Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What-I-Carry-Wednesday: Minimalist Camera Setup

I like to travel and blog - which means that being ready to take quality photos anywhere, anytime, is pretty key for me. It's tempting to think of my Android G2 as my minimalist camera setup - but the lack of zoom, and relatively poor quality, means that I still can't rely 100% on it. Though, I can imagine one day I'll take the majority of photos with my cell phone, I'm just not there yet.

So, here it is, my bare minimum photo kit:

  • Lumix DMC-TZ50 - it fits my requirements well: small enough to fit in a pants pocket, yet, has a 10x zoom and a bunch of manual controls for me to fiddle with. Yes, I'd like a bigger zoom, a smaller size and more manual options - but at the time, the Lumix was the best combination of all three. I do have a case for the camera, but I only use it for storage. When I'm traveling or in a photo happy mood, the camera needs to be in a quickly accessible pocket, ready to go.
  • 3 replacement batteries - nothing is worse than going to take a bunch of photos only to find out you've got a dead battery on your hands. And I've been surprised how cheap the batteries are, too. Inside of each battery case is a small bit of paper with Y on one side, and N on the other. If it's charged, the Y is up, if it's used up, the N shows. This means I can get a quick idea of what my battery situation is like.
  • Battery charger - notice a theme here? When possible, I like to have my charger available, so if I do manage to get into a tight spot with battery usage, and I can try to recover. (Learned this one the hard way at a wedding. I ended up borrowing another guest's charger, and vowed to myself that it would come along with me on future photo ops.)
  • Gorillapod - For its size, it's hard to beat the versatility of the Gorillapod. From balancing on a table to capture a photo of the whole fam, to wrapping it around tree limbs, it's got a million uses.
  • Lens Pen - Right below running out of battery juice, on the list of camera annoyances, has to be having your photos ruined because of a smudge on the lens. The Lens Pen lets mean easily clean these up. A must around kids, or dusty/dirty environments.

You'll notice there's no extra memory card in the kit. That's because I always have one on me.

So, what's the setup missing? Any advice for what my next camera should be?

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