It’s a fact that camera gear will get broken either through accidents or wear and tear and chances are that this happens while you are far away from home. Buying a new one might not be an option if you can’t find a camera store or they are out of stock. In the worst case a single item like a broken battery/charger might make everything else unusable.
Here’s my basic travel camera setup and explanation what I will do if the item gets broken:
- Canon 5D mark II: great all-purpose camera. I’ll switch to Canon S90 or I’ll buy an entry level DSLR.
- 2 x battery and charger: If all batteries are lost, standard AA batteries can be used with the battery grip
- Battery grip: I use only if AA batteries are needed, no need to backup.
- Canon S90: very small and surprisingly good compact camera. No need to backup.
- 16-35 ultra wide lens: 24mm of 24-105 is already pretty wide.
- 24-105 walk-around lens: 16-35 + 70-300 together cover the same focal lengths.
- 70-300 smallish telezoom lens: Shots taken with 5D + 24-105 can be heavily cropped. EF 135 f/2 as a fourth lens would be a backup.
- UV-filters on all lenses: lost lens caps won’t cause a problem.
- External flash: No backup, I wish 5D mark II would have a pop-up flash
I have enough memory cards to store all my photos and I’ll also copy the photos to an external hard drive using a netbook. When possible, I’ll have one set of photos with me and the other set somewhere else.
Something I haven’t backed up is the camera bag and naturally my Tamrac Aero 85 became unusable in Iceland after a zipper failure. In the future I’ll probably put a canvas bag in the camera bag so that I’ll have an alternative way of carrying stuff safely. This zipper failure could have become really annoying if I wouldn’t have been quite close to my hotel. To solve the situation, I bought a regular backpack.
I spent a few minutes thinking about the backups and while on the road everything is automatic. Since I try to start the editing of photos while on the road, the hard drive copies of the photos are also made without me even thinking that I’m creating backups.