Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vacation Contemplations


I’ve nearly recovered from an extended vacation and all the forced changes in my daily routine: different beds, diet, scenery and people – not to mention limited Internet access. It was a great time and adventure that will get even better in reminiscing.

As expected, the Canon mirrorless camera was announced during my vacation. I was able to read about it online but not able (well, chose not) to write about it. The more I read, the more ho-hum the EOS M appears to become. It is certainly not what I expected. I would have guessed that Canon would first release an enthusiast’s camera and later a lower cost consumer camera. I’m not very good at predicting marketing strategy.

Traveling to vacation, my car was filled with cameras and accessories. In fact, far too much equipment but a significant part of my vacation was to be play time and play toys are necessary. Of course, I didn’t use half of what was packed. What was used?

My G12 was brought along as a backup and unused except for a time lapse sequence. No problems.

My G1X was used during some beach walks and grab shots in condos, restaurants and events. No problems but no spectacular shots either. The G12 would have been fine (as it was last year). I did use the G1X video quite a bit. The fully automatic (few options) mode comes in very handy for vacation videos.


Actually, I used my 7D more than expected and usually with the 15-85mm zoom; often with flash. The 7D in manual exposure mode with ETTL flash is a good setup for indoor shots or adding a bit of fill flash outdoors. I also used the 70-200mm zoom for beach walks. The 100-400mm zoom seemed a bit much.

Anticipating our traditional extended family group photo, I packed a couple of portable light stands and extra flashes. A handful of flash modifiers and wireless triggers were tossed in the trunk in hopes of a few location studio shots. The light stands and remotes were needed but the only flash modifier used was the simple Sto-Fen diffuser. (I know the Sto-Fen catches a lot of grief but it sure seems to work well in small rooms.)

Speaking of flash, my YN565EX has died the death and could not be used. Fortunately, the older YN430- II worked fine. I’ve contacted ThePhotoGadget for a warranty repair or replacement. They tell me that I have an older version and that the latest version of the YN565EX is more reliable. My YN565EX will be returned (to China!) for repair or replacement and I’ll report on the process.

Destin G1X

Yes, I over packed and have resolved to cut back severely next year. This annual vacation includes extended family and friends. What photo gear did the others bring?


Basically, an iPhone. That is, almost everyone brought an iPhone and few were packing a camera. This was definitely a change from previous years – even from last year. In fact, it may be a little bit of a problem because I usually collect the best pictures and assemble a family vacation slideshow and video that is distributed to everyone. I’m concerned that the iPhone images might not be to the usual quality and versatility of a real camera. On the other hand, everyone had a great time snapping iPhone pics of each other and sharing them. It was interesting to see that the long shutter delay, weak flash and often poor white balance of the iPhone has come to be accepted by users in exchange for the convenience of recording the moment.

I took a few iPhone shots myself and made a little video using the Splice app on the iPhone.


So next year, I plan to pack less gear except, of course, for any new toys obtained during the year long wait. At this point, I doubt that the EOS M will be one of those new toys but I’m very curious about the supposed enthusiast’s version that might be coming along next year.

Now to sort through all those pictures and assemble that family vacation video…

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