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Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

New York
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30 posts
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Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

Ok, so Trip of a Lifetime coming up in 38 days: Quito, Hacienda Cusin, Quito and 7 day Galapagos Cruise. Family of 5 with 3 children ages 12, 13 & 16.

I currently have the following camera equipment packed:

1 Nikon D60 (oldie but goodie)

1 Tamron 28-270 lens (new)

1 28-45 lens

1 45-210 lens

* I'm afraid to leave the "spare" lenses at home - what if the newer one breaks!

1 Cannon HD Video Camera

1 Olympus Waterproof Camera (for snorkeling)

1 new Nikon Coolpix Waterprroof Camera (what if Olympus breaks!)

1 Canon pocket camera (excellent camera)

I've got a camera backpack which has some space on top for incidentals but also holds my big Nikon, Camcorder and 2 spare lenses (plus spare batteries for both).

Now, I have just packed and labeled all the batteries chargers and download cords for each camera and have decided that I am insane. :(

I have been told to bring the smaller Canon camera while on land in Ecuador (due to theft) - so the bigger stuff will stay back in the Hacienda. While on the Islands, I will use the good Nikon (zoom) and water proof cameras (while snorkeling).

Now, knowing that my Husband will most likely Videotape, I will use the Nikon and one or both daughters will use the other hand-held cameras - is there anything I can do to "pare down"? Or am I just going to have to deal with cords, batteries and carrying everything everywhere in order to get the shots!

Help!!!!

Karen

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Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
Montrose, Colorado
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136 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

As one who travels with camera gear, I feel your pain. However, I've never had a lens break, unless I dropped it. Since you have more than a month, I would recommend using your new lens a lot to get used to it, as well as get past any fears that it will let you down. I would leave the 45-210 at home. For the other cameras, 3 point-and-shoots seems a little much. I would take 2 of the 3.

Are you planning on downloading as you go? I just bring extra cards and swap them out every couple of days. It saves a lot of headache with the cords and I no longer bring my laptop, which really lightens things up. Rather than buy 8, 16 or even 32 gb cards, I'll buy multiple 4 or 8 gb cards which can often be found quite cheaply. Switch them out often and don't keep them with your camera gear, that way if your camera gets lost or stolen, you will stay have all but that 1 or 2 days of photos.

Good luck!

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
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10,818 posts
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2. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

What, no tripod?

You're not insane, just obsessive. Keep in mind that most of the great photographs of the last 150 years were done with relatively simple cameras. Have you read the Top Question on the right on photographic tips?

Take the SLR and ONE waterproof camera. Leave the other pocket camera at home. If the videocam is non-negotiable, let the person who has to have it carry it. Leave the 45-210 lens at home; you're well-covered with the other two. (I just bought my first DSLR last summer, and the notion that a lens can "break" is new territory to me.)

I agree with WC not to bother with taking a laptop. It's a lot of weight and a time-wasting distraction on your trip of a lifetime. The cords for my battery chargers are interchangeable so I can get away with just one.

You're going to be in Quito, the world's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take the SLR and enjoy taking pictures. I have a harness-type strap that relieves the weight on my neck, and makes it nearly impossible to snatch and grab. With your family around there is always someone who can watch your back while you concentrate on getting the perfect shot.

You've got a fantastic trip planned, and believe me, you don't want to be spending all your time fiddling with electronics. Please report back when you get home.

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Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
San Antonio
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64 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

I had nikon coolpix waterproof camera, and it was great! You will want to take as many underwater shots as above, if you like snorkeling. Since there are 5 of you, take into consideration whether everyone likes to take photos- if so, take all 3 point and shoot. nikon coolpix took excellent underwater video too, so I would definitely take that one!

Bring lots of SD cards, I think I ended up over 25GB worth of photos and some video after 1 week cruise, but that could be just me!

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
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4. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

Thats quite light compared to what I take !

Cameras and lenses do fail so backups are always wise if you are on a trip of a lifetime. I always have 2 bodies and 2 sets of chargers for each (the second chargers are cheap Chinese ones).

On a Galapagos cruise, you can leave what you don't want for each land visit in your cabin so you don't have to carry it around.

A laptop or ipad is good to share photos in the evenings. Also I like to have all my photos in at least 2 places.

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New York
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5. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

Thanks, everyone!

Here's a little bit more about how my obsession started. Back in 2005, I was able to finally take my 3 little kids on their first (my first as well) Disney Cruise. I had dreamed of this for years and was finally able to take them. I brought our one and only digital camera with and took hundreds of photos!

The last day, there was an altercation on the beach between my friend's husband and this guy over stupid sand toys (his kids took their kids sand toys). Fast forward to the next day, while looking through the camera I realize that ALL of the photos I had taken up to that point (altercation) were GONE from the camera. Our theory is that while we were not looking, the guy took my camera out of my bag sitting away from us on the chair under the umbrella and deleted all the photos. This may sound extreme but the camera professional at our camera store said that is most likely after sending the card out to be read and rescued. :( There was no card damage - they said it looks like the photos were just deleted and no way to recover.

So.... long story! Sorry. Ever since then, I have to download my photos every night so they are safe. I need my laptop for work anyways so it has to come with (no way about that!). Hence, the download cords.

Thank you! I do have the harness but haven't decided if I am bringing it yet. I think it makes me look stupid. :(

Karen

Bristol, United...
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850 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

Sorry to hear about your photo loss.

If you simply delete photos from the card you can get them back since deleting only removes them from the index and the data is not changed. As long as the space is not used again by new photos you can use rescue software to find them and restore the index.

If you format the card then the data is overwritten and lost.

You should be able to check the format date and time by looking at the date on the dcim folder on the card when connected to a card reader on your PC.

CT
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7. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

Just curious, what boat are you on for the cruise portion of your trip?

New York
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8. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

dp: Unfortunately, we no longer have the camera at all to check. We had sent the card out to be checked and salvage the photos and even they could not retrieve them.

SuzQ - we are sailing the Galapagos Explorer II from July 28th - August 3rd.

Karen

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CT
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9. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

We are also going on the Galapagos Explorer ll but we'll be disembarking on the day you'll be getting on! We are also a family of 5 with 3 kids ages 9, 12, and 14. Really looking forward to the trip!

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Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
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3,376 posts
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10. Re: Camera Equipment help requested - overloaded & overwhelmed!

I don't want to be a party pooper / stick in the mud here....

but don't forget to take some time to just sit back, and soak it all in without looking through a camera lens, or without thinking if it would make a good picture.... the lasting personal impression you will build will be stronger through direct interaction / observation with what's in front of you, here and now, than through viewing pictures later... I know, I know, it's hard to resist taking hundreds (thousands?) of pics!! I have my share!

Warmest regards, and have a wonderful trip!

Heather Blenkiron

Heather Blenkiron