Over the last three years, my passing hobby of taking pictures has really grown into an obsession. My evolution of camera gear has included everything from a crappy full auto mode point & shoot to a full pro level DSLR. My favorite kit is the kit I am sharing today. It's my favorite because it gives me the best combination of size, performance, quality & features. It may not work for you, but I love it. Two other Salsa guys shoot a similar kit and you've seen many pictures here on the blog, header pages on our website and images in our print ads shot with a similar kit.
Here's the breakdown of my small & light kit.
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Camera
- Panasonic DMW-LA6 adapter - This allows use of filters and Panasonic's DMW-LWA52 wide angle lens
- DMW-LVF1 Add on Electronic View Finder - I use this either in very bright light or when battery life is critical
- Filters - 52mm - UV/Haze, Circular Polarizer & ND4 Split filter
- Extra battery or batteries depending on length of trip
- Extra SD cards
- Ultra-Pod mini tripod - Light and allows you to velcro strap your camera to things
Lot's of folks may comment here and those comments might range from "That's way too much gear to carry." to "You should also carry ___ too". Others have asked have I considered a micro 4/3rds camera like the Panasonic GF1 or 2 or the Olympus EP1 or 2. Yes, I have. I shot a GF1 for a year. In the end, I went back to the smaller package of the LX5 because it gave me what I wanted & needed. This is my ideal small kit. I'll also say it is always changing and in some cases I may not carry it all. It all depends on the actual trip, ride or adventure I am doing. I can say though that this kit works very, very well.
So, how do I carry this stuff? Great question. In the above picture I show a very small Tamrac case. My entire kit (except mini tripod) fits in that case. The whole case fits easily into my Wingnut Hyper 2.5 pack. Here is another very good tip if your camera fits in it.
Often times when I am just carrying the camera with zero accessories, I carry the camera in this Lowe Pro external hard drive neoprene pouch. I then use a carabiner to attach it to the front of my pack. Super easy to access as the top is held together by light magnets. The neoprene also protects the camera well. This is not the best solution for technical riding as the case dangles a bit, but for many of my tours and adventures it works great.
But...Enough about gear. How about some pictures huh? These are just a few of my favorite pictures taken with my Panasonic LX5. Hope you enjoy.
In the end, all I can say is that I really enjoy this set up. If you've got a camera kit that works for you that's awesome. If you do and want to take some time, please share your kit in comments. I am always looking for good info, tips and gear lists.
Lastly, Salsa nor myself have ANY affiliation with the above mentioned companies. All of this product was purchased with my own money.
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Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.