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SLR Camera (comprehensive list building)

Discussion in 'Equipment Questions' started by sid1983, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. sid1983

    sid1983 New Member

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    Hi there, I am new to the forums and an planning on going down the French route later this year. I am also admitting to being a fanatic when it comes to research. I am going to build a blog that details every step including equipment and will draw heavily from this forum (with credit naturally to each person) and once I have a complete list, will put it up here as well with follow ups of things I should i have found out before hand

    Now, I am an avid photographer with a beautiful SLR camera that goes everywhere with me. However, given I've never done an extended trip like this,

    1. should i take an slr camera with me
    2. I shoot in raw (250 pictures per 2GB card), should i take 3-4 SD cards? Is that too many/few?
    3. I hate leaving pictures on SD cards *should* something happen. Is there a convenient way to burn them on to DVD?
    4. If I carry an SD card reader, can i upload pictures from an internet cafe (i.e. are internet cafes easily at hand)
    5. Should i buy an extra rechargeable battery for the thing?
    6. is there any slr equipment anyone carried that i should keep in mind?
    7. any thoughts/inputs will be appreciated

    Thank y'all!

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  2. JaneB

    JaneB New Member

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    can't add anything useful but I'm waiting for Janeh's reply in eager anticipation!
  3. Marilyn  Canada

    Marilyn Canada New Member

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    Hello sid,

    I too luv to take many, many photos..to document our adventures....I leave on April 26th for my Camino...and early on ....in determining my packing list.......I made the hard choice on camera gear....the process went something like this...let's say your absolute max fully loaded pack weight including water is 20 lbs ....now consider how much your camera and of course that lovely lens weighs and don't forget the case , those extra batteries or a charger...now consider what essentials you might be willing to leave out of your pack, so that you can have your SLR....I could not come up with anything...so I went to plan B...and got a Canon S5 IS...it is fairly compact even with the lens adapter kit, which helps to make it feel like a SLR in your hands...and has great features, and yes I know it is not as nice as a SLR...but it is a great comprise, with a fantastic zoom and a mulitude of settings ...it is very light ..especially if you go with AA lithium batteries (which you can easily replace along the Way)....and to make sure I have enough cards I'm taking 2 - 2 GB and 6 - 1GB cards that I previously bought for our trip to Italy last year....that should give me over two thousand pics on the superfine setting!!

    Having said all that if you are still thinking of taking your beautiful SLR....try walking around locally for say 25 klms with it and the rest of your stuff in your pack...then do it again the next day and the next day.....and be sure to work in a few hills and of course a downpour or two...if it feels comfortable...could you do it for 750 klms ....if so...then go for it!!

    I prefer to take several cards,(in a waterproof case) and leave my pics on the cards and upload them on my own computer when I return home....so as not to lose any precious pixels on the transfer...or encounter other difficulties using someonelse's computer.... I understand from other posts that there are many places along the Camino where you can have them burned to disc ...as well as lots of access to internet....

    Another thing to think about is the security of the expensive SLR while on the Camino...

    Good luck,
    Marilyn
  4. Lillian Rodriguez

    Lillian Rodriguez New Member

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    Hello sid1983,

    I too am an avid photographer and would have loved to have been able to take a DSLR on the camino. However, a lesson I learned in my many walks is that dust, rain, humidity and the constant bumping against the body or pack are the worst enemies of cameras. That on top of the added weight and the need to take it with me into the shower soon made me change my mind.

    1. Rather than lugging a few additional pounds for such a long distance, I opted for a Canon Powershot SD 7MP. It is tiny and weights only 10 oz with the charger. The case was affixed to my backpack's straps with velcro. This allowed for quick and easy retrieval for photo taking opportunities or when leaving the backpack unattended. At night I kept it inside my sleeping bag. something impossible with a larger camera. For my next camino, I will take a Canon G9, 12 MP, a more advanced model that allows many manual adjustments. It's only a few ounces heavier than the Powershot Elph but still small and compact enough to take into the shower and keep it inside my sleeping bag for safekeeping.

    2. I shot over 2000 photos in superfine compression, size 3072 x 2304. (+800 pictures per 2GB card), taking 2 - 2GB cards with me and purchased another one in LogroƱo for about 34E. My experience was that with so many pilgrims blogging their way in, it's somewhat difficult to get access to a computer. Even if you have access, you can't upload or mail images from many public computers because most are old models that do not have USB connections. I chose to leave the untouched pictures on their SD cards in spite of the risk, because it's safer and easier to carry them in my fanny bag than a CD/DVD on the backpack.

    4. Even if you carry an SD card reader, you will not be able to upload pictures from an internet cafe.Yes, there are many around and most albergues do have coin operated internet connections but no USB drive.

    5. An extra rechargeable battery for the thing is essential. That'll give you almost two days of shooting just in case there are no outlets to recharge at the next albergue.

    Good luck with your research. I look forward to reading your blog.
    Buen camino :arrow:
  5. Janeh

    Janeh New Member

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    OK, sorry guys, I had to answer - and yes, Jane B :D you were very clever at guessing I would - lucky we are syber friends otherwise..... :) :lol:
    I have debated long and hard about taking an SLR - be it digital or beloved film. I only ever shoot in RAW so understand your preference Sid. However, due to all the valid points above from the others & their experiences, doing the camino and worrying about expensive gear, the bulk, the safety etc, I've decided to go a different option that may interest you.

    I've bought a Panasonic DMC-LX2. It weighs only about 250gms, with battery no more than a total of 300gm. It's a small compact, 10mega pixels, image stabiliser, 28mm wide angle lens, leica lens, optical zoom lens but best of all IT SHOOTS IN RAW. Very hungry on the memory card naturally but does a good job. (uses SD) A little noisy at the high end but I'm used to Canon gear which is superb at 1600iso. I recently went on a trip to Tasmania and deliberately only took this camera - I was pleased with the results and shot in jpg deliberately. The key with all digital photography is GET YOUR EXPOSURE RIGHT "IN CAMERA". Then you can probably side step RAW files on the camino to get more photos onto your card. I plan to carry about 10gb of cards (1gb on each card), and think they will be lighter and smaller than transffering files along the way onto DVD. I want to be the one responsible for downloading my files and not risk someone who may not be as careful.

    Just an aside, I'm glad I'm not taking bigger gear as I know me - I'll get lost in the photography taking and maybe miss some of the experience, this way I have the best of both worlds I hope.
    happy deciding! :) Jane
  6. fototaker

    fototaker New Member

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    Location:
    San Francisco CA (EE.UU) & Rota (Cadiz)
    i am also a photog and when i do my camino, will take both my laptop and DSLR. while i will leave a few lenses at home, i will take two lenses. what i would like to know and read if possible, are the blogs of those before me who will take both or one item (dat of course being the camera and NOT the laptop) and to see how everything works out. oftentimes in Spain while the rest of the country is HOT and dry, the north is wet or gray. of course there's been other times with warming trends and the north was HOT while the rest was gray!! hahahaaa

    i am also a good hiker/walker and can walk fast; easily walking 5 miles in less than 30minutes is nothing for me, but of course can i sustain this vigor over an estimated two-months for me walking la via de la plata is something and a distance i've never done. BUT i am looking forward to it!!

    most chargers for camera batteries and laptops are multi-voltage which means you can use it in the USA (110v) or in Europe (220v). just a simple, very tiny lightweight plus adapter is required so the charger can be plugged into the wall. still want to be sure it will work? look at your equipment's charger and read on the back someplace close to the plugs... you should see a black list saying:
    INPUT: 100 - 240v 50/60 hz

    with out the above display, i would NOT plug it straight into the wall!! a slight pop and a brief smell of burnt plastic is what you get if you plug a 100v ONLY item into a 220v wall outlet!

    i am also considering taking a 1liter camelback, which i normally strap onto the side of my camera bag: minitrekker. i'd also like to know the results of anyone crrazy enough to take along a full-size laptop!!!!!

    what i would like to BEG of you brave souls who are doing this walk are the following:

    1. how did the weight of your camera/lenses affect your walk each day?
    2. of the lenses you took, what were used? which was just a waste of time?
    3. how did you DL your pixs? where? to a laptop, a foto HD? to an online storage site?
    4. what size camera card did you take? was it sufficient for a day's (or more) needs?
    5. how did you keep your camera dry/cool?
    6. how many spare batteries did you take?

    i live near cadiz till just recently and would be there NOW if not for the lousy conversion rate between the dollar and euros!

    thanks!! good luck and safe journey to all walking this year!!!!
  7. Wardog54

    Wardog54 New Member

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    I am looking at walking mid to late apr 2013, and I had planned to take my Nikon D3100 + spare lens.

    I am now thinking that I will just take my compact camera 9mp and perhaps my iPad with the adaptor for sd cards so that I can download my photos directly to my iPad.

    This will be my first Camino and I'm looking forward to it, also having family In the UK, Barcelona, and Gibralter will be a good way to decompress the Camino before returning to Canada.

    I would like to thank those people on this site who have taken the time to share there experiences and knowledge with the newbies.

    David
  8. dazzamac

    dazzamac New Member

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    I brought Nikon D80 DSLR on my first Camino last September. I have no regrets bringing it as I knew from the outset that it would mean that I would have to take extra precautions and sacrifice other items so that I could afford the weight.

    Having walked with 3kg of camera and gear, I can say that I used one lens about 85% of the time and while I got some great shots with the other two lenses, that was more because I forced myself to use them so that I could justify carrying them halfway across northern Spain. The Camino in summer is a hot dry, dusty environment and changing lenses served to introduce increasing amounts of dust on to the image sensor. The beautiful blue skies I so admired are full of dust bunnies that I couldn't see on the camera's display. Based on my experience, I'd advise a sensor cleaning before leaving for the Camino and bringing only one lens. It's certainly what I'll be doing when I return this August.

    I shoot RAW and had considered burning the files to DVD but found that it was more cost effective buy USB pen-drives and back-up the images to them. DVDs are fragile and bulky whereas the pen-drives hold as much if not more data, are smaller, more robust and were cheaper per GB than DVDs. I had no problem finding USB ports to connect the camera and drives to.

    I carried my camera, passport, wallet and other valuables in a showerproof camera bag that I modified slightly so that I could attach it to the front of my backpack. This meant that my valuables were always in sight and that my camera could be reached without removing my backpack. On reaching an albergue, I took the bag into the shower with me and at night, I kept it at the bottom of my sleeping bag liner. My backpack was frequently left unattended but wherever I went, the smaller bag with my camera and valuables came with me. As DIY solution, it was less than perfect but it worked.
  9. ausmarko

    ausmarko New Member

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    Location:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances 11/9/12-8/10/12, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Sept 2013
    One of the main reasons for doing the Camino for me is to take lots of lovely RAW shots with my DSLR Nikon, so I am not prepared to forego this, i will even ditch my sleeping bag before letting this go! I have a Lowepro Toploader Pro http://products.lowepro.com/product/Toploader-Pro-75-AW,2131,8.htm that sits at the front to the side, low on the hip and actually acts like an arm rest for my right arm! It is easy to quickly take out of the bag at a moments notice, being a top loader. I also only have one 24-70 lens attached at all times, along with polariser, neutral grad filter and 20gb of cards, both CF & SD. I also have a lightweight trek pole that doubles as a monopod to get some nice shake free video when needed. The only worry is taking it with me everywhere (including the showers and sleeping with it) but can't do much about it.
  10. jeffnd

    jeffnd Member

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    March/April 2014
    Do you have a link to the type of bag you used for your camera? I'm leaning very heavily towards a dslr, but exactly how to carry and care for it along the way is a concern.

    I was thinking that something like this might work
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Rebel-Camer ... 762&sr=1-8

    And then stowing it in something like this should it rain or to take in the shower
    http://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Research- ... stuff+sack
  11. rewrew

    rewrew New Member

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    I carried my Canon EOS 600 (Rebel) with me on the camino frances this year. It's an entirely personal thing, but as a techy, avid photographer I don't regret it at all. The photos taken in the same spots by camino friends with compacts (naturally) don't quite capture the stunning beauty that my RAW images do, amazing keepsakes for everyone of a phenomenal experience!

    I am a slight (but strong!), young woman and took some time researching camera kit for weight reasons, but as others have said, you just pack accordingly around your kit, making other sacrifices.

    I had my camera, the standard kit lens (18-55mm), a standard lens filter, a spare battery, the charger and 2 usb sticks for backup. This all worked perfectly. I backed up only a few times over the month in bigger towns, as the albergues for the most part only had simple coin-operated pcs with no ports for cards/usb sticks.

    I took, but quickly ended up shipping home, a 2nd lens (prime) , unnecessary weight as I ended up using my standard lens (18-55mm) 90% of the time. As Dazzamac mentions, this also means less dust from switching lens' around. On that note, I personally don't feel that water/dust/damage should be a deterrant to taking slrs on the camino, I almost got put of taking mine from forum comments along these lines, but it was absolutely fine, with the usual care involved, a good little cleaning kit and a good padded camerabag. (IMHO no point in owning great kit if you're too worried about taking it anywhere, especially on one of the most photogenic experiences of a lifetime!)

    For waterproofing and security I took the oft discussed lightweight waterproof bag (in my case a patagonia one), just large enough for my camera in case, my purse and small valuables, took this everywhere with me and slept with it in my sleeping bag.

    After some initial gear shedding my biggest issue wasn't so much weight but getting my carrying system comfortable for long distance walking. This took some adjustment to get right, I started with a holster camera bag but it was killing my back and neck so mid-camino in Leon, I bought a toploader camerabag (similar to the one you are looking at jeffnd) that could be worn on the hip.

    I threaded the body-facing carry loop on the toploader bag, through the waist band of my backpack. I found this more comfortable than using the un-padded waistbelt incl with the toploader, and with one less belt to worry about (but taking care to hold camera when you take the backpack off!). As a final adjustment, I ended up using a lightweight carabiner. With the camerabag on the hip, I would thread the carabiner through the camera strap and simply clip the carabiner to a point on my backpack strap, around shoulder height. I found this second connection point was better for loadbearing and also stopping the weighty waist bag from bumping up and down with each step (which drove me crazy over time!) This combined system really worked for me, comfy, stable and relatively quick access to the camera.
  12. Joseph Chan

    Joseph Chan New Member

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    Thank you rewrew for such a detailed practical answer based on your personal experience of successfully carrying and using a DSLR camera on the camino. I am glad you were not put off by some negative comments on this forum, you have shown how it can be done despite the weight, safety, dust and moisture, charging and photo storage, plus other comments which can make one tremble in fear.

    In this day and age point and shoot cameras are getting lighter and more compact, have better and better resolution, will be able to shoot in darker and darker places without flash, have more and more bells and whistles, I like the automatic panoramic feature, not to say they are getting cheaper. The same is happening with phone cameras, 8 MP is common and it will improve, in built editing and geotagging features, pictures can be emailed or put into FB, or put into storage into apps like Dropbox where all those in your circle can access the hot off the press pictures. Only DSLR cameras with inter-changeable lenses can produce the absolute photographic purity which avid photographers crave for and take pleasure in attaining.

    One can find fulfillment in both walking the Camino your way, and have the pleasure of taking pictures your way to relive the memories, you have shown us the way rewrew.
  13. jeffnd

    jeffnd Member

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    It's been awhile since I upgraded my camera. I've owned a variety of compact point and shoots over the years, but never a dslr. My decision to go with a dslr for the Camino is because I can take better quality pictures and video, and I don't feel like lugging a camcorder around too. I just hope I can find some way of both carrying it securely and having it close and hand so I actually remember to take photos with it!
  14. Sienna Moon

    Sienna Moon New Member

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    I have a Nikon DSLR camera and spent nine weeks back packing through Europe with it riding camels donkeys horses push bike ferries planes boats trains buses and trams with no problems of weight. I took a 18 to 250 lens and a few cards. It worked fine through heat cold desert sand and the photos were great. Take the photos you want with the camera you like. I have just upgraded and will take the new one and leave the low pro bag behind, opting to have a waterproof bag to take to the showers and in the rain, but mostly it will be out for the capturing of that intimate shot I never want to forget.
  15. profesara

    profesara New Member

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    Seems like you've got a lot of good advice here. I walked most of the Ruta Frances this past summer, and took my Nikon D90 and two lenses. I don't use flash so I got good battery life - only had to change batteries once or twice, and could have done it with just my two backup batteries. Most of the albergues that had paid internet had a card reader on the machines... just a thought. Especially if you had an online cloud backup service, you could probably back some things up that way. (Though I never really wanted to spend time on the computer during the Camino!)

    It did make me extra aware of security and it got irritating carrying the camera sometimes (though not if it was in my pack... but for me as a very visual person, it was worth it. I was able to continue the 365 project I'm doing this year, all the way through the Camino (though all the pictures were posted after I finished walking.)

    (If you have any interest in seeing some of what I took, it's on my blog: http://saracita.wordpress.com/category/ ... e-santiago)
  16. daesdaemar

    daesdaemar Camino-holic

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    There are lots of opportunities to take pictures and a DSLR camera would be great. I know I would get tired pretty quickly with the added weight and bulk. I think it is a matter of your motivation.
    I took a Canon Elph point and shoot and got great pictures. Certainly satisfactory enough that I did not regret taking my DSLR.
    Good luck whatever you decide.
  17. Al the optimist

    Al the optimist Active Member Donating Member

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    My Sony Sureshot was doing a good job (I'm not the best of photographers anyway) until the internal battery went flat and I realised that I had not packed both parts of the charger! Stupid idiot. I enjoyed my Camino but now wish I had mementoes, So the only advice I can give is to make sure you can recharge your phone.
    allan
  18. Eliza Linley

    Eliza Linley New Member

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    Great questions. I am regretfully leaving my DSLR at home and going with a Nikon Coolpix P500, a camera with fine resolution and a great zoom. It shoots JPEG, so no RAW, but I simply didn't want to lug my big camera around. The batteries are quite small and light, so I'll take two extras. I'm taking 4 -8G cards and planning not to erase but use them for storage, as well as an iPad mini. I also have an 8 oz. Photo Safe II for backup, but may not take it. Leaving SJPDP on May 29. And then there's the whole question of being a pilgrim or a photographer. One approaches the world differently from behind a lens, yet this is my orientation as a visual person in the world.
  19. Laliibeans

    Laliibeans Member

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    Camino Frances (2014)
    It's painful, but I'm leaving mine at home. I took it out once with me and spent so much time worrying about keeping it safe and carrying it comfortably that I didn't enjoy myself and missed a lot of scenery as I fumbled around with it trying to get it's case sitting right.

    Shameful really, I've seen photos of my grandparents out in the desert with all their old timey camera gear strapped to a camel, smiling just fine, but sadly, I have no camel (or a more compact, scaled down equivalent for my modern camera).

    So I'm buying a new camera for my Camino, less expensive, less weight, and less worry. It'll give me more time to enjoy the scenery. But I'm envious of people who do take theirs and the photos they end up with.
  20. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Active Member

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    SJPDP - Logrono (2009), SJPDP - Fisterra (2011)
    I also took my camera (an old Canon 300D) along, with slower optics: 18-55mm/1:3,5 and 90-300mm/1:4,5, but were sufficient. I was using Lowepro Off Trail 2 (http://naturography.com/lowepro-off-tra ... ck-review/) which is topload & beltpack combo with very important belt added which you put around your neck so the weight is evenly deployed between waist and neck. Also the side holsters are very useful. In the right one was 90-300mm and in the left one 0,75l plastic flask with water. This way I didn't have to stop and search through my rucksack neither for taking photos nor drinking. And another important thing about that, because I also have very bad knees (alpinistic injury), this way I managed to redeploy a bit of weight from my back to the front and got better balance of the whole body. Along with using the walking poles.

    I took about 2500 photos (not in RAW format) and my 4 + 2 + 1 GB CF cards were sufficient. For an emergency case I brought with me also very old 512MB card :) I have battery-pack and 3 rechargeable batteries with charger and I had never any problems with recharging because in every albergue I stayed in there was electricity.

    If you're worried about loosing the images on memory cards I don't think bringing a laptop is all that necessary, because you can store them (on USB key or DVDs) in some of the photoshops in all major/bigger cities on Camino. If they are professionals they sure have all the needed software.

    Ultreia!

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