Gear

One mistake to avoid when buying a camera. by Gustav Thuesen

"What camera should I buy?” is a question I get asked quite often. My answer often starts with “It depends…”. But what does it depend on?

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As the saying goes: The best camera is the one that you have with you. Portability is the most important factor when buying a new camera. Multiple times people have asked me which of two DSLRs to buy – my answer is usually “Do you really need that?”. A DSLR is probably the most annoying piece of equipment to lug around. It doesn’t fit in your pocket, you must have a specialized bag to carry it in, and it’s heavy.

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And then there’s the price. The price of a DSLR often make people look for the entry-level DSLRs which are fine cameras indeed. But I would rather buy a high-level pocket-camera like the Sony RX100 series or Canon G7 series. Both series of cameras are more than enough for the everyday shooter. Another option is to throw the "camera-cash" after a high-end smartphone. The cameras nowadays are great! The only thing is the fixed focal length (zoom) but that might just push your creativity. At the end most can't see a difference in image quality when Instagram compresses the hell out of those files.

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There is one factor though that is non-quantifiable. That is the factor of how the camera makes you feel. Simply put: Will the camera make you go out and shoot? Like having a cool bike will make your ride more just because you just love riding it. I love the feel of my DSLR in my hand, the sound of the shutter and looking through the viewfinder.

High-end DSLRs certainly have their place. They have the best image quality - so if you intend to make prints that are larger than A3 it might be the right tool. When you buy a DSLR you also buy into a system of possibilities – lenses. Lenses are like tools and every tool has it place - so you’re basically buying into a potential toolbox (an expensive toolbox).

A DSLR gives you a lot of “firepower” but it comes at the cost of mobility. I often leave my DSLR at home due to it’s too cumbersome to lug around. But the mobility of my smartphone makes me have it in my pocket every day. Thankfully. Smartphone cameras has come a long way and I can’t wait to see what engineering marvels the future will show. More mobility to the people!

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So, before you buy your next camera look at what situations you would like to use the camera in and then ask yourself if you would bring it. On a 35km hike in the Alps you’ll be hating the weight of a DSLR, extra lenses and a tripod – trust me. Sitting at a restaurant a DSLR takes up half the table and you don’t want it on the floor. Would you bring it? Ask yourself. Answer honestly and if you’re in doubt then you probably won’t. But sometimes you need a tool for a specific job and then you have to bring the entire toolbox even though it is heavy.
In the end it depends on if you will bring it and if it will do the job at hand - remember the best camera is the one that you have with you!    

All the photos in this article was shot on my phone - an old banged up iPhone 5s.       

 

 

Bikepacking Scandinavia: Gear List by Gustav Thuesen

Bike

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 6.0

HUNT 4Season Gravel Wheels

Schwalbe G-One Speed Tires

Shimano SPD Pedals

Apidura Seatpack

DIY Framebag

Nalgene Koozie modified into a feedbag. Fits a plate of Marabou (cold weather) or a bag of gummies (warm weather). 

Alpkit Drybag (mounted with 2 Voilé straps)

Blue Force Gear Medium Horizontal Utility Pouch

3 bottle cages, 2 mounted to the fork with electrical tape and one under the down tube.

2 rear lights

 

Clothing

On-bike:

Rapha Lightweight Bibshort

Rapha Training Jersey

Rapha Thermal Leg Warmers

Rapha Brevet Long Sleeve Windblock Jersey

Rapha Merino Socks (1 pair)

Rapha Hi-Vis Oversocks

POC Octal Helmet

Pas Normal Studios Cap

Scott MTB Shoes

Specialized Gloves

Oakley EvZero Stride, Road Prizm Lens

 

Off-bike: 

Arc’teryx Gamma Rock Pant

Arc’teryx Alpha FL Jacket (also used on bike in rain)

Icebreaker Merino Shirt (200)

Point6 Light Socks (1 pair)

Patagonia Nano Puff

Merino Buff

1 pair of underwear (yes, one)

Paul Smith Swimshorts (you gotta look good when taking your evening swim...)

 

Cooking & Water

Alpkit Kraku Stove

Alpkit MytiMug (titanium, 750 ml)

LightMyFire Spork Titanium (the plastic version breaks just by looking at it…)

110ml gas (I think I used 3 on the entire trip)

Lighter + fire steel

3 x 500 ml Rapha/Camelbak bidons

 

Hygiene

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash

Tiny microfiber towel

Sunscreen (the hefty kids’ version)

Vaseline

 

Electronics

iPhone 5s (used as map/GPS with the ViewRanger app)

Anker PowerCore 10000

Dual port USB charger (charge two devices from a single outlet)

Bose SoundSport Headset (great sound and you are still able to hear your surroundings).

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp (when riding really late, bad weather or tunnels - it was light 22 hours a day)

 

Camera

Nikon D750

Nikon 50mm f1.8 (on the camera)

Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 with pol filter (in the bag)

2 batteries + charger

Sirui T-025X Tripod

(bought an airblower as I got some dirt on the sensor)

 

Repair & Maintenance

2 x Conti Racelight 28 Spare Tubes (had ZERO punctures, so didn’t use them)

Cable ties

Leatherman Juice

Topeak Mini Pro 20 Multitool

BBB Tire-Levers 

Birzman Zacoo Mini Pump

Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tyre Repair Kit

Rema Tip Top Tubeless Repair Kit

Park-Tool TB-2C Emergency Tire Boot (didn't use but would have enabled me to get to the next town with a blown sidewall). 

Chain Quick-Link

2 Spare Spokes

2 Spare Brake Pads (didn't use. started on a fresh pair which were about half worn out at the end.)

2 Spare SPD Cleats (didn't use. But a SPD-pedal setup is worthless without cleats)

Muc-Off lube, small bottle (dry gravel and rain drinks lube for breakfast)

Thread and needle (for clothing or sidewall cuts)

Superglue (sealing sidewall repairs and glueing hands to the bars) 

Gaffer-tape (you know why...)   

 

Shelter & Sleeping

Hilleberg Akto (might have preferred a free-standing setup so I could pitch on rocks)

Western Mountaineering Caribou MF (too warm, temps was 15c at night)

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir X-Therm

Silk Liner

Sea To Summit Aero Pillow (worth all 60 grams) 

 

Misc

2 long + 2 short Voilé straps. Long ones used for fixing the Alpkit drybag to the handlebars, short ones for securing the downtube bidon on bumpy roads. Also very useful for securing the bike to handrails etc. on ferries so I could have peace of mind while enjoying the scenery.

2 Osprey 2L Drybag for electronics 

Mini Wire-Lock (only used when shopping in big cities to keep the biggest opportunist from running with my bike.)