StuMatMeyer: I'd love to see a review by someone who shot 5 weddings. It isn't until you've shot a bride walking from a bright spot through a dark entryway and into mixed church light where small details become a big deal. Then, look at the images in LR to see how well noise cleans up and how many keepers you got. It isn't until the camera's features are integrated into a full workflow that you can do justice in a review. I used a 1DIV at 5 weddings back when it was new. I relied on online reviews, only to be astonished that it's AF could barely focus in low light. Sure, now it's common knowledge. The 580EXII - great reviews early on. Mine came loose off the hotshoe from day one. Did it on the 5DII and I sent it in 3 times. Still does it, and now on the 1DX. Got a 2nd unit and it slides off. No, I do not pick up by the flash. The 70-200/2.8 IS II - barely focuses in low light. Very little about this online. Using charts and specs, or shooting a ballgame in good light isn't a review.
I agree. I have just done 4 weddings, with a 60D, with approx 50% keeper rate. Clients all very happy:) Reviews/previews don't really have much meaning unless carried out in real world conditions
James Gaston: Thanks for sharing, Steve. I like reading about how others travel with gear. When I travel I want to take my good photo gear, because that for me is the highlight of my photographic year. I especially like hiking, and even on multi-day treks you'll find me with a d300, a spare body, a 10.5, 12-24, 17-55, 70-300, and maybe a micro, too, not to mention batteries, charger, and various odds and ends. My hiking friends think I'm nuts. But they are always eager to see my shots once I return home.
My hiking friends say the same! They are always happy that I bring two heavy bags into the Tien Shan mountains in Kazakhstan, but they don't offer to help carry them! haha
I guess it all depends on whether you want to carry all the extra stuff around. I'm currently in Kazakhstan. I brought my laptop with me- it wasn't included in the hand-luggage weight limit- and couldn't do without it. 3 weddings, and a million landscape shots made sure of that.
SDXC cards don't weigh much, don't cost much, so don't need an external hard drive either.
I think it's better to take the laptop and limit the amount of other stuff, if you're worried about weight