By Tamara Wilm
If your holiday plans involve traveling, and if you’re into photography, you’ll be taking your gear with you to capture all the memories. In this guide, I share my thoughts on a compact set-up that’s convenient no matter what modes of travel you’ll be using this holiday season.
For the backpack, I’ve chosen the Vanguard VEO 42. This small, casual pack will hold everything you need—including a VEO tripod—and it won’t steal space from packages, holiday food, kids, or the family dog. If you’re flying, it makes a nondescript carry-on.
While the VEO 42 appears to be a humble backpack, it holds a DSLR with lens, 1-2 extra lenses and a flash if you so desire, a 13” laptop, the aforementioned tripod, and more. Perhaps one of its best features is that it’s discrete. No one will know that it’s a camera bag; which any photographer will tell you is a plus. Securing the tripod internally ensures a low profile, or you can attach it externally. The bag also has quick bottom access, so you can grab your camera fast when you need it.
For your rig, I suggest going with the Sony a7R III 35mm Full-Frame Compact Mirrorless, because the body is light and easy to transport. It features what Sony calls “pro-style operability”. In layman’s terms, it has a 42.4MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor, captures 4K HDR video, shoots 10 fps, and has an ISO range up to 32000—making it a solid option for both photo and video capture.
Dual media slots give you more space for image storage, a VGA OLED viewfinder offers bright viewing, and a rear 3” tilting LCD touchscreen makes showing photos you just took effortlessly. The NP-FZ100 battery lasts around 530 shots per charge, which should keep you safe at least through dinner. Even so, I recommend picking up an extra battery.
When it comes to lenses, consider the FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens. It covers everything from wide-angle close-ups to distance shots. For storage, go with Sony’s 128GB SF-G Series UHS-II SDXC cards. Since there are two slots, don’t forget to pick up at least that many. Sony’s RM-VPR1 Remote Commander will come in handy for group shots so everyone can be in the picture. The HVL-F43M external flash is another good idea—especially since you’ll be in low light most of the time.
Vanguard’s VEO 265AB Tripod with a TBH-50 Ball Head is designed specifically for this backpack. Light and compact with near instant set-up, it won’t weigh you down or frustrate you Another accessory I suggest for making the holiday rounds is the 6-in-1 Cleaning Kit. It includes a Power Lens Cleaner with an air blower, brush, and polishing tip. Cleaning solution and pre-moistened and dry cleaning wipes ensure your shots will be clear—no matter what food laden fingers might happen to come across your camera.
May your holiday season memory making be effortless and fun with this travel-friendly set-up.