Here's a frustrating combination: traveling and serious photography. At precisely the time you want to photography interesting new surroundings, you also don't want to be burdened with inordinate amounts of gear.
Olympus has one interesting answer to the conundrum, though: the E-3 (click here for CNET's full-on review). Its top-of the line SLR is rugged, waterproof, and when combined with the company's Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD and 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD lenses provides a flexible package that's portable if not actually lightweight.
I hauled the E-3 with those lenses and the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F4.0 wide-angle zoom to Argentina for a month of vacation and was pleased with the performance. I had to lug the gear not only on the usual buses and city tours, but also in much more demanding conditions: two four-day backpacking trips with a three-year-old, Patagonia's uncertain weather, and serious weight-carrying constraints.
The result was good photos of people, flower close-ups, skittish wildlife, and beautiful mountains.
The gear costs about $1,950 for the camera and 12-60mm lens, $950 for the 50-200mm lens, and $1,400 for the 7-14mm lens. … Read more