I like to think I am selective about the gear I take with me when travelling. Over the years, experience and physical discomfort have forced me fine-tuned my pack list to what I consider to be the bare essentials i.e.
- Canon 5D Mk II DSLR body
- Canon 40mm F2.8 IS STM pancake lens
- Canon 16mm-35mm F2.8 L lens
- Canon 24mm-105mm F4 L lens
- Canon 430EX Speedlight flash
- Manfrotto tripod
The body and lenses are never out of my sight. I carry them everywhere in a Tamrac Evolution 8 Backpack and they get heavier and heavier as the day goes on.
During my most recent trip overseas I started wondering whether carrying this amount of equipment was detracting from my holiday experience. I was always aware of my gear both physically and mentally. The red-ringed L series lenses are like a matador's flag to thieves, so constant vigilance is the order of every minute of every day.
Have I found a solution to my problem?
When prices tumbled recently I purchased what has the potential to be my ideal travel kit, a Canon EOS-M Mirrorless camera and 3 lenses i.e.
- Canon EOS-M Mirrorless body
- Canon 22mm F2.0 STM EF-M lens
- Canon 18mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM EF-M lens
- Canon 11mm-22mm F4-5.6 IS STM EF-M lens
- Canon 90EX flash
- Manfrotto tripod
If you take the tripod out of the equation (because it will be coming regardless) the weigh-in between these two kits is: 2.6 kg (5.72 lb) vs 890 gm (1.95 lb). Now that's a SIGNIFICANT difference. Also, the entire EOS-M kit (including charger) will easily fit into a Lowepro Passport Sling II Bag
The EOS-M has a 1.6 crop factor, so the two kits have almost the same lens coverage. I have to admit though that I am nervous about the downsize in resolution, I have become used to and love the beautiful crisp results from my full-frame 5D Mark II. However, before full-frame, I travelled with a Canon 50D which also has a 1.6 factor APS-C sensor and 3 less Megapixels than the EOS-M. I got some very good photos with that camera, so I hope the EOS-M will be of similar (or better) quality.
The jury is out on how the EOS-M will perform as my "ultimate" travel camera, only time will tell. However, at this early stage, I can say that I am more than happy with the camera's construction, the way it feels to use (with any of the lenses) and the controls (both physical and touch screen). It has great potential to "free" me, I hope it measures up to my expectations.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on the EOS-M.