trip prep: camera gear

We just spent three days in Paris, ideally eating lots of crepes and pains au chocolat, and now we’re off to see some of the chateaux in the Loire Valley.

As I mentioned in my last post, photography is a really important part of this trip. I usually use a Canon Rebel XTi with a 50mm 1.4 lens and a 28-135mm lens, but after my trip to Kenosha over Memorial Day, I started rethinking what camera gear I wanted to take on the Euro-Adventure. The biggest reason was that the camera and two lenses are actually pretty heavy to walk around with all day. A secondary reason was that I wasn’t sure if those two lenses would give me the range that I wanted. Because I would be photographing mostly architecture and landscapes, I wanted a wider angle.

I started researching how much it would be to rent a wide angle lens (through lens rentals or borrow lenses), but then I realized that I would have to carry around the camera with three additional lenses and that would just add to the weight of my camera bag. Plus, I didn’t want to have to keep switching lenses all the time. I worried about this for a few weeks. Then one morning, I woke up with a genius idea. I could buy a small but nice point-and-shoot camera with a wider range. Then I could still take my Canon with the 50mm lens for low-light situations.

The benefits immediately became apparent. My camera bag would be lighter. I wouldn’t have to switch lenses all of the time, and I would have a backup camera in case something happened to either of them.

I went into full-on research mode and started reading review after review after review of different cameras. At first I purchased the Lumix LX5, and I took it to New York City with me to test out my idea. I liked the pictures from NYC, but overall, I wasn’t happy with the camera. I sent it back and started searching all over again.

After much thought and pros/cons weighing and long emails to friends, I purchased the Canon s100.

It’s really light and small (easily fits in my pocket), but it still has manual controls and I can shoot in RAW if I want. Once I got the camera, I made some comparisons using the s100 and my 28-135 lens to make sure I wouldn’t be short-changing my photos, and I thought the quality of the s100 held up beautifully.

And just for fun, I decided to bring along a Fuji Instax 25 mini.

Well, I also want to have some photos to tape into my travel journal. I’ve been wanting one of these instant cameras forever and decided the trip was the perfect excuse to buy one (it may already be apparent that I used the trip as the perfect excuse for several purchases). Originally I planned on buying the wide format version, but have you seen how big those are? I couldn’t imagine lugging it around Europe with me. The Mini 25 is much more manageable and the credit card sized photos will fit perfectly in my travel journal. It’ll be nice to have some tangible images right away to just help me realize that yes, I am really, truly there.



  1. Erica · September 19, 2012

    I have the Canon sx200 which is a forerunner and I love it! Great choice! Love the pics and posts! xoxo

  2. goldenfever · September 22, 2012

    From all these trip prep posts I can tell you really did your homework. I can’t wait to see all the pictures from your trip. We miss you!!!

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