Gear: General Advice
Well folks, it is time for the next stage of our journey, and we're gonna be talking about gear and technique. I know there's lots of questions on this. We're gonna try to get through this as quick as we can but there is a lot of information in this section, for sure. We're first gonna be focusing on gear. Cameras, lenses, and lots of accessories, and definitely one of my favorite quotes, here. (audience laughing) I used to work at a camera shop and we'd hear this one every once in a while. Not sure how much the new equipment will help but there we go. Okay, let's talk about the idea, once again, weight is the enemy, take only what you need. Know your gear, this means probably not buying a camera on route to the airport, okay? Bad idea in most cases. And get an inventory of everything you're bringing, all the serial numbers, so you have all that logged down. Now, as we all know when it comes to camera equipment, there's this whole balance of finding the right fit for what you are going...
to do, and what's right for me is gonna be different than what's right for you in most cases, and what's right for your friend is different than for you. And so getting advice on what gear to bring is a very dangerous territory in which to tread. Trust me, I have a lot of people that email me questions and they are impossible to answer. Very, very hard to answer. And so, the right gear depends on what sort of things? Well, what are you going to shoot? What sort of things, how do you like to travel? What conditions will you be in? Can you change lenses or is it a dusty, desert environment with sand blowing every place? Do you have baggage limits like I had in Africa where you have small planes and you can't bring a lot of equipment with you? So there's a lot of considerations as to what you bring with you and you know, I'll just throw this out here. It doesn't matter in so many cases. You could just go with one lens that's totally the wrong lens and it's just gonna change how you see your trip, and it's gonna push you in a new direction, which is totally fine. So, I am occasionally trying to challenge myself. You know what? I'm gonna go without a wide angle lens. I'm gonna concentrate on telephoto for this trip or this day's journey and so forth, and so I know a lot of people, especially who are kind of new into photography, they start seeing how complicated everything is and they just start getting overwhelmed at how complicated it is, and the fact of the matter is that you concede with virtually anything that you have. So long as you have the right attitude about using it. So, you should test your gear, know it works. Have you tried the downloading process? Do your memory cards work? Have you tried all of them? Are they formatting fine? What sort of backup options do you have? Smart protocol for critical items. I love to have backup stuff. Got one pair of socks. In case they get lost or fail, I have a backup pair of socks. I like having two cameras with me. I like having two lenses. There are certain things that you just can't have two of. You don't get two passports so you really gotta be careful about where that passport goes. Most people travel with one battery charger and so I'm not saying that you need to run out, and buy a second battery charger but you gotta be really conscious of where that battery charger is at all times because if that fails, and you're in a place where you can't buy a battery charger, you've got one, two, three days and you're out of photos, and so there's a few items that you have that are absolutely critical, and that's just the way things are. And you just need to be very, very careful about where they get packed, and how you think about those. So, if you are looking to buy a new camera, if you're trying to choose a camera, the first thing that I really think about is the image sensor size because that's gonna determine the size of your lenses, and the system that it's a part of. The fact of the matter is all of these can make for great travel photography tools. It's a matter of that balance that's right for you and what you're wanting to do. Most people are out there taking pictures with their phones and they are perfectly satisfied with the shots that they're getting from their phones. Which is great, it's lightweight, it's small, and it's multipurpose, which is a perfect travel-type item. The larger the sensor you go, the better it's gonna do in overall image quality and low light ability. When you get up to the full frame over there on the far left, you're gonna get into a system that's been around for 70 plus years, now, so it's a really fleshed out system. So there's lots of lenses and accessories. So there's different sweet spots for different people. I'm not gonna be able to tell you which one's best for you because I don't know your situation. I will say that if you were trying to compete against the top professional photographers out there, they are generally using a full frame camera. Most enthusiastic amateurs, people who like to do this on the weekend, are probably shooting with an APS-C type camera. There's a very big following with the four thirds system and that's kind of the cutoff where you get interchangeable lenses, which is where you get into a lot of the fun, and what I really like about photography. The point and shoot cameras will use smaller sensors but they can be very valuable if you're trying to go lightweight or you want a lightweight, compact, backup camera. Most people who are getting into photography like options. Options of lenses and this is where you're going to find those options between full frame, the APS-C, and the four thirds system, and once again, it just comes down to this balance point of what you want, and when I travel, to be honest with you, I usually travel with full frame camera. Usually and that's because I work professionally in this world, and I am trying to take the highest quality photos, and I'm often trying to showcase what full frame images do. But to be honest with you, if it was just me, if I just decided I'm gonna retire, and I just wanna go out and travel, I probably wouldn't take a full frame camera. It just gets so big because of all the lenses. I would probably choose one of the APS-C options and so if I had to pick what's the best travel camera? As I say, I don't know but I think for a lot of people, it's gonna be in that APS-C range just because the equipment comes down a little bit in size, and you can still do so much with that category.