Heavy DSLR or Compact

Discussion in 'Travel' started by sandy_marshall, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. I am traveling to Italy at the beginning of the month. I normally carry a Nikon D200 with a 70-200 mm lens which is VERY heavy after awhile. I purchased a Nikon 1 J3 with a 30-110 lens to carry while sightseeing, along with a Nikon 7000.
    Now I am having second thoughts about leaving my D200 home. Will I regret it? Should I just bite the bullet and haul it around? Or will the Nikon 1 suffice.
    Thanks.
    Sandy
     
  2. Take it with you!!! I have always regretted not bringing my dSLR whenever I try to travel without one!!! You may want to get some more travel friendly lenses (16-85 and 70-300VR are what I use).
     
  3. Having the choice between a D7000 and a D200, I would take the D7000. Personally, I have very little use for a 70-200 when traveling. Whether or not the Nikon 1 will suffice is something only you can decide. I traveled to Italy last year - and in hindsight, a D300 with 11-16 and 16-35 (or 16-85) would have been sufficient. Now, I would take a D700 with 16-35 and (possibly) 35/1.4, and a NEX-6 with 35 and 90mm.
     
  4. You've practically answered your own question. The last time I lugged a full sized dSLR was 2010 when I still used my Nikon D2H. Now I'm very satisfied with my Nikon V1 and 10-30 VR kit zoom. Due to chronic back and neck pain I wouldn't be taking photos at all if my only options were the full sized dSLR or nothing.
    Take the smaller Nikon 1 J3,and enjoy life and, most of all, the experience of being there. If anything, get the 10-30 VR as well, but don't over-burden yourself with camera equipment.
     
  5. I'm confused by your description. Is it that you have, and are decided on bringing, a D7000, and are wondering about what to carry for a second camera (i.e. D200 with 70-200 presumably f/2.8 versus the J3 with 30-110) or are you wondering which of the three cameras to bring? If it's D7000 vs D200, I'm afraid I'd have to vote for the D7000, even though I like the ergonomics of the D200 better. (I do not like the cramped grip of the D7000, nor am I fan of the mode dial.) The only advantage of the D200 is the slightly bigger buffer, so far as I can tell. If the "7000" refers to the Coolpix P7000 I have no idea what to say.
    Is this a trip with photography as a main goal, or is this for something else, such as business, or even a family holiday where kids and other stuff take precedence over photography? Lately I've been bringing a V1 with the 10-30 and 30-110 kit zooms (need to buy the wide zoom at some point) on non-photo trips -- the significantly decreased bulk and weight are a real advantage, and for most purposes the image quality is surprisingly decent. Not sure I'd be happy without a viewfinder of some sort, however -- personally I would be rather unhappy with the J3 for that reason. Earlier this year I schlepped a D300 with 100-300/4, 16-50/2.8, 12-24/4 and 100mm macro along with a V1+kit zooms on a mixed purpose trip (conference followed by a weekend up scenic Mendocino (California) way) and somewhat to my surprise, I shot about 70% with the V1 outfit, just due to the convenience, while the DSLR kit mostly stayed in the car.
     
  6. It depends on your type of photography. When I went to Italy a couple of weeks ago I took a compact system camera (the excellent XE-1) rather than my heavy D300 DSLR. Although the XE-1 has a very good EVF as well as a rear screen, and with the fine 35mm f 1.4 Fuji lens was great for scenes, the slowish start-up/wake-up time and AF speed together made it less suitable for candid street and child photography. My reason for taking it was the size and weight of my prosumer DSLR which can cause me elbow and shoulder ache after a couple of hours. If anyone can suggest a fairly small lightweight but well-built APS-C sensor DSLR with a large dioptre-adjustable optical viewfinder, fast AF and good IQ, please let me know!
    Philip
     
  7. it

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    I take a Lumix GF1 on regular holidays when I don't plan on using the photos for anything but my own amusement. Weighs nothing, gets reasonable results and is with me all the time. I also like the small size for shooting surreptitiously on the street.
    I agree about the big rigs. If you want to print stuff large, then drag it along. Otherwise, go small.
     
  8. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    It depends how important you photography in Italy is to you and what you plan to do with the photographs. If your most important photography is at home and your travel photographs casual, then no harm in the compact. If otoh you regard travel as you main opportunity to photograph quite seriously, then either take a dslr or sell them as there appears to be no need for them in your life. I don't think that a 70-200 zoom ( which I find useful when I travel) need to very heavy though. Could you get by with a lighter version?
     
  9. I just bought into the compact system (Sony NEX-6) recently and like it so much that I have since sold my Nikon dslr and lenses. I find hints that compact cameras are not for serious photography interesting. Other than a slower startup time than my former dslr, it performs every bit as well and, due to the reduced weight I carry around, I enjoy my photography more.
    I love not having to lug a heavy camera around-it has pretty much been the only downside to my travels other than poor weather. I'm off to England shortly and look forward to bringing a lighter weight/smaller camera kit with me (camera and 3 compact lenses); it will make a very nice change,
    You bought your compact to use (and it is much much more modern technology); take it on your trip and leave the D-200 at home.
    Have a great trip and happy shooting-the light in Italy can be really beautiful.
    cb :)
     
  10. it

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    Love him or hate him, Trey at Stuck in Customs also went to the NEX system recently. While his style isn't for everyone, he is arguably the most widely known landscape shooter these days. I'm sure his decision will move 1000s of Sony units.
     
  11. Travel light. Pleasant memories of the trip will last forever. Any photos will be buried on a hard drdive.
     
  12. You can take nice photos with a phone, or a small sensor compact superzoom camera if you want a lot of capability in one small package. Do you want to please image quality critics, or do you want pictures? I've had lots of cameras, but some of my favorite photos over the years are among those I took with a pocket camera simply because I had it with me while enjoying my activities, without having to walk around being a photographer. I sure wouldn't be having second thoughts if I had something like a Nikon 1.
     
  13. One more vote for thr d7000 and 16-85 combo. It worked well for me many times.
    -O
     
  14. As others have recommended earlier, I think that you should leave the heavy DSLR home, depending on where you're traveling, lugging an expensive looking camera may also attract thieves. Recently, in Florence in May, an American tourist resisted a mugging attempt right in front of the Duomo, and was stabbed. Have a nice trip, but be extra careful!
     
  15. There's nothing the D200 is going to do for you that the D7000 isn't. If you can't get away with just a Nikon 1 kit, go with
    the D7000 and whatever set of lenses seems reasonable.
     
  16. I have twice been to Rome. The first time I took a D200 and on the second trip a D700. I would take the D200 even though it is a beast. You will not be short of subject matter and the D200 is a terrific camera.
    On both trips to Rome both my wife and I felt very safe and we would not hesitate to go back. Lots of police everywhere including Carabinieri, Financial police, Rome city police, Rome Provincial police, Military police......
    Enjoy Italy!
     
  17. All those police in Italy are there to watch each other, really!
    I'm going to Italy, Greece, Spain, etc., starting September 12. After nice trips I always put together a vanity coffee table book and share online with family and friends that weren't there. Occasionally the very best end up on my office or home walls. My books will often have many full page and two-page images, stretching as large as 11x28". I can't imagine leaving my Canon 5D MkIII home. Lenses will include a 24-105mm, a 70-200mm (plus 1.4x and 2.0x TCs) and a 15mm fisheye. All except the fisheye are f/4, partly to keep weight down. (I'm leaving my 500mm home and still debating taking a stout tripod, lest I miss a chance for a stunning, long-exposure night shot. If your 70-200mm is an f/2.8, then rent an f/4 so you can carry it).
    If you'll never do anything other than print a few small prints and share on Facebook, then I don't think you'll need your DSLRs, but then I'd question why you own a DSLR in the first place. Why would you have a DSLR at home and then leave it home when you are doing something really special?
     
  18. Take both, at least.
    When my Nikon SLR failed in Yucatan years ago, I used my Rollei 35 with a certain sense of liberation; but, honestly, sneaker zoom did not entirely compensate for the lack of zoom and interchangeable lenses.
    If an important part of the trip is to do photography, that's what you bought that fancy gear for. You usually won't be going back to places a lot.
    If the photography is incidental to the trip, then a P&S may well be good enough.
     
  19. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR RESPONSES TO MY QUESTION!!!! I have decided I will take both and go from there! I am slightly leary of carrying the DSLR around since it will just be my daughter and myself, with no male presence around.....but I don't think either of us looks particularly vulnerable. I really leaned towards leaving the D200 at home until it occurred to me that I too, make coffee table books with full pages, etc. And I don't guess it makes a lot of sense to own a DSLR and leave it at home.
    Again, thank you so much for all the help!!!
     
  20. Don't smile at the gypsies and shout vamoose and wave your fist at them if they get too close. Carry no more than you need for each outing and hold tight to your camera. Consider a money belt and lock your jewelry up, unless you're traveling by private car. Pick pockets are in all the best cities in Europe, but my wife just got her pocket picked in tawny Greenwood Village, Colorado.
    Your book will make it all worthwhile.
     
  21. The police in Italy ARE there to watch each other AND for other people to watch them! The amount of gold braid that some have on their uniforms explains why Italy is in such financial and political mess!

    To be serious, enjoy your trip.
     
  22. The police in Italy ARE there to watch each other AND for other people to watch them! The amount of gold braid that some have on their uniforms explains why Italy is in such financial and political mess!


    To be serious, enjoy your trip.
     
  23. It depends on your type of photography.​
    Bingo! And also depends on how you will use the photos: making poster size prints or emailing them to Auntie Maria.
    And I don't guess it makes a lot of sense to own a DSLR and leave it at home.​
    Beg to differ. You probably own a pair of sneakers and a pair of dress shoes. When was the last time you wear both at the same time? Also, will it make a lot of sense to take the dSLR and leave it in the hotel room?
     
  24. Robert said:
    Beg to differ. You probably own a pair of sneakers and a pair of dress shoes. When was the last time you wear both at the same time? Also, will it make a lot of sense to take the dSLR and leave it in the hotel room?​
    Robert, Sandy said she's going to make a vanity book and will not simply send small files to Auntie Maria, so why wouldn't she use her camera that produces the best files and IQ. Why would you own a DSLR and not take it on one of your most important shoots?
    BTW, I often where sneakers and dress shoes on the same day, just at different times.
     
  25. Hi All
    Thanks again for everyone's response! Since I WILL be lugging the DSLR around with the 70-200 lens and given the fact that it is not a small concealable item, will I need to worry about carrying it around? It will be me, a 66 year old female and my 48 year old daughter, and it seems as though as long as we use common sense about where we go, we will be ok? What do you think?
    PS: No pics to Auntie but maybe an enlargement for the wall should I shoot something that I want to look at on a daily basis. I do take the typical touristy shots but tend to lean towards the unusual.
    Thanks again to everyone.
     
  26. Most touristy places are full of visitors so you'll be fine, you just need to be careful. Attached is a photo taken in Venice, the two ladies on the left were snapping away shots of the open market place.
    00bvNv-542007684.jpg
     
  27. Thank you! That certainly looks safe enough!
     
  28. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I feel in Italy pretty much the same way I feel in any western European country and indeed in many parts of the USA. That is, if you're in decently populated areas in daylight you're unlikely to be the victim of violent crime. You might want to make sure people can't snatch your bag (or your purse) or open something you're carrying surreptitiously on a crowded bus or metro, since there are gangs and individuals, quite often not citizens of that country, who roam around in search of easy opportunistic theft. I'm sure that happens in most large cities. IMO there's no need to walk in fear, and I carry cameras round major cities without demur. Just make sure you're not the easiest target you can see, and avoid untouristed areas at night unless your instinct to tell the difference between atmospherically quiet ( such as you get in Venice) and at risk is particularly heightened.
     
  29. Take a look at this video that's been making the rounds of the interwebs this year. Purportedly it shows a gang of lens thieves at work in Russia. The video looks a bit staged, almost like a tutorial. But it's still instructive.
    You may need to watch the video several times to see how slick and carefully orchestrated the thieves are. A couple of them provide distractions and body blocks to shield the thieves. And note the hand-off between the two similarly dressed thieves. The two main thieves dress similarly so that even if the victim spots the primary thief, it will be difficult in the heat of the moment to be certain which fellow in the ball cap and dark jacket actually has the lens.
     
  30. I am using my new D7100 now. My 16-85 Zoom lens is doing wonders. Depending upon the light level I go from ISO 200 - 6400! I still have my 50/f1.4 and 35/f.14 when needed.
    But the new high speed has done wonders.
    BTW: So far I have not really needed more the 85mm but my travel has all been in urban areas. I have a prime 180/f2 at the ready if needed.
    Good luck,
     
  31. Again, thank you everyone for your responses! I have decided to take the Nikon 1 and the D200 and my daughter will be using a P510. If I feel too vulnerable with the DSLR I will simply leave it in the room safe!
    Again, thank you everyone!!!!
    Sandy
     
  32. Sandy I am sitting in Frankfurt waiting for our plane back to the states. Just spent 4 weeks in Europe with 2 weeks in Italy. my main camera was my D800-E with a 70-200 2.8 and a 16-28 2.8 wide angle lens and my nex5R with a 16mm, and 50mm and one Nikon to Sony E adaptor.
    As for weight my basic kit for just walking around was my dslr and 70-200 with my nex5r with 16mm attached which fit in my cargo pants pocket. When I was there temps were in the 90's and one day hitting 100.. did not want to carry extra gear in a black backpack. When I knew that I needed wide like in a building or working narrow alleys I had the 16-28 mounted but I found my workhorse lens was my 70-200. I also carried a tripod or mono pod for after dark photography but it also makes a good club.
    as for how safe is it.... I am 60 and my wife is only 5.6 ft tall so we are no threat but we are city wised so know better than hang around rail stations and places where people are bumping up to you. twice the zippers from my backpack were unzipped and our open train tickets were stolen out of our room. so keep all your things of value with you our locked in a hotel safe. there are lots of people around and the police are everywhere and armed.
    have fun and if you have a chance visit Cinque Terre you will be glad you brought your dslr..
     
  33. I travel quite a bit, and have come to believe in going very light. I have a D7100 and a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR. I haven't taken that lens with me on a trip in three years. It's heavy, bulky, and I just don't need 200mm very often. Last month we went back to Hawaii for a couple of weeks, and I brought the D7100, 17-55mm f2.8, and 80-400mm VR. I used the long lens one night, taking photos of flowing lava. That was it. I also took a Leica IIIc rangefinder and lenses 35/50/90mm. I used that camera about 3/4 of the time. It's very small, lightweight, and I love it! It can do 90% of what I want a camera to do. For you, I'd suggest leaving the D200 home since it is bulkier than your D7000 and the image quality really isn't as good. What you need is either a Tamron or Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 or Nikon 16-85mm VR, plus either a Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR or a Nikon 70-300mm VR. I do always take a back up camera, and for me that's now the little Leica. For trips into a city I really don't want to carry heavy bulky stuff. There's just no point in it. I take better photos with a smaller, quicker camera.
    Kent in SD
     
  34. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I make no bones about it- I travel to photograph not the other way around. And I want to have a range of lenses at my disposal thats going to help me make a good job of the hard to find /hard to photograph things that others might miss. I don't much care about 90% of the photographs I take- its the last 10% or more likely 5% that matter. And thats where I differ from Kent above. From what I've seen I don't think I'd enjoy photography in Hawaii very much, but photographs of flowing lava at night would make a huge difference. So having the lenses with me to get the shots that are really different or unusual is vital. It might mean using a lens for only 1% of what I take, volume -wise, but if its a very important 1%, that lens might be worth more to me than the 24-105 that spends most of the time on my camera.
     
  35. If you can go to Hawaii and not shoot this:
    [​IMG]
    Then you might not need a 70-200mm. If a 2.8 is too heavy to use, then why not go to an f/4?
     
  36. I agree with Rick about visiting Cinque Terre, although the hike can be pretty tiring...
     
  37. This is what you see after climbing 382 steps...
    00bwmW-542159784.jpg
     
  38. David H--
    I'm not a big fan of Hawaii--my wife is. I'm more into travel in the polar regions. (Iceland is my favorite place of all.) What I mean by 90% is that if a camera system can photo 90% of what I want, it will work for me. I'm very, very flexible and versatile. I rarely have preconceived ideas of what I want--I just soak up the feelings I get and let that be the guide. I dislike being weighed down by a heavy camera bag; I want to be fast & light on my feet. I too have discovered that in the end really only about 5% of my shots are "grabbers," but the gear I use just doesn't seem to matter. In Hawaii the "keeper" percentage was the same whether I shot the c.2013 Nikon D7100 or the c.1942 Leica IIIc. It just didn't matter. I have confidence I can create interesting images with any camera/lens ever made.
    David S.--
    I have been on Mauii before, and did shoot the surfers, wind surfers, and etc. It is exciting! I used the Nikon 80-400mm VR, which I think would be a much better lens than one that only goes out to 200mm. And that gets back to what I was saying about having a system that has few pieces, but each is very versatile.
    Below shot:
    Observatory at summit of Mona Kea.
    Shot with Leica IIIc, Serenar 2.8cm, FP4.
    Any of my cameras could have made this shot,
    but the Leica is small and easy to carry at 14,000 ft.
    Kent in SD
    00bwpL-542164184.jpg
     

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