When I was in Africa I got caught with my pants down. Not literally, but I was ill equipped photographically. I have a Nikon D1, which is a great but aging digital camera, but I only owned a single lens: a 24-170 mm zoom. That lens proved to be inadequate out on safaris and in the close quarters of bars. I ended up buying a 500 mm zoom while there so I could get some decent wildlife pictures. It's a good lens, but it is absolutely huge.

For Sri Lanka I'm taking a page from the boy scout handbook: I'm going to buy a wide angle lens and a compact zoom with image stabilization. Or, so I thought. Canon makes the perfect compact zoom lens but not for Nikon lens mounts. The Nikon wide angle lens I've been eying comes-like everything for my camera-at a price (even the flash for this camera was over $400.00). Nikon makes an image stabilized lens similar to the Canon, but it is twice as long and three times the price. In fact, a little digging shows that I could almost buy a new Canon body and lenses to match my existing Nikon gear for the price difference in lenses.

Time to ditch the Nikon? Maybe, but that Nikon is built like an absolute tank and Canon's cameras don't seem quite as sturdy. You may not care about that for everyday use, but you will appreciate it when you're standing under Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and water is pouring out of your lens barrel.