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Old 21st July 2011
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Tordan58 Tordan58 is offline
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Backup when travelling


I read in other posts about members concerned about insurances to cover/mitigate economic losses in case of loss/theft, wise precaution.

However what I have in mind is redundancy/backup. Here is a story that I would like to share with you: I know a guy who signed up for the trip of his lifetime, a two week guided safari/birdwatching to Tanzania. Not the cheapest of packages. He had been saving his hard earned money for quite some time to afford this.

Off he went and arrived to Tanzania as planned. Everything was just fine up until the moment his battery needed recharging. Guess what?

The charger was faulty.

On the tour were many helpful fellows, who offered assistance. The issue was that he was the only that had not a Canon or Nikon. Sony it was. I suppose it would have been equally bad for an Olympus owner.

What happened to me this winter was an AF failure when on a tour in Sri Lanka. Had to operate the 70-300 focus manually, managed to get 25% keeper rate, better than 0% so I should not complain too much.

This makes me raise the question what pieces of equipment others consider as reliable and what you would bring extras of to mitigate risk of system failure when travelling with photography high on the priority list.

  • Memory cards - low hanging fruit (how many partly depending on if you have a backup storage device e.g. laptop/hard disk/mobile phone)
  • Battery - low hanging fruit
  • Charger - story above seems to speak in favor of extra charger
  • Camera body? - If you cannot afford an spare body of latest model, a relatively cheap discontinued body is better than nothing.
  • Lenses? - This becomes tricky. One needs to assess redundancy/overlap between ranges vs. need for specialization. Also lenses take space and add weight to hand luggage.
  • Plan: travelling with company means you could work out a backup plan within the party.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

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