I’m going on a 30 day road trip across Canada in 3 days. We will be living out of our Nissan Xterra and camping in our Rooftop Tent from Tepui. One of the biggest questions about the trip that I have got are “What camera are you going to bring?” and “Are you bringing your drone?” I figured I would just put together a brief post on what I’m bringing and why.
My main goal is to capture dynamic, and cinamatic shots of where we are going. However, I want to keep it simple. I don't want the gear to get in the way of us enjoying the trip. I want everything to fit into one backpack. Here is what I picked.
The Main Camera
Let’s start with my camera. My 4 year old Canon 5dmiii, 35mm 1.4 and 24-70mm 2.8. Yes, I know the camera is bulky and heavy. I know that the mirrorless cameras take great photos (I do currently own an A7S that I could bring) however, the dependability, lens quality and focusing system far outway this systems cons. Gear should not get in the way of taking a photo or missing a photography moment. It should just work. This is exactly what the 5dmiii does. I have found that shooting stills with the A7S to be a little tricky, especially with the metabones adapter, it can sometimes have connection issues, making it more difficult to nail the focus. With that said, the A7S is a great camera, especially for video. However for our trip I am planning to take a bit more photos than video, so I choose a camera that fits those parameters. I still plan to take a bit of video with the 5dmiii, but I don't plan to film our entire trip and make a feature length documentary. Another bonus is the Canon batteries last much longer than the A7S. So you need less batteries. I am also using the Think Tank battery holder. It’s an easy way to keep track of the batteries and which ones are empty or charged.
I’m amazed at how technology changes. Only 9 months ago I was in Haiti shooting and I brought my full sized Ronin and flew my A7S. It was a huge rig. For this trip I picked up the DJI Osmo and this will be my stablized camera. I wanted something for smooth car rides and bicycling around Ottawa. The Osmo is the perfect fit. However, there are some cons. The main thing is the battery life is poor, the lowlight is really bad and the dynamic range isn’t the greatest. However, the usability and small footprint of the device make it a great travel camera. It just means that I have to be a bit more intention with the Osmo, and make sure I try not to use the Osmo indoors and bring an extra battery.
I’m bringing my Phantom 3 Professional. I really wanted something to show the scale of the different types of landscape of Canada, and what better way to do so than with a drone, that fits in a backpack. Now there are lots of places you cannot fly in Canada, such as all National Parks, so I downloaded an app called Hover. It shows you based on GPS if you are allowed to fly in a certain area. So far it has been quite accurate and has worked well.
I plan to put all the footage on my Macbook Pro and then backup the footage onto my 1TB rugged mini hard drive from Lacie. I’m only shooting 1080p and 2.7k so I think I will be fine for space. If I do need more I can always pick up another external hard drive on the trip. I am also carrying a bunch of SD cards and a couple MicroSD cards in the Pelican memory card holder, which is another fantastic piece of gear to help you stay organized.
I really wanted all this gear to fit in one bag. We have limited space in our Xterra and I didn’t want to be carrying a bunch of different bags around with me. I choose the Think Tank Helipak. It fits all the above, with chargers and is quite comfortable on the back. I can literally have all my camera gear in the one bag, without it looking too massive on your back. I have done a previous post on the back if you're looking for more info check it out here.
I hope that this answers your questions and provides a bit of perspective as to why I choose the above. I also brought a small manfrotto tripod, but I didn’t have it with me when I took the above photo.