So confused.. travelling with a camera..

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by rapid, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. rapid

    rapid Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2012
    I posted recently regarding choosing the right m4/3 kit to take with me on a round the world trip..

    To be honest I'm still struggling to decide.. recently I've been swaying towards 'less is best' - from the standpoint of less to carry, less lens changes, less to be stolen etc..

    Currently have an EPM1 & 14mm/20mm/45mm

    I'm wondering if I could get rid of the 45mm and go with a 14-42/14-45 as a general walk about lens then keep the 14mm for a size and the 20mm for general portrait/low light.

    My friends just picked up a S95 and to be honest it looks like a great little camera.. my mind has now started wondering if perhaps a S95/GRDIV/Sony RX100 would be more suitable, more pocketable etc..

    So difficult.. I love photography and want to make sure I come away with some great photos but I'm already wondering if multiple lenses will be a burden..

    What's the best reasonably priced walk about zoom? Pana 14-42 or Pana 14-45?

    Has anyone got any views on the new Sony RX100? I believe it should in theory be the best prosumer P&S..

    Never easy to decide! :(

  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    i think youre pretty set you dont need anything else!. the EPM1 is small enough to be a pocketable camera! specially with the p14 or p20!. I would definitely get a RICOH GRD but definitely for something else than going around the world. If you are serious about your photography, maybe printing images, or selling em after, or just getting nice images for your albums after your world tour then m43 is your option!. as i see it, anything smaller than m43 sensor is more for snapshots. im personally thinking in getting a GRD III or IV for street shooting and gritty "dirty" images rather than awesome landscapes and such!

    my way too personal 2 cents!
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    just wanted to add that, the epm1 with the p14 or p20 it might be not much smaller than the GRDIV or RX100 with lens extended!. also it depends on how careful you are with your stuff. do you think you can lose your passport then its more likely you will lose some of your lenses, if its all the way around rest assure that you wont lose any of those small lenses with your epm1!
  4. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    Only you can know what you really want to achieve with the photos you take on this trip. But if the primary purpose of your trip is pleasure, why not..."focus" on pleasure? If you're not a pro, it's supposed to be about fun.

    My rec: take the EPM1 and the Pana 20, and let taking photos blend together with having a good time.
  5. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
  6. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Real Name:
    Traveling itself is SO much easier with only compact (like S100) in your shorts side pocket. You have wide, short tele and macro with you. On the other hand if you have interests to the results of your trip, THEN you have to have m43. I have been traveling with primes and already start to be tired of changing lenses all the time. I would say the new Oly 12-50 to be quite ideal for traveling as a one lens kit. Okay, it's dark but decent. Maybe that 14mm or 20mm as a pocket kit would be fine. Of course Pana's new 12-35 and 35-100 lenses would be dream but it has its high price also.

    Something like Oly E-PM1 and 12-50 zoom with the 14 mm might be the solution, OR the new Sony alone (or S100 because the size).

    It's a tough one in any case.
  7. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    You are the most important factor in the quality of your images, not the camera. The camera just plays the supporting role.

    It sounds like a single zoom would be your best option.
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    The 20mm for it's size and low light capability, coupled with a compact zoom would give you everything that you need for the trip. When I've traveled to Central America I use a decent size fanny/hip/belly pack to hold my camera. The strap was heavy enough that it could not easily be cut and stolen and I kept it in front so that no one could easily get into it. A medium size fanny pack would easily hold your camera and one extra lens. I used to carry a Fuji S9100 bridge camera that was the size of a small DSLR and still had room for keys, pens, etc.
    Something like this: Fantasybag 3-Zipper Fanny Pack-Black, FN-03: Sports & Outdoors. Relatively inexpensive. :smile:
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    The kit you already have is a good setup, and you could get by just fine on what you already own. You might need to change lenses occasionally, but the 20mm is a great all around lens and I took more pictures with it than with my kit zoom. I started out in m4/3 with just an Oly 14-42 kit zoom and the 20mm f/1.7 on a GF2, and it was a great travel combo. If I had that to do over again, I would probably go with the Panasonic 14-45mm instead (better optical quality and the OIS is a plus for me on Panasonic bodies), but the 14-42mm did have the benefit of packing exceedingly small for a zoom.

    At the end of the day it's all about what you want to do with your photos and how you intend to use the camera. If you're just taking snapshots for yourself, or IQ isn't as important to you as portability, then maybe a good compact is appropriate for you. The S95 (my P&S is an S95) does take excellent pictures, including RAW capability - but it doesn't quite compare to a m4/3 camera with the 20mm f/1.7 lens on it for low light or shallow DoF capability, and the smaller sensor will affect ability to enlarge images later. If IQ is more important to you, or the photography aspect of your trip is a priority, then figure out what you would want to have for photo gear - then figure out a way to fit it in :wink:

    I started out in m4/3 because I wanted vacation pictures better than a P&S quality, but still in a small and light package. Hence the GF2 and two tiny lenses. Now that photography matters to me for its own sake, I look at things differently. I have larger m4/3 bodies & lenses than before, and I carry much more gear around - but I look at it as the tradeoff for getting the images I want and as an alternative to doing the same thing with a much larger/heavier equivalent DSLR setup.
  10. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    My typical walk around is the GF3 + 20/1.7. Even tho I have the 14/2.5 and 14-42x pancakes, I find the 20mm enough 90% of the time.
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  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I mentioned this briefly in my post above but I got long-winded (as usual) so just wanted to reiterate the same for myself. :smile:

    A good single "normal" focal length prime like the 20mm or 25mm can cover a huge amount. Pretty much everything other than tele or wide angle, which aren't a large component of walkaround/vacation photography for many people.
  12. scott0487

    scott0487 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Real Name:
    I understand exactly how you feel. There are some days I just want to sell everything and buy something like an RX100. At the same time most days I am happy to have my m4/3 system --I love my 20 f1.7 and 45 f1.8. The way I handled the whole thing was to purchase the Oly 14-150. For those few times I really don't want the hassle of changing lenses and just want a single walk around lens, I use it. For all other times, I have and carry all three lenses. They really are quite small, and I just carry them in a small all purpose backpack.
  13. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    Real Name:
    Agreed. We spent a week in Colorado earlier this summer. I brought several lenses with me, but did not take the 25/1.4 off of the camera. Photography was not my main focus either.
  14. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Real Name:
    Peter Randal
    I second the choice of the Oly 14-150. Although not a tiny lens its still small, pretty good quality and useful for all but really low light or the need for ultra wide. Elsewhere on this site it's offered for less than $350. Whatta bargain!
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    What camera(s)/lenses for vacation is really specific to the individual. Given that the OP is taking a 6 - 12 month trip across multiple continents if seems unlikely that one option will work well.

    If I were planning that trip I think I'd want my whole kit and then some, presuming I could keep everything secure and just carry what I needed for a day or two at a time. But I'm guessing that is not the case for the OP. That makes it tough.

    I could justify a high quality P&S to have in pocket all the time. And a waterproof P&S makes sense as well. As well as a better camera + lens for "once in a lifetime" shots.

    But if you really need to keep the kit condensed to what can easily be carried all the time I would look at an E-M5 & 12-35. Great IQ; weather sealed; versatile; relatively compact. I'd have to have an S90 or S95 along as well for a back up, and to use at times when the E-M5 had to stay in the bag. The issue with this kit is it's north of $2500.

    If you can deal with multiple pieces of gear something like the S95 + waterproof P&S + GX1 w/20mm would cost less than half of that amount.

    Trade-offs and compromises are always the name of the game.
  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Here is the kit I'd really want on a 12 month trip:

    photo is DHart's

  17. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    Some travel kit, some chair! Where were you staying? Versailles?
  18. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think it really depends on how you feel about photography, and how you view your vacation. For me, the ability to shoot in different places, and working on getting very good images, is part of the fun of a vacation. For some, though, that would just get in the way of what they enjoy about a vacation.

    If you just want to capture "me at" snapshots (i.e., Here's "me at" the Grand Canyon, here's "me at" the Hoover Dam, etc.), then by all means carry a P&S. If you just want pictures to help remember the vacation by, then a P&S is probably fine. If you want to practice the art of photography, then you might want to carry more gear.

    While there's some truth to that, gear does matter. It's pretty hard to get a shot of the interior of a church if all you're carrying is, as an example, the 12-50 macro zoom. Just as it will be pretty hard to get a decent shot of that mosque on the hill above the city if all you've got is a 14mm. Or, to get back to the p&s, most of them are going to provide disappointing results if you're trying to shoot interiors. Slow lenses and weak flashes are the norm.

    But it does make sense to think about where you're visiting, and what kind of things you might be likely to shoot. If you're going to the Grand Canyon, for example, and expect all your shooting to be outdoors, then you probably don't need to worry about taking a really fast lens. But you might want to make sure you've got the wide angle side covered. OTOH, if you're going to a nighttime wedding, and plan to take lots of shots at the reception, a different tool might be in order.

    On my recent European vacation, I had a 14-140 on my camera probably 75% of the time. It's incredibly versatile, very sharp for a 10X zoom, and I was surprised at how many shots I took at the longer end of the range. For me, at least, the idea that a 20mm lens would do is certainly not true. I also took the 7-14, and love the perspective it gives me. The only real drawback to these choices is that they're a bit heavy compare to other m43 lenses. But if you don't care about OIS, you could substitute the Oly 14-150 and 9-18, both of which are quite a bit smaller and lighter, and will cover pretty much any situation other than very dim light.
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  19. David

    David Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2011
    few months ago I went on a trip with my EPM1 and 14mm lens.
    It was perfect and the battery lasted a long time.

    two things I noted:

    1) changing lens on a trip is a pain.

    2) There are time when I do think a compact panasonic LX5 something similar
    would be ideal for me. BEcause there were raining days ,and there
    are situations where I didnt want to chance my EPM1 and lens getting damage.

    each to their own. THink of your situation and requirements.
  20. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    If you truly wish to travel light - with just something you can keep in a jacket pocket - the LX5 takes some beating. Very user-friendly as well.