Trip Camera - DSLR or Digital Handheld?

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Aug 14, 2019
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Heading to Alaska next week. Taking a cruise with several stops at several ports plus will do some whale watching and view various wildlife from a small boat.

Was going to take my Canon T3 camera & two lenses. My daughter says I should leave my "big stuff" at home and just take my Canon SX730 HS handheld digital camera.

My SX730 is an awesome camera and takes nice clear pictures. But, I want to make sure that I'm able to get good shots of the whales breaching (my T3 on the sports setting is usually very good for catching action) as well as nice scenic pictures.

T3? Or SX730 HS?

Any guidance?
Take your best stuff, you will regret it if you don't..........
Depends on what lenses you have but take what you will use. If you bring the DSLR and leave it in your room it is a moot point.

Having said this, I recently had a business trip to the Bay Area and often I bring the T7i (the DSLR I got specfically for travel) on these trips. But, a couple days before the trip I found a Canon SX400 IS for $30. I decided to get it and take it on the trip instead as an experiment. BIG mistake. The company has a 53 foot sailboat and we went out one evening and sailed around the Golden Gate. There was a wetlands with incredible swans. I hiked in a park with spectacular views of the Pacific. I got a few keepers with the point and shoot but I wish I'd brought the travel gear instead.
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This a debate I have every time we go away. How much to take and what. I would say take the big stuff but rem it’s you not me that has to balance the advantage of the better kit vs any family argument over what you have taken
My list for a trip is DSLR, wide lens, med range , and a long eg 300 mm plus any sd cards and batts I can loose in my holiday bag
I have always been an advocate for taking it all. But I also understand that I am willing to lug a ton of stuff around.

How are you approaching the trip...seeing the sights or as a photography endeavor? If you just want to see the sights and simply take some pictures, then travel as light as possible.

But if you are going with photography being a big part of what you want to accomplish, then you need to take your best stuff and more stuff to be prepared for a variety of situations.

Do you really want to, at some point in the future, look at your pictures and wish you had done it differently?
Ask yourself the setup...
If strictly on the boat then perhaps a handheld because of extreme distance.
But if you can setup the gear quickly, then take the big guns.
Is there some reason you can't take both? If the choice is between the two then just adding that little point-and-shoot to the pile isn't going to add very much.
My hesitation in taking my DSLR plus 2 lenses plus the handheld is that I don't want to be lugging around a lot of stuff. That said, I don't want to miss the wildlife action either(whales breaching, etc.) because I don't have my T3 with me.

I was in Alaska a few years ago for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and only took a Canon handheld (earlier version than what I have now) and the pictures that I took turned out great. However, this is a completely different type of trip. While I'll be on the ship, where my SX730 will be fine, when I'm off the ship and whale watching and getting up close to glaciers calving, I'm not sure the handheld will be up to the job.

Thankfully, I just bought a "chest pack" for my gear so I won't have to worry about carrying a camera bag or having one slung over my shoulder. Will just have to see if I can get both cameras and 2 lenses to fit.

Just some additional info here....I did post a question on a different part of the forum (Canon lenses) and got great recommendations. I don't have high end gear (obviously not with just a T3), and my lenses aren't the best out there, but they are what I currently have:

EF 75-300 1:4-5.6 III (recommended to take)
EF 80-200 1:4.5-5.6 II
EF 35-80 1:4-5.6 III
EFS 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 (recommended to take)

Any other thoughts on my dilemma?

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