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Thread: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

  1. #1
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    Question 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    Hi all, just want to seek some advice on this.

    During my travels, if I know there's going to be a car, I'll bring quite a few lens cos it means i can take my own sweet time for photography and I've a sheltered environment to change lens.

    However, there's gonna be instances where I have to follow bus/metro schedules in driving-unfriendly-for-amateurs countries. For those cases, I'll just bring a long range lens and a wide-angle lens. I find myself having to switch lens frequently. Lens switching takes time (yes, I've not master this yet) and each change of lens exposes my camera body to potential entrance of dust (or even large particles) in some 'dusty' countries.

    Does it make sense to bring have 1 camera body for each lens and bring both? Or stick with 1 body 2 lens. Wondering if the additional weight is justifable.

    Also, I'm using a tamrac Velocity 8x now for my travels. Although it's a good back, the fact is it's a sling bag that puts the weight on only 1 shoulder, makes a rather sore shoulder (and neck) after a while. For places where I need to trek a lot by foot, think a backpack will be better? Any recommendations?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    How many days will you be away? and how much other stuff do you have with you? Sometime you can only afford to take those that you need not all that you want.

    Always plan for the most critical part of your trip. You will not be able to handle more than 3 baggage when you were to get on train or bus.

    I always start with the bare minimum, then I add from there.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I usually am not bothered about bringing extra standby camera bodies, but with my upcoming 17-18 day driving trip I am also really
    looking into getting a spare body. Probably rent one. Lugging equipments will not be too difficult with driving , and with abit of exercise and fitness an extra body will not be difficult either :P

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    Hi TS,
    1 body or 2 cam body also depends on your shooting style, and what you like to shoot
    e.g. for streets
    if you are those "action type"/hunter style that like to move fast and take alot of "moment" shots , 2 bodies is definitely better (assuming you can handle the weight ... )
    but if you are those that shoot slow and steady e.g. camp and wait , then the 2nd body would likely be used as spare ...

    the 3rd option is to get a hyperzoom lens on one body (yes , its a compromise on quality ...)
    and the other lenses would likely be ultra-wide / low light lenses

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    also depends on the camera body. I travel with Leica M6, so can go with 1 or 2, not much added weight.
    Leica M6's; 35/2, 50/2, 90/2.8

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I always carry at least 2 bodies so that I do not need to change lens too often. I am very worried about dust especially on longer trips. I even hope to be able to carry 3 bodies. I feel it is worth the trouble carrying 2 bodies as I need 24-70 and 70-200 both at the same time
    Last edited by dapier; 22nd May 2011 at 06:37 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I usually bring 1 body 2 lenses, I am using basic kit lens 18-200 and also 35 f1.4. Depends on the nature of your tour, mine require alot of walking around. Even though 18-200 IQ is no match for those pro lenses but I thought a greater loss would be losing to take a photo at that special moment, that's where the versatility of superzooms lie.

    Of course if we have the correct lens to use at each moment that's the best but it would be also a form of training / test to see if you don't have the ideal equipment with you are you still able to produce a good shot. For squeezy night market whereby I think changing lenses is difficult I would just bring my 35mm prime. Bringing two bodies while walking means you are most likely to have both bodies in 'ready' mode and that would be a problem in real congested places as you might end up worrying if your unused camera is knocked/scratched or going to be robbed.

    So you got to plan each day where are you going and what's the main things that you are likely to shoot, which gear is the most suitable. There's a tendancy to want to bring all our gear along as it seems like we are fully prepared but if it may wear you down and you miss some good moments/chances then bringing these gear seems pointless.

    My preference is 1 body and 2 lenses, leave some space in your bag for essential items such as umbrella and water and other stuff if you are going trekking.
    Last edited by gundamseed84; 22nd May 2011 at 08:32 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    you also have to think of your tripod as well. If you are using full frame maybe you can just use 24-105 which to me is fine if not, you also use it on crop and have the range but lose out the wide angle.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    It's a matter of personal choices. In past trips, I was so lazy that I just bring a point and shoot or Evil cameras. However during my latest trip to Guilin china, I took 2 bodies and 5 lenses and tripod. It was all worth it even though I had to lug all my equipment and had to take turns to carry my 3 years old bb girl up vertical 800m to the hilltop rice terrances

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I took 2 bodies last month to Denmark. 1 40D + UWA for IR in a Digital Holster 20 and 1 50D + 18-200 for color shots (hanging out) and 1 tripod. Not to mention few batteries, 2 filters, chargers etc. In the end my camera bag was really full and bulging. I had to bring along 1 notebook for work, some notes, etc. The whole bag weigh like 10kg and darn heavy man. But it was all worth it.

    No other lens cos i only have these 2 lens but even if i wanted to bring another lens, there's no more space in my bag which is a think tank harddrive. Nevertheless, i decided only on UWA for my IR for landscapes and the 18-200 for other stuff. IQ not too great but versatile enough to cover a long range. If i need to swap lenses, just swap and i can have 18-200 for IR and UWA for color photos.
    Hua Hee tu hou la...Happy can liao

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I normally bring 2 cameras. 1 big, 1 small. 1 DSLR & 1 compact.
    If bring 2 DSLR, 1 big body and 1 small body.
    1 body mount a long lens and 1 body mount a short lens. This will minmize change of lenses.
    Still will bring small compact for quick photo with flash.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    Quote Originally Posted by frederickykfoo View Post
    I normally bring 2 cameras. 1 big, 1 small. 1 DSLR & 1 compact.
    If bring 2 DSLR, 1 big body and 1 small body.
    1 body mount a long lens and 1 body mount a short lens. This will minmize change of lenses.
    Still will bring small compact for quick photo with flash.
    Assumming you bring the 2 dslr combination mentioned, which bag do you carry them in?

  13. #13
    Member tortise's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    on top of my FF DSLR camera, sometimes i bring 2 extra bodies... 1 smaller crop DSLR and another human body (my wife) who helps to carry some of the camera stuff!

    jokes aside. we usually settle on 1 DSLR and 1 PnS. DSLR takes most of the photos, PnS for certain instances (i.e. when we sometimes want fast shots of ourselves, or difficult situation to take out big camera like climbing, or no time to set up tripod, or crowded area, or ask other tourists to help us take photo since most other tourists handle PnS better that DSLR). PnS also acts as backup in case your main camera conks out midway. So i feel a spare PnS is always a good idea. We seldom bring 2 bodies unless it is a totally relaxed trip with little else to carry.

    I'll usually put my gear in my Vanguard uprise backpack (that can take most of my cameras, lenses, tripod, barang) + lowepro inverse 100 beltpack (to keep the camera easily within reach even when slung, and if doing trekking it will be worn as beltpack). Both are not the most stylish or chic bags, but practical for my use and reasonably priced. I do find that backpacks are cumbersome to take the camera out of most of the time so my first choice is usually the beltpack (if i have lesser stuff to bring that can all fit in).
    Slow...yeah, steady... not really
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  14. #14

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I'd usually have only 1 DSLR and any combo up to 135mm max. (eg. 3 primes; 2 zooms; 1 prime+1zoom, etc)
    I'd usually have a pns camera as back up.

    Personally, I think having a versatile prime/zoom like a 24mm to 35mm on the camera will help as they are more versatile if there really is no chance to change lenses.


    On another note.
    I've ever tried 1 DSLR, 1 MF TLR and 4 lenses. Together with the flash, wireless triggers and filters, the weigh adds up real fast. In fact its the accessories weight and the flash that I find is a killer. Don't think I will want to try this setup anymore.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I have the Tamrac Velocity 9x. Too bulky for my taste as walkabout during traveling. I used the Tamrac Velocity 5x instead. It's classified as Photo Hip Pack Convertible. I can fit in body with 17-55, 10-22 and Nissin Di466 flash. Spare batteries, intervalometer, memory cards, filters, etc go into the front pocket. An external lens pouch carries 70-300. Can fit in the 50/f1.8 as well if you want. The good thing is that I can change lens on the fly (~30 secs) more easily than its Velocity big brothers. Downside is that the strap might feel uncomfortable after hours, depending on the thickness of your clothes and the weather.

    For hiking maybe I'll just take my 18-200. Leave all other lens out including the flash. Should be light enough without feeling too jiggly.

    Now considering carrying a PnS like S95 or LX5 in my jeans pocket to compliment the setup. Some casual shots are not worth breaking out the DSLR for, plus benefits of gathering less attention.
    Last edited by CamInit; 1st June 2011 at 02:18 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    It all depends on how serious you are in your photography.....quality(serious)vs coverage(less serious). at the end of the day just ask yourself do the thousands of photos I shoot gonna be viewed often or at all after getting back from the trip? 2nd camera might be more a distraction or added burden for most of us. If you are focussed and stick with what is on hand and go for quality, I feel you would have a more meaningful collection of photos. Yes, I might missed the beautiful birdie in full flight without my telephoto, but that birdie could be just a moment of my many other moments which would be compromised with the added weight.

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    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daoyin View Post
    Assumming you bring the 2 dslr combination mentioned, which bag do you carry them in?
    Sorry, I have an old Tenba bag that I can carry all me gear in. You need to find what suits you. Sorry could not help much.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 1 or 2 camera body for travels? Recommendations for backpack?

    I personally have also been looking for an alternative to my Kata 466i. But somehow i think the bag i want doesn't exist haha…being typical Singaporean here are my criterias…
    1) Light bag..that's why i liked Katas
    2) Able to carry 1 body with 24-105, space for 1x70-300, 1xUWA, 1x50mm, 13" notebook, tripod holder, accessories, and space for some shopping
    3) Mustn't be too big since i'm not that big sized…was looking at the 3n1 33 but that is too big for me

    So yea, i've practically looked at every brand/model available and nothing fits what i need haha…and i know it's because i'm being too picky

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