I just got back from the Rick Steve’s 14 Day Best of Europe Trip, which was my first tour and trip to Europe. Prior to the trip, I read a lot of the posts on this forum regarding what size camera to take and which lenses. I ended up taking my Canon DLSR with 24-70 mm lens, 35mm 1.4 lens, 16-36 mm lens, and a flash. I was able to fit all of this in my PacSafe camera bag. It was a little bit heavy, but I was able to carry it around on the walking tours without any real problems. I was worried that I was taking too much equipment, so at the last minute I left my tripod at home. If I was going to take just one lens, I would take the 35mm 1.4 since it would be good for indoor/outdoor/night photos.
I ended up using the 24-70 for general walking around shots. The 35mm was good for inside museums, restaurants, and night shots. I didn’t use the 16-36mm in France but used it in Lauterbrunnen for some landscape shots. In Munich and Italy, it allowed me to fit the entire buildings and plaza’s into the frame, so it was worth bringing.
We went to the Palace of Versailles prior to the tour starting. The palace and grounds are so beautiful, I got a lot of great shots. Same thing for Lauterbrunnen. I left the hotel around 7:30 am in Venice and got lots of nice shots without tourists in them. The only people out at that time were other hard core camera people. We were at the Roman Forum late in the afternoon, which resulted in some great shadows on the buildings.
In hindsight, I should have taken my tripod, since it was hard to find people sometimes to take photos of my wife and me. I thought, my 70-200 mm lens wouldn’t be that useful on the trip, but it would have been nice to use for taking shots down the canals in Venice or details of buildings.
I saw a lot of tourists with DLSR’s and I even saw a number of tourists that brought more camera gear than I did.
Finally , I made 3 Costco photo books with the photos from the trip.