Back-up body/camera when traveling?

Joined
Dec 7, 2005
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MN, USA
Curious as to how many of you take a back-up camera when traveling?

If you do, are there criteria that you use for what camera you take?

Frankly, I'm always struggling with this . . .
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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21,000
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
My primary camera is a Nikon Z6 and my backup camera for travel purposes is the Nikon D7000 that was my primary camera before it became my backup camera. I also keep a backup 35mm f/2 lens that is native to the D7000 for use with that camera. If my Z6 goes down, the Nikkor 700-300 that I mount on the Z6-FTZ combination is also native to the D7000.

If I only traveled to metropolitan areas, I wouldn't even bother with a backup camera. That's because I could always purchase one if my primary camera died. However, I often travel to remote areas where camera shops are not immediately accessible.

One reason the D7000 works so well as a backup camera for me is that I also use it in my makeshift studio when I want to do focus bracketing by mounting my Tamron 90mm macro lens and controlling the camera using CamRanger. That lens won't auto focus when mounted on the Z6-FTZ combination and auto focusing is required to do focus bracketing.

So, my D7000 serves as both a backup when traveling and for occasional use in my makeshift studio when the Z6 doesn't fill that need.
 
It's been a while now since I've traveled, of course, and actually I haven't traveled yet with my current FF mirrorless camera, the A7R IV. Of course much depends upon the type of trip it is, as well as the length of time that one plans to be away. Some trips are much more photography-oriented than others. Most of the trips I took prior to the arrival of COVID-19 were brief weekend trips, usually with a specific purpose such as attending a concert or event with friends. The small, compact RX100 M7 works well for this kind of occasion. There have been a couple of trips, though, where I needed more than that and took the RX10 M4 "bridge" camera, which is about the size of a small DSLR with a fixed lens, along as well as the compact RX100. Both cameras had a role to play and I was glad to have each of them with me.

Now with things opening up again and with the A7R IV as part of the household now, there will eventually be trips where I'll take it along and also still tuck in the small compact as well. For some situations, though, such as going to a beach area, I'll more than likely leave the A7R IV and lenses at home and carry along the bridge camera instead. The latter really is quite a useful travel camera with its extensive 24mm-600mm (35mm equiv on a 1" sensor) range. I think if I were going on a cruise or some extended trip where I'd be doing a lot of touristy stuff and walking around a fair amount, I'd opt for the bridge camera, too, because of that zoom range.

In the now fairly long-gone days when I went on trips with fellow photographers, I used two Nikon DSLR bodies and had most of my lenses with me plus all the accompanying extras: batteries, memory cards, external drives, laptop, etc. I still take either a laptop or an iPad when I travel, even on just a short trip. If I am planning to shoot a fair number of images I'll also take along an external SSD to safely stash the files so that they're in the computer, on the external drive and still on the memory card(s) as well.
 

JLH

Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
278
When I travel I normally take two cameras. I don't think of #2 as a "back-up" camera however. I think more about what I will be using the cameras for. Example: We travel to the beach at Avon, NC at various times during the year. If its bird migration time I will take a D500 with long lenses as my "bird" camera while my Z50 will be my "snap shot" and video camera. I will have my FTZ with me and should I want I can move those F lenses over to the Z50. Sometime I will take my "old" D7200 if I am walking the beach a lot as the salt air is not great for any camera and if I am going to have one fail, let it be one of my older ones! So it really just depends on what sort of things we will be doing. On some trips I will bring along my D750 with more wide angle lenses if we are doing more landscape things.
But as I think about this now I am starting to realize that my little Z50 is the common denomiator and therefore might be considered to be my "backup camera"
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
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Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
As an old foggie, weight is an issue. So no 2nd body.
And no heavy pro lens. My travel kit is all non-pro lenses, and as few as possible.
Cuz at the end of two weeks of continuous travel, that extra weight will feel HEAVY.

I might bring the P&S (my wife will probably be using it), and will normally have my phone camera as final backup.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
1
Like JLH "I don't think of #2 as a "back-up" camera". I like to travel light. I have a Z7 with the versatile Z 24-70mm f2.8 S lens. My second camera is a Ricoh GR III with an f2.8, 28mm equivalent lens. I seldom carry both at the same time and which I use is determined by what I think the day holds and my mood. The little Ricoh gets a surprising amount of use!
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
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2,500
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Missouri
I always travel with at least 2 camera bodies. Things will get interesting for a while now as my system is split between DSLR and Z and I have fewer F-mount lenses. I believe I will eventually add a second Z camera to the mix.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
1,704
Location
Melbourne - Australia
I generally take two bodies. One with a mid-range zoom, 24-70 or equivalent, and the other with a wide zoom approximately 14-24 or similar.
I have used FF, APS-C, and micro 4/3. Both bodies the same so the lenses are interchangeable. Whatever the sensor size I’ve had plenty of great snapshots of our travels. On the odd occasion I’ve taken a macro lens, or a longish zoom, depending on where we go.
 

Butlerkid

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Apr 8, 2008
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24,274
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Rutledge, Tennessee
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Karen
I think in terms of a back up camera only when taking a major trip....such as Africa or several weeks internationally. Otherwise I take gear based on my expected subjects and conditions.

Low light and moving subjects - D5. Wildlife - D5. Long lenses.

Landscapes, architecture, city exploring, etc. - D850. Trinity lenses plus the Sig 15mm.

Macro = D850 plus 105mm/2.8
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2020
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32
Location
Roseville, CA
Over the years I've traveled a dozen times to Europe and Asia for pleasure and business. And much more extensively within the US. Most of the time I owned but one Nikon body so that was the camera I traveled with. Now I can choose between a Z7ii and D500, but travel with only one of them, depending upon the subjects I anticipate photographing. Actually leaving on a trip to AZ and NM tomorrow with the Z7ii.

My thought all of these years was to own and travel with the most ultra-reliable and durable camera available. That's why I own Nikons.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,622
Location
Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
I have always only had one body (now - EOS R), and still do. I will adjust lenses for the trip, although lately I've noticed that although I have my EF 17-40 and EF 70-200 with me, I almost always use the EF 24-70 that's my "normal" day to day lens. (I've ordered a new RF 24-105 L from CPS to evaluate to see if I need to upgrade ... but other than reducing the extra bulk of the EF/RF adapter, I'm not sure I'll be convinced I need it!!). One thing I absolutely love about the EF 24-70 L is it has a built in "Macro" setting and adjustment that works more than good enough for the occasional flower closeup!!

Backup? Hate to say it, but my iPhone 12 pulls that duty. I used to think I need a P&S for that duty, and had a Nikon 1 for a year or so that I carried as a backup, but I find that the 12 is frankly good enough for occasional use ... and the "night mode" especially comes in handy at times.

Ken
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
25,262
Location
Orland Park, Illinois
I have always traveled with a backup camera...preferably one that uses the same battery and lenses as the primary body. This has become more challenging now that I own a Z camera. My S lenses won't work with my older F mount camera.

Glenn
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
1,070
Location
MN, USA
I have always traveled with a backup camera...preferably one that uses the same battery and lenses as the primary body. This has become more challenging now that I own a Z camera. My S lenses won't work with my older F mount camera.

Glenn
Time to look at that Zfc ;) (sort of).
This is one of my pet peeves as well and a major factor in some of the equipment changes I've made. I really liked M43 for traveling, but despite the industry promotion of cross-compatibility, it was at best only partially viable - besides the usual different batteries/chargers, there were feature incompatibility between different manufacturers lenses and bodies.

One of my pet peeves regarding the Z50/Zfc is the battery/charger differences with the rest of the Z line. You'd think that they could at least make the chargers compatible if nothing else to save on manufacturing costs. And really are the design constraints so tight that they can't use the same battery as the Z6,Z7,Z5, Z6II, Z7II?
 

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