Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Micro Four Thirds (m4/3, MFT) travel kit …

My burst of acquisition to replace the D7000 and all lenses is nearly over. I started with one emphasis and ended up shifting it a bit. I had planned on two bodies and the two Power OIS zooms, which I acquired almost right away. But the video bug hit me fairly hard and I decided to grab a used GH2 for a decent price. That gives me three bodies. I would have traded the GF3 for a different body had I not smashed it to the ground (twice) thus rendering it unsellable for anything approaching its value.

On the other hand, three bodies is immensely useful under some circumstances. For example, when traveling to a place where you are shooting flora and fauna at the same time, it helps to have the full range covered one one body and to have super telephoto covered on another body. And if you have the third body, a fast lens for nice bokeh when shooting close ups is a real luxury (as I found out in Montreal two weekends ago.)

So here is my new luxury travel kit:

Fuji F200EXR  1600iso  f/4.1  1/20

The cameras and lenses from left to right:

  • Panasonic G5 with Olympus 45mm 1.8
  • Panasonic GF3 with Panasonic 100-300 Mega OIS
  • Panasonic GH2 with Panasonic 14-140 Mega OIS

So I can reach for the GH2 to shoot pretty much anything. Distant wildlife or flowers where I cannot get too close would call for the GF3 and 100-300. And close subjects or people would see the G5 with 45mm 1.8 called to action. A very nice set of lenses. The Samyang would be along for use now and again, and would be swapped onto whichever body had the least useful lens on it… often I would expect that to be the 100-300 swapped off. But one never knows …

So where are the power zooms? Simple … I decided that it was wasteful to cover the general 28-300 shooting range with two lenses. One is more than enough, and the Panny lens is of excellent image quality. That leaves a body free for the 100-300 while allowing a body to carry the fast lens.

Another change is that my vision of how to shoot video had changed completely. Instead of zooming in and out in the decidedly amateurish way, I will always shoot multiple bodies. One will cover the wide shot, I may add a second wide shot from a different angle, and one will cover closeups. I can then change camera angles smoothly, as professional videos are done.

An example of my first attempt at multiple body shooting …

Anyway, the real problem is how to carry these … I am able to carry the other kit, where the two lenses are the Power OIS zooms, as they are really tiny. They fit and carry very well in my backpack. But these are a little more difficult to carry around in my usual kit.

So if anyone knows of a fairly large messenger bag that can carry these three as they are shown (lenses mounted) and a laptop, I would be grateful to hear about it.