Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dave Martinez's Tips on Choosing Photo Equipment for Travel

Ultimate Small Travel Photography Kit
Dave Martinez posted a nice blog entry about how to choose the appropriate equipment for travel
(Click Here) to read Dave's entry.
Dave lists a few different combinations that he takes on travel. Like me, he usually opts for a Micro 4/3 kit these days, unless the trip demands full-frame equipment, when he, again like me, chooses Nikon.
I agree with most of the points that Dave makes, including limiting yourself to a few lenses, and not worrying about covering every focal length. You'll be surprised at how you adapt, sometimes in very creative ways, to not having a super zoom and several other lenses.
Dave sometimes goes without any lens covering the "normal" (~40-50mm full-frame 35mm equivalent); that's where our approaches differ. I cannot imagine going on a trip without at least one normal lens, usually a fast one. My favorite right now is the Pana-Leica Summilux 25mm f1.4, but the Lumix 20mm f1.7 is a great, more compact option.
I am planning for a trip to Japan in about a month. I'm thinking I will take two DMC-G3s, Lumix 14mm f2.5, Lumix 20mm f1.7 (or Summilux), and Pana-Leica 45mm f2.8 Macro-Elmarit. That will be a very powerful, yet light and compact kit.
When I'm going for the ultimate in compact, and will be shooting in mostly good light (not having to worry too much about small sensor noise), I will use the DMC-LX5, as shown above. The LX5 offers a very nice zoom range, wide enough aperture to get shallow depth of field, and excellent image quality, in my opinion. It also have very nice settings for street photography, HDR, etc. See my post from January for more details.