Use Enough Gun

April 20, 2011

Use Enough Gun is a book written by Robert Ruark, the full title is Use Enough Gun: On Hunting Big Game. The theory is to use the right caliber firearm for the game at hand. I read Use Enough Gun a long time ago but as I work through my camera options for my upcoming overseas trip, I’ve been thinking about the book and its advice – plan for the situation you’re likely to encounter and you won’t get caught short.

I’m one of those prepared for anything types, and not that long ago, my bare minimum in photographic gear for a big trip would be a DSLR body, 12-24mm wide angle lens, 35mm F2 prime lens and an 18-200mm or maybe a 70-200mm F2.8 if I was feeling flush. Add in my Manfrotto tripod plus charger, accessories and a MacBook Pro and you’ve got a flipping heavy bag to lug around.

Canon PowerShot S95

Given that I’m planning on spending some time in the iconic parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite along with a long excursion through the Southwest (Canyonlands, The Grand Canyon etc.) you’d think that a wide angle rig would be mandatory. Strangely enough, I’m probably just going to take my Canon S95 and leave it at that. I might try to beg a G12 off Canon NZ but probably won’t bother, because all I’d gain would be a bit more zoom, a viewfinder and an articulating screen. Hardly worth the trouble or extra bulk.

Even I think that I’ve lost my mind here and I know that at some point, I’m probably going to bitterly regret only having a 28mm wide end on the S95. However, the thought of dragging a bag loaded down with gear just turns me off.

Maybe I’m getting old and feeble or maybe I know that the very capable S95 is going to do 97% of the job I need it to do despite living in my pocket. On a trip that will involve a fair amount of camping and hiking plus travel through South Africa and Mexico, a discreet little camera seems like a very good thing indeed. Throw a 10″ Netbook into the bag and I’m sorted. The fact that I’m seriously contemplating this just shows how far compact cameras have come.

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