You’ve probably already heard this, but sometimes the best camera is the one you have with you. Now I won’t lie, even though I tell people it isn’t about the camera, I do own several (I just love camera’s). But, there are times when I will specifically choose one over another. And, it may have nothing to do with any of the tech stuff, but rather with the overall size of one vs. another. Depending on where I’m going and what I have to do to get there, I will choose small and light almost every time.
It wasn’t always like this. Several years ago while visiting the Eastern Sierra, I decided to take a hike above the little town of Big Pine, up to a glacier. The trail starts at 8000 feet, and goes up up up from there. In my excitement, I made the mistake of taking a backpack with all of my camera gear, and a very nice but heavy tripod. Even though it was a cold November day, I worked up quite a sweat on that hike. It was so unnecessary to take that much gear, especially since I didn’t even use half of it.
Moving forward, I think I’m a little smarter about camera and gear choices. When I’m out riding my bike and want to bring a camera I use a small point and shoot, or my GoPro HD (more about that in another post). And now when I go on a hike, I take my Sony NEX3. The NEX3 is smaller than my Canon DSLR’s, but has the same size APS-C sensor. It will shoot both RAW and .jpg, has an image stabilizer, and a very nice screen. While the NEX3 is larger than most point and shoots, it’s still the perfect camera for me when hiking.
During our latest visit to the Moro Bay area we had a chance to go to Montana De Oro, a beautiful State Park just south of Morro Bay. There is an area that you need to park and walk a bit to get to, but it’s worth the effort. Leaving the parking area, the hike is down a narrow path with high brush on both sides, and it’s downhill. The path is over a mile long before you get to see the rugged cliffs and waves breaking on the rocks below.