Gear Advice for Orlando Disney trip
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khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

We're going to be going to Orlando for a family trip to Disney/Seaworld. I just wanted to get some advice on what gear to take. Ordinarilly, I take all my gear which would mean taking my fully packed Gura Gear pack. The plan was to spend 5 days at Disney and 2 days at Seaworld and 2 days at some of the other attractions or shopping.

However, since I'm more of a landscape guy and Orlando really doesn't strike me as a Landscape type location and this is a trip mainly for my 3 and 4 1/2 year old, I thought about taking the smaller Tamrac Eveolution 9 pack with the 5DIII+70-200 and 1DX+24-70 and possibly the 2x extender, 16-35 lens and a flash. The only reason I was even going to take the 70-200 was for the Animal kingdom trip.

Wasn't sure about taking a tripod (which I usually don't go anhywhere about), although from what I understand, they do have fireworks on some of the nights at Disney, which might be a reason to take it for just the fireworks.

Any reason to take more gear I thought about taking one of the T/S for shots of the Disney castle at night to control perspective, but really this would only be for the night shots. During the day, the plan is to mainly just take photos of the kids.



Lane48
Registered: Sep 04, 2008
Total Posts: 15
Country: United States

Our family made this trip in the fall of 2011. We just did Disney World on this trip. I decided not to take all of my gear. I bought an excellent compact camera that more than did the job. I took the shots that I wanted and thoroughly enjoyed myself with the family. A lot less hassle hauling a small compact rather than a DSLR. We ended up with 750 keepers from the trip and I do not feel that any moments were lost. We did hire one of the local photographers to take family shots and those were excellent as well. I do believe that if you try and take all of your DSLR gear, you will not enjoy the family and time as much. That being said, the DSLR would probably be preferred at SeaWorld.



Invertalon
Registered: Sep 08, 2009
Total Posts: 834
Country: United States

I would just take one body and the 16-35 and 70-200 (plus extender) and be done.



reno.peterson
Registered: May 13, 2009
Total Posts: 3077
Country: United States

khurram1 wrote:We're going to be going to Orlando for a family trip to Disney/Seaworld.... During the day, the plan is to mainly just take photos of the kids.
---> this is a trip mainly for my 3 and 4 1/2 year old


Take a decent P&S and totally enjoy the trip!!!
If more is needed/wanted, 1 camera body and a decent/good utility lens. maybe even a 28-200 type lens...



Paulthelefty
Registered: Feb 27, 2012
Total Posts: 612
Country: United States

I concur with the others above. If you are going for the kids, don't take all that gear. The kids will be frustrated, your wife will be VERY frustrated, and it will get old very fast waiting for dad with his camera. Especially with 2 little ones, mom is going to need some help, and you will be pretty distracted. Take one body and one or two zooms, or make the trip an excuse to pick up a high quality P&S ( I saw a Canon s95 that shoots in RAW in the buy and sell for under $200) and HAVE FUN and enjoy some quality family time.

I have also heard that the local pros in the park do fine work. Not exactly sure how you do that, but you have a card they scan, and you get a disc in the mail in a couple weeks.

Good luck!
Paul



Breitling65
Registered: May 31, 2006
Total Posts: 5239
Country: United States

I been in Orlando in June and visited Magic Kingdom and only things I remember is tons of kids and parents, walking running, screaming, eating etc and also very nice night show. Photography is tough there, always someone running or walking or sticking his face into your camera. I took 24L and 85L on 5d3 and that was good option. I wouldn't suggest to take two bodies and tons of equipments there if you wish to enjoy your trip But up to you...



Jonathan Huynh
Registered: May 01, 2003
Total Posts: 9368
Country: United States

My family and I vacation in Orlando last year, I intended to pack light and I did, a Canon 5D II with 50L F1.2 on my shoulder flash and 16-35L are in my backpack.

I used 50L about 80% with this lens because most of the time I'm standing about 3' to 4" to my family, and 16-36L really come-in handy for wide shots.



jeraldcook
Registered: Dec 29, 2009
Total Posts: 535
Country: United States

I just got back from Orlando a few weeks ago (5 days at Disney, 1 day at Universal, and 1 day at Sea World). Here's here's the gear I took and how many shots Lightroom says I took with each lens. I took 2337 photos in total with my 5D3 (many are repetitive and need to be culled):

24-105 = 898
35L = 667
70-200 f/2.8 IS II = 434
70-200 f/2.8 IS II + 2x tele = 326
85L = 4
17-40 = Never left my bag
50 f/1.4 = Never left my bag
580EXII = used a fair amount

Taking two bodies is probably overkill but there are a few times 2 bodies would have been nice. For instance, at the Animal Kingdom on the the Kilimanjaro Safari I had to choose between either photos of the animals or photos of my daughter (my daughter won this round). At Sea World, I had to choose between Shamu or my daughter (Shamu largely won this round but I did switch lenses once or twice to snap some or her). I'm planning on making a photo book of our trip and having both photos of my daughter's expression and photos of what she was looking at would really help to tell the story.

I took a tripod and carried it everywhere but I didn't use it a single time. All the firework photos were handheld so I could photography my daughter as well. I took one on my last trip to Disney and used it quite a bit though. For entire family shots this time I just relied on the Disney photographers.

I would think about taking a fast prime for low-light stuff though.

P&S are great for some things but they're no substitute for a good DSLR.




CW100
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4628
Country: United States

I would take the 5D3, 16-35 and 50mm and a flash

Check out the Disney Photo forum for photo tips
http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=97



khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

I really appreciate the feedback!!!

I really can't take a p&s - I'd never hear the end of it from my wife questions why I need different lenses and can't just use a p&s like hers, which I refer to a toy

But it does sound like two bodies is overkill.



khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

CW100 wrote:
I would take the 5D3, 16-35 and 50mm and a flash

Check out the Disney Photo forum for photo tips
http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=97


Thanks for the link!



khurram1
Registered: Oct 20, 2005
Total Posts: 3933
Country: Canada

jeraldcook wrote:
I just got back from Orlando a few weeks ago (5 days at Disney, 1 day at Universal, and 1 day at Sea World). Here's here's the gear I took and how many shots Lightroom says I took with each lens. I took 2337 photos in total with my 5D3 (many are repetitive and need to be culled):

24-105 = 898
35L = 667
70-200 f/2.8 IS II = 434
70-200 f/2.8 IS II + 2x tele = 326
85L = 4
17-40 = Never left my bag
50 f/1.4 = Never left my bag
580EXII = used a fair amount

Taking two bodies is probably overkill but there are a few times 2 bodies would have been nice. For instance, at the Animal Kingdom on the the Kilimanjaro Safari I had to choose between either photos of the animals or photos of my daughter (my daughter won this round). At Sea World, I had to choose between Shamu or my daughter (Shamu largely won this round but I did switch lenses once or twice to snap some or her). I'm planning on making a photo book of our trip and having both photos of my daughter's expression and photos of what she was looking at would really help to tell the story.

I took a tripod and carried it everywhere but I didn't use it a single time. All the firework photos were handheld so I could photography my daughter as well. I took one on my last trip to Disney and used it quite a bit though. For entire family shots this time I just relied on the Disney photographers.

I would think about taking a fast prime for low-light stuff though.

P&S are great for some things but they're no substitute for a good DSLR.



Thanks for providing details about the gear you took and the number of shots you took - that is VERY helpful!!

Btw, have you printed any of the high ISO shots (i.e. ISO 12800) - at least for web use, your high ISO shots look pretty damn good. I haven't really ever printed any high ISO shots and generally stay below ISO 3200.



jeraldcook
Registered: Dec 29, 2009
Total Posts: 535
Country: United States

khurram1 wrote:

Thanks for providing details about the gear you took and the number of shots you took - that is VERY helpful!!

Btw, have you printed any of the high ISO shots (i.e. ISO 12800) - at least for web use, your high ISO shots look pretty damn good. I haven't really ever printed any high ISO shots and generally stay below ISO 3200.


Not yet but I was actually thinking of printing some of these to see how they come out. On-screen I am very impressed with 12,800 when I nailed the exposure. Most of my high ISO shots I took on rides when flash wasn't allowed so they were in very dark environments to begin with. And, in order to get below the 600kb file size limit and stay at 1000px wide I had to drop the quality of the jpegs down to 70-80% so there is better quality to be had.

LR says I have 143 shots between 6500-10,000, 160 shots at 12,800, and 54 at 25,600 so I'm thinking I'll select a few and have them printed at various sizes as a test. I upgrade my 5D2 right before the trip so I haven't had the opportunity to print much. What size prints are you curious about? 4x6? 8x10?

The 25,600 ISO shot I posted is from The Pirates of the Caribbean. At f/1.4 and a shutter speed of 1/25 is was DARK but it was my daughter's first ever theme park ride so I wanted to capture it regardless of noise. Try that with a P&S.



mfoto
Registered: Sep 19, 2002
Total Posts: 2344
Country: Canada

Theme parks mean long days on your feet. Ideally shoot with an iPhone and have fun. That's what I did last time I did a theme park. Of course I've done it with my SLR as well but it was really overkill for the most part and at times annoying when getting on rides etc. Checking your gear list I would bring just the 5DIII, 16-35 and 85. For Sea World perhaps the 70-200.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7398
Country: United States

My wife and I live about an hour away from Disney, so we'll spend a day there occasionally - no kids, btw. For the Animal Kingdom I carry xxD body with a 24-105, 70-300. No real lines to speak of there, and you can see it all at your own pace. For EPCOT, anything more than a P&S with a fast lens and IS is overkill, and a PITA to carry around all day. I can't imagine how much worse it would be with a few kids added to the mix. I'd buy a Sony RX100 or Canon S110, and make it an enjoyable/relaxing trip. Take pics of the kids and the fun on their faces. If you think about it, there's really nothing else to shoot at Disney that everyone hasn't already seen.



diverhank
Registered: Aug 07, 2012
Total Posts: 217
Country: United States

I'd take the 5DMk3 with 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 f/4 (for compactness). For only 2 lenses, I'd skip the 16-35. If you are into birds and gators, I'd recommend visiting Gatorland where there are plenty of gators and egrets competing for tourists' handouts.


Get Off My Back! by Tongho58, on Flickr

Don't just take a P&S. You'd be beating yourself up afterwards. By the way, from Downtown Disney, you can board one of several boats to go to the half dozen or so of Disney resorts, all for free. The slow boat trips offer quite a number of very unique photo opportunities. You don't need to be a guest there either. We checked with the Disney people at Downtown Disney and they told us that.


Disney Port Orleans Resort - Riverside by Tongho58, on Flickr



jeraldcook
Registered: Dec 29, 2009
Total Posts: 535
Country: United States

Different strokes for differ folks I suppose. The only two compelling reasons not take a full kit is (1) lugging the gear around all day; and (2) what do you do with the gear when you go on rides.

As for carrying around the gear, I'm a bigger guy, 6'3" 190lbs and in pretty decent shape. Carrying my gear around all day long for a week isn't a problem. Plus, if you have a stroller aged child you can put your gear in it when it is unoccupied. So this may be an issue so some people but not for me.

As for what to do with your gear when you go on rides, I took my gear on the vast majority of the rides. The rides that I couldn't take my gear on were the same rides that the younger children in our group couldn't go on anyways so there was always someone waiting behind to leave my bag with. So again, not a concern for me.

The OP has already said taking just a P&S is out of the question so those issues must not be a concern for him either.



arnold1
Registered: Mar 22, 2009
Total Posts: 621
Country: United States

I asked the same question about four years ago when I was bringing my kids to Disney for the first time. My first impression was to do as much as you're thinking about bringing (of course neither 1Dx or 5D iii were out at that time.)

The best advice that I got pushed me away from carrying all that gear. You are there for your family, mainly the kids and don't want to focus on taking pictures and being a few steps behind them in the parks. Additionally logging all that equipment with you through the crowds, in lines and during rides will not be that much fun.

I would focus on the kids and try to enjoy being together. Bring a point and shoot.

Alternatively take a day to take just pictures of the kids and skip the rides, lines, etc.



SwampYankee
Registered: Nov 16, 2010
Total Posts: 63
Country: United States

Take as little as possible. 5D3 is great in low light so take the 24-40 and take pictures of the family. Less is more here. Do you have a Black Rapid or other shoulder strap? That would be the single best piece of gear I could thing of because that around the neck thing will hurt after a couple of hours. Don't miss the fireworks at Epcot. I guess this is not a great time to tell you the last time I was at Disney my flight back North get delayed by 3 days due t snow. I was pretty happy to have that jumbo bag of gear when the extra 3 days allowed the family to catch on of the last Space Shuttle launches!



diverhank
Registered: Aug 07, 2012
Total Posts: 217
Country: United States

arnold1 wrote:


I would focus on the kids and try to enjoy being together. Bring a point and shoot.



You are assuming you can't enjoy yourself taking pictures and your family can't enjoy you when you're busy taking pictures using a DSLR. I think it's the opposite. My wife and kids deserved the best possible pictures and they enjoyed being photographed and I know I'm most happy taking pictures. On our recent Orlando/Miami trip, my wife was so happy with the pictures I took of our family, she's encouraging me to buy more stuff...happy all around



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