I've had a search around the forum, and can see lots of people have the same dilema - to take the slr or not on a backpacking trip? I'm in two minds too - i'm off to SE Asia, Australia, NZ and then S America (Peru, Chile, Argentina).
I just wondered for the people who did take their SLR's, what do you do with them when you go out drinking? Any issues or advice to offer please..
one way to do is carry it with you if you care and treat about your DSLR like your second wife !
or if you can't be careful, i suggest to buy a compact digi camera like Canon G9 which does almost the same actions with minor functions.
I had a similar (but less dramatic) question when preparing for just an RV trip around the US, and elected to just go with a high end consumer digital camera (Sony Cybershot in my case). Once in a great while, I wish I had more than my 12x zoom, but very rarely. I really appreciate the compact, lightweight, and ease of use convenience everyday.
We each approach things differently, but I suspect the parameters for a RTW backing trip would weigh even heavier towards not bringing a DSLR. Go with the smallest, highest end prosumer digital camera you can afford (with the biggest memory cards). Going forward, I would always purchase optical image stablization and the biggest optical zoom I can afford - couldn't live without either one. I think you can get both with DSLR's, but my camera is so light and convenient by comparison, I can always have it with me. Not sure I'd do so with the larger and heavier DSLR's.
I also take some video's with this, am trying to start using my newer Sanyo XACTI more now for video's, but to just upload a quick travel video to Youtube or Travellerspoint, the Sony doesn't do too bad.
i'm travelling with a dslr and leave it in my room when i go out drinking! i never take good photos when i'm drunk anyway and would never risk losing it or having it stolen. buy a cheap compact camera for nights out
Do you leave it in a hostel room, like a dorm or private room? How do you secure it?
i have always left it locked up in my room and try to make it as inconspicuous as possible. i'll leave the room a little messy with a lot of clothes/towels things like that all over the place and then tuck the camera away under a pile of laundry. i never had an issue with it or with my zoom lens either. for those nights out boozing it up, i just took a disposable camera. the only times i really have it on me and have tippled a little too much, i was in between flights with a days layover and had it plastered to my body the whole time. If you're in a hostel, you can lock it up in your locker. make sure you travel with a padlock on you. i usually also have a lightweight padlock that has a wire, spiral cord as well for when i've needed to secure my pack to something, like a truck's luggage rack and i didn't want it falling off.
i have been in asia for 3 months now with my dslr and would have really regreted not having it with me got some amazing shots. I leave it in the room maybe hidden the best i can if out drinking some hotel have safty deposit but some are not big enought for it. Definatly take a portable hard drive for backing up they are dirt cheap and super handy burning CDs etc takes ages on slow computers.
I'd definitely get a half decent compact for taking out for drinking, it's also handy as you can just stuff it in your pockets and is usually easier to pull out quickly and less conspicuously than an SLR. Plus there may be days you don't want to have to wander round with a big old SLR and a compact is perfect. I've been on cycling trips where I couldn't be bothered to carry my slr but having the compact meant I always had a camera on me and it got used a lot on that trip!
I think you are crazy if you don't take the SLR. you are going on an RTW. THAT is the reason you have a dSLR. Iif it gets stolen along the way at least you lose it in style...it's better than it sitting at home not being used while you are seeing the world. I agree with the others find a place to lock it up if you go out drinking and take a disposable camera with you. If you can't lock it up or put it somewhere where you feel it's safe, than don't go out.
Thanks all for the replies and insights
Yep, I totally agree that I would be very daft not to take it :D
The better halfs got a SD850 for nights out, and i'll lockup the slr or even take it with me when i'm out.. although i carry it everywhere I go as it is, so won't be much different when i'm travelling (its a 350d with 17-85 lens, so fairly light).
10 days and counting
Happy New Year!