Originally Posted by LivLoveLaugh
During our two month trip through the South West, we found that we do not have the right cameras for our needs. We currently use two Canon Power Shot SX120IS digital cameras. Although they have fixed zoom lens it seems we never have the right focal length. I.e. not wide enough for interior shots, not long enough for wild life shots.
We are currently in the market to upgrade our cameras and was wondering if you could post what equipment you are currently using (pictures would nice).
Also what would your equipment recommendations be for intermediate digital travel photography?
The subject of cameras is a BIG one, of course. And there are so many different cameras that can meet the needs of the average casual photographer.
Without doing a study of the latest, greatest cameras, I can't even begin to say what would be best for you, but I can tell you what I have chosen to use now that I no longer earn a living with my cameras.
I shoot with the micro 4/3 system. These are interchangeable, mirrorless cameras that have a sensor size of 1 1/3" (hence, 4/3s). There are two major manufacturers making bodies and lenses which fit the m4/3 specification, which means you can mix and match bodies and lenses from these two manufatrurers: Olympus and Panasonic (Lumix branded).
Presently, I have three bodies Lumix GX7, Lumix GM5, and Olympus EP5. And around 15 lenses, or so. The great thing with m4/3 is that the gear is much smaller and lighter than typical DSLR gear, which I am thrilled to NOT be using any more.
Imagine this: carrying three bodies and a dozen lenses in a compact Halliburton aluminum brief case! (Matches the Airstream nicely, as well!)
THAT's what micro 4/3rds is all about. Compact, lightweight, very high quality.
No, m4/3 gear is not less expensive than DSLRs. It is simply smaller, lighter, and MUCH more enjoyable and convenient to carry and use. Image quality is awesome and I routinely print 48" to 52" canvas wall prints for the house:
48" above the fireplace; 52" above the sofa in the next room:
Obviously, if you do YOUR part well, as a photographer, the m4/3 system gear will provide wonderful, high quality results for you!
I also use Sigma DP1 and DP3 Merrill cameras for times when I want extreme detail, for some landscape work (not used for the two wall prints you see above.) And a Ricoh GR for "street photography".
And, my most used little gem of an image maker:
The Lumix LX100! This camera uses the m4/3 sensor, but has a built-in Leica lens giving an "equivalent" focal length range of 24mm to about 70mm. The lens is superb and f/1.7 (very fast!). This little camera is my "go-everywhere" camera and yields awesome results. It also captures video in.... "4K". While not offering lens interchangeability, for a one-in-all camera, this little gem really performs magnificently!
Reviews of the 'landmark' LX100 camera:
I capture images in RAW format and process all images in Lightroom on a 27" iMac and/or 17" MacBook Pro, while on the road.
If you want to get a system camera and want small, lightweight, convenient, a joy to use, and with high image quality look no further than micro four thirds.
Current cameras that I would recommend are Lumix GX7, G7 and Olympus OM-D. There are several other m43 camera bodies both smaller and larger than these mentioned, depending on your particular needs. If asked to recommend one body and three lenses, I'd go with:
For reference, double the focal length to see the "full-frame" equivalent focal length. (m4/3 12mm = full frame 24mm)
Lumix GX7 or G7 body
Olympus 9-18mm lens (for the wonderful world of wide angle)
Panasonic-Lumix 12-32 Ultra Compact zoom lens (very small, excellent quality)
Panasonic-Lumix 35-100 f/4-5.6
Some video reviews:
Lumix GX7 body:
Lumix 12-32 lens:
Lumix 35-100 f/4-5.6 lens
A more costly "Pro" lens alternative in the 12-35mm range:
Panasonic-Leica 12-35 f/2.8 lens (superb IQ, and a bit costly - for the bulk of shooting)
Another very versatile and excellent lens:
Panasonic 14-140 (a bit large, but versatile and offering a tremendous reach)
There is a world of information out there (internet) on the micro four thirds system that is just a few key strokes away.