Lightweight, Compact Travel Photography Kit

While researching cameras and tripods for a new lightweight, compact photography kit that I could take with me while bike touring I was pleasantly surprised at the reasonable cost of a couple excellent quality items.

First I needed to replace an old Canon Rebel that started glitching out so that it was no longer dependable. I wanted to replace the DSLR with something less bulky for my bike touring and travel needs without sacrificing quality images. After looking over some of the four thirds cameras which although quite nice were rather cost prohibitive particularly when considering I would have needed at least two lenses. Then after reviewing some of the better quality bridge cameras I decided there was a lot of lens built in to those super zooms I would rarely if ever use.

That's why I decided on the Canon G16 which is basically the G15 model with added wifi and better processor. With a fast 28-140mm (equivalent) F1.8-2.8 lens, larger sensor than most any point and shoot camera and most all the manual creative controls of a DSLR it is proving to be the perfect travel camera for my bike touring needs. I have provided a review of this camera at my blog, so here's a link for the Canon G16

Green Leaf Patterns

Next I wanted as close to a full featured tripod without adding to much bulk or weight of course without compromising on functionality. Fortunately with a camera as small and compact as the G16 the tripod head didn't have to be anything too bulky.

Most of the models I looked at required screwing and unscrewing threaded collars for extending and collapsing the unit. I preferred to have the common tab release locks as it is less cumbersome for quickly setting up and making minor adjustments is much simpler. Another quality I wanted was that the tripod could be fully extended to an agreeable working height. Some of the more popular travel tripods I looked at required bending over or getting on my knees even at its' fully extended height. Most tripods that did offer a three foot over more height were either too heavy or cost prohibitive.

Then I found the Slik Mini II tripod which at a modest 1.7lbs., a closed length of slightly under fourteen inches, quick release plate and the tabbed locks rather than threaded I immediately purchased one. For under a hundred bucks it was a no brainer. This is a very well reviewed travel tripod that has been around a few years so I was pleasantly surprised to get the "atta boy" from some professionals who have been traveling the world with that tripod for five years or more claiming how durable and stable a tripod it is.

Rusty Gear

Close up photos outdoors like that shown above require a versatile, stable tripod that can work at slow shutter speeds. I am so pleased with this new camera and tripod combo for my travel photography needs and more pleased as to how affordable this kit was without sacrificing quality in any way. I have provided a review of this excellent tripod at my blog Tripod Favorite for Bike Touring

Photo credits: Jeff Stacy.
  • Jfreestacy
  • League City, United States
Some of my photos were printed and displayed in galleries, I attended the Northwest College of Art in Washington state. I have worked as a wedding photographer and for editorial publications.. I enjoy combining my enthusiasm for bikes with photography.

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January 30, 2016

Nice blog! - I like the Canons and I used to have a G10 and later a G1X for travels, but that was still to large to take everywhere. Now I have bought myself a used Nikon Coolpix A for just 250 bugs - and while it is a bit heavy in the pocket it is small enough to take nearly everywhere. That was for me most important thing but also the sensor size and image quality (same sensor as the Nikon D7000) As a tripoc I use a small Joby Micro Tripod. Really amazing how many foto situations I am able to manage this way and many photos will find their way to my DT portfolio.


January 09, 2016

I'm on the road constantly as evidenced by my portfolio. I just cannot get the quality my work ethic demands with top Nikon ($500) p&s thus I invested in an Olympus OMD EM1 and the pro 12-40 2.8 (price in NY continues to drop now) and a prime 25mm 1.8, small and light. Those with a Nikon strobe and a Sirui travel tripod make life much easier.


January 01, 2016

HELLO ,good approach but keep in mind you loose image quality also high ISO performance ,also there is misunderstood the aperture its not 1.8 - 2.8 actually ,its 5.6- 18 see the full frame equivalent factor videos on youtube specifically the one of Toney northtrip ,because if its the case no one bother himself and buy 2.8 lenses for more than 1.5K $

I wanted just clarify the issue
good luck


December 31, 2015

Yeah, my wife and I like to take the bicycles out when we can. Not touring like you, more like casual rides (and me looking for photos along the way lol).
I always want to take a bunch of my gear (more than I need usually) so I fixed up my Raleigh Twenty with some cargo boxes and a tripod 'tube'.
I've always found that if the tripod is in a bag, or strapped onto something, it's more likely I won't always use it when I should.
I like the tripod tube on the rear of my bike since all you have to do is instantly slide it in and out of the tube when needed. Have a golf cart converted the same way.
If you're carrying a big 'ol bag of gear, tripod, your small dog and water bottles/lunch...nothin' easier on your body than two wheels as your sherpa.
I put a pic of the bike with it's tube as my profile pic for a bit if you want to see what I mean by 'tripod tube'.