"Walkaround" photography.

spain - asturias
Picos de Europa, Spain. Pentax 645.

I've seen posts asking for recommendations for a small camera or outfit for holidays. Plus the ever popular phrase, its "my walkaround lens"

The vast majority of my photographic output is taken from places that can only be reached on foot, in places that I've often had to travel a long way to get to and outdoors.

Alps, France. Nikon F4.

If people are looking for small cameras and cut down camera systems for travel, walking outdoors etc., then just what are they using their "serious" cameras and lenses for? Isn't the thought of travelling halfway across the world and photographing new, exciting and exotic places a reason to pack every piece of photographic equipment you own? I know it is for me.

south of france
Calanques, Cassis, France. Pentax MZ-5.

"'I'm going on a train trip across the Andes, stopping at Machu Piccu, can anyone recommend a small compact camera to take with me?" OK, that might be an exaggeration, but I've seen pretty similar posts.

I'm not talking about the other extreme however. There was someone on a Nikon forum, who was taking a trip hiking through the Grand Canyon. He was going to take his Nikon D3, D700, 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. His question was, "Should I take my flashgun?" !!!!!

Pentax *ist D 77mm f1.8 limited lens. Multi Image Panoramic Stitch
Cornwall. Pentax *istD

One of the reasons I've always been so enthusiastic about m4/3 is that it goes some way to solving the problem of quality versus bulk. In the days of film cameras it was far less of a problem. Even cameras like the top of the range Nikons were light enough to carry up mountains. Nowadays with AF motors, fast motordrives etc. DSLR's can be pretty big. I once photographed the Pennine way here in the UK with a Nikon D3, and it wasn't a pleasant experience.

Mont Blanc, France. Nikon F4.