Have just finished packing my bags for my 4 week trip to UK and Ireland.
I chose Micro Four Thirds when it first came out because I realised it would be THE camera kit for international travel with its limited airline carry-on luggage weight and size limits.
The awesome Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera is small, light, weatherproof and gives high image quality, shallow DOF when I need it with lovely bokeh from the lenses which are image stabilised meaning I really will not need a big tripod even at night without a flash.
So what did I bring to fit into a normal hiker’s backpack and have it all weigh in at only 4.5kg?
and with the E-M5, 12mm f/2.0, 14-42mm kit lens, 45mm f/1.8, clip on flash and spare battery all fitting easily in a LowePro TopLoad Zoom 1 bag for added protection:
The 4.5kg consists of:
- cheap hiker’s day backpack
- Apple iPad (to back up my photos)
- Apple iPhone
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera
- Olympus mZD 12mm f/2.0 lens
- Olympus mZD 14-42mm II lens
- Olympus mZD 45mm f/1.8 lens
- Panasonic Leica-D Four Thirds 25mm f/1.4 lens with MMF-2 adapter
- Olympus ZD Four Thirds 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD lens with weatherproof MMF-3 adapter and lens case
- Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm HD lens (old habits die hard – I find this nice for walkaround travel shots during daytime when I can’t be bothered changing prime lenses)
- spare SD cards
- spare battery
- LowePro TopLoader Zoom1 camera bag
- travel docs and miscellaneous items
In addition, I put some cheaper items in checked in luggage which with my Aussie winter clothes and boots for the UK summer came to under 16kg:
- compact travel tripod (in case I need to do shots longer than half a second)
- Olympus FL-36R flash (in case I do indoor portraits and available light is not nice)
- Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 manual focus lens with Canon EOS to MFT adapter (well I just couldn’t leave this one at home!)
- Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lens
- ND gradient filters, other filters, battery chargers, iPad SD card adapter, power board, etc.
The ONLY other lens which I considered bringing is my lovely Olympus ZD Four Thirds 7-14mm ultra wide angle zoom lens but I would be start to push through the 5kg back pack weight, it was too expensive to put in checked in baggage, and thus I decided this time, I would leave it at home.
I thus have 24mm to 400mm focal length range fully covered with high quality image stabilised lenses (thanks to the E-M5), lovely wide aperture low light lenses and some nice bokeh lenses.
That should be plenty enough to give me fun even in dreary, rainy, dark UK weather.
ps.. apologies for the lousy DOF in these photos, I used my Canon 1D Mark III in low light indoors and had to resort for a wide aperture as I didn’t have time to get the flash out.
Note that I may not get to post much in the next 4 weeks as the iPad, and as I understand it, rather shaky mobile ineternet in rural UK and Ireland may make posting blogs difficult, plus I will be having too much fun with my E-M5 to actually bother using the internet.