Choosing what gear to bring with you to any new destination is a daunting process. If you are like me, you’ve spent your time pouring through forums trying to glean information about what types of camera gear to bring. In preparation for my trip to the forests and rainforests of Madagascar, I opted to bring a lot of gear to cover many bases (a lot of which, unsurprisingly, I did not use that much). In retrospect, I would have downsized my kit. For this trip, I had with me the following:
I remember the days – I’d take a few blurry shots here, a few underexposed shots there, and find the occasional decently exposed and in focus shot somewhere amidst all the not so good ones. I’d take a bunch of photos, and wonder why they didn’t look good – but I never dug deeper to find out why.
Finding a perfect camera bag sometimes seems like an exercise in futility. I’ve owned and also tried out tons of bags over the years, and very few seem to check all the boxes. For hiking and photography, I’ve always been on the lookout for a bag that strikes the balance between durability, weight, and functionality. As a traveling photographer, I’m often going to wet, humid, sandy, snowy or dusty environments where having a durable bag is a great asset to protect sensitive electronics and keep stuff dry.
In the past year, the world has witnessed a steady stream of full-frame mirrorless camera releases. We’ve got a full suite of Sony Alpha full-frame mirrorless cameras (with more, including the A7R IV on the way), and newcomers including the Nikon Z, Canon R, and Panasonic S series. I can imagine someone interested in purchasing a serious camera for the first time would naturally gravitate towards these full frame models, if for no other reason than these cameras are getting the lions share of marketing attention. A bigger sensor must be better, right?
For some, the E-M1X might seem like a bit of an enigma. For many years, Olympus and Panasonic championed the compact form factor of their micro four-thirds series cameras and the advantages that they offer in terms of portability over a DSLR. Over the past couple of years, Olympus has shifted its focus away from ultra compact lenses and bodies and towards larger bodies and lenses for working professional and serious enthusiast photographers. Panasonic seems to be leaning this direction as well, if the release of the GH5 and G9 micro four-thirds flagship cameras and their recently released 10-25mm F/1.7 zoom lens are any indication. That brings us to the E-M1X, which is a clear deviation from Olympus’s compact micro-four thirds heritage. Is it worth considering with today’s full-frame craze?
When getting ready for our first safari trip, we were repeatedly warned to be prepared for lots of dust. Although we knew to expect it, we were still impressed by the amount of dust that made its way into our safari vehicle each day, pouring in through the pop up top and windows. In spite of our best efforts, it was a constant companion in our vehicle. In Tanzania, the dust is very fine, and makes its way onto everything. Thankfully, taking a few steps to protect our camera gear kept it safe.
If you are local to the SF Bay Area and are just getting started with nature photography, Bobby will be co-instructing a workshop hosted by the Western Chapter of the Wildlife Society on September 27th and 29th: Click here for registration. This workshop will focus on a variety of nature photography subjects targeted towards the serious beginner. Workshops are the fastest way to learn a lot of skills in a condensed period of time, and they are always a lot of fun. Bobby will be presenting on a number of topics including action/bird photography and print making along with co-hosts Sarah Bettleheim and Brian Freirmuth.