Backpacking with a heavy DSLR or not? I’ve been pondering for a while about that. I’ll be travelling alone and I got the time to actually stop to make some decent shots. Something that is not always the case when you’re travelling with company that wants to go along while you want to wait for the perfect lighting ☺
But the weight of the camera plus lens is a huge burden that’s been troubling me. Yes I want excellent image quality! But do I want to carry equipment of almost 2 kg for 4.5 months?
Last week I talked to my fellow photographer Jacky Cheung about my trip and my dilemma. He told me that he brought his camera (a Canon 5DIII) to Japan a few months ago but after 3 days his back started to hurt and everyday he took less equipment with him. He started doing research for a quality lighter camera and bought the Olympus OM-D E-M5 in Japan. He let me borrow his copy to see if it was to my liking.
So I took the OM-D for a test spin together with the kit lens 12-50mm and the 45mm 1.8 prime. The kit lens gave some decent shots but especially the prime had good quality and nice bokeh. So I was convinced that this could be the camera for my trip. Oh, plus it helped that my boyfriend was totally in love with the camera and wanted to split the costs.
So I got a nice 2nd hand OM-D together with the 12-50mm, the 14-150mm and a FL-14 flash for a great deal. I’m selling the 14-150mm since I’m more of a wide-angle shooter than telephoto style. But I already got the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 as a replacement. I already love this little pancake lens. It’s super lightweight, nice bokeh and great image quality. Now the Olympus 12mm 2.0 is on my list for my trip and later the Olympus 45mm 1.8 and I got the perfect set.
Now I’m positive that I can get some amazing results with a few primes and not have the burden of a heavy camera. Since everyone says: “Pack light.” I definitely shouldn’t defy that advice.