I recently returned from an extended trip to New Zealand and Australia (read more about packing for this trip here). The trip was anchored on an academic conference in Melbourne, but if you're going to go all that way, you might as well go big or go home. In case you're planning a similar trip, here's my itinerary...
As I head out to my conference in Australia, with a stop in New Zealand on the way, I've been planning for how to pack for the trek. Some caveats as a starting point:
- Although part of my trip involves attending an academic conference, I tend to dress at the causal end of the spectrum for these sorts of things (maybe even outside the range of what is normative). No suits, ties, shiny leather shoes, etc.
- There will be lots of walking and exploring in the cities, as well as some hiking in the countryside. Much more on the activewear side of things rather than anything formal.
- I tend to be low maintenance when it comes to toiletries, and am perfectly fine using whatever is found in the hotel. And I don't mind being scruffy and going without shaving for a few weeks.
- Admittedly, there's likely going to be more photography gear than most would bring. In particular, a second body is a total luxery. But I'd be crushed if I had a problem with my camera and didn't have a backup on a trip like this. And it's not like I'll be carrying two DSLRs...
- I need to have a pack for day trips with my photo gear and small messenger bag for the conference and walking around Sydney and Melbourne.
I've been reading about "one bag travel," where the goal is to fit everything into a carry-on bag. Given that I'm an avid photographer, I know there's no way I can do this, unless half of the bag is camera gear. Even though I travel with the small(ish) Fuji X-sytem which is lighter than the Nikon DSLR I used to travel with, it's still more gear than most "one-baggers" would carry. Couple that with a (small) laptop and iPad, I know one bag isn't going to happen. But if I could get to "MLC" (maximum legal carry-on; ~40 liters) bag plus a small bag or backpack (i.e., "personal item" on the plane), I'd be going much lighter than the 90+ liter Gregory Whitney backpack I previously traveled with. So here's the plan...
We're carrying more devices these days, but in my line of work I don't need a formal briefcase. A small messenger-style bag suffices for most things. Below I've made some obervations about two such bags, the BaileyWorks Pouch and Tom Bihn Large Cafe Bag. This isn't a direct comparison because they are different sizes and each serves a somewhat different purpose in my day-to-day life. Instead, I've provided some thoughts and observations about how each functions in my work and travel.
A lot of concert (and other) venues note that no "professional cameras" are allowed, and by extension, that "non-professional" cameras are okay. This post isn't intended to cover whether one has the right, or not, to take pictures at a concert (or how to do so respectfully/discretely). Instead, I just wish that someone would define what a professional camera is...
- Does "professional" mean that one is making money from their pictures; e.g., like a professional vs. amateur athlete? If so, then it's the use of the images, and not the type of camera that defines "professional."
- Or does "professional" mean interchangeable lenses? This doesn't make much sense either, since by this logic the $2800 Sony RX1R and $1300 Fuji X100s are non-professional, while the $500 Nikon D3200 or 1-system are professional?
- Does "professional" mean a zoom lens? Telephoto? A certain length?
Here's a list of camera regulations at each of the NBA arenas. Some of policies actually have a useful level of specificity! In addition to detachable lenses, the length of the lens seems to be a determining factor (6" seems to be the cutoff between non-professional and professional cameras).
The Fuji X-system (specifically thd X-E1 and similar) should be okay by most, but not all, definitions. It's not a DSLR, it has a relatively low-profile (i.e., no big viewfinder hump), and most of the lenses are under 6". The only sticking point is that it does have a detachable lens.
I've never been hassled with my X-Pro1 (or now X-E1, since it's even smaller) with the 60mm f/2.4 lens. I just received the 56mm f/1.2 which is bigger than the 60mm, but hopeful still won't garner much notice.