Camera Kit for Bike Touring

After experiencing a new found interest in photography with the advent of high quality reasonably priced digital cameras I decided to toe the waters with a used Nikon Coolpix 995 that I found on ebay complete with lens adapters and filter kit.

Due to its' sealed zoom lens, ability to use RAW format and a rather compact rugged design it was the perfect choice to learn and become familiar with manual digital photography controls.  As one photographer commented "it's the type of camera that reminds us it's not about how many megapixels create the image but lens and overall camera quality".

That having beens said at 3.2 mp it was often difficult to obtain a good quality image particularly under low light conditions so a camera with a better sensor was in order.  An excellent social media and blogging camera but I would eventually want a more versatile modern camera for other considerations such as high quality prints and stock photos.

Picture of Canon G 16 compact size and controls
After what seemed to be an exhaustive bit of research and product comparison I decided on the Canon G 16.  A full featured digicam with manual capabilities and some other fun additions.  At 12 mp and ability to create RAW images it has been an ideal camera for bike touring considering its' compact size and shape.

A couple other must have requirements when I was comparing products was a built in flash and optical view finder.  Many other cameras I considered didn't provide the built in viewer option which has been very good to have when the battery begins to deplete at the end of a long day.  I was able to turn off the LCD viewer screen and use only the view finder.  It is not the best optical quality and composing an image with the lens in the way can be a bit annoying but it is better than nothing and in a couple instances was the difference between continuing to get some photos or packing it up for the day.

Battery life of this camera is awesome!  I picked up a generic battery as a back up to the original Canon battery which by far outperforms the off brand.  After Canon got the wifi app glitches worked out I am even more pleased the added efficiency of use for sharing photos via my phone and tablet for stock sales, blogging and social media. Note that RAW files cannot be transferred via wifi and I have since added an OTG cable for use with an RCA Voyager Pro Tablet and Photo Mate App for RAW file import and basic photo editing. This has been one of the wisest purchases and investments I have made as part of my bike touring pack kit.  All of my photography gear including the camera, tablet, cables, spare battery, optional USB battery charger for the Canon G 16 and Zendure power bank easily fit inside the handlebar bag pictured below with tripod.

Picture of tripod for bike touring photography and travel
Size, weight and versatility of the Slik Mini II Tripod for bike touring and bike packing
For slow ISO speeds, low lighting conditions and macro photography a good quality, light weight yet stable tripod is necessary.  Again I compared all the features and prices of some of the leading and most popular travel tripods available and found the SLIK Mini II tripod to be the very best for my bike touring needs.  It easily fits in a pannier or medium size hydration pack or can be attached to my handlebar bag which I use for my other photography equipment previously mentioned.    Note that the tripod is displayed for purposes of relative size in above photo.  While riding I pack the tripod underneath as the front and rear portions of the handlebar bag attach with buckle straps and velcro which hold the tripod securely in place even while riding trails.

Picture of tablet and camera being used to edit RAW format files
From Right: Canon G 16 connected to RCA Voyager Pro Tablet with OTG cable from importing and editing RAW files via Photo Mate App for Android
All of the photography equipment and gadgets described that make up this kit have proven to be the most lightweight travel friendly selections for bike touring and bike packing without sacrificing quality.  All the images listed at my Stock Photography Page were uploaded using this specific camera kit with the Dreamstime Companion App available for both iPhone and android.  Here's a link for folks interested in joining the Dreamstime Stock Photography community. It's not only a good place to begin selling some of your photos but is also a very supportive knowledgeable community of talented and experienced photographers.  For me there was a learning curve of finding particular editing tools to increase my percentage of accepted images. Fortunately the Photo Mate App has been a huge time saver for importing and converting RAW files, batch editing and most importantly provides noise and chromatic aberration removal.