Updated: Jan 9, 2018
I run. A lot. And I take pictures along the way. But I can't bring my big, heavy DSLR along, so what do I do?
I have spent a good deal of time trail running this summer. I take my dogs with me on these runs, and the one thing I always miss is the ability to carry my DSLR as I'm running. I get to run through some pretty amazing places, and often during the most gorgeous light. As a compromise, I have a small point and shoot, a GoPro, and an iPhone that I will swap between (I never take them all) depending on what I think I might encounter that day.
In general, each camera serves a completely different purpose. As much as I'd like, there isn't a 1 size fits all for what I would like to do, so it is all a series of compromises and decisions that need to be made before leaving the house.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-10 is an amazing point and shoot camera. It has a large sensor for a p&s, and a beautiful lens. It takes amazing photos, but it is big and heavy for a p&s, and it isn't water/sweat proof or super heavy duty for the beating things take getting bounced around on a trail run. I wind up carrying it in a ziplock to try and prevent it from getting wet. The images that come from it could be used in ad campaigns.
The GoPro is much more suited to this type of shooting. Waterproof and virtually indestructible, this is exactly what this camera was designed to do. I like the voice control feature. The compromise lies in image quality and camera versatility. There is no zoom, the lens moves in steps. Wide, medium, etc. I love that it is small and light though, and it winds up being my go to most of the time.
I also use my iPhone a lot. This is the one constant. I always have my phone. I use the RunKeeper app on it and since most of my runs are early in the morning and just me and the dogs, I can use it in case of emergency. It is a great running companion.
As is the case with most photography scenarios, you never have access to all the tools you wish you had. Instead of looking at it as "I wish I had", I prefer to find ways to capture the image I want with the tools I have. When trail running, the gear I can take with me is extremely limited. I find that liberating.