Ever since I started weighing all my gear for winter hiking and camping in the mountains, I’ve been really conscience of reducing the load I’m carrying. It has actually been quite enlightening (or should that be lightening). I no longer feel the need to lug around all this heavy gear. I can get away with using only a lightweight camera setup, and as a result my photographing experience is enhanced with the lighter load. I don’t have the usual aches of carrying my camera bag all day, and I’m able to move quicker and more discretely.
A lighter camera – The Sony A7R
For me this is the perfect camera for both hiking and landscapes. It has a huge Megapixel count, it’s full frame, with a huge dynamic range and comes in at only 465 grams. With the large dynamic range I can leave my graduated filter collection at home opting to carry only a 10 stop ND and a Circular polarizing filter (CPL). Of course photographing scenes with a large dynamic range there is still a need to bracket shots.
There are however a couple of draw backs to this camera. First I need to use an adapter to fit my Canon lenses. This adds weight, bulk and expense. I may replace all of my lenses and go fully Sony soon so that won’t be an issue. The second draw back is the limited battery life. The small light Sony batteries don’t pack so much punch so you need to carry a few spares.
A lightweight camera bag – Aquapac dSLR Camera bag
As the Sony is considerably smaller than the Canon, I can easily fit everything into this compact storm proof camera bag. The bag itself only weighs 269g, and can either be attached to the straps of your rucksack or carried using one or two additional straps (one round the waist and or one over the shoulder) at 64g each. The weight is insignificant when you think what my F-Stop bag weighed (approximately 2kg).
A lightweight tripod – Benro Travel Flat Carbon Fibre tripod
Ok there is some compromise on weight here, but still for its size the Benro tripod is still amazing light. There needed to be a trade off here, I wouldn’t trust my camera with anything lighter and I still want it to be functional for my needs.
The tripod is transported on the camera bag, straddling either side of the strap. So far I’ve had no issues with this approach, the tripod has remained secure and in place.
How do you shave grams off your camera setup?