TRAVEL GEAR = calculated compromises between image quality verses size and weight.




The Sony NEX-5R is our preferred travel camera, delivering professional image quality (dpreview full-frame comparison) and 1080 60p HD in a tiny package. Since the NEX-5R delivers better image quality than the Canon APS-C dSLRs (dpreview APS-C comparison) and Canon lenses can be used on the Sony via an EF to E-Mount adapter, there's no need to upgrade our dSLR unless Canon offers a crop dSLR that features 1080 60p or better HD. The GoPro Hero 3+ Black was purchased to provide ultra-wide perspective for skiing, scuba diving, or sports in general.



Our current kit delivers 120° horizontal field of view to 480mm equivalent coverage for photos and 120° horizontal field of view to 450mm equivalent range for 1080 60p videos.



The Canon EF 70-300mm delivers excellent results on the Sony camera as an 105-450mm equivalent manual lens.

Our MUST-HAVE FEATURES for travel:

APS-C SENSOR

The APS-C sensors produce noticeably better high-ISO image quality than the smaller Micro Four Thirds and Nikon 1 chips (dpreview mirrorless comparison).
NOTE: The NEX-5N ISO6400 (actual ISO4540 DXO Measurement tab) should be compared to halfway between E-M5 ISO6400 (actual ISO3024 DXO Measurement tab) and ISO12800 (actual ISO5953).

CAMERA SENSOR (CROP) SIZE COMPARISON TO APS-C SENSOR
CANON, NIKON, SONY Full Frame dSLR Full Frame (1X) Full Frame is 2.4 times the size of APS-C
CANON (1.6X), NIKON SONY (1.5X) dSLR & MILC APS-C (1.5X crop)  
OLYMPUS, PANASONIC Micro Four Thirds MFT (2X crop) APS-C is 1.5 (4:3) to 1.7 (3:2) times the size of MFT
NIKON 1, SONY RX100 1" (2.7X crop) APS-C is 3.1 times the size of 1"
Advanced Compact Cameras 1/1.7" (4.7X crop) APS-C is 8.4 times the size of 1/1.7"
Compact Cameras, Camcorders, GOPRO 1/2.3" (5.8X crop) APS-C is 12.8 times the size of 1/2.3"
Compact Cameras, Camcorders 1/3" (7.5X crop) APS-C is 21.1 times the size of 1/3"
Full Frame ISO 12800 overall image quality roughly = APS-C ISO 6400 = MFT ISO 3200 = 1" ISO 1600 = 1/1.7" ISO 800 (comparison)

1080 60P HD



1080 60p vs. 30p vs. 24p: The differences between frame rates are quite noticeable on a large-screen HDTV, especially when viewing panning shots of fast-moving subjects like children running around the playground. To see how smooth and lifelike 1080 60p really is, use "Save Link As..." to download the original clips: 1080 60p (54.6MB .MTS), 1080 30p (22MB .MP4), and 1080 24p (43.5MB .MTS).

24p, 30p: 1/60sec or slower shutter speeds must be used to introduce motion blur to lessen, not eliminate, the choppy appearance. Shooting with slow shutter speeds under bright sunlight, ND filters are required to control depth of field and to prevent sensor dusts from showing up prominently at F11 on up.

60p: Since 60fps videos will turn out smooth even with shutter set well above 1/60sec, Aperture Priority can be used to control depth of field under bright sunlight without an absolute need for ND filters.

PHASE-DETECTION AUTOFOCUS

Phase-detection autofocus is faster and far more capable of tracking moving subjects than contrast-detection autofocus.

VIDEO-SILENT LENSES

Video-silent lenses won't introduce unwanted autofocus and image-stabilizer noise into the videos.

RAW

RAW is a must-have feature for still photography because:



Correcting inaccurate White Balance is best done in RAW. However, RAW is currently only available for photos in the consumer market; therefore, people must learn to set Custom White Balance properly for video.



Under difficult lighting situations, far more details can be captured shooting RAW.

UNDERWATER HOUSING



We have always brought along at least one waterproof camera on our trips for kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and white-water rafting. Equipped with an APS-C sensor 12.8 times the size of the 1/2.3" chips, the NEX-5R delivers 3½ stops better image quality than our underwater point-and-shoot cameras. Since consumer cameras do not feature Video RAW and Custom White Balance struggles in deeper depths, underwater filters are used to help restore proper color balance between 3-21 meters or 10-70 feet of water.



The GoPro Hero 3+ Black and the NEX-5R with the 18-55mm zoom deliver 120° horizontal field of view to 83mm equivalent coverage for underwater use. This setup enables photos and videos to be captured simultaneously.

 
 

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