Maui Teaser: What's Happened So Far

We've been on four dives so far, including my girlfriend's first certified open ocean dive. The visibility on the first day was fairly poor, but improved as the day went on. Our second day was much more clear, as well as the snorkeling we did in between. Small eels are regularly sighted, as well as a number of green turtles who unabashedly approached us. I'm hoping to get a look at an octopus, but from my past experience they are both fast and well camouflaged.

The landscape is also beautiful, and we took a short helicopter ride around Haleakala. I'm looking forward to venturing to the peak to put my D800 setup to good use, as so far I've mostly been using the OM-D underwater. I've been enjoying the Panasonic G7, it has noticeably faster autofocus than the OM-D as well as a much nicer EVF. I'm still getting used to the video settings, and my laptop is unable to play the 4k footage without locking up so I won't know the quality for sure until I return to Orlando. I think I finally have my custom function controls set efficiently though.

Preparing for the Trip: Orlando to Maui, Maui to Portland, Portland to Orlando

I've been planning out my gear for this trip, and I have many factors to consider. My flight leaves from Orlando tomorrow morning at 6:50 am, so I don't have time to make any major changes. So far, here's the gear: In my backpack - Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II, Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8, Sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D, Nikon 105mm f/2.8D Micro, Nikon 85mm f/2 AIS, just one Yongnuo YN-560 IV. Of course, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, its underwater housing, and Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 and 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 are coming along. I had originally planned to take a Nikon FM body along with a roll of film with me, or maybe the Fujifilm X-E2 and 23mm f/2 WR as a small "fun" kit, but at the last minute I pulled the trigger on a Panasonic G7.

Look what just showed up.

Look what just showed up.

I've been eyeing this camera for a long time, as it's high end video features intrigued me, coupled with it's surprisingly low price. Amazon offered free same-day shipping on it, and it was delivered just in time to make it into my bag for the trip. It conveniently uses the same micro 4/3 lenses as my Olympus, although I was hoping to leave the Zuiko 14-42 behind. After a short test, the Panasonic 14-42 @ 14mm does not extend far enough to avoid extreme vignetting inside the underwater housing for the OMD, so the Olympus 14-42 has to come along in case I need the 28mm equivalent underwater.

I also need to plan to be on the road for a while, as I'll be on Maui from July 17-26, then Oregon from July 27-August 4, with a wedding crammed into the start of the Oregon leg. So, I'm taking along a 13" Macbook Pro i5 my brother loaned me (in trade for my ancient 13" Core 2 Duo) and an external 2TB disk just in case I go wild with the 4k video footage. I've cut all of my extra flashes, most cables except those required for chargers, and very densely packed my lenses together. The OM-D is small enough without a lens to fit in the top of my bag, but the Panasonic G7 is too large, so I suppose it will be my "personal item" and ride in my lap for the flight.

Looking forward to posting some photos and a review of the G7 once I've had some time with it.