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How many of you that do travel/landscape carry a second body?

Discussion in 'Travel Tips and Discussion' started by TerriblePerson, May 14, 2018.

  1. TerriblePerson

    TerriblePerson Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2018
    So I've been pondering for a while about what it would be like to shoot with a second body. Actually, the idea crossed my mind before, when I switched to M43. I was gifted an E-mount Rokinon 12mm right before I switched to M43, so I thought I would try out carrying both my a6000 and EM5 and pull out the a6000 whenever I wanted an UWA shot. Instead, what happened was that a poor friend of mine recently took interest in photography, but all she had was a cheap film camera, so I let her borrow my a6000 gear since I wasn't actually planning to sell it yet.

    So I never got to experience that two body feeling like I was thinking about. Seeing Oly's refurb deals has rekindled my interest in that though. An EM10.2 for $300 is enticing, although still expensive for what is really just a slight quality of life improvement. If I were a wedding or event photographer where timing were critical, it would be a no brainer, but as a hobbyist mostly interested in landscape and travel, time is not critical.

    There are times though that I see a shot, but I'd have to switch lenses just for that one, and then switch back to my main lens, so I don't bother. Obviously, if it was a "money shot", I'd take the time to do it, but for interesting but not amazing shots, I don't bother. A second body would be for that kind of stuff. It sounds nice, but I don't know if it's $300 nice.

    Then the problem is how to get the camera out. I wouldn't want to walk around with two cameras around my neck unless I was being paid for it, so it would stay in my bag. But then the only way I could take it quickly would be with a messenger bag. I do have one, but I also have a backpack that I love, but if I had to take the time to swing it around, unzip the camera compartment, and all that jazz, then it would only be marginally faster than just switching lenses.

    It definitely feels like this is another battle against the lifelong war with GAS, so I think I need you guys need to talk me back to reality. It probably makes more sense to delegate my EM5.2 to second body duty when I upgrade to whatever camera in 3 or so years (hopefully I can fight GAS for that long when they show off the EM5.3's 100MP sensor, 10-axis IBIS, and built in toaster).
  2. MNm43

    MNm43 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 19, 2014
    Yeah, that right there is why I never tend to travel with primes. For me, a zoom is functionally better than futzing with a second body (most of the time). I'll only travel with a second body if they share the same mounts and battery - so the M1 and Pen-F make sense to bring.

    And yes, I'm hoping the EM1 Mark X has a cappuccino option . . .
  3. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    I never ever travel with only one body and I also only travel with zooms. So now, I travel with either two EM1 MkIIs or a D500 and D7500.
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  4. TerriblePerson

    TerriblePerson Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2018
    Actually, I normally use zooms. Main lens is a 12-40 Pro, and secondary lenses could be anything that I think I might use on that trip (between 40-150, 60 macro, or an UWA when I pick one up). I could even see a use for it when I'm doing night photography. Prime on one body for freezing motion for portraits, zoom on the other for when I want a landscape shot that doesn't fit my prime FL.

    That sounds like quite the load. What's your preferred method of carrying the gear? Do you keep both out while on the run, or do you have a bag that is super quick to pull the camera(s) out of?
  5. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 10, 2016
    Although these days I travel with 2 or 3 bodies, doing landscape or otherwise, I honestly think just a single body is necessary, unless you want one as an insurance premium in case it breaks.

    And in that latter case, you’d ideally need an identical body, or at least one with the same resolution.

    Most of the time, with landscapes there is plenty of time to change lenses if need be, as landscapes and light generally do not move very fast ;) , so a second body may not be necessary.

    I may be a bit exceptional in my conviction, however, as I am quite a contemplative photographer, who does go back to the same place often when I know or hope the circumstances will be right.

    IOW, it depends a lot on how you photograph landscapes. I do take my time. If you do too, you really do not need a second body.

    One thing I am convinced of, is that you need the highest native resolution camera possible, especially if you do large prints. This is the reason why I own a Pen-F and an EM-1 II for MFT (and am busy replacing my Canon 5D Mk II for a higher resolution model).

    HTH, kind regards, Wim
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  6. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have too many bags. I either have one in the bag and one on me or both on me (with two Peak Design straps). When I have both strapped on I also carry extra batteries on me.

    I just returned from a trip to India yesterday and I carried both bodies in the two ways described, however, the Oly 12-100 is an awesome lens as, at times, I only needed that lens for most of my shots in the city.
  7. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    Yes, if you return to the same spot often, you don't need two bodies as you can always return at a different time if your body craps out on you. You can't do that if you're on a $10K vacation, though; that's why I carry two bodies whenever I'm on vacation.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I've carried a second body at times, usually back when I had the GM5, but I don't really like carrying a bag so it was a bit unwieldy. My solution now is a tiny Ricoh GR ii with its fixed, sharp 28mm f2.8. If I want wide, now, it's in a pocket.
  9. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Usually carry two, One with neck strap and another with side strap. I just like to compare cameras. I may carry telephoto prime on one and wide angle zoom on other. Scenery and animal,or bird life.
  10. dlentini

    dlentini Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2015
    I only have access to a second body when I travel with someone that also will carrying it.

    Otherwise my go to travel lenses are pl15 and o75.

    Another option is to get a zoom with a wider reach like pl12-60 or o12-100.
  11. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 10, 2016
    Even then I think you still don’t need two bodies, other than for insurance purposes if one breaks down. :)  Landscapes and lighting generally does not change in the time it takes to change a lens. Besides, when I see a landscape, I also immediately see the lens I need for a particular view - I prefer to shoot primes if I can help it :) , and I am lucky I have plenty of experience shooting primes in the last 55 years ;) .

    Back in my analog days I carried two bodies around with me when doing fieldwork, one for B&W (Pentax MX), one for colour (Pentax ME), but that no longer matters these days, obviously.

    With digital, I used to carry a dslr, plus a good compact. The compact has been changed for a Pen-F (same size, way better IQ, and interchangeable lenses to boot). The dslr has been replaced for day-to-day carry-around with an E-M1 II, and the dslr is only used for very specific photo shoots :) . When I carry the dslr, I still carry my Olympuses too :) .

    Kind regards, Wim
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    +1 except I am currently traveling with two GX8s, prior was two GX7s, and prior to that two G1s. Ditto on the zooms. Mine are 9-18, 14-140, and 100-300 though I bought and resold a 100-400 for an African trip a couple of years ago. I also carried three primes for a while but after two international trips/ weeks of lugging them and never even mounting one I sold them all.

    Bodies are identical for ease of transition between them and common batteries. Zooms, not primes, because travel situations are very fluid and the time to change lenses for a shot is rarely available.

    In some situations (African game drives, for example) I shoot both bodies. One with the 100-x00 and one with the 14-140. In other situations (Myanmar and Vietnam touristing) one body is simply a spare. If one body croaks or is stolen, I don't want to be completely dead in the water.
  13. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    I agree that no one really needs two bodies but I carry two as an insurance policy. For trips to the Galapagos Islands, Africa and India, I carried the 7-14, 12-100 and 100-400. I had the 12-100 on one body and 100-400 on the other and used both just as often as the other. I can count the number of times I used the 7-14 on my fingers and may decide to leave it home in future trips depending on where I'm going.

    Back in the days of the good ol' SLRs, I only carried one body (no extra batteries) where ever I went and only with prime lenses (usually a 28, 35 and 50) and they all belonged to my father. Things have changed but I don't know if it's for the better or worst.
  14. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    One body, 14-150, 9-18. Life is too short to lug around a bunch of gear and miss half the trip and annoy travel companions. Wife has a P&S.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I always travel with 2 bodies. Granted, it's just my wife and I (no kids to look after), and she's very patient, but every major trip we've taken I've brought along two bodies, as well as multiple lenses.

    This year we're going to Hawaii for nearly two weeks, and I'll be bringing along both of my E-M1 II's, the PL 8-18, 12-100 PRO, and either one or two primes (can't decide if I should limit myself to just the 25 PRO, or if I should take the 17 PRO and 45 PRO instead).

    I'd hate to spend hours on an airplane, and thousands of dollars on accommodations, only to have something with my camera/lens go wrong, and be left with photos from my cell phone as the only form of documentation.
  16. Mikehit

    Mikehit Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2018
    I nearly always go with 2 bodies to avoid lens-swapping because conditions can be unpredictable. I think getting a second body from the bag is quicker than swapping lenses and it is just the fiddliness of swapping that I want to avoid.
    Back in the days of film I travelled for over 2 years with one body and three lenses and yes, I could do it again but I find 2 bodies so much more convenient. I have one 'dslr style' (G85) and one rangefinder style (Gx7) and the latter helps be a bit more discreet.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. mpresley

    mpresley Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2012
    Wolfe City, TX
    I'm on a road trip for work and have this in the car... :) 

    camera gear_1 with notes.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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  18. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 24, 2018
    For a vacation, I would carry the 2nd body as a spare/backup.
    Just like the spare tire in your car trunk, it would be in the bag until needed.

    HOWEVER, for most of us amateurs, cameras are expensive. Not many of us can afford TWO bodies. Especially two high end bodies. Example, I would get an EM10 to be the backup for my EM1. In my case, my backup is a P&S.

    Many of us (like me) would rather get another lens than a 2nd body.

    If you intend to USE the 2nd body not as a spare but as a 2nd camera, then things change and the 2nd body increases in importance. Then I might use a pair of EM1s, and have to accept the higher cost. Though there is the idea of using a similar but smaller/lighter camera, so both cameras do different tasks. Example the EM1 and EM10.
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
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  19. scotttnz

    scotttnz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I like shooting with 2 bodies to reduce lens swaps. But I also enjoy having 2 quite different bodies with different strengths for different uses.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 24, 2018
    The other related is weight.
    I am shooting m43, because as I get older, my dslr kit is getting too heavy to carry for extended periods of time.
    So I want a lighter kit. That 2nd body goes against that goal of weight reduction.

    My current kit is EM1 + Panasonic 12-60. I may add a 17/1.8 later, for indoor low light. But that is it.
    The 12-60 would likely be my travel lens even if I had a 12-100, because it is smaller and lighter.
    However, that depends on the trip. If it were for my nephew's wedding, I would take the 12-100, for the better IQ. And the importance of the event would cause me to want to have a 2nd body, rather than a P&S for backup.

    ijm has a neat idea, of your traveling companion carrying the 2nd camera ;) 
    But, like Mike, my wife would rather carry the smaller lighter P&S. It is 'good enough' for her. I was not able to convert her.
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