Some time ago I posted about getting a new camera. The ones I had in mind were somewhat expensive cameras (at least to me), so I knew that if the day came that I could finally get one, I would need to start taking better care of my camera gear when on the trail. Up to this point in time I have always carried my (P&S) camera’s in my front pants pocket. They fit well, weren’t really heavy enough to weigh my pants pockets down and was easy access for when I needed to get my camera out, or put it back up. However, carrying it in my pocket also came at a cost… My pocket did nothing to protect my camera from banging around or from exposure to moisture. Somewhat due to this, in the past I have managed to severely scratch the lens on one camera, and to completely soak another due to poor handling.
Finally, about a week or so ago now, I was finally able to score the camera I wanted, the Panasonic Lumix GF2 with the 14 mm f/2.5 pancake lens! As far as why I wanted this camera, it was due to my already current familiarity with the Lumix line-up, cost, size, weight, and felt that it is a quality camera. It is definitely a step up from my other P&S camera’s, and I feel that it is a good, entry-level camera into more advanced photography. Also, since getting this camera, I have also ordered back-up batteries, a 32 GB SD card and a linear polarizer MRC filter. The total weight of the camera, battery, SD card and a wrist strap is 12.9 oz. (The filter has not come in just yet, but I will update this once it arrives.)
EDIT: The filter arrived yesterday. It is the B+W 46mm Kaesemann Linera Polarizer MRC Filter (linked above), and it weighs exactly 1 oz. The weights are figured in below.
So, after dropping the money for this camera, I have decided that I will make an effort (despite weight) to take better care of it while on the trail. So, I have actually converted my ZPack’s Multipack into a camera bag. To begin with, I used some of the single sided cuben fiber tape to tape all of the seams inside my Multipack to render the Multipack as waterproof as possible. I plan to actually wear the Multipack as a fanny pack, so with a 50″ belt, the Multipack weighs 2.2 oz.
Next, I cut some pieces of 1/4″ CCF pad and then taped them together to form a single compartment that is open on the top. The compartment is large enough for the camera to slide easily in and out and fills most of the Multipack’s interior space. (There is room beside the CCF compartment for my new Ultrapod camera tripod to stand up next to it inside the multipack too.) This CCF compartment weighs 0.7 oz and should provide a good layer of bump protection to the camera when stored inside.
Now, just because I have taped the Multipack and (hopefully) rendered it waterproof, this does not mean I am relying on it to keep my nice, new camera dry. Instead, I have also picked up some of the 6.7″ x 6″ Loksak’s that I plan to keep the camera in should it be raining while hiking. This should provide me with 2 pretty watertight layers and I expect it will keep the camera dry. But that’s not all! I have also picked up a package of 1 g Silica Dry Packs and will also keep 1 of these inside the Loksak, just to help absorb any moisture that happens to be inside the bag as well… The Loksak and the Silica pack weighs 0.3 oz.
In past use, I found the Multipack very easy to access when worn as a fanny pack. Once I made the CCF compartment, I slid it inside the Multipack, and due to the single, large opening on the CCF compartment, I found it easy to slide the camera in and out, even if the camera is inside the Loksak. In short, I feel like (hope) this system will help keep my camera safe and dry, yet still easily accessible. Here is a photo of the camera inside the Loksak, then inside the CCF compartment inside the Multipack. (Also, note the Ultrapod standing up beside it.)
So, I am happy with my new camera, and I feel confident in my new carrying system! However, this is coming at a cost, and I don’t mean money (well, I do, but I have already covered that…) I mean weight. My previous camera weighed in at a whopping 4.7 oz with the battery & SD card. I was using the Joby Gorillapod, which also added another 1.5 oz. Then, account for the back-up battery that I will always carry, that was an additional 0.7 oz. This meant I was carrying a total of 6.9 oz of camera gear. Now that has changed… In case you haven’t added it all up yet, here is the breakdown of the new camera gear:
- Camera with battery, SD card, filter & wrist strap: 13.9 oz
- Multipack with 50″ belt: 2.2 oz
- DIY CCF compartment: 0.7 oz
- Loksak with Silica pack: 0.3 oz
- Ultrapod camera tripod: 1.8 oz
- Extra battery: 1.6 oz
This is a total weight of 20.5 oz, so, I have taken a huge jump in camera gear… now let’s just hope I can improve my skills! 🙂
As well, in the future, I do plan on upgrading the 14 mm lens to the 20 mm f/1.7 Pancake lens… but I gotta save the money up for that one!
Thanks for reading everyone!
Disclaimer: I paid for all of these items with my own money that I worked durn hard for!