Taking a step back

As we prepare for a trip to Europe, I’ve been torn on what camera equipment to take along.  While we have a point & shoot that is extremely compact and capable, I know there will be cases where it would be limited.  We also have a couple different DSLR cameras and a variety of lenses but I don’t really feel like lugging a bunch of equipment across the world.

After much contemplation I’ve settled on my old Nikon D200 crop sensor DSLR mated with a Nikon 18-300mm lens.  This certainly isn’t the my ideal setup.  For me potential drawbacks of this setup include:

    • High ISO isn’t very good at upper ranges (anything above 1600 can become unusable)
    • Cropped sensor – (some may view this as a benefit because it effective raises the focal range by 1.5, (e.g. 300mm is more like 450mm, but reduces extreme wide angle)
    • Lens is a slow lens (3.5 in the wide angle ranges, 5.6 in the telephoto ranges)

Even with these potential challenges I feel that this combination will be best for the trip.  Just as there are drawbacks, I feel that they are outweighed by some significant benefits.

    • Weight – While not as light and compact as a point and shoot, this rig will provide me high resolution with a broader field of view.  This will be of particular use for telephoto shots.  Another aspect of weight is I’ll only be carrying one lens verses three to get the same range and cutting weight by at least 2/3.
    • Cost – I’m always leary of wondering around with a bunch of expensive equipment.  Whether here at home or abroad there is always a potential of theft.  While I don’t want to lose any of my equipment, if it were to happen it would be much easier to replace the lens and because the D200 is so old there would be no need to replace it.

I still plan on taking a point & shoot for quick/easy shots, but it will be nice to have a bigger setup to capture the awesome beauty of Europe.