Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy

Started Jul 19, 2014 | Questions thread
Craig Gillette Veteran Member • Posts: 9,543
Re: Suggestions for camera/lens combo for Italy

I recently took a trip to Italy and stuck to one lens on a Sony NEX-6 mirrorless.  It was the 16-50 kit lens which is universally discussed and widely agreed to be worth talking about (kit lenses being always a little suspect when it comes to IQ and especially slower apertures).  It's a functional kit lens with an ff equivalent range of 24-75mm.

Although 24mm equivalent was wide enough most of the time, if were to choose only one other lens to go either wider or to go longer, I'd say go wider.  There are several pretty competent wide zooms for aps-c cameras.  even some that you could go with that would get to the 24-105 and maybe even overlap some.  I did see people with longer lenses, even 70-200/2.8s in use but they were more the exception and the big lenses are bulky, heavy and I would think get bigger and heavier as the day goes on and the walks get longer and stairs steeper.

Should you decide to go with a different body (aps-c or ff) give yourself enough time to really get used to it.  In my case, the NEX-6 isn't all that similar to the dslr I've been using so there was some fumbling going on, sticking to Canon dslrs would seem that you'd have more similarity in handling and interface.

The interiors are pretty dim in many of the well known venues.  I found that the NEX has "scene modes" that can stack exposures to seriously reduce noise, although they are jpg modes.  But even with better high iso performance some of the interiors were dim enough that getting to suitable shutter speeds ws difficult so some of these modes were handy.  I had practiced some ahead of time but found the conditions worse than the places I'd tried close to home.  So having a practiced approach to low light is a good idea.

While I carried a camera in the Uffizzi, the only places I tried to take pictures were the dining terrace and at the windows that overlooked the Arno (not sure what might have happened had I tried elsewhere).  I would suggest getting early starts for the Uffizzi and the Vatican Museum, the crowds do build up and even if allowed, photography can be crowd limited.  St. peters Basilica was large enough to have useful space as were some of the other places we visited but the museums tended to be more confined and crowded and even just looking at the most notable material was tough with tour groups, loners, guides talking into their mikes, etc. all over the place.

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