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How to handle DSLR when traveling

How to handle DSLR when traveling

Old Feb 19, 16, 2:31 pm
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How to handle DSLR when traveling

I'll be going on my first big trip (flying) with a DSLR in March, with my Canon 70D. I am a little unsure on how to handle it in terms of packing it for the plane ride, as well as how to carry it around during vacation. I like to have my camera most places I go(restaurants, hotel areas, local attractions), and I'm not sure what the best method is to carry it around safely. For reference, I like to have my 18-135mm kit lens on it (so the camera will be pretty large/heavy) for the zoom flexibility and the stabilization.

Any tips or insight as to how you normally handle your cameras would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old Feb 19, 16, 2:38 pm
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This is why I changed to the R100 but, I must say, it is a little lacking in the bokeh which I had come to love.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 5:11 pm
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I dumped my DSLR kit as too big and too heavy for travel as well. When I did take it with me a few years back, I had a light camera bag insert that fit in my small, everyday backpack. There was enough room for the camera, a couple of other lenses and various accessories along with other things like my meds, laptop, e-reader, one change of socks and linens, a light jacket, water bottle and snacks. It fit easily under the seat in front of me while the wheeled roll-aboard went in the overhead bin. While at my destination, all the other stuff came out and the backpack became a simple camera/lunch pack.

For travel, multi-purposing whatever you can is key to keeping the clutter to a minimum.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 5:16 pm
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My camera bag fits my rollaboard (although it takes up most of it), I think it's pretty well protected that way. Since I have an 18-200 and a flash my gear is probably bulkier than yours.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 6:45 pm
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I use a LowePro Mini Trekker. For flying, I can load in everything (7D, 70-200/2.8, 10-22, 24-105, 50, 100, flash, batteries, etc.) and wear it as a backback. Then I can leave in the hotel safe what I don't need and throw over my shoulder what I want to carry.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 8:32 pm
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Many choices out there. For what you are thinking about, I have a Lowepro Slingshot 102.
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Old Feb 19, 16, 11:46 pm
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I take a reasonably heavy amount of kit with me on most trips = a Canon EOS 6D with two or three lenses. I always use a classic Billingham bag - I have two of them and the largest takes all my kit and a laptop as well. Most of the time I just carry my Canon camera with a 24-105mm lens on my shoulder without a bag unless rain is forecast. But if I know I will need a specific lens, such as my 12-24mm for the Roman forum last month, or the 70-300mm for Luanda last December, I'll take everything in the Bellingham bag. Security is an issue almost everywhere these days - you are as likely to be robbed in London as you are in, say, Honduras, so I just keep my eyes open which all photographers do anyway.

Of course there are great compact cameras out there. It all depends on your priorities. For restaurants and such like you might think of getting a small compact as well as a DSLR. Less conspicuous.

I also have a Nikon D3300 which I think is a brilliant, lightweight DSLR which I'll be taking on my next trip to the Caribbean.

Last edited by Pausanias; Feb 20, 16 at 2:52 am
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Old Feb 20, 16, 4:12 am
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For a king trip - I use the Timbuk2 Espionage backpack (as a carry on) which can take a lot - 4-5 lenses (prime and zoom), my Sony a77 and plenty of room for iPad/laptop and all sorts of accessories and have room for snacks, water and jacket/sweater. I also take a small sling (Thinktank Turnstyle 10 stuffed in my suitcase) to carry the camera and a lens or two while walking around my final destination. Worked great for a week in NYC. Had the glass I needed for each day but wasn't carrying around a ton of stuff while walking.
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Old Feb 20, 16, 9:38 am
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Back in the old days before I switched to the micro4/3 system I tried a number of solutions for DSLRs. For traveling I had a ThinkTank ShapeShifter bag that I put all of my gear (other than tripod) and laptop into. That was my carryon bag.

I used to use an OP/tech USA neoprene neck strap for carrying the camera around and it lessened the weight around my neck. But eventually I switched to a Cotton Carrier hand strap and their belt carrier so the weight was carried by my hips instead of my neck. I also have the Cotton Carrier chest carrier thing but it looks a bit ridiculous and probably isn't the best choice for city touring. Maybe for hiking it is better.

Now I use the PeakDesign camera clip on my belt and their hand strap on my E-M1. And I can fit all of my gear into a LowePro FlipSide Sport bag which has an interior compartment that is removable. I just take the whole thing out with all of the gear in it and put it in my carryon pack while the shell of the LowePro gets stuffed with clothes and other things and put into my checked bag.

If I was still lugging a DSLR around I would probably still use the PeakDesign camera clip and hand strap along with their ProPad belt attachment to carry the camera on my waist.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 1:22 pm
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I just stick it in the leather satchel that I use as my day bag. If I have an extra lens, I might put it in a small pouch before putting it in my satchel. Normally I only carry one lens—a 24mm/2.8 pancake.

I don't bother with any special bags or packing. Never had a problem even though it's essentially unpadded and bouncing around.

Despite being ten years old my Canon Digital Rebel XT is amazingly resilient.

When I have it out I tend to wrap the neck strap around my wrist a few times to slow down someone trying to snatch it from me.

Last edited by txflyer77; Feb 21, 16 at 1:29 pm
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Old Feb 21, 16, 2:27 pm
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I think its cute that you think someone might try to steal a Rebel XT.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by abmj-jr View Post
I think its cute that you think someone might try to steal a Rebel XT.


At this point I wouldn't even care, it's not worth that much. But how close is a petty thief really going to look if I'm standing in a crowded area and he thinks I'm an easy mark?
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Old Feb 21, 16, 9:42 pm
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I shoot a Nikon D700 (1.1kg). My travel lens is a 28-300mm (800g) so my standard camera kit comes in at 1.9kg. I actually don't bother to pack the camera anymore; I just strap it around my neck and start shooting the moment I get to the airport. The camera goes through the x-ray machine and on board I just put it under my seat or keep it on my lap. Sometimes I'll put it in the overhead but only if there's other stuff to keep it more or less in place while we're cruising.

This way the camera is always nearby if I want to shoot or take a pic of airplane food or whatever. When I'm touring, the camera is always with me and generally around my neck. I've replaced the standard Nikon strap with a far superior Crumpler that better distributes and cushions the weight.
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Old Feb 21, 16, 9:58 pm
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My LowPro bag has Mac Pro, Canon 7D, and 3 lenses, no problem..

Back Pack ready to go, with Tri Pod,
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Old Feb 22, 16, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by svo242 View Post
Any tips or insight as to how you normally handle your cameras would be appreciated! Thanks!
Travelled in Iceland last year for a week with a Lowepro Fastpack 250AW and D7000 and kit, and managed to bugger up my shoulder/arm/back/neck somehow.

Got a slightly heavier camera this time around and travelling with a Lowe Alpine AT Carry-on 45 for a week in Europe soon, but on the lookout for a smaller soft bag for walkaround for the camera and a bit of kit....hoping to not repeat the nerve damage this year!
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