A traveller’s camera bag
When traveling around the world you want to keep some memories. One of the best ways is to take a lots of photos but you can´t really carry around a complete photo studio, in short, the best camera are the one you carry with you. And that goes from everything in the camera bag and that´s why I went for a carbon tripod that I easily can put in the bag as well. So what’s in the bag then?
For many years I was a shooting with different flavors of Canon cameras, I was happy with them but looked with envy at people who was carrying small pocket cameras on their wrist. A DSLR is of course not really comparable with a pocket camera but I really wanted to have something smaller, lighter and if possible better, better in that sense that I wanted to go for a full format sensor camera. With these requirements I went out on the market and fortunate I found out that a months earlier, Sony had released something that was totally tailor-made for my requirements.
One size fits all
The one that fitted the budget and that I went for was the Sony a7 with a fixed but exchangeable 35mm lens. The big difference compared with my earlier Canon cameras is that the a7 is mirror less and that make the house a lot smaller and lighter. With a non zoom lens you have something in your hand that aren’t much bigger then a pocket camera, but with the same quality as the big boys. Later I invested in a fixed 55 lens that is just awesome for portrait. Recently i also purchased a fixed 12 Samyang lens for wider pictures. I really recommend to add a screen protector if you are traveling with your camera, a nice one is the ArmorSuit MilitaryShield.
Recently, Sony released an updated version of the a7 called a7 mark II. As a a7 user I look at that camera house with envy. The main difference is that it has a built-in 5 axis stabilisation which pushes the boundaries of nigh time shooting. The stabilisation is also great for shooting video. Another small but great improvement is a better grip; even the shooter button has a better place. If I should buy a new full frame camera house today, I would definitely go for Sony a7 II!
Bought a Christmas present for our upcoming travels, yet another Sony camera, the alpha 6000. Sure, we already have a full-frame camera with multiple lenses but we discovered on one of our trips that we wanted to have our own cameras (yea, we always travel together). There are several advantages to that; the most obvious is that we get more pictures from our travels. The second is that we don´t need to swap lenses as often. The reason we choose another Sony camera is the simplicity in use and that they use the same software/OS, lenses work on both camera houses and that they use the same battery’s.
Another reason for the size expect for the weight is that when you walk around with a small camera, you are not drawing as much attention from people as if you have a huge camera with a zoom lens.
Never loose the focus
The Sony has a couple of really good functions that made me realized that I don’t need a zoom lens anymore. Even if I have one, it’s always stays at home.
Because the a7 is a mirror less camera, the viewfinder has more or less the same possibilities and functions as the LCD on the back of the camera. When aiming on an object that is far away and adjusting the focus ring, the viewfinder is zooming for me, but only for the focus purpose (see pic above). The actual picture will still be un-cropped. That gives me the same or at least a similar functionality as if you had a zoom lens.
Because its full format and I take all photos in RAW, the picture has everything you might need when develop it in the post process. Focus on the object and still a lot of surrounding around the object, for easier cropping the picture. When I used a zoom lens I was really cropping the picture when I took the photo and had no way to go back. The picture quality and that I get “wide” picture gives me all the advantages I need in the post process.
You can’t have to many bags
I actually have several (at least 5) bags, jupp, I admit, i´m a bag junky. The one I use most is the Think Tank retrospective 30 (green), which is the biggest of them all and it can carry all my stuff, even the tripod. If I’m just walking around in my hometown I use the retrospective 5 (grey) bag instead, which is enough for the camera with the lenses, the flash and even a iPad.
Necessity knows no law
As I mention above, the best camera are the one you carry with you. To be honest, I’m not always carry a camera bag. But I always have an iPhone in my pocket, and that’s better then noting, it’s also great for Instagram and Facebook updates. I use a software called Snapseed for developing the picture directly in my iPhone, which is nearly the same as the functions you have in Instagram as of today, but better in my opinion. Yea, did I mention that the Sony a7 has built-in WiFi. When activating the WiFi I have the possibility use my iPhone as a remote to the camera and I can also transfer picture to my iPhone if I want to upload them to Instagram or Facebook on the go.
What’s in the bag
- Sony a7
- Sony alpha 6000
- Sirui carbon (lightweight) tripod
- Neoprene camera neck strap (probably the best and cheapest upgrade to your camera)
- MacBook AIR with Lightroom & Photoshop
- Sony flash (because a7 doesn’t have a built in flash)
- Spare batteries, SD cards & lens cloth
I also have a Tamron 24-70 zoom lens with a Metabone adapter that rarely finds it´s way in to the camera bag nowadays, the weight by its own is even more then the a7 house with the small 35mm lens mounted.
- Go Pro Hero 4 Silver
- Galileo from Motrr (The Galileo controls the orientation of your iPhone or GoPro remotely)
- TOMTOP 24″ 60cm 5 in 1(Gold, Silver, White, Black and Translucent) Portable Photography Studio Multi Photo Disc Collapsible Light Reflector
Ps. I’m not associated to Sony in any way, im just a happy user.
Do you any comments on the choices of my equipment, technology is fun and I’m always open to new suggestions..
Read also: The secret of great blog-photos revealed.