We’re not going to go into great detail about cameras, since it can be assumed that you’ve already invested in a system. However, if you’re looking for an upgrade that might have special applications as a riding companion, here are some thoughts.
The Pentax K-7 is one of the smallest D-SLRs, yet offers a 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor and sensor-shift Shake Reduction that works with all lenses. The compact Pentax body is rugged and dust-, weather- and cold-resistant, all ideal for motorcycle transport. Sensor-dust reduction removes dust from the sensor so it doesn’t appear in your photos. On top of all that, the K-7 can shoot HD video at 1280x720p, plus 1536x1024p and 640x416p SD video, all at 30 fps. Estimated Street Price: $1,259.
Tamrac Aero Speed Pack 75
If you choose to travel extremely light while giving up as little as possible when stepping down from a D-SLR, the Canon PowerShot G11 is the latest in the series of compact digital cameras that have been popular with pros for their image quality, ruggedness, versatility and discreetly compact size. The G11 has a new High Sensitivity System that utilizes the new 10-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 processor to produce excellent image quality up to ISO 3200. Low Light Mode expands this to ISO 12,800 if you really need it. Quality at higher ISO settings allows the run-and-gun motorcyclist a greater margin for error by allowing the use of higher shutter speeds (stop action) and smaller apertures (depth of field), even in good light. A tilt/swivel LCD monitor makes odd-angle shooting easy. Estimated Street Price: $499.
Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 is a unique Micro Four Thirds camera that features interchangeable lenses. It’s not a true D-SLR, in that the camera uses an electronic viewfinder in favor of the mirror and pentaprism setup, which helps make the camera exceptionally small. The camera itself isn’t much smaller than the most compact D-SLRs, but the lenses for the GH-1 are considerably smaller than their D-SLR counterparts. The HD video is 1080p, and the sensor is 12megapixels. Estimated Street Price: $2,299.
Tokina AT-X PRO 50-135mm ƒ/2.8
Another unique and compact camera is the Sony HX1, which can automatically stitch together a single panorama when you pan across a scene. It has a 20x integrated zoom and can shoot 10 fps at full 9-megapixel resolution, and it has 1080p HD video- capture capability. Outdoor photographers also will like the low-light shooting capability, which Sony calls Twilight Handheld Mode. The camera shoots six images in rapid succession to build a low-noise image without having to use a long shutter speed. Estimated Street Price: $399.
Gitzo Series 2 Traveler Tripod
The most complete lens kit usually involves two or three zooms of varying focal lengths, but if you want to do it all with a single lens, here are some recommendations. Certainly, all the camera companies make their versions of broad-range zooms, but often the after-market manufacturers try to go the OEM products one better in zoom range, while generally at a lower price.