Family Disney trip, 2020 edition

Highgrovemanor

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Sep 12, 2011
Messages
33
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.

Show stopper: I was thinking selfie stick with phones for uber-light, but Disney says no-selfies.

Current thoughts: Do the photo-package (all you can eat), so my shots are bonus-round but not needed. Old threads were quite valuable, and have me thinking 9-18mm Oly during the day and 50/1.7 for dark. I do have the 20mm, but its slow focus speed is a non-starter IMO. I would like to shoot some video, along with some pictures. Other lenses include 7.5 FE, 12-35/35-100 2.8s, 45/1.8. Think single body, 2 lenses max.

Question 1: take the weight penalty of G9, right? Other options are G7, or GX1? G7 youtube videos seem its okay for 4k, but its focus drove me to G9. I like the GX-1 form factor (have EVF), but its quite dated and worst video of the bunch.

Question 2: Anyone gotten Gorilla tripods in w/o grief?

Question 3: Am I thinking of this right?

Many thanks

Steve
 

BosseBe

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Bo
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.

Show stopper: I was thinking selfie stick with phones for uber-light, but Disney says no-selfies.

Current thoughts: Do the photo-package (all you can eat), so my shots are bonus-round but not needed. Old threads were quite valuable, and have me thinking 9-18mm Oly during the day and 50/1.7 for dark. I do have the 20mm, but its slow focus speed is a non-starter IMO. I would like to shoot some video, along with some pictures. Other lenses include 7.5 FE, 12-35/35-100 2.8s, 45/1.8. Think single body, 2 lenses max.

Question 1: take the weight penalty of G9, right? Other options are G7, or GX1? G7 youtube videos seem its okay for 4k, but its focus drove me to G9. I like the GX-1 form factor (have EVF), but its quite dated and worst video of the bunch.

Question 2: Anyone gotten Gorilla tripods in w/o grief?

Question 3: Am I thinking of this right?

Many thanks

Steve
First you are 1 year to late! :whistling:
2020 was last year!
Hope you get to go later on.
 

Michael Meissner

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Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
786
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.
I've been to mouse land a few times, mostly though either without our daughter or after she was an adult. So for me, picture taking is a bit different in terms of priorities. We were planning a family reunion down there last year in April to celebrate my father's 90th birthday, but that got cancelled due to Covid.

For you, except for the Animal Kingdom park, I would say get an Olympug TG-6 (or possibly use your cell phone, particularly if you have a weatherproof version) to get family pictures during the day. The TG-6 is waterproof, fits in a pocket, etc. For family type shots you don't need all of the big gear. In previous years, I found over time, I would carry a lot of gear, and each day, I would carry less and less. For evening shots at a restaurant, you might want to take a smaller camera with a few small primes, or maybe one of the f/2.8 zooms (Olympus 12-40mm or Panasonic 12-35mm) suitable for indoor shots.

Bear in mind, it rains in Florida, particularly in the summer. Usually it rains for about an hour each day. So be prepared to get wet. Even if you go under shelter, you still might be caught out when a storm comes. Even if it doesn't rain when you go, you likely will want to go on the flume type rides (Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids) which again means water. It is kind of amusing where you take a splash proof large Olympus camera and lens on those rides and people are worried about you ruining your nice camera.

But that being said, even though I have shot with my G85 at Niagara Falls, I really don't trust Panasonic's weather sealing like I do Olympus's (I had an experience where a 'splash proof' Panasonic lens wasn't). But hey, its your gear. You need to decide whether you trust it in wet situations.

Now, the Animal Kingdom park is the one place where you might want more range. In particular, the safari ride, you really want a zoom lens. But note, the safari does not stop for long periods, and there is no chance to change lenses. I've done it with two cameras (one with a wide angle lens, and the other with a telephoto), but in later trips, I went with a super-zoom lens, such as the Olympus 14-150mm mark II, Panasonic 14-140mm mark II, or the Olympus 12-200mm lens (attached to a splash proof body). My last trip in 2015, I used the E-m5 mark I with the 14-150mm mark II lens and also the Stylus-1 camera (which has the same sort of range, but packs smaller -- and I used a plastic bag to protect it, since it isn't splash proof).

One note of something I did wrong, and my wife reminds me of doing to this day. We went in 2001 when our daughter was 7-8. She was playing in one of the water fountains in the walkways at EPCOT (that shoot water randomly) and having the time of her life. I had a video camera of some sort, and was playing the auteur part. And my wife reminded me to let her have her fun, and not try to stage manage things, telling her where to stand and ruining the moment.

Be sure to read at least some of the Disney review sites. Note, printed books and older postings are useless at this point, because Covid has changed so much in terms of what is offered and such. My favorite site is https://allears.net/. In particular, this year, you need to get passes for a particular park way in advance, and dining reservations/fastpass don't work. And I see that at times selected parks are selling out way in advance.

I should mention that in an indirect way, Disney got me into digitial photography. On that trip in 2001 (when my daughter was 7-8), I had budgeted a certain amount, and gotten cash/american express checks. This was before everything switched to credit/debit cards. Disney's machines that scans your pockets and won't let you leave until you've spent all of your money must have been on the fritz back then, and when I got back I had extra money that was eating a hole in my pocket. I had heard about digital cameras, and eventually decided on the Olympus D510Z (low end point and shoot) to spend the money on.

One thing that we've done, but unfortunately I don't see many others do is assuming you are going with a partner (i.e. wife, husband, etc.) is have times such as 1/2 day or a full day when you get the kinds and your partner has time to do things she/he would prefer to do, and likewise you get a similar time to do the things you want and the partner gets the kids. This way you get quality bonding time with the kids, but it also would allow you to do things like take pictures without feeling rushed. Some families (like my sister) will only do things in lock step.
 

Highgrovemanor

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
33
I've been to mouse land a few times, mostly though either without our daughter or after she was an adult. So for me, picture taking is a bit different in terms of priorities. We were planning a family reunion down there last year in April to celebrate my father's 90th birthday, but that got cancelled due to Covid.

For you, except for the Animal Kingdom park, I would say get an Olympug TG-6 (or possibly use your cell phone, particularly if you have a weatherproof version) to get family pictures during the day. The TG-6 is waterproof, fits in a pocket, etc. For family type shots you don't need all of the big gear. In previous years, I found over time, I would carry a lot of gear, and each day, I would carry less and less. For evening shots at a restaurant, you might want to take a smaller camera with a few small primes, or maybe one of the f/2.8 zooms (Olympus 12-40mm or Panasonic 12-35mm) suitable for indoor shots.

Bear in mind, it rains in Florida, particularly in the summer. Usually it rains for about an hour each day. So be prepared to get wet. Even if you go under shelter, you still might be caught out when a storm comes. Even if it doesn't rain when you go, you likely will want to go on the flume type rides (Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids) which again means water. It is kind of amusing where you take a splash proof large Olympus camera and lens on those rides and people are worried about you ruining your nice camera.

But that being said, even though I have shot with my G85 at Niagara Falls, I really don't trust Panasonic's weather sealing like I do Olympus's (I had an experience where a 'splash proof' Panasonic lens wasn't). But hey, its your gear. You need to decide whether you trust it in wet situations.

Now, the Animal Kingdom park is the one place where you might want more range. In particular, the safari ride, you really want a zoom lens. But note, the safari does not stop for long periods, and there is no chance to change lenses. I've done it with two cameras (one with a wide angle lens, and the other with a telephoto), but in later trips, I went with a super-zoom lens, such as the Olympus 14-150mm mark II, Panasonic 14-140mm mark II, or the Olympus 12-200mm lens (attached to a splash proof body). My last trip in 2015, I used the E-m5 mark I with the 14-150mm mark II lens and also the Stylus-1 camera (which has the same sort of range, but packs smaller -- and I used a plastic bag to protect it, since it isn't splash proof).

One note of something I did wrong, and my wife reminds me of doing to this day. We went in 2001 when our daughter was 7-8. She was playing in one of the water fountains in the walkways at EPCOT (that shoot water randomly) and having the time of her life. I had a video camera of some sort, and was playing the auteur part. And my wife reminded me to let her have her fun, and not try to stage manage things, telling her where to stand and ruining the moment.

Be sure to read at least some of the Disney review sites. Note, printed books and older postings are useless at this point, because Covid has changed so much in terms of what is offered and such. My favorite site is https://allears.net/. In particular, this year, you need to get passes for a particular park way in advance, and dining reservations/fastpass don't work. And I see that at times selected parks are selling out way in advance.

I should mention that in an indirect way, Disney got me into digitial photography. On that trip in 2001 (when my daughter was 7-8), I had budgeted a certain amount, and gotten cash/american express checks. This was before everything switched to credit/debit cards. Disney's machines that scans your pockets and won't let you leave until you've spent all of your money must have been on the fritz back then, and when I got back I had extra money that was eating a hole in my pocket. I had heard about digital cameras, and eventually decided on the Olympus D510Z (low end point and shoot) to spend the money on.

One thing that we've done, but unfortunately I don't see many others do is assuming you are going with a partner (i.e. wife, husband, etc.) is have times such as 1/2 day or a full day when you get the kinds and your partner has time to do things she/he would prefer to do, and likewise you get a similar time to do the things you want and the partner gets the kids. This way you get quality bonding time with the kids, but it also would allow you to do things like take pictures without feeling rushed. Some families (like my sister) will only do things in lock step.
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Michael.

The tough cam is a good idea, as is a GoPro style, but the wife is also plotting a beach house for when her sister visits which means no new toys for me. And yes, COVID does have things pretty crazy over there, and that plus everyone going crazy for the Star Wars ride @ Hollywood studio means we probably won’t see that park this time. We’re fully vaccinated and will enjoy the trip regardless, and I just heard masks can be pulled off for outside pictures, so that’s awesome.

The boys are still a little short for all rides, so I am sure there will be a return or two in whatever the post-COVID world has for us.
 

Michael Meissner

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Messages
786
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Michael.

The tough cam is a good idea, as is a GoPro style, but the wife is also plotting a beach house for when her sister visits which means no new toys for me. And yes, COVID does have things pretty crazy over there, and that plus everyone going crazy for the Star Wars ride @ Hollywood studio means we probably won’t see that park this time. We’re fully vaccinated and will enjoy the trip regardless, and I just heard masks can be pulled off for outside pictures, so that’s awesome.

Yep, evidently you have to log on to your phone at exactly 7:00 am to get into the virtual boarding queue on the day you are going into Hollywood Studios. If you are a few minutes late, you likely won't get into the early queue (there is a second one at 2:00pm). And this is with the park at only 40% capacity.

Me I have a complicated history with Star Wars. Like many people I liked the original movies, but over time I became disenchanted with the whole series. In particular, when I saw episode 1, and it had Jar Jar Binks, and I started thinking about the whole SW universe, I decided that Lucas did not need my money. So I only know about the later films through osmosis.

If you don't know it already, the parks are huge. If you carry a lot of gear, and want to stuff it in a locker during the day, it can easily be 1/2 hour jaunt each way to the lockers at the park entrances to drop stuff off. And figure for normal bus rides, it will be something like 1 - 1.5 hours particularly at peak times. That means if you carry a lot of gear, you will likely need to carry it all day long.

The boys are still a little short for all rides, so I am sure there will be a return or two in whatever the post-COVID world has for us.
 

ac12

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Apr 24, 2018
Messages
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.

Show stopper: I was thinking selfie stick with phones for uber-light, but Disney says no-selfies.

Current thoughts: Do the photo-package (all you can eat), so my shots are bonus-round but not needed. Old threads were quite valuable, and have me thinking 9-18mm Oly during the day and 50/1.7 for dark. I do have the 20mm, but its slow focus speed is a non-starter IMO. I would like to shoot some video, along with some pictures. Other lenses include 7.5 FE, 12-35/35-100 2.8s, 45/1.8. Think single body, 2 lenses max.

Question 1: take the weight penalty of G9, right? Other options are G7, or GX1? G7 youtube videos seem its okay for 4k, but its focus drove me to G9. I like the GX-1 form factor (have EVF), but its quite dated and worst video of the bunch.

Question 2: Anyone gotten Gorilla tripods in w/o grief?

Question 3: Am I thinking of this right?

Many thanks

Steve

I would do a 25/1.8 or even 17/1.8, rather than a 50, for the wider view.
I think the 20 would work. It has to be at least as fast to focus as a MANUAL focus lens that I used on a film camera.
You can always crop into a pic, but you can't crop outward, cuz there is nothing there.

For the zoom. It is a toss up, either the 9-18 or 12-35.
I would normally go with the 12-35. But, there have been times where I wanted a wider lens (than a 24mm on a 35mm film camera), cuz I was close and the buildings kinda big. So with the logic that you can always crop into the pic, I would go with the 9-18.
 

Brian G

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Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
263
Location
Victoria, BC
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.

Show stopper: I was thinking selfie stick with phones for uber-light, but Disney says no-selfies.

Current thoughts: Do the photo-package (all you can eat), so my shots are bonus-round but not needed. Old threads were quite valuable, and have me thinking 9-18mm Oly during the day and 50/1.7 for dark. I do have the 20mm, but its slow focus speed is a non-starter IMO. I would like to shoot some video, along with some pictures. Other lenses include 7.5 FE, 12-35/35-100 2.8s, 45/1.8. Think single body, 2 lenses max.

Question 1: take the weight penalty of G9, right? Other options are G7, or GX1? G7 youtube videos seem its okay for 4k, but its focus drove me to G9. I like the GX-1 form factor (have EVF), but its quite dated and worst video of the bunch.

Question 2: Anyone gotten Gorilla tripods in w/o grief?

Question 3: Am I thinking of this right?

Many thanks

Steve
I've taken a moderately-sized regular tripod into Disney World on more than one occasion, although the last time was probably about five years ago. I forget the exact dimensions, however the lockers by the main entrance at the Magic Kingdom will hold a tripod of roughly 18 - 20 inches in folded height (you need to confirm exact sizes for yourself). On occasion I've also left my Mindshift Rotation Panorama backpack in the lockers as well.
Universal is a different story, with tighter restrictions on what can accompany you on attractions.
Of course, with everything that has gone on over the past year, these facts all bear checking.

Brian
 

Michael Meissner

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Messages
786
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
I've taken a moderately-sized regular tripod into Disney World on more than one occasion, although the last time was probably about five years ago. I forget the exact dimensions, however the lockers by the main entrance at the Magic Kingdom will hold a tripod of roughly 18 - 20 inches in folded height (you need to confirm exact sizes for yourself). On occasion I've also left my Mindshift Rotation Panorama backpack in the lockers as well.
Universal is a different story, with tighter restrictions on what can accompany you on attractions.
Of course, with everything that has gone on over the past year, these facts all bear checking.

Brian
Note in 2015, Disney banned so-called selfie sticks from the parks and water parks. In looking up the rules, they also ban tripods and monopods that cannot fit in a standard sized backpack.
 

ac12

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Note in 2015, Disney banned so-called selfie sticks from the parks and water parks. In looking up the rules, they also ban tripods and monopods that cannot fit in a standard sized backpack.

"inside" a standard backpack.
Sounds like I will need a 5 section tripod.

The rule also states a 6 feet "extended" limit. Unfortunately, that would include the center column, which I rarely use.

I've used a tripod at Disneyland, Disneyworld and Epcot, for the night time fireworks. But that was long before 2015.
 

snegron

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May 9, 2013
Messages
214
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SW Florida
Disney theme parks in Florida were my main weekend road trips with my kids up until last year (our annual passes expired around the end of 2020).

My suggestion is to go with the lightest gear possible that will yield the highest IQ. I would say 90% of the time a 12-35mm should capture most of the images. Setting up a tripod is a bit difficult due to the crowds. No matter how hard you try, there will always be people in your pictures.

Changing lenses will require you to have a bag. Any extra weight will feel very noticeable the longer you are at the park.
 

Michael Meissner

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Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
"inside" a standard backpack.
Sounds like I will need a 5 section tripod.

The rule also states a 6 feet "extended" limit. Unfortunately, that would include the center column, which I rarely use.

I've used a tripod at Disneyland, Disneyworld and Epcot, for the night time fireworks. But that was long before 2015.
Yep, I've used a 4 section tripod for nightly fireworks, particularly if I'm paying extra for the special fireworks view and dessert party. If I'm just in the crowd, I don't think a tripod is appropriate.

However, at the moment it is a moot point, since there are no fireworks or nightly shows.
 

ac12

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Messages
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While this shows is "can" be done hand held.
1/2 sec with a P&S that has IS. But I must have been bracing the camera on "something."
1623813551007.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


This kind of stuff that was more common.
You can see the kink in the streak, where I moved the camera during the 1/3 sec exposure.
1623813646380.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


How about this botched shot. Can you say SHAKE.
1623813934977.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,503
Location
Colorado
After searching multiple forums and reading so many 2011-2013 threads chatting up the 20/1.7 as the ultimate, thought I would start up a more current thread to discuss.

Priorities: enjoy trip with twin 5 year old boys. Maybe 1 or 2 more Disney trips in their future, so more trips to round out photo ops in mask-free future to follow.

My current gear is pretty good, as lets say up until 6 years ago I could easily roll a new lens purchase into the travel budget. Not any more, as last year's G9 splurge must be it for awhile.

Show stopper: I was thinking selfie stick with phones for uber-light, but Disney says no-selfies.

Current thoughts: Do the photo-package (all you can eat), so my shots are bonus-round but not needed. Old threads were quite valuable, and have me thinking 9-18mm Oly during the day and 50/1.7 for dark. I do have the 20mm, but its slow focus speed is a non-starter IMO. I would like to shoot some video, along with some pictures. Other lenses include 7.5 FE, 12-35/35-100 2.8s, 45/1.8. Think single body, 2 lenses max.

Question 1: take the weight penalty of G9, right? Other options are G7, or GX1? G7 youtube videos seem its okay for 4k, but its focus drove me to G9. I like the GX-1 form factor (have EVF), but its quite dated and worst video of the bunch.

Question 2: Anyone gotten Gorilla tripods in w/o grief?

Question 3: Am I thinking of this right?

Many thanks

Steve
Steve,
When we did Disney World in 2018, we sprung for the photo package (and got some nice snapshots from it). I carried a few lenses, but used an UWA (I think I alternated between the little rokinon fisheye and my 7-14/4 on diff days) and my 12-40 /2.8 for basically everything. Maybe something longer for animal kingdom if you want photos of the animals. The UWA was really fun for shots of the kids from inside the rides. I have a GX1 and GX8, and would 100% choose the newer body again. The low light performance of the GX1 gives up a lot to the newer sensors, and many of the rides and dining venues have poor light. Good luck, I'm sure you'll end up with great photos and memories no matter what you pack.
 

demiro

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We did Disney 3 or 4 times when my child was younger. For typical daily family activities I don't think it makes much sense at all to carry anything beyond a TG series camera or similar. Enjoy the limited and fleeting time with the kids, with a few snaps to remember it by.

I recall walking through Epcot, I think, on a typically crowded day and experiencing a traffic jam caused by several geniuses with tripods taking "must-have" shots of Mickey-shaped shrubbery. If someone would've knocked their cameras to the ground I think I would've applauded.

I can understand tripods for the fireworks, if you're in a space where it works - not jostling in the crowd in front of Cindy's castle. And I can understand taking some time specifically for photos, as someone suggested, and having "real" gear along for that. But seriously, don't be that person that makes it all about the photos all the time. Enjoy your $100/hour vacation. :)
 

PakkyT

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Massachusetts, USA
I can understand tripods for the fireworks,
You can take decent shots without one though. Here is one I posted in the fireworks thread a while ago handheld E-M1 with 25/1.8 prime (1/13th of second, ISO 1600, f/1.8) so fairly standard equipment with fairly non-extreme settings.
https://www.mu-43.com/threads/pictures-of-fireworks.99175/#post-1171546

Like that picture shows, I am not a huge fan of shooting just fireworks meaning nothing else in the frame as they all kind of look the same and instead prefer to get a few shots of them with some sort of location context, so in this case the harbor and yacht club below. Other shots show the fireworks shooting off the barge in the water. After I get a handful that I think are nice enough, I tend to stop and just enjoy the rest of the show or try to get some crowd shots of them looking up and being lit up by the fireworks. I think Disney would be a good place to capture wide angle fireworks with location context as well as crowd shots.

Edit to add: Ha! I wrote all that above and then when I took a second look at that other thread and actually scrolled down below my picture, I see I already said all that before. Well at least I am consistent.
 
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