Best photography and video equipment when we travel by bicycle
If you do a quick google search, you’ll find a mountain of forums and blogs arguing which camera is the best.
In my opinion, most cameras these days offer a high standard of quality.
So what’s the best for ME?
When we’re on the bikes, the weight of the camera and supporting equipment is the stat that comes second only to the quality of the production.
For me, it’s being able to find a high quality camera but at the same time being able to take it on the road and not have it slow me down.
For convenience and speed, the best camera in the world is the smartphone. It’s always in your pocket and ready to go. Until the quality catches up though, I need something that takes a better picture.
The new mirror-less cameras are a great option. They are compact, lightweight, can fit your favorite lenses and guarantee an impressive photo or video.
When it comes to documentary and travel photography, I’m not a fan of long lenses over 200mm or more. They’re too heavy and are only handy for portraits and close ups.
The subjects on our travels need the background frame to give atmosphere and feeling to the shot. A close up doesn’t tell the whole story.
My standard equipment
For my photography and video, I pack a 16-50mm f.3.5-5.6 steady shot with power zoom.
It’s a wide enough lens to get the whole background and the power zoom really helps to get stable videos while zooming in and out. The steady shot is another great feature for videos where I’m cycling along a bumpy road.
The camera, lens and battery weigh less than 500 grams together.
Add a spare battery at 40 grams, charger and cables at 120 grams, and the whole bundle weighs in at less than 700 grams.
With dimensions of 13 x 7 x 8 (cm), I can keep the camera up at the front of the bike so it’s ready to go as quickly as I need it.
The price tag is about 800 Euros.
To flash or to light?
Decent quality flashes can be quite big and used only for photography, so I’m not crazy about them. When my plan includes night shots, caves or low light situations, I prefer to use a battery powered LED light bank..
Here’s my reasons why:
- It can be used for both photography and video.
- Using 2 dimmer switches on the back side, I can regulate the light’s power as well as the temperature. (3200 K – 5600K). I can adjust the light in any location without changing the atmosphere or using red/blue/green background lights. LINK HERE
- There are two slots that will hold two batteries. It’s usually a SONY standard.
- I can get 4-6 hours of light with the two batteries.
The LED kit, including one battery, weighs 450 grams.
The spare battery weighs 105 grams.
The charger and cables weigh 120 grams.
All together the load is less than 700 grams.
The dimensions are 19 x 11 x 6 (cm) and it costs 150 Euros.
With all my camera and lighting equipment weighing less than 1.5 kilograms and costing under 1,000 euros, I can get the quality shots I’m looking for while staying quick and light on my bike. It’s a perfect combination for what I’m doing.