Best Expat Camera Setup?

Started Mar 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
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thethirdcoast
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Best Expat Camera Setup?
Mar 7, 2012

Hello all,

So my career has recently taken a massive turn for the better, and that means I'll be expating for work in about 7 months. For at least a year after my move, I will be extremely busy somewhere in French-speaking North Africa with occasional R&R to Europe.

Since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity I'd like to capture some memories, and I'm wondering what is the best photographic tool for the job. I am likely to be very busy at work, so I really need to balance gear size and capability. I'm not very interested in taking a ton of additional gear, and that includes common items like an external flash or tripod. I've thought up three arbitrary categories that interest me:

Enthusiast Compact: This would be my EX1, or possibly an Oly XZ-1 for the slightly longer and brighter zoom. Obviously this is the simplest, most packable option that still has a ton of capability. In bright light, RAW output for both is scary close to entry level dSLRs. Not much video capability, and the lens range might prevent some shots.

Ultrazoom: This would be something like the Panasonic FZ150. The tremendous zoom range would be a boon for wildlife and architectural details. The 1080p video would also be a nice to have. The small sensor is kind of a bummer, although I was getting pretty great shots with a small sensor FZ20 back in 2004 (love that constant f2.8 12x zoom!). Not changing lenses would be nice, but stabilization for long shots would be an issue. Obviously this will be bulkier than the compacts.

mini dSLR: This would be an NX10, or possibly a GH2 if I can find a deal on one. I Thought about going two ways with lenses. One is three or four bright primes, say 16/30/60/85 in the NX system. Alternately I could go with a couple slower zooms + the 30, or something like the 18-200 (which looks to have decent quality) + the 30. Either one is going to be a bit bulky, and changing lenses in windy/dusty environs is going to be a large issue because access to sensor cleaning supplies will be at a premium.

Anyway, thanks for reading my mini-novel and please share your thoughts!

Best,

TTC

 thethirdcoast's gear list:thethirdcoast's gear list
Samsung TL500 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX100V Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Nikon D5100 Sony SLT-A77 +14 more
Olympus XZ-1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Samsung NX10 Samsung TL500 (EX1)
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