Traveling abroad with camera gear.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wiredrawn, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Wiredrawn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #1
    Okay, in the summer I'm off to Greece with some friends, and planned on taking my camera gear with me.

    There's no way I'm packing my gear into my main luggage, so I'm looking to buy a rucksack that will:

    1. Be small enough for hand luggage.
    2. Fit two bodies and a few lenses, and a macbook.
    3. Be easy enough to open out for security checks.

    I rarely carry all my gear at once, but I guess I would like to use the backpack for more than just airport travel once I've bought it, so ideally it'll look nice too. :cool:

    Recommendations please!
     
  2. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #2
    backpack, rucksack, carry on...

    what do you really want?

    Pelican makes some great, indestructible cases, which definitely do not fit the qualifications of a backpack however.
     
  3. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #3
    Lets start with what lenses you intend to take with you? a 10-22 needs less bag room than your 70-200mm L glass :). Which bodies?
     
  4. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 8, 2008
    #4
  5. SOLLERBOY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I got the Lowepro fastpack 250 , big enough for a macbook, camera lots of lenses and accessories as well as any other personal stuff.
     
  6. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #6
    Brenthaven will have something to suit, a tad expensive but virtually indestructible.
     
  7. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #7
    Aren't backpacks and rucksacks the same thing?
    Thanks for the tip about Pelican, but I think I would prefer a backpack, something I could use for general use as well as travel.

    Well, I'll most likely be taking:

    Canon 450d.
    Canon 300.
    18-55mm.
    70-300mm.
    50mm prime.
    18-35mm.
    possibly tripod.

    But I may well have more by the time I leave. I won't necessarily be taking all my lenses when I go, but if I'm buying a reasonably large bag, I think I would prefer one that I could fit everything into, if I so wished.
     
  8. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #8
    Yeah, LowePro had my attention before, and the fastpack 250 seems very well suited to what I need, as well as looking conspicuous enough for people to believe there isn't thousands of pounds worth of kit in there. :)
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    I place my gear including a small bag inside a Pelican case. The case can stand up to incredible abuse.

    I have actually lost two cases of video equipment in a white water river and had to swim it out to shore, no problems. The cases float and take rocks just fine.
    Other times I've had my camera gear loaded into a stake bed truck with about 100 misc. pieces of equipment (scuba tanks and the like) load on top o the cameras. Airline baggage handling is nothing compared to any of this.

    Then I get where I'm going and I have a bag and can cary the subset of gear I will be using and leave the case some place.

    You think you wil be able to hand cary the camera stuff. Not always. hard to argue with a Japanese bus driver who want ALL bags and ALL backpacks to go in the luggage bin. Even if I spoke the language I'd loose that argument

    I always buy the empty non-foam filled pelican cases and then if I need soft cushioning I use the inserts ment for the insides of camera bags or I just pack the gear in a bag and place the loaded bag in a case.

    One more idea... A great anti-theft device is to decorate the case with bright stripes so that your case looks unique even from 100 feet away and from all six sides. Thieves take generic black bags, not the one with dayglow green stripes.
     
  10. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #10
    I think the Pelican case may be a bit overkill, especially as I'd quite like to be able to access the gear and keep it with me, but I'll definitely consider, especially for future trips.

    Also, great idea about the stripes, that's something I'll probably end up doing actually, thanks!
     
  11. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #11
    Try the kata bags too. They are getting some good reviews on the internet...
     
  12. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #12
    The LowePro Computrekker was great for me. I even threw my laptop in there. It even includes a water proof cover that folds out if it rains.

    Very study, but looks and feels like a normal backpack.
     
  13. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #13
    You might want to consider a Timbuk2 Commute plus a couple Domke inserts. The new version of the Commute has a ton of space inside, fits a computer well, and would give you plenty of use beyond your trip.
     
  14. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #14
    The Fastpack 250 is a great bag but it won't carry two bodies nor will any of the Fastpack line, instead you need to look at the Computrekker bags like another poster suggested.

    With the Fastpack 250 even I forget I also have my camera gear with me as well as my laptop, it really isn't much bigger than the backpack I used to lug just my laptop around in.
     
  15. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #15
    True, but the 250 is a lot smaller, and a lot easier for travel I guess.

    I'm sure I could fit the extra body in the compartment at the top of the bag, but I guess it is something I'll have to think about.
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #16
    Make sure your camera equipment is insured on a policy that you can make a claim against without undue jeopardy[1]. Preferably one of its own.


    [1] Relying on a homeowner's policy means if the policy is canceled because of a claim, you'll potentially have the "I need homeowner's insurance and my policy has been cancelled in the past" problem.
     
  17. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #17
    Thanks for the advice! Insuring the gear won't really be a problem, I'm just trying to be prepared enough that I won't need to claim.
     
  18. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #18
    +1 The Lowepro fastpack 250 is the pack I got for Christmas, it's quite comfortable and fits a lot of items in the camera compartment... while it does have room for "other personal items", I'd say that the upper compartment is day pack worthy only... unless you are a really light packer! ;)

    ....I think you could fit two camera bodies in the bag (though I haven't tried...I'm willing if someone wants to give me a spare camera body....), but you'd have to do some rearranging of the adjustable compartments.
     
  19. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2008
    #19
    Thanks for the input! I'm only needing to have a few things for the flight in the other compartment; iPod, passport etc.

    The only thing I'm worried about is room, I seriously doubt I'll be able to fit in both bodies with lenses, batteries and flashguns, so I may end up buying a bag with no extra compartments, just cameras and lappy, and just stuff my pockets with the rest :p.

    Decision decisions...
     
  20. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto
    #20
    No problem. :)
    How many lenses are we talking here? Here's what I have currently in my Lowepro:
    Rebel XSi body with kit lens attached
    55mm-200mm Zoom
    Powershot G2
    Olympus 1030sw
    SLR Gorilla Pod
    Rebel XSi Charger
    Olympus Charger
    Rebel XSi Manual (I'm still learning)
    AV cables for XSi
    Flash Card pouch
    ... and at one point I had my brothers nifty fifty in there too!

    I guess the best advice is to go down to a shop (if you can) and have a look at them for yourself.

    Have fun in Greece, the islands are fantastic!
     
  21. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #21
    I posted a list of what I would ideally take above, but here you are again:

    Canon 450d.
    Canon 300.
    18-55mm.
    70-300mm.
    50mm prime.
    18-35mm.

    I would have the 450d with the 70-300mm attached, and just try and fit in as much round it as I can!

    And thanks, I'm going to Kos, perhaps a bit too 'touristy', but as far I know, the beaches look fantastic, and I hope to get some great shots!
     
  22. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #22
    *shiver* beaches. camera. sand.
     
  23. Wiredrawn thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    #23
    Fear not, I don't intend to change lenses anywhere near the sand.;)
     
  24. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #24
    I got a billingham bag. Doesn't look too much like a camera bag which is a plus.

    http://www.billingham.co.uk

    In the states, you can have a carryon and a bag that fits under the seat (plus 1 bag for photags if you want to wait extra time a security). However the rules differ for each country. In UK it's strictly 1 bag through x-ray the last time I was there (had to stuff my laptop bag into the carry on).
     
  25. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #25
    I have the LowePro CompuTrekker AW.

    It has enough room for a multitude of camera equipment in the camera section. My MacBook fits fine in the laptop compartment. My power cords, a couple of books, a couple of iPod, my bulky passport and travel case and some snacks fit in the outside front pocket. It's comfortable on your back, despite the weight of a full load, and fits fine inside airplane overhead bins.

    I'd definitely recommend it.
     

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