What’s in your Camera Bag?

While we aren’t professional photographers by any means, we do like to take interesting videos and stills to share with friends and family while we’re on the road. The decisions of what camera and video equipment to take on long term travel are the most time-consuming of anything we pack.

For us, it’s got to be the perfect combination of features, quality, price, reliability and weight. The delicious Canon DSLR system with its lenses, flashes and drives stays home in favor of a Fujifilm Finepix HS20 24mm-720mm Superzoom. Bouncing around in the back of a safari truck in Africa has shown us that a heavy camera and lenses just don’t get used on the road as much as one that’s lighter and easy to focus on the fly.

 

olympusBWe spend a lot of time in and around water, so the Olympus Tough TG-610 was another obvious choice. Waterproof to 16 feet, it’s perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddling and hanging out at the beach. The fact that it’s also shock-poof from 5 feet makes this an ideal camera for someone like Lisa who tends to drop things – A LOT!

This time around, video is something we’re focused on doing well. Not professionally, but at better quality than we’ve done in the past. For quick snippets of B-roll and uploads to YouTube, we have the Kodak Zi6 HD video cam. While there’s not much of a zoom, it fits in a pocket and shoots surprisingly good video for its size.

canonbFor filming our “Will Work 4 Travel” videos, we have the Canon Vixia HFR21 HD camcorder. It’s compact size hides many professional quality features, like an internal 32GB flash memory, enhanced audio capture and dual SD memory card slots . For interviews and on-location work, we added a wireless microphone system from Azden, the WMS-Pro, and are very happy with the set-up.

All of our video electronics use SD cards both for availability in other countrbagbies and for ease of converting cards back and forth as they fill up. While the Olympus Tough and the Canon Vixia have proprietary batteries, the Fujifilm and Kodak share rechargeable AAs. A super-light Ambico tripod, various filters, Eye-Fi reader, spare batteries and chargers make up the rest of our camera gear.

But what about the bag itself? For us, this is one of the most important pieces of camera equipment. If it’s not easily accessible, light to carry and capable of protecting our investment then it’s not worth bringing along. So after MUCH trial and error (thank goodness for Amazon’s great policy on returns!) we decided on the Lowepro Passport Sling. It holds all of our gear with enough room for Priscilla to squeeze in as well. When not filled with camera equipment, it doubles as a nice shoulder bag – always a plus!

 

What are we forgetting? What’s the most important thing you carry in YOUR camera bag?

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