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The 2017 “Should I take my ‘good/nice/big’ camera on the Camino” post

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2020)
Hi all, I posted my “unpacking list” thread in November and hope it was helpful. I mentioned I carried a full camera kit and wanted to share my experiences with other forum members. I’m hoping to give back to the forum that has given much to me, by sharing my experiences.

Can I make a disclaimer first? This post is a generic in hopes of helping as many people as possible. I’m not suggesting you must take my brand of camera, my specific lens, or use my specific Smartphone and software. I do list the brands and models of gear I took but only for comparison. My gear is not a prescription, but perhaps a starting point?

Also, I don’t mean to suggest that a Smartphone or a point and shoot are the wrong choices for the Camino, there are more than 5000 photos from Caminos on our forum and over 500,000 on Instagram with the hashtag #caminidesantiago, taken with all sizes, types, ages and brands of cameras. But specifically, people often ask about taking their “big/good/nice” camera. So I’m sharing what I know about that.

Warning, I have two biases: first I am an author, documentary producer, and photographer so I’m used to traveling with more gear than average so judge my experience through that eye

….and second, I hope that you will print or publish a book of your photos. While I love the Internet, forums and social media, I encourage you to print your photos either as pictures or in a book. Your once-in-a-life trip will be very interesting to future generations of friends and families and as the digital world evolves who can predict what photo digital services will still be accessible in 5, 10, or 30 years. If you are serious about publishing I'd welcome an off-line conversation to give you some ideas about how to get that process started.

My camera is too heavy.

I agree, it is heavy. On my two Camino’s I met people carrying tents, C-Pap machines, long skateboards, guitars, push/pull carts, baby strollers, and I’ve seen video of people carrying cellos or pushing wheelchairs. What that suggests to me is “heavy” is very subjective. If you enjoy using your camera, you’ll find it’s not heavy at all. And since you asked, my assumption is you like to take pictures with your camera. So….

Here is the tale of the scale: My camera kit – which included 2 cameras, 3 lenses, cables, chargers, batteries, flash unit and bag weighed just over 6 KG. In my unpacking list post, my pack weight was 7KG so my total combined pack was just over 13KG plus the 2.2 kg I was wearing including hiking shoes.

15.2 kg total or 18% of body weight. (Trust me, your kit can be significantly less!)

As I mentioned in the previous post: I'm 6'1 (1.8m) tall and 185 - 190 pounds (85 kg) and 56 years old (9 years in "dog years").

Lessons learned:

It’s not the weight; it’s how it is carried. I learned this before the Caminos from my general every day work. I’m a huge believer in the Peak Design Capture Clip along with a small camera bag that opens from the top and can be worn over the shoulder, around the neck, as a chest pack or as a belt pack. If you carry your camera in your main pack, it takes more time and more steps to make a photo. A small separate bag makes access easier. I suggest trying a bag like this with your camera before you buy one, though, or be sure you can return it or exchange it if it is too big or too small.

Hand carrying your camera or wearing your camera on it’s strap around your neck works great for a few hours but it may become tedious and bothersome after 10, 20 or 30 days.

If you struggle to access your camera or if taking it out and putting it away activates buttons or changes settings (resulting in bad photos or extra time) you may not enjoy lugging it around.

(I would though be happy to share with you my twenty-photo series entitled “The Black Camino”…. A series of photos taken from deep inside my camera bag when I forgot to turn off my camera and every so often I jostled the shutter release causing incredibly long time exposures.)

Walking sticks: I do not use walking sticks – if you do, consider how to manage both your sticks and accessing your camera. I know it can be done, but I don’t have any experience doing it.

How does your camera fit? Each of our hands and fingers are different sizes and shape. Few cameras are one-size-fits all. In my experience, different brands of cameras fit my hands differently. And while a common perception is “bigger is better,” that’s not always true. Some of the most sophisticated cameras are smaller than less sophisticated bigger models. So even though I love “brand x” you may have more success with “brand y” because it feels more natural in your hand.

It’s not just feel and weight: but also consider the balance with the lenses you might use. Big lenses on small cameras and small lenses on big cameras are sometimes awkward.

If you are buying a new camera for the Camino I encourage you to go to a physical store and hold different sizes of cameras, see how easy it is for your fingers to reach buttons and menus, and look through the viewfinder and see if you can see all the display.

In my experience, the biggest reason people don’t take photos is: it is not fun/easy to use the controls on their camera. If it takes extra steps, you either miss the photo or it’s not worth the bother.

So okay Fritz, what did you actually pack?

Here is my gear and where possible I added some notes about the “why”. All the photographers I met carried different kinds and brands of gear – in short there is no “one best” camera or smart phone for the Camino. The best one is the best one FOR YOU that helps you make the kinds of photos you like.

Cameras:

Canon 5D mk III. 33.5 oz 950 gms (body only)+ two camera batteries

This one is in the middle of the weight range. Canon makes 17 different SLR interchangeable lens cameras, the lightest weight model is 14.4 oz 407 gms and the heaviest is 54 oz 1530 gms. Nikons are in the same range but their heaviest is lighter at about 1235 gms. In my overly simplistic opinion, as the cameras get both heavier and more expensive, the main difference is their ruggedness and faster access to certain features. Ie: a dedicated button vs scrolling through a series of menus.

I am very very hard on my gear, the 5D tolerates my punishment.

Fuji x100T 15.5 oz 440 gms (has fixed lens 35 mm focal length) Plus two camera batteries. The Fuji battery life is less than the Canon -- typical of mirrorless cameras. In a very basic comparison, many iPhones and Smartphone lenses take a photo close to 35mm in focal length.


Samsung Note 3 (camera and back up system to copy photos from camera cards to a portable hard drive) I under use the camera on my smartphone, but when I do use it, the quality and size is sufficient to print a full page image in an 8 x 10 photo book and sometimes larger.


Bag/holder:

Peak capture clip (see forum post https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/camera-protection.44216/ )and an over the shoulder convertible top-loading camera bag similar to the Lowepro AW top loader. My bag is similar but is made by a company no longer making the bag) Both the Fuji and the Canon were comfortable to carry in the Capture clip and I alternated cameras depending on the kinds of photos I anticipated making.

Having a dedicated bag also makes it easy to carry the camera around and not have to lug your main backpack everywhere. Be aware of the weight of your empty camera bag, some bag makers love to add extra straps, buckles, and “stuff” which adds more weight than value.

Lenses:

Here is what I packed but there is no perfect lens or set of lenses. For example, Canon alone sells 40 fixed length lenses and 39 zoom lenses. Nikon's website lists 98 lenses. Fuji, Sony and others also sell multiple lenses for their cameras.

16 – 35 f/4 Zoom lens 22.6 oz (640 gms)

50 mm f/1.8 fixed 6.3 oz (178 gms)

70 – 300 f/4 – f5.6 39.7 oz (1125 gms ) yes it is heavier than the camera.

24- 105 F/4 For part of my camino, I had the benefit of working alongside New Zealand author and photographer Brett Payne @BrettP who was also carrying a Canon and a 24 – 105. This combination gave us options. So if you are walking with another photographer and you both use the same brand, consider dividing the lesser-used gear between you.

The 70-300 rode in a side backpack pocket and as a result, I stopped and took off my pack to use that lens during the day. Otherwise, the Canon had either the 50mm or the 16-35mm on during the day and the other lens was close at hand in the bag. With the camera in the capture clip and the other lens in the bag – it was easy to swap lenses with one hand if necessary.

Did I need them all? It depends. I was working on a project and needed lots of overlap in the event of a problem image. So I shot 4900 frames more or less over 40 days. The photographers I talked with shared that they, too, took between 50 and 200 images a day.I have edited my photos to 741 that I want to keep. Those frame numbers may seem too high or too low, depending on your point of view. Of the 741 that I think are strong images.

374 images were shot on the Fuji at 35 mm equivalent

200 images shot with the 16 - 35 f/4

86 images shot with the 50 mm f/1.8

81 images shot with the 70 - 300 f/4

(The above numbers say more about my photography style than they do anything about the lenses, but it’s a comparison.)

Backing up – saving photos

Backing up large numbers of photos for 20, 30, or 40 days can be a very complicated process. I’d be glad to share my backup system with anyone drop me a note – but as a simple explanation, I used an adapter to copy my photos to my smart phone and then to a portable hard drive. The simplest and most secure method is to probably just save your camera cards until you get home, but that is more expensive and still leaves you without a backup. Depending on the size of your photo files and the number of photos you take, wifi may or may not be a reasonable option.

Because cards can be lost, stolen, or break, I like using smaller size camera cards than bigger cards. I currently shoot with 16 gb and 32 gb cards – I think you can buy them as large as 128 gb

Electronics:

eyeFi Pro card -- in Canon to move jpg images to phone for potential Instagram posting. The Fuji has wifi built in. I shot both .jpg and Raw format -- a topic for another conversation.

Generic Samsung OTG card reader and cables (USB 2 and USB3) and

Western Digital USB3 1 TB hard drive.

Canon camera charger

USA to Type F European plug adapter

Multi jack powerplug and USB power socket

(Added in Spain) 4800 amp/hour portable charger

Would I pack all this gear again? YES, absolutely. I might swap out the flash and batteries for a Fuji Instax Printer – but that’s another conversation and topic for another day. But If I was doing a longer series of portraits, the flash and remotes would be a must take.

If I only took one camera: It would be the Fuji x100T. Why? People sometimes “freeze up” or put on their “picture face expression” when they see you with a SLR camera. The Fuji mirrorless (about the size of a point and shoot) takes most of that away. The 35 mm focal length was by far the most used and the Camino lends it self to photos taken within a short distance.

If I only took a single DSLR and one lens: the 50mm f1/8 – or if I really wanted to be small, Canon makes a very flat 40mm. Again Nikon and other major camera companies offer similar options, go with a camera body that fits your hands and eyes, then add the extras.

Would I leave it at home?

Cameras are both big and awkward to pack. In fact, in 2013 I did not take a camera or phone and enjoyed a very social and fun way to have awesome Camino photos. I packed some cards with an email address and asked many pilgrims to either take my photo or share a photo they took.

In 2016 I saw so many people with cameras and smartphones, this would be even easier and it’s a great conversation starter. And remember to offer to take photos of your pilgrim friends with their camera!

As a closing thought, perhaps I’m too conservative. I don’t recommend carrying a camera or gear you are not financially prepared to lose. People fall, gear gets dropped, it rains hard, and cameras are misplaced, forgotten, and stolen. It can and does happen and if you are not comfortable with losing your gear or having to replace it when you get back home, I don’t encourage taking it. It is very easy to spend more on a camera and lens than the cost of an entire Camino. (It is also quite easy to have a camera and lens that have amazing technical abilities for much less money.)

What else can you add? There are very talented and experienced photographers on our forum and I hope you will add your experiences. If you like making photos, I hope you make many and that you print and share them with your friends now and in the future.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
I love my old Nikon D70 and I have taken it on the all my 6 walks. Took some great photos. Heavy but reliable.

Then I discovered the Sony lightweight advanced mirrorless camera. It can do circles around the old Nikon. I bought it after being convinced it could do things that my old Nikon could not do.

But since then, I have not gone on a walk since.

Not sure what you might make of this.

But should I walk again I might simply take an iPhone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
A very interesting post Fritz. Some further thoughts that may assist others, or not o_O

I should say up front that I am not a 'very talented and experienced photographer' merely a keen and very amateur photographer / videographer. At work I do some written blogging and video blogs but it all tends to be 'talking head' stuff. Nothing too creative. I read your post with great interest as I have a 'collection' of cameras (mainly for video), and am working out what to take on my next Camino.

On my first Camino I wanted to take lots of photos and videos for my Blog, as family and friends were following my progress and it was a good way to keep them up to date and let them see I was OK. But it actually turned out rather like a running 'confessional'. (and eventually almost a mini movie https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...e-santiago-cf-robs-full-journey-youtube.3234/)
As I was walking alone for most of the time (by choice) it gave me an opportunity to 'talk' about my journey and provided a great reference to look back on.

Camera. As for gear, I wanted to travel super light. So everything was shot on my phone! A Galaxy Note 3. A great camera phone..... The reason I used the Note 3 (still do), is that the back can be removed to replace the battery and memory card. I often replaced the battery through the day but never needed to replace the card. And at the time the camera was better quality than iPhones.

I would try to upload all photos and videos at night, either using wifi or via phone SIM card. (So I spent about e300 on SIM card top ups). That way one of my 'helpers' back home could publish the materials on the blog the next day. (including transcribing my audio commentary files). I ended up taking about 400 short videos (about 1-2 mins to keep file size small) and maybe 1,000 photos. The audio files were a great way to write a blog, without actually having to type it all on my phone. And it allowed more spontaneous writing 'in the moment'.

Next Time? Would I do it that way again? Yes and No. Whilst the Note 3 was amazing quality for a camera phone, it did have limitations. Image quality on the front (selfie) camera was not great. But the biggest issue was sound (as most of my material was video). A simple small wired lav mic would have overcome the wind noise in a few of the videos. So I would say that fairly good results can be obtained on a phone if merely blogging for family and friends. (See the movie link in my signature as an example of a camera phone video).

I really enjoyed shooting a video record of the journey, but would like to raise the bar a bit in terms of visual and audio quality. So I'm currently looking for a compact camera to take in 2018. Sadly they don't yet make what I need, but I'm sure it will come out in 2017. Fingers crossed.

I'm looking for something like your X100T but also need image stabalisation, a tilting screen, an external mic input and a small built in zoom lense. (say 28-80 mm ish). There are cameras that are very close to this spec, but not quite there yet. I will only carry one camera, using my phone as a backup (probably an iPhone7 as the new Samsungs no longer have a removable back, so lack that key advantage). I'll also add in a small shotgun mic, wired lav mic, and that card/USB adapter that you used.

So my gear will be well under 1 kg all up.

I'm currently trialling an Olmpus OMD-5 (mirrorless Four Thirds) which I love for video work, but it's just a bit bigger than I want and a bit 'fiddly' to use on the go. Not quite the 'pocket' camera I would like. But it gets used a lot for video at work and on more 'traditional' holidays....

Size? To your point about ease of access, I would agree 100%. If the camera is not easy to pull out and use, it doesn't get used as often. I found just using a phone was great in that regard. Even for video. I would plant a trekking pole in the ground, use a big rubber band to hold the phone to the pole, and I was ready to go... (where a steady platform was required)

So I'm hoping to find a compact camera, that is almost as easy and quick to use as a camera phone, and also be as unobtrusive...

Walking Poles. I did use walking poles. They didn't interfere with photography at all, because I was just using my phone. I looped the poles over one wrist when taking photos or hand held video and often used a pole as an improvised tripod... The phone was in my shirt pocket and ready for instant use. Another reason I'd like a pocket sized camera.

Intrusive or not? Perhaps something to consider....

There is a potential danger that lots of camera gear can get a bit intrusive. Not only on your own Camino but that of others. I was very conscious of this on my first Camino, but it was not a problem. I didn't carry lots of gear requiring lengthy set ups. It was all done quite spontaneously and much of it whilst not even stopping (such as recording audio thoughts). And I generally only included others in video / photos that I knew well, or asked permission first 'spur of the moment' as we were walking together.

I think having lots of gear, setting up tripods etc etc would take all the spontaneity out of it. Unless of course you are photographing landscapes, sunsets and that type of thing.

File Size? Oh, one last thought. On one day I 'dialled down' the video quality to try and make files smaller for uploading. Bad idea. The image quality was really poor. So 99% of my video was shot on HD 1920x 1 080 (not 4k) with the front camera (selfie mode) using 720 p.

Thanks again for the post Fritz, I'm sure it will be very helpful for those keen on photography.
 
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Mike Trebert

Guest
Hi Fritz,

I've posted before about photography. I think you're talking here to a small percentage of Caminotarians. As far as I am able to tell, increasing numbers of people are using phone cameras on the Camino. Most people who do so are unaware of the limitations of phone cameras and do not use post-process software to get the most out of the pics they take. No problem, we are all thrilled to have records of our memories. I've had a few heated discussions here about phone camera picture quality. Only very serious photographers will consider carrying the gear you've described. But I do hope that some people will become more demanding and discerning about their photography.

I travel with an Olympus EM-1 and 2 x f2.8 Pro zooms. All are "splash proof" and dustproof. I occasionally shot in the rain. Not a full frame rig, fewer megapixels, processor not pro-grade. But compact and some pretty great pics. I have a pro-grade Epson 3880 printer and prints look good, but they're not wall-sized. I only shoot Raw, use Lightroom, so get max quality out of what I have.

I walked the full 800kms. I took a RR Stuff carbon tripod/ball head, carried that in a separate bag which was transferred ahead, only used the tripod at night. I had a Nikon D800E but sold it a year ago, seldom used it after getting the micro four/thirds mirrorless. I'll be getting the Peak Design Pro Clip and their soft shell camera cover - looks great.

So, horses for courses. I think few people will spend their money on full frame gear - lenses are pricey and the gear is bulky and heavy. Many people have APS-C gear, I expect. But an APS-C rig won't include the best lenses.

Anybody buying a new high-end rig will be drawn to good mirrorless rather than DSLR, I expect.

Thanks for your post.

Buen camino, - Mike
 
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William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Very great post Fritz!

I can't really add anything other than be ready for any consequences of your decision on gear. Professionally ,I use a Canon 60D with either a 70-300 mm EF lens on sunny days..or a 70-200 f2.8L for more f
Difficult lighting conditions..and it tears my neck up quickly using the white lens vs the black.

Personally
As my go to bag goes ?I carry the 18-135 ef-s for the sunrise\set photos..the critical work gets the L glass or a 85mm 1.8 in a smaller messenger bag I carry on the go.

My gear is paired down from using it in all weather.
As you truthfully said
Be ready to lose every bit of the gear due to any number of circumstances.
Wet,dust,drops,cold,heat.
I use a lil Canon point and shoot as a back up.

I am one of " those" guys who will carry a stores worth of gear..or so my friends think and will stop to catch something special to me a lot.
I am extremely fiddly with my gear, it gets me results.

3 lenses, that will be paired down to two soon
A full size,full featured DSLR body
A light mono or try pod
iPad and an adaptor to connect the camera to the pad to DL the images to a small lightning port sub
Cables enough to charge them all
Extra SDcards @around 16 gigs cuts down on search time and of sufficient speed to shoot 1080p with no issues
Lens pen.
Comfortable shoulder strap on the messenger bag from a thrift store and off I go.

Often..at the seashore, I'll barefoot it with just the body and the 85

Would I carry all my gear?
No.
2 lenses
Body\backup point and shoot
iPad and cables
That's it

RAW? Yes if the scene is important enough
21 to 30 Mb files
Jpegs at 12 to 20 mb make for easier storage and processing on the go

Lightroom and Snapseed help for quick processing.

As mentioned there are some amazing point and shoots that will outshoot my gear all day.
Brand don't matter as much as does it feel good in your hand?
Does it do what you want and when?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I confess to being an amateur photographer since I was about 16 and have owned a variety of 35mm SLR's over the years. When the Nikon D70 came out I bought one but have not upgraded since as it is still a great camera and is fine for my needs, but since owning my first Samsung smartphone, and seeing the quality of the photos, my poor D70 has languished in the wardrobe. There can be a lot of snobbery about cameras and photography but in the end of the day its what suits your needs is what counts. I carried a 10 k pack on my Camino, would I have carried another 4 to 5 k in camera equipment? no way. It was so wet and humid at times that it would probably have destroyed the lot, keeping the phone dry was an ordeal on its own. Work with what suits you and don't blame the tools for bad work. ;):)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
You know, I didn't even begin to understand most of the discussion in this thread, yet it once again reminded me of how generous and helpful forum members are. As someone who is firmly planted at the bottom of the food chain when it comes to electronics and technology, I have received tons of help from experts like you guys --never patronizing and always patient. So glad you're here! Buen camino, Laurie
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I am a crazy photographer with no great technical skills but a good eye. I have a Canon Rebel that I love--but use only in the USA for now. My photos on Camino were all my i phone 7--not amazing, but I did come back with some photos I love.
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
I am a crazy photographer with no great technical skills but a good eye. I have a Canon Rebel that I love--but use only in the USA for now. My photos on Camino were all my i phone 7--not amazing, but I did come back with some photos I love.
Hi Deb,

I have an app called "ProCamera" on my iPhone. I have it as a backup if my Olympus craps out. I think it cost me about 18 dollars. It offers a LOT of control over phone camera functionality, mimics "grownup" camera features. One great trick is you just have to touch lightly anywhere on the screen to fire the shutter - so less chance of jiggling the phone reaching for the button. And volume buttons can be stiff if covered by even a thin case. Also feels much more spontaneous than glancing away from the screen towards the big white button. This app takes some practice but I heard on a podcast somewhere that it's the preferred choice of many heavyweight pros.

I'm glad you're back in the saddle after your recent harrowing trip.

Mike
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I keep going back and forth on whether or not to take my gear. My pack will weigh 5.5 kilos/12 lbs without water which is light for me being an experienced long distance wilderness hiker/backpacker. But I don't know that I want to carry an extra 5 pounds of very expensive gear. I'm not concerned about theft at all, just damage from a fall or some other freak thing. I am not in a position to lose thousands of dollars worth of gear. Not to mention the hassle of how to carry the camera without it annoying me when I'm walking (I have a small frame with not much real estate to hang things). Just when I've decided not to take the gear, I come across a post like this which makes me want to rethink everything. My iPhone photos are fine for selfies and snaps but not for real photography.
I have 4 1/2 mos to decide and I suspect I will change my mind numerous times thanks to all of you ;)

Maybe what I need to do is just find an inexpensive compact camera that has manual controls, long exposure capability, and shoots raw. All for under $300 :rolleyes:
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
Great post Fritz!

I agree - if you are asking the question - should I take my Camera? The answer for you is YES!
The people I met on the Camino who love using their cameras but left them at home - were disappointed as there are so many wonderful opportunities every day for great photographs.

As you mentioned, you will notice the weight less if you LOVE the item.

But they key point is have it easily accessible. I have a bag in front of me with easy access to the camera, and I use a clip to attached to my pack, so the weight isn't on my neck.

Thank you for your time!

Kathy
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I noticed a strange conversion; I had so much fuss over stopping, removing sticks, taking camera out of protective area, composing , snapping said photo, reversing into packing down etc, that I lost my usual flair for making pictures !!
I was there in quite another circumstance !! - Not that I wouldn´t want to, but all my pictures were not very brilliant or compository gems like the ones I love to take ....
So next time around, it is just me and my phone, that I got given AFTER I came home from the Camino.
IF I would value the camera side again, I would not make it a packing trip but a photo trip, taking my time on the route....
I am surprised over this myself, as I have been a camera buff my entire life.....
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
I keep going back and forth on whether or not to take my gear. My pack will weigh 5.5 kilos/12 lbs without water which is light for me being an experienced long distance wilderness hiker/backpacker. But I don't know that I want to carry an extra 5 pounds of very expensive gear. I'm not concerned about theft at all, just damage from a fall or some other freak thing. I am not in a position to lose thousands of dollars worth of gear. Not to mention the hassle of how to carry the camera without it annoying me when I'm walking (I have a small frame with not much real estate to hang things). Just when I've decided not to take the gear, I come across a post like this which makes me want to rethink everything. My iPhone photos are fine for selfies and snaps but not for real photography.
I have 4 1/2 mos to decide and I suspect I will change my mind numerous times thanks to all of you ;)

Maybe what I need to do is just find an inexpensive compact camera that has manual controls, long exposure capability, and shoots raw. All for under $300 :rolleyes:
Hi AD,

I nodded along as I read until I got to "under $300". Stopped nodding. Phone cameras seem to have torpedoed the pocket camera market - manufacturers can't compete. It's a very exciting time for photography - technological advances are swarming all over the place. My first travel camera (4 whole yrs ago!) was a little Canon. Great little camera but no view finder and I couldn't see much on the screen on a sunny day. I turned off the digital zoom and got some good pics. A few pics shot with that camera are still on my website - see Luxembourg Gardens pic below.

You could have a look at a website which is shunned by many (hard to be a snob if you're genuinely curious) but it's useful as a starting point because the guy is very down-to-earth. Try www.kenrockwell.com Have a look under "Recommended cameras". He recommends a Nikon D3300, but there's a deal on offer for a D3200 for $244.95! He mentions a Canon Rebel SL1 which he says is similar. B&H sells refurbished cameras. These are very light APS-C cameras. To carry, you could try a Peak Design Capture Camera Clip which clamps onto your pack strap - I'm getting one. They also make a soft water-proofish camera cover which keeps your camera "out of sight" while it's slotted into the clip.

Buen Camino, - Mike

WEBSITE PARIS 2014 Luxembourg green.jpg
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Hi AD,

I nodded along as I read until I got to "under $300". Stopped nodding. Phone cameras seem to have torpedoed the pocket camera market - manufacturers can't compete. It's a very exciting time for photography - technological advances are swarming all over the place. My first travel camera (4 whole yrs ago!) was a little Canon. Great little camera but no view finder and I couldn't see much on the screen on a sunny day. I turned off the digital zoom and got some good pics. A few pics shot with that camera are still on my website - see Luxembourg Gardens pic below.

You could have a look at a website which is shunned by many (hard to be a snob if you're genuinely curious) but it's useful as a starting point because the guy is very down-to-earth. Try www.kenrockwell.com Have a look under "Recommended cameras". He recommends a Nikon D3300, but there's a deal on offer for a D3200 for $244.95! He mentions a Canon Rebel SL1 which he says is similar. B&H sells refurbished cameras. These are very light APS-C cameras. To carry, you could try a Peak Design Capture Camera Clip which clamps onto your pack strap - I'm getting one. They also make a soft water-proofish camera cover which keeps your camera "out of sight" while it's slotted into the clip.

Buen Camino, - Mike

View attachment 30910

I actually have the D3200 on a shelf. I use it for underwater photography in a housing that cost 10 times more than the camera :) that is an option since it is pretty light. something to consider. Thanks
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Sometimes my crazy brain just pops, I then start to imagine if pilgrims of the Middle Ages had discussions about painting/sketching equipment to take on their camino?

Questions like: Canvas or not, ox or rabbit hair brushes? Oils or water colours? Where can I get additional supplies?

I wonder what the discussion might be like, years into the future.

Time for my morning coffee (and meds).
 

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2020)
Sometimes my crazy brain just pops, I then start to imagine if pilgrims of the Middle Ages had discussions about painting/sketching equipment to take on their camino?

Questions like: Canvas or not, ox or rabbit hair brushes? Oils or water colours? Where can I get additional supplies?

I wonder what the discussion might be like, years into the future.

Time for my morning coffee (and meds).
I'm laughing out loud because it is so true!!!

And you reminded me of one of my favorite memories from 2013, I watched a pilgrim sketch the plaza in Carrion de Los Condes, and when he finished, he asked all the pilgrims around him to sign their name and home country on the sketch in his book. I can only image how amazing his finished sketch book is and the memories it gives him.

Now, about those rabbit hair brushes.....
 

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2020)
Hi AD,

I nodded along as I read until I got to "under $300". Stopped nodding.
@Mike Trebert @alaskadiver and others. An alternative -- possibly filled with risks and war stories --- is used gear that is 4 - 6 years old. Especially if you have "brand x" gear already, an older version of "brand x" will be similar to what you use and the controls and size will be roughly similar.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Thanks for the thread @Fritz and @Robo for your input. Very interesting.
I take photos as part of my job, for a magazine, but I would not class myself as a professional photographer. My main camera is a Canon 70D with 4 or 5 lenses and other accessories. I usually bring them in the car. On foot, I bring what I need, including a travelling tripod, in a large but comfortable lowpro rucksack.
I had never brought a camera on camino - bringing a camera makes it feel a bit like work TBH. And although I chose to get an iphone6 because of the quality of the camera, I use it only rarely for photos.
I travelled to South Africa for a month last November, for work, and before going I bought (my office bought!) an Olympus OM10 and a couple of lenses. I brought both cameras, to see how useful the small camera would be - it is quite high spec and can be used fully manually as well as just point and shoot. I took a few thousand photos, using both cameras. Once I had forgotten which camera took which photos, (if you can see what I mean) I couldn't really tell the difference. (I shoot in RAW and work in Lightroom). Which meant I trusted the small camera henceforth. The only issue is very short battery life, but I rotate three batteries, and have never run out of power.
I took the small camera on three caminos this year and used it a lot and was happy with the results.
I went to Brazil in November this year and once again brought the big camera and the small camera, in a sort of belt and braces kind of way. I was travelling quite a bit and security was an issue. In fact I only got the big camera out of the bag once.
I think next year, for travelling overseas, I will finally commit to not bringing the big camera. I wouldn't (yet) feel comfortable relying on the iphone.
Having said that, I still prefer the big camera!! But that is probably mainly because I have used it for so long and am more familiar with it.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
I travelled extensively in my younger years and one lesson was that you'll never need a camera until you do..
At is
You'll end up wishing one at hand for "that" moment.
A little 20 dollar point and shoot I got at a pawn shop is handy in a battery eating pinch.
Unless your blowing your pictures up past a certain point, you won't necessarily need anything fancy.thumbnail photos don't need much data.

But..ime a person who likes the darkness of dawn and dusk
Ime good in those environs and am lost during the day..
Not saying I won't but a little auto camera does fine then..

A veteran friend shoots amazing with his iPhone..rivaling what my DSLR can do.

Telling stories
Story tellers is what you become

Imagination is fired when someone sees the idea your expressing
Touchstones into your life later
Legacy for those who follow
History someday..this is what it looked like in....
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Sometimes my crazy brain just pops, I then start to imagine if pilgrims of the Middle Ages had discussions about painting/sketching equipment to take on their camino?

Questions like: Canvas or not, ox or rabbit hair brushes? Oils or water colours? Where can I get additional supplies?

I wonder what the discussion might be like, years into the future.

Time for my morning coffee (and meds).


"Should I bring my Triptychon , my Diptychon or just a medallion of the Holy Family with me on the pilgrimage...."
 

Rod Murray

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016) Portuguese Coastal (Sept 2019)
Thanks for initiating this post! I will probably spend a lot of time reading it again and also the informative replies everyone!
I debated whether to carry the camera too but decided finally to take it on our 210 km Ponferrada to SDC Camino.
I took my Canon SL1 (a smaller, lighter version of a Canon Rebel APS-C camera at 400g) and a Sigma 18-250 Macro Zoom f3.5-6.3 (weighing 470g), 2 batteries and charger and also my iPhone 6 plus a charger and cable. My wife carried her iPhone 5 and her iPad Air plus a charger and cable, and we both took camera card adapters. Note that the camera weighs less than my choice of lens, but this lens is a great walking lens, in that we could capture close ups, macros of flowers and small subjects, nice wide angle shots, zoom in on distant subjects, framing shots as we went.
I carried the Canon SL1 around my neck most of the time but in poor weather it was in a lightweight dry bag in my pack.
At days end, I would take the camera card out and each of us would take turns downloading to our Apple devices and if Wifi was available, to our iCloud Photo Library. Photos from our iPhones would upload to iCloud Photo Library when connected to Wifi. We also created a shared iCloud Photo Album in which to place our best shots of the day. We could then post to Instagram or Blog with our photos.
Your post has encouraged me to put together a physical book of our best shots, as well as think more about photo workflow and equipment when traveling.
Thanks again!
 
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debra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
I am have to agree that easy reach to the camera is the main goal with the camera on my camino I carried mine in the cheap bag given out by the store. but cut off the shoulder strap to make belt loops and carried on camera on the backpacks belt. Getting the pack on and off way a bit hard as the camera set over the buckle for the pack but I lived, my walking partners quickly moved their cameras from their packs to pockets after realizing that the have taken no photos not because they didn't want photos but because it was to much work to get to their cameras.
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
This year for the first time I had (except smart phone) a camera (not a DSLR). For a good shot you have to take the time (settings). And I quickly found that this process was too complicated to me : take the camera, set the aperture, if necessary - mounted rack, focus, ..... and then put away all back. This time distanced me from the state of connection with the universe, nature, me ... because it requires rational thinking. The results were not worth it. Then I thought: what is essential - to capture the moment or do a good photographi? For really good photos you need really good equipment and time. Maybe I once went to the Camino so that the photo is my priority. It is not yet time to do so, I still do not have enough of ZEN;)
So I decided that the smartphone is enough for me. Just thinking about Huawei P9 (dual camera, Leica optics).
Besides - quality photos from Camino (also in this forum) is a large number, my intention is not therefore to do better, but to catch my moments, so I keep my phone enough.
@Fritz - where I can look at your photos?
 
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Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2020)
Hi @Nanc . Depending on the kinds of modifications you want to do, and where you want to do them (a computer or directly on your phone) there are many many options. Basic adjustments like cropping or slightly altering the exposure can often be done with gallery software you use to view the photos. (NO other tools needed. Iphone and Android are "simililar" but may use different software. I've had decent luck with Photoshop Express and Lightroom on my phone. But it's not my preference to edit on my phone.
 

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2020)

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
What are the post picture software programd to enhance ( modify?) cell phone photos?
Thanks Nanc
Nanc
I use a free app for android and alp called" Snapseed
I also have adobe light room. Which has an extension free on purchase for a Mobil app

I don't use my phone to process, a small iPad Air does me fine.. with my laptop for my critical work.
 

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
Very interesting topic @Fritz ! There's no way on earth I would carry my DSLR + lens + tripod on the Camino. They're not the lightest versions though so perhaps this affects things.

My X100T + iPhone, yes, for sure.

If I did take the heavy gear I'm pretty sure I would use it every day but for 95% of shots I'm happy using a fixed lens. For the missing 5%, meh. I've gotten used to this way of working over the last year or two for personal work and I must admit, not having to consider focal length is very liberating!

I totally agree about printing your photos though! Looking at photos on a screen just isn't the same (and try locating them in 10 or 20 years time!). Although limiting, even phone photos can be worth printing though. Sized 5x5'' on Matt paper usually produces acceptable results depending on your phone (not gallery quality obviously but good enough for snapshots/memories). Some of my best photos have been taken with an iPhone- why? Because it's all I had on me at the time, it's discreet and very quick to use.

It's interesting reading other's take on this though.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
@Neoscan;
interested in how you "develop" your phone pics,
do you go for printing om your own printer or do yopu have a printing service that you use !??
 

Neoscan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2016)
@Stivandrer either is doable. There are lots of online services that make it fairly straightforward, many of which have 'apps'- Print Studio, Photobox, Shutterfly etc. Artifact Uprising are a bit higher end but I think their European division is no longer operating so postage costs have risen. I'll try to post an example.

You can probably find a local photo place that will produce them for you too which may work out just as easy.
 

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jrm

Active Member
I love this discussion!

If I were to go on Camino again, I would without a doubt, take my DSLR setup. A fullframe camera, a general purpose lense like 16-35 or 24/70, and a specialty lens with a faster aperture (ideally 1.8 or lower). Probably the easiest to replace secondary lens is the canon 50mm1.8. It is cheap, fast, has good image reproduction, etc... On my last camino I took a Canon mirrorless and it was great, but i enjoyed the experience so much less than when shooting with my DSLR. Pair each of them up with a Peak Design Capture Clip/Shell to keep them always at hand and protected and I'm good to go!

Granted its not the camera that makes the pictures, but the right camera can help. After coming home and downloading all my RAW images, I have more limitations to work within on my mirrorless than I do on my fullframe DSLR. For me, ease of use is first (and for me that is DSLR especially when taking pictures with complicated exposure needs), and it is important that the camera always be at hand... thus the capture clip. No Wi travel with both though... the DSLR is the main camera and the mirrorless is my backup. Sure, it is heavier than a cellphone, but for me, the enjoyment is so much better. I'll lug it around. To each his own, but I know what I'll do next time!

Here's a mix of photos taken with both the mirrorless and DSLR
, I love the images out of both. I'd say that if you enjoy taking pictures on your "nice" camera, bring it along!
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
I am debating a wifi enabled camera..transmits to phone or pad for perusal and upload..I Imagine one use is the iPad with an iCloud acct to upload..data rates would get hairy though .
Other idea is to store photos for a minute on pad then DL to storage devise-s for later access
There are mass storage devises with sd card ports ..although they may need charging.

Used cameras are on the market that will fit many budgets and won't bring about an heart attack if broken or stolen.same with lenses .
I use a dirty ef-s lens..wide angle nature shots hide the defects.
I have portrait lenses for critical work.

Don't forget, you can set presets on many cameras that would basically mimic an auto mode in parameters set.
Lenses?
24-70mm
70-200mm two I would go anywhere with
 

Roger Pimenta

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
As of March 20th 2017, no completed Camino's yet. Changing that shortly!
I love this discussion!

If I were to go on Camino again, I would without a doubt, take my DSLR setup. A fullframe camera, a general purpose lense like 16-35 or 24/70, and a specialty lens with a faster aperture (ideally 1.8 or lower). Probably the easiest to replace secondary lens is the canon 50mm1.8. It is cheap, fast, has good image reproduction, etc... On my last camino I took a Canon mirrorless and it was great, but i enjoyed the experience so much less than when shooting with my DSLR. Pair each of them up with a Peak Design Capture Clip/Shell to keep them always at hand and protected and I'm good to go!

Granted its not the camera that makes the pictures, but the right camera can help. After coming home and downloading all my RAW images, I have more limitations to work within on my mirrorless than I do on my fullframe DSLR. For me, ease of use is first (and for me that is DSLR especially when taking pictures with complicated exposure needs), and it is important that the camera always be at hand... thus the capture clip. No Wi travel with both though... the DSLR is the main camera and the mirrorless is my backup. Sure, it is heavier than a cellphone, but for me, the enjoyment is so much better. I'll lug it around. To each his own, but I know what I'll do next time!

Here's a mix of photos taken with both the mirrorless and DSLR
, I love the images out of both. I'd say that if you enjoy taking pictures on your "nice" camera, bring it along!
Hi Jrm - Just tripped across this discussion as I myself prepare for my 1st Camino this week. We all have our preferences when it comes to equipment but regardless what we use, its the experience that we all love.

Great photos on your FLIKR... really impressive!!

Cheers!
Roger
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
My partner and I are planning a Camino in 2019. He is the professional photographer and has lots of Nikon gear. I've already put him onto the Aarn photo pockets and I will get a similar setup so between us we can carry a few lenses and a teleconverter. The reality is I will pull out my Motorola Z for most quick shots and then play with them on Snapseed. I had a Moto X on my last Camino and it was great. But the photos I took with my Canon were better and it is worth the dSLR. One thing that is certain...he is NOT taking this!IMG_20171011_134031976_HDR.jpg
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15' Portuguese 16' GR10/Norte/Primitivo 17' Chemin LePuy 18' Salvador/Prim/Kerry Way 19'
On my first Camino I brought along an Olympus m43 camera and 3 lenses. My last two Caminos I have pared it down to just my Sony RX1, a full frame camera with a fantastic Zeiss 35/2. (feels more like a 32mm). I love the simplicity of a fixed lens and can easily crop to 50+mm without sacrificing too much image quality. Next year the Chemin Le Puy is on my list with a week long stopover in Iceland, argh, there goes my lightweight setup.
 

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