If you have read my post “DX vs FX cameras: Don’t switch, keep both!” you will know I really enjoy carrying two cameras: a DX body with a 70-300 mm lens and am FX body with a 18-35 mm. Now, there are times when I only can (or want to!) take one of the two systems and deciding is not always easy. I am sure you have the same problem either when choosing one of your cameras or, even more difficult, when deciding what camera system to buy.
This is not a post to give advice as the needs of every photographer are different. However, I would like to tell you what I has worked for me recently.
First Scenario: Wildlife photo trip
I put my biggest telephoto lens in my largest backpack and fill it to capacity with a DX camera, one wide-angle zoom (12-24mm) or normal zoom (16-80 mm) lens, one mid telephoto zoom (70-300 mm), flash, accessories and tripod. This allows me to shoot landscape as well. Sorry Nikon D810… no space left for you!
Second Scenario: Landscape photo trip
Here I definitely go for my Nikon D810 FX camera and two or three zoom lenses: 18-35 mm, 24-120 and 70-300 (or, if I am feeling really strong, a 70-200 mm f/2.8 and 1.7X teleconverter). Most of the time, however, I take a normal lens instead of the 24-120. Pretty birds around? …I’d rather not see!
Third Scenario: Vacation trip
I choose my destinations to see as much as possible. Beach resorts just don’t make it for me: I want to move!! This is out of necessity a one camera-one lens scenario. I have successfully carried either the Nikon D810 FX and 24-120 mm lens or a Nikon D7100 DX and 18-70 mm (or 16-85 mm) lens. No tripod: Improvise camera support. With this setup I don’t have to switch lenses in awkward places. Wildlife in sight? …I said I was on a vacation trip!
What about those extra 12 MP the FX camera provides? No problem unless you really want to make prints larger than 24 x 36 inches. The 24 MP of the DX camera are enough to make a great double spread in a magazine.
There you have it: The Nikon D810 camera is a delight to use: it feels solid and professional just as an ultra fast D4s works wonders for a sports photographer. If you can, see my post “Getting the most out of a travel lens” for New York FX-format photos. There are a few significant advantages of the larger format: better shadow detail recovery and high ISO capabilities but… there are ways to work around most problems as you surely know.
What format do you prefer for travel photography?