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Old 1 Mar 2012
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AAAAAHHHH.... Camera's and motorcycles... always a big discussion...

I can follow Laurent for a big part, but I don't totally agree.
I am also a (semi)professional photographer, get assignments every few weeks and I almost always go traveling with my bike(s).

BEFORE you decide what to BUY, you should consider this: Are you going on a trip to enjoy yourself and take a picture, or are you on a quest for the best possible pictures that you can take?
How much room and money are you willing to give up for your pictures?

If you buy a dslr, you need to buy a good one and a good lens, don't buy the entry level ones, there's absolutely no point in doing that! My G12 shoots better than the cheap dslr's! So, we are talking 200€ (point and shoot) - vs 500€ (G12) vs 2000+€ (dslr). How much is your picture really worth? What are the advantages of all of them???

When I go on a trip, my techstuff is almost half of everything we have with us... and every new trip I try to downsize this again! Ok, we are always going offroad so that's a really big issue, size and weight.

So, you can choose between a (high-end) dslr or a point and shoot or the thing in between. Until last year I took my dslr + 2 lenses with me. Until last year all the other options were 'crap' if you want a good quality picture... but now I've bought myself the Canon G12 and I leave the dslr at home for my concertphotography.

Honestly, with a cam like that you can take ok pictures (for web and prints up to A4 really no problem!) and you can make movies. Allright, your options are limited, but so is the price and the size of the cam. When does it get tricky? When do I have the feeling "shit - If I just brought my dslr with me..."? At night, and with fast movement pictures. That's it. How many times are you going to take pictures at night?

I can give you a lot of examples why to buy this or that but this is my conclusion:

I built a Pelicase on the back of my DRZ400 with one purpose: placing the dslr in it. I used to bring my dslr with lenses with me.
I don't anymore.
I take my Canon Powershot G12 and a (waterproof!) Contour HD helmetcam and that's it.
The Pelicase serves now for the macbook air, and all electronic stuff (waterproof!) > 1 ortlieb bag less to take with me!
I have mounts on different places on the bikes for both of the cams and the G12 is usually in my (small) tankbag.
I take the G12 out, switch it on, take a picture/film, put it away, all the way without having to stop riding!!! So for the lazy people (/good drivers), go for this option! I never regretted to take the G12 with me on my motorcycle adventures and leaving the dslr at home for all the other photography!


PS; if you have more questions, or want a better advice, you can always mail/pm me, I will be happy to help you out. I'm tired of people thinking they should buy expensive camera's to in the end just take "point and shoot" pictures on auto mode with a dslr.......... !!!!!
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Old 3 Mar 2012
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Hi Seb,

the G12 makes a cracking camera and if your requirements are to simply record the trip then it makes really good sense.

My old trusty G2 (which finally died late on last year - after just passing it's tenth birthday) provided many published images, so that's proof that you don't need a DSLR to get paid for the results.

The problem I have is that when touring by bike I also like to include my other passion of aviation, and that's were the DSLR comes into it's own.


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Old 4 Mar 2012
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The idea that a dSLR is good because, and only because of IQ (image quality) is a common misconception. I also used to deride casual photographers who are shooting only jpeg on full automatic with crappy lenses.

IQ is such a dead horse that it doesn't need any more flogging here. What is acceptable IQ for you isn't someone's else, bla-bla-bla. There are dozens of reviewers shooting brick walls for you to compare. I just want to stress that usability and the pleasure of using a reflex camera is unmatched, (currently) leaps and bounds above anything else.

First off is the joy of looking through a real viewfinder. Of course the full size 5dMKII viewfinder is much nicer than the APS-C cramped viewfinders, but even those are a million time better than any compact camera viewfinder - or LCD screen for that matter (new EVF cameras may change that but I haven't tried them).

Second is the responsiveness. When I take a picture, I want to be able to take a second immediately, without any delay - just like with a film camera. With a PAS I need to wait 1 or 2 seconds with all controls frozen before I can use it again. A huge PITA for me. The dSLR never interferes with you, it will do the writing in the background, power up and down instantly (at least since I replaced my EOS 300D).

Joy of use. Freedom. Non-inteference. Given that the entry-level dSLR from Canon/Nikon with kit lens is in the same price range as a G12, I totally understand the soccer mom who buys this kit and keep it in full auto mode and may only use 25% of its potential. It's still way more friendly and intuitive than most point-and-shoot cameras.

Now if you don't want to compromise, you can have the perfect usability of a reflex camera with the amazing IQ of the full-size sensor and the fantastic L lenses with the 5dMKII.

The bottom line is, it's a great tool, just too heavy and expensive - hmmm, wait a minute.. that sounds just like the BMW 1200 Adventure that so many people are choosing for their trip..

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Old 12 Mar 2012
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somebody mean no need to carry a full frame DSLR for the sake of weight and room. Better to take a smaller camera like a G12.

Results almost similar ?

It makes me smile a bit.

so better to sell all the kit and buy one point and shoot camera only, even an I-phone...

We save room, weight and money...

And me, what will I do with all those Hasselblad, Sinar, Nikon and Canon systems? I even carried my Hasselblad on bike some times.
"where the traveller goes, nobody knows ! "
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Old 12 Mar 2012
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The same people that knock DSLR Cameras usually are the same people that knock BMW's (They simply can't afford them) now you can get by without either and be more than happy, but there seems to be a pattern emerging !
I have alot of different cameras that can & will do the job, but the fact you want a camera means you are interested in what you see and do. Simply buy one that suits your budget and you will be happy. Listen to what everyone else says as this is a good information forum but remember our circumstances & needs varies so dont take it as gospel. !!!!!!
Happy snapping !!!!!!
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Old 13 Mar 2012
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started to purchase a waterproof travel camera several times... was leaning towards Nikon AW100. but each time stopped myself.

already got a butt load of nice cameras. Nikon D2H, D1X, with 12+ prime Nikkor lens. there's more...two Lumix, 3 Sony, Go Pro ....that's not even counting film cameras.... arrrrggghhh

unless there's a compelling reason (waterproof?). using what I've already got. is waterproof important enough to purchase yet another camera?

would much rather spend the $$$ on my G/S
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Old 16 Mar 2012
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I think that a very good choice for biking is the Fujifilm X100, if you don't mind not having zoom. I'm saving for one right now actually.
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Old 19 Mar 2012
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I've been shooting the x100 for six months now. Absolutely stunning exposures, design, portabliity, reliability and resolution (to 11x14 prints). The fully auto mode does not miss interpret any lighting situation. I'm comfortable actually leaving the viewing screen off to save battery! It is better than my lumix LX3/GF1, mamiya 6x6cm, and nikon (d300) for auto mixed lighting sources situations. Got it for better travel and non intrusive environmental portraits. Now i use it for everything . . . and i'm not looking back. I admit i normally view the world from a 105mm (35mm) perspective and miss not being able to screw one on. So if the primary mission is low natural light photography i'll sometimes pack the D300 and a 50mm 1.8 FX lense . . . but find myself still reaching for the x100 for almost all situations. Feel and shoots exactly like my stolen Leica M4. I'm not even gonna bother nitpicking it. Get one ! You'll like
The panoramic mode alone is reason to get it.

PS. I have no financial interest in the photo industry
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Old 16 Apr 2012
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olympus pen ep2?

Originally Posted by harrenz View Post
One option really worth looking at are the new micro 4/3 cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. The Olympus PEN EP-3 is getting great reviews. The micro 4/ have interchangable lenses and from the review excellent quality - at least comparable to consumer DSLR, but much smaller and lighter.
I could not give a view on durability, but if size and weight is an issue then these are really worth a look at.

I'm trying to figure this out too. I'm new to photography, but it seems that the micro 4/3 system is ideal for applications like moto travel where space is at a premium. I'm thinking of the olympus PEN ep-2 as it can be had on ebay for about $200 now. Maybe with just a 17mm lens (?) as I'm trying to keep it as light as possible.


I have a lumix TS3 rugged/waterproof that I've used as the same way that a go-pro would be with modified go-pro mounts. This camera actually takes really decent still images too. But I'm sure that the micro 4/3 sensor would be a large jump in image quality and you can add an external mic, which would be great for video.

just need the decide if its worth the extra space and cost for my level of interest in taking photos/videos. The posts here have been been very useful on this front btw...

Last edited by garnaro; 16 Apr 2012 at 20:20.
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Old 16 Apr 2012
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rugged = good

After having a couple of point and shoots do the same thing as you describe with the extendable lens, I would never bring one - dust just gets in there and they break. Perhaps I'm not careful enough, but its hard to be careful with stuff when you're on the bike and there's lots of stuff going on around you.

The fact that you don't have to worry about this with the ruggedized camera's is a huge asset - I love the lumix TS3 for this reason.

Originally Posted by lbendel View Post

Finally, after just a couple months, it just broke down, the lens extraction mechanism would make a grinding noise and wouldn't retract: sand and dust obviously jammed the mechanism. How good is your 1-year warranty in the middle of Africa ?

These gadgets are designed as cheaply as possible and they will break down. On the other hand, the 5D mkII feels solid and indeed it is very well built: after 1 year and multiple crashes, it still was working like clockwork, even with many moving parts (mirror, shutter, diaphragm, IS, etc..). If I had taken a Rebel or other entry-level dSRL, I'm convinced it would have broken down half-way through. And no chance to fix it.

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Old 18 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by BugsOnMyBoard View Post
After having a couple of point and shoots do the same thing as you describe with the extendable lens, I would never bring one - dust just gets in there and they break. Perhaps I'm not careful enough, but its hard to be careful with stuff when you're on the bike and there's lots of stuff going on around you.

The fact that you don't have to worry about this with the ruggedized camera's is a huge asset - I love the lumix TS3 for this reason.
I gotta emphasise this one ...

Been saying this for years on this and other forums ... adventure biking and regular compact cameras with extendable lenses do NOT go together. Compact cameras for my kind of use must not have an extendable lens. I use a Sony TX5 for the same reason ... waterproof, dustproof, shock resistant and fully compact with no extendable lens.

As you mention, my SLR lenses have no problems, tho some lenses seem to work better in rough conditions than others.

But please readers, if your are travelling and your trip is a long one, involving off road, vibrations, water crossings etc ... choose a compact with a NON extendable lens. There are a million stories out there of adventure riders shagging their compact cameras with extendable lenses on trips because water and dust DOES get in around the lens. Yet still people buy them???

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Old 4 May 2014
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I know this is an old post but I will post here anyway.

Im going with my wife for a 3-4 week trip to Spain on our BMW G650GS Sertao this september.

I plan on using my Sony Xperia Z2 and I also plan on bringing my Dslr canon eos 600d with my tamron 18-200 lens.

The Z2 will go in my jacket pocket and the Canon/Tamron will go in a case logic day bag which then will go in my tank bag.

The tank bag will double as a backpack when we are off the bike.
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