Offline dwnptrl_777

Re: Pentax W80 waterproof, freeze proof, sit on it proof for $189
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 08:54:48 am »
I work as a freelance photographer and love my Canon DSLR.  But if I were you I would want something extra durable, waterproof, and impact proof.  I personally take a 10 megapixel W60 with me when I'm traveling light.  The newer 12 megapixel W80 is now available for $188.95 at BHphoto a major steel!

Thanks for mentioning the W80. I'm using a Ricoh GRD-II (wonderful little monster), but am considering selling it to 1. simplify my life (I have most of the goodies for the GRD-II) and 2. use something very robust like the W80, especially as I travel the TransAm this summer...